Integrated Early Warning Surveillance: Achilles' Heel of One Health?

Microorganisms. 2020 Jan 8;8(1):84. doi: 10.3390/microorganisms8010084.


Emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases and zoonoses indicate the importance of the One Health (OH) approach for early warning. At present, even when surveillance data are available, they are infrequently timeously shared between the health sectors. In the context of the MediLabSecure (MLS) Project, we investigated the collection of a set of surveillance indicators able to provide data for the implementation of integrated early warning systems in the 22 MLS countries of the Mediterranean, Black Sea and Sahel regions. We used an online questionnaire (covering vector, human, and animal sectors), focusing on seven relevant arboviruses, that was submitted to 110 officially appointed experts. Results showed that West Nile virus was perceived as the most relevant zoonotic pathogen, while Dengue virus was the most relevant non-zoonotic pathogen in the study area. Data collection of early warning indicators is in place at a different level for all the investigated pathogens and in almost all the MLS Countries. Further assessments on the reliability of the collection in place and on the feasibility of piloting an integrated early warning system for arbovirus could verify if integrated early warning really represents the Achilles' heel of OH.

Keywords: One Health; arbovirus; early warning; integrated surveillance.