ONE-HEALTH CONCEPT – The importance of antimicrobial surface coatings
Current example: Zoonoses and the “One Health” concept
The COVID-19 disease caused by the Sars-CoV2 virus has brought one of the world’s greatest threats to human health, zoonoses, back into the spotlight.
Zoonoses are infectious diseases transmitted from an animal to a human. Zoonotic agents can be viruses, bacteria, parasites, fungi, toxins, prions or other non-conventional pathogens. Transmission occurs in different ways.
- Non-food zoonoses: Through the air, through direct contact, through body fluids or through animal vectors such as fleas, lice, mosquitoes, ticks, etc.
- Food-borne zoonoses: Through contaminated animal processed products, especially through improper processing, storage or through contaminated water.
Scope of zoonoses
According to the OIE (World Organisation for Animal Health), 60% of human infectious diseases are of animal origin. Approximately 2.2 million people die from zoonoses every year.
The One Health concept
A growing population, increasing mobility, scarcity of habitats, industrial agriculture and intensified livestock farming are factors that increase the risk of rapid global spread of pathogens.
The “health” of humans, animals and the environment is closely interlinked. In the One Health approach, actors from the different disciplines of human medicine, veterinary medicine and environmental sciences work together across disciplines to counteract the transmission of pathogens. The One Health approach is also central in the fight against antibiotic resistance: resistance knows no borders and can spread rapidly between humans, animals and the environment.
Prophylaxis instead of correction
To ensure safe food production, but also to ensure a high level of protection for employees and consumers, the concept of prevention and action must be applied to the entire chain. From the primary sector of origin of the food, through all stages of processing, packaging, transport and distribution, to the point of sale. An important factor along this value chain are hygienically critical surfaces. Walls, ceilings, floors installations, machines, transport elements account for more than 90% of the surfaces in the entire value chain. Functional surface coatings that offer reliable prophylaxis against microbial infestation by e.g. viruses, bacteria, fungi, contribute significantly to optimised basic hygiene and the implementation of the One Health approach.