The World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) has announced that a veterinarian and a human physician are the joint winners of its 2018 Global One Health Award. They are Professor Edward B Breitschwerdt DVM, from North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine and Professor Christopher W Woods MD, from Duke University, Durham, North Carolina. They were nominated for the Award in recognition of their work on atypical manifestations of bartonellosis in people and, in particular, veterinary healthcare providers.
The WSAVA Global One Health Award is presented by the WSAVA’s One Health Committee (OHC) to an individual or organization which has promoted an aspect of One Health relevant to companion animals. Professors Breitschwerdt and Woods will receive their Award and jointly present the One Health Award lecture during this year’s WSAVA World Congress, which takes place from 25-28 September in Singapore.
Multiple Bartonella spp. can infect people and their pets with Cat Scratch Disease the most recognized manifestation. However, Bartonella spp. are considered ‘stealth’ pathogens and can be difficult to diagnose. Professors Breitschwerdt and Woods have developed more sensitive Bartonella tests for use with humans and other species and have applied these tests to people, in the process discovering new chronic disease associations, including headaches, blurred vision, fatigue and polyarthritis that can be confused with Lyme disease. Veterinarians appear to be at high risk due to contact with pets and their fleas.
Dr Breitschwerdt is Professor of Medicine and Infectious Diseases at North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine. He is also an Adjunct Professor of Medicine at Duke University Medical Center and a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (ACVIM). For more than 30 years his research has emphasized vector-transmitted, intracellular pathogens and, recently, his research group has contributed to cutting-edge research in the areas of animal and human bartonellosis.
Dr Woods is a Professor in the Departments of Medicine and Pathology at Duke University, Adjunct Associate Professor in Epidemiology at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill School of Public Health and, among other roles, he is also Adjunct Associate Professor in the Emerging Infections Program at the Duke-National University of Singapore Graduate Medical School. Dr Woods’ research focuses on the development of novel diagnostic approaches to infectious disease and potential for interspecies transmission of pathogens. His genomic approach to harnessing the host response for diagnosis of infectious diseases has been called a paradigm shift in the field. He is particularly interested in augmenting medical microbiology capacity in the developing world and in the epidemiology of emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases.
Commenting on the 2018 Global One Health Award Winners, WSAVA OHC Chair Professor Mike Lappin said: “The WSAVA One Health Committee is particularly excited to announce the award recipients this year and believe that having dual awardees from veterinary and human medicine epitomizes the One Health initiative. Professors Breitschwerdt and Woods have worked tirelessly in this field and their work has helped countless two- and four-legged animals.”
The WSAVA aims to advance the health and welfare of companion animals worldwide through creating an educated, committed and collaborative global community of veterinary peers. It represents more than 200,000 veterinarians through 104 member associations. WSAVA World Congress brings together globally respected experts to offer cutting edge thinking on all aspects of companion animal veterinary care.