Signalling and responding to zoonotic threats using a One Health approach: a decade of the Zoonoses Structure in the Netherlands, 2011 to 2021

Euro Surveill. 2022 Aug;27(31). doi: 10.2807/1560-7917.ES.2022.27.31.2200039.


In the Netherlands, the avian influenza outbreak in poultry in 2003 and the Q fever outbreak in dairy goats between 2007 and 2010 had severe consequences for public health. These outbreaks led to the establishment of an integrated human-veterinary risk analysis system for zoonoses, the Zoonoses Structure. The aim of the Zoonoses Structure is to signal, assess and control emerging zoonoses that may pose a risk to animal and/or human health in an integrated One Health approach. The Signalling Forum Zoonoses (SO-Z), the first step of the Zoonoses Structure, is a multidisciplinary committee composed of experts from the medical, veterinary, entomology and wildlife domains. The SO-Z shares relevant signals with professionals and has monthly meetings. Over the past 10 years (June 2011 to December 2021), 390 different signals of various zoonotic pathogens in animal reservoirs and humans have been assessed. Here, we describe the Zoonoses Structure with examples from signals and responses for four zoonotic events in the Netherlands (tularaemia, Brucella canis, West Nile virus, and severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)). This may serve as an example for other countries on how to collaborate in a One Health approach to signal and control emerging zoonoses.

Keywords: 10 years experience; One Health; One Health risk analysis system; Zoonoses Structure; response to emerging zoonoses.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • COVID-19*
  • Communicable Diseases, Emerging* / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Netherlands / epidemiology
  • One Health*
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Zoonoses / epidemiology