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Strengthening Regional Capacities to Address COVID-19 Impacts on Animal Health Sector in East and Southeast Asia - TCP/RAS/3801








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    Project
    Emergency Response to Mitigate the Impact of One-Health Related Threats on the Most Vulnerable Persons in Rural Areas in China - TCP/CPR/3801 2023
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    In December 2019, a highly infectious and deadly respiratory disease, later identified as COVID-19, emerged in Wuhan. The virus is a member of the coronavirus family, which can cause diseases in both animals and humans, and can be transmitted from animals to humans. The outbreak was declared a public health emergency of international concern by the World Health Organization (WHO), while the Government of China implemented strict measures to control the spread of the virus, including locking down Wuhan and other cities in Hubei Province, building hospitals and medical observation points and enlisting medical personnel from other parts of China. FAO worked closely with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, the Chinese Academy of Agriculture Sciences, national partners, the WHO and the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) to identify potential animal hosts of the virus and assess its impact on the food security and livelihoods of rural and smallholder farmers. The Government of China has been placing great emphasis on One Health development, which extends beyond the animal-human interface of COVID-19 and other infectious diseases. One Health is a concept that recognizes the interconnectedness of plant, animal, human and environmental health, and seeks to promote collaboration across different sectors to achieve optimal health outcomes for all.
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    Brochure, flyer, fact-sheet
    Recommendations for the epidemiological investigation of SARS-CoV-2 in exposed animals
    SARS-CoV-2 detection in farmed and companion animals
    2021
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    Acknowledging the zoonotic nature of SARS-CoV-2, investigations about potential animal hosts are of great importance to improve understanding of COVID-19 epidemiology and identify susceptible animal species as well as possible transmission between humans and animals. Positive findings by a polymerase chain reaction in dogs, cats, farmed mink, and wild feline in zoos have raised concerns about the possible role livestock and companion animals could play in the amplification and spread of the virus. Several studies looking at the binding affinity of SARS-CoV-2 receptor in different animal species hypothesized a probable wide range of animal hosts especially mammals. Field studies need to be undertaken now, in the short term, while virus circulation in humans is ongoing in different parts of the world. A thorough One Health investigation is recommended by FAO for events where livestock and companion animals are in close contact to confirmed human COVID-19 cases, or in situations where animals tested SARS-CoV-2 positive in absence of information on the infection status of in-contact humans. By jointly analyzing laboratory and epidemiological information on human and animal cases collected by public health and veterinary services, so-called 4-way linking, our understanding of the epidemiology of COVID-19 and potential transmission between humans and animals will be greatly enhanced.
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    Article
    One Health Surveillance Highlights Circulation of Viruses with Zoonotic Potential in Bats, Pigs, and Humans in Viet Nam 2023
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    A One Health cross-sectoral surveillance approach was implemented to screen biological samples from bats, pigs, and humans at high-risk interfaces for zoonotic viral spillover for five viral families with zoonotic potential in Viet Nam. Over 1600 animal and human samples from bat guano harvesting sites, natural bat roosts, and pig farming operations were tested for coronaviruses (CoVs), paramyxoviruses, influenza viruses, filoviruses and flaviviruses using consensus PCR assays. Human samples were also tested using immunoassays to detect antibodies against eight virus groups. Significant viral diversity, including CoVs closely related to ancestors of pig pathogens, was detected in bats roosting at the human–animal interfaces, illustrating the high risk for CoV spillover from bats to pigs in Viet Nam, where pig density is very high. Season and reproductive period were significantly associated with the detection of bat CoVs, with site-specific effects. Phylogeographic analysis indicated localized viral transmission among pig farms. Our limited human sampling did not detect any known zoonotic bat viruses in human communities living close to the bat cave and harvesting bat guano, but our serological assays showed possible previous exposure to Marburg virus-like (Filoviridae), Crimean–Congo hemorrhagic fever virus-like (Bunyaviridae) viruses and flaviviruses. Targeted and coordinated One Health surveillance helped uncover this viral pathogen emergence hotspot.

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