211501 Surveillance for Emerging Diseases: A One-Health Approach Incorporating Marine Mammal Zoonoses

Tuesday, November 10, 2009: 3:42 PM

Teri Rowles, PhD , Marine Mammal Health and Stranding Response Program, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Silver Spring, MD
There is increasing evidence and recognition for the connection between human health and animal health as being critical for understanding our environment and its impacts on our health and well being. As a result animal surveillance programs are becoming increasingly more abundant. Marine mammals have been shown to be good surveillance species as indicators of the health of the marine environment and of marine hazards such as food web pathways for biotoxins, pathogens and anthropogenic contaminants. For instance, through marine mammal surveillance systems we have discovered the presence of domoic acid, a potent biotoxin, in new marine food webs in new areas, about the mechanisms and progression of the biotoxin related disease, and the transfer of toxin to the developing fetus. In addition, marine mammals have also informed us about pathogens in marine ecosystems. Studies of marine mammals have demonstrated over 150 pathogens, such as Coxiella, Influenza A and B, and Cryptococcus, which are shared with humans or terrestrial animals. In addition, new microbes continue to be found in marine mammals with some of these being new to science (i.e., astroviruses or coronavirus) and many being closely related to known human pathogens. Surveillance of marine mammal health, morbidity and mortality is used as a barometer of the marine environment and can be incorporated into evaluation of the impacts of environmental parameters on risks or expression of disease in mammals. Closer collaboration and communication between public health officials and marine mammal disease experts will enhance our medical community.

Learning Objectives:
Discuss the importance of the ONE Health movement and how marine mammal zoonoses could impact public health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have DVM and PhD degrees and am currently the coordinator of a national surveillance program for marine animal health. I have numerous publications in infectious and non-infectious diseases of marine mammals. I also coordinate responses to die-offs and disease outbreaks in marine organisms.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.