1 What is One Health?

There are many definitions of One Health, but the following definition captures the key aspects:

A collaborative, multisectoral, and trans-disciplinary approach – working at local, regional, national and global levels – to achieve optimal health and well-being outcomes recognizing the interconnections between people, animals, plants and their shared environment

(One Health Commission, n.d.)

In the context of antimicrobial resistance (AMR), the essence of the One Health approach is the collaboration of professionals from different sectors and disciplines to reduce the impact of AMR on the health of humans, animals, plants and the environment. Sectors include:

  • human health and social care
  • terrestrial and aquatic animal health and production
  • plant health and production
  • environmental management.

Professionals from different disciplines include, but are not limited to:

  • clinicians
  • veterinarians
  • pharmacists
  • epidemiologists
  • microbiologists
  • nurses
  • sociologists
  • data scientists
  • economists
  • hospital managers
  • laboratory technicians
  • para-veterinarians.

Collaboration involves sharing information with, and effective communication among, professionals, with the goal of understanding what factors contribute to AMR in each sector, how each sector contributes to AMR in other sectors, and measures for mitigating AMR. Experts from each sector must identify priorities and make decisions together to achieve optimal health outcomes, recognising the interconnections between humans, animals, plants and their environments that contribute to AMR.

One Health not only refers to professionals from different sectors and disciplines working together, but also refers to governments, academic institutions, non-government organisations and community groups working together; for example, to investigate, design and implement appropriate policies and programmes to reduce the use of antimicrobials.

2 Misconceptions about a One Health approach to AMR