Control and prevention of infectious diseases from a One Health perspective

Genet Mol Biol. 2021 Jan 29;44(1 Suppl 1):e20200256. doi: 10.1590/1678-4685-GMB-2020-0256. eCollection 2021.


The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has caught the attention of the global community and rekindled the debate about our ability to prevent and manage outbreaks, epidemics, and pandemics. Many alternatives are suggested to address these urgent issues. Some of them are quite interesting, but with little practical application in the short or medium term. To realistically control infectious diseases, human, animal, and environmental factors need to be considered together, based on the One Health perspective. In this article, we highlight the most effective initiatives for the control and prevention of infectious diseases: vaccination; environmental sanitation; vector control; social programs that encourage a reduction in the population growth; control of urbanization; safe sex stimulation; testing; treatment of sexually and vertically transmitted infections; promotion of personal hygiene practices; food safety and proper nutrition; reduction of the human contact with wildlife and livestock; reduction of social inequalities; infectious disease surveillance; and biodiversity preservation. Subsequently, this article highlights the impacts of human genetics on susceptibility to infections and disease progression, using the SARS-CoV-2 infection as a study model. Finally, actions focused on mitigation of outbreaks and epidemics and the importance of conservation of ecosystems and translational ecology as public health strategies are also discussed.