Conference on the hazards of infectious diseases 02. Apr. 2024

The so-called One Health approach, which focuses on the interrelationships between human and veterinary pathogens and the environment as well as on the complexity of the transmission of the former, is increasingly approved and applied in infectious disease research and control. It facilitates the development of more effective prevention and control strategies for types of infections such as foodborne diseases of animal and plant origin, waterborne diseases or epidemics caused by antimicrobial resistance. At the conference, which was organized with the participation of the One Health Institute of the Faculty of Health Sciences of the University of Debrecen, researchers shared their own experiences in this field.

“Dialogue is essential for our profession in order to share scientific findings and to develop future collaboration channels. The research projects conducted at the University of Debrecen can assist in increasing the body of knowledge on infectious diseases, while the experience thus gained can contribute to a healthier and much better prepared society,” said Marianna Móré, Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Debrecen.

At the opening of the conference, Chief Medical Officer and Head of the National Public Health Center Cecília Müller highlighted the importance of close cooperation between physicians, veterinarians, environmentalists, epidemiologists, molecular biologists and ecologists in order to help understand the dynamics of diseases and to plan and implement countermeasures.

“The COVID19 pandemic has shown how huge a problem bacterial infections really are and how challenging it is to fight them. In Hungary, the practitioners of the medical profession recognized the importance of prevention in time, and quite a number of fruitful and intensive collaborations have been established to this end. The University of Debrecen is also at the vanguard of these efforts, as the One Health Institute is intent to generate new results in scientific research and education, while novel therapeutic options can be explored at the same time,” said Cecília Müller.

Chief Veterinary Officer Szabolcs Pásztor also stressed the importance of multidisciplinary cooperation in his welcome address, pointing out the close links between veterinary medicine and food safety as well as the preservation of human health.

According to the Head of the One Health Institute of the Faculty of Health Sciences of the University of Debrecen, the conference was a progressive and forward-looking event, which the organizers wish to hold every two years in the future in order to prepare the ground for further cooperation and joint research projects.

“We have made significant progress in building international networks of connections, while all the research topics studied at our Institute have been discussed, and we have gained a lot of very useful inspiration. We have designed the conference program to cover antimicrobial resistance, the spread of zoonotic pathogens and even environmental health, a field of research that is currently under-represented in Hungary. In the future, we wish to encourage professional experts to think together, brainstorm and apply jointly for international grants, which could lead to scientific projects that can be then implemented in practice. The One Health approach should permeate and saturate healthcare in Hungary, so that individual infectious diseases could be detected in a shorter time," said Gábor Kardos, Director of the Institute.

Participants in the event could learn about the latest scientific findings of the One Health concept through as many as 30 presentations and a number of online round-table discussions that provided an opportunity for serious professional dialogue.

Press Centre - BZ