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One Health

The health of humans, animals, and ecosystems are closely interlinked.

Free Range Poultry Farm

With the rapid expansion of the global human population, more people live in close contact with wildlife, livestock, and pets, which in turn creates increasing opportunities for zoonotic diseases to pass between animals and people. One Health is an approach to optimising the health of humans, animals and ecosystems by integrating these fields of study, rather than keeping them separate. 60% of emerging infectious diseases that are reported globally come from animals, both wild and domestic.


With the emergence and spread of newer infectious diseases like SARS, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), and COVID-19 since 2003, three coronavirus-related health emergencies originating from reservoirs in wild animal populations, have caused socioeconomic disruption and high mortality in human populations. The jumping of diseases from one species to another is primarily dependent upon ecosystem health. With the world becoming an ever smaller and more crowded place, the global spread of infectious diseases like H1N1 influenza and COVID-19 has become that much easier. We, as humans remain critically dependent on animals for our livelihood, whether from industrial scale farming or hunting and bush-meat collection. See UN report.

IQ-IDM is actively pursuing on projects that will improve our understanding of how viruses cause disease states in domestic animals. We are actively exploring and testing potential veterinary treatments with the goal of improving livestock health and wellbeing, and of improving food security.


IQ-IDM has identified drugs that not only directly treat disease but which may also reduce the transmission of antimicrobial resistance from farm animals to the human population. Of particular interest are the Respiratory Syncytial Viruses; human beings and cattle are the natural hosts of HRSV and BRSV, respectively. Some of the treatments currently being investigated for livestock may also prove highly effective in the treatment of human infections with the same virus.


Equally, our influenza project will test a treatment that could not only effectively combat the seasonal flu but also moderate the impact of a future influenza pandemic virus. Outbreaks of avian influenza especially of H5N1 (S.-E. Asia; Middle East; EU; Africa); H7N9 (S.-E. Asia) but also H7N7 (Europe) origin due to intensified poultry industry, have shown extremely severe cases. While a universal vaccine protecting people from such infections is not foreseen in the near future and direct acting agents like Oseltamivir are only partly successfull in treating these cases, a potent antiviral is very much needed. The urgency has become especially clear given the recent increased outbreaks globally of avian influenza with pandemic potential among birds and mammals.


The majority of rabies infections in humans result from bites or even scratches from bats, dogs and monkeys. Rabies is estimated to cause 59,000 human deaths annually. Vaccines have a role in preventing rabies, but are not effective as treatment, i.e. once symptoms appear, death is inevitable.

IQ-IDM has both research and clinical experience with rabies, and is eager to also find a cure for rabies. We have identified a combination of therapeutic agents targeting defined synergistic pathways, and these are currently undergoing pre-clinical evaluation.

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