AMES, Iowa – The globally focused One Health Commission, which is dedicated to promoting improved health of people, animals, plants and the environment, is locating at the Iowa State University Research Park. The commission was formed in 2009 to establish "closer professional interactions, collaborations, and educational opportunities" for physicians, veterinarians and other health science-related professionals.

"We are excited about the One Health Commission locating at ISU,” said Sharron Quisenberry, ISU vice president for research and economic development. “This partnership will allow us to interact across disciplines to improve the health of people, animals and our environment."

Office operations for the One Health Commission will be established with the ISU Nutrition and Wellness Research Center.

The increasing convergence of humans, domestic animals, wildlife and the environment are factors that drove the formation of the commission. Nearly 75% of all emerging human infectious diseases originate in animals, according to worldwide statistics.

"We live in a changing environment populated by interconnected human and animal contact, creating integrated challenges," said Dr. Roger Mahr, One Health Commission CEO. "These challenges require integrated solutions and call for collaborative leadership."

While traditionally human and animal health have been studied separately, they are very intertwined, according to Dr. Al Osbahr, chair of the One Health Commission board of directors and the American Medical Association (AMA) representative to the One Health Commission.

"The One Health Commission will be a vehicle for various medical professionals to sit down and work together, which really hasn't happened to any great extent in the past," Osbahr said. "When we ignore problems in animal health and think they are restricted to animal health, we find these lead to medical problems in humans."

A former president of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), Mahr said ISU is the right fit to be a leading partner for One Health primarily due to the cooperative education, research and outreach tradition at ISU and the university's ongoing commitment to the One Health approach.

The One Health Commission will address some of the rising threats to human and animal health:

• Of the 1,461 diseases now recognized in humans, 60%are due to multi-host pathogens that affect multiple species.
• With the rise of antibiotic resistance, there is a need for a holistic approach and a better understanding of resistance that is related to the use of antibiotic drugs.
• Environmental health may affect human and animal health through contamination, pollution and poor conditions that may lead to new infectious agents.
• Emerging animal diseases, and food and water borne diseases threaten human and animal health around the world.