Statens Serum Institut (SSI) engages to strengthen the health of humans and animals in a One-Health perspective.
SSI undertakes research, surveillance and disease preparedness tasks in the human and veterinary fields after having taken over the veterinary preparedness on January 1, 2020. SSI is now responsible for not only the Danish preparedness against infectious diseases in humans under the auspices of the Danish Ministry of Health, but also for the national animal disease preparedness for the Ministry of Environment and Food of Denmark in close collaboration with the University of Copenhagen. This means that SSI is officially a One-Health-Institute.
In the vision for the veterinary preparedness, we have committed to counsel The Danish Veterinary and Food Administration from a One-Health mind-set, in which the consideration of humans, animals and environment is weighed in the research-based answers.
What is One Health?
Initially, One Health was developed as a strengthened collaboration between the human and veterinary medical world. Today One Health comprises still more sciences, such as environmental science, food science, climate research and social and behavioural science. Still more scientists place One Health in a bigger agenda: In order to stay healthy in a broad sense, we must protect the planet we inhabit and set limitations for growth. This is called Planetary Health.
Why is One Health relevant?
Transfer of resistant genes and spreading of resistant bacteria between animals and humans and in the environment is a highly important part of the whole issue of antibiotic resistance. Therefore, One Health is crucial in order to combat resistance.
In order to perform a careful surveillance of diseases and risk assessment, interdisciplinary collaboration is important.
One Health is, however, also an important approach, because there are many similarities between the disease processes in animals and humans. Through time, researchers have learned a lot from each other by studying similarities and differences between diseases in different species and humans. In One Health, this aspect can be characterised as comparative research.
Finally, there is a number of advantages for an institute like SSI in applying the same technological platforms and employees to analyse samples from animals and humans – all in an accredited diagnostic set up. The collaboration provides synergies, and therefore we can undertake a more efficient disease preparedness with a One Health approach than if the disease preparedness was divided into narrower disciplines.
SSI One Health activities
SSI has a long tradition of working in a One-Health perspective, and SSI is involved in both disease preparedness and surveillance activities and in Danish and international research projects, which besides the human area cover animals and the environment. SSI collaborates with a number of partners and networks.
See selected One Health activities within research.
Read more about some of our One Health preparedness and surveillance activities below.
Partners: DTU FOOD and SSI.
Head of unit Anders Rhod Larsen
Surveillance of influenza virus
SSI conduct surveillance of influenza virus in both animals and humans. This covers surveillance of circulating influenza viruses in swine, birds and humans, including detection of notifiable influenza virus in both animals (e.g. avian influenza subtypes H5 and H7) and humans (e.g. zoonotic transmission).
Partners: The surveillance is performed in close collaboration with national (SST, FVST) and international authorities (WHO, ECDC, OIE).
- Influenzanyt (in Danish)
- Nationale Influenza Center (in Danish)
- Influenzaovervågning generelt (in Danish)
Surveillance of ornithosis and avian chlamydiosis
Surveillance of ornithosis is performed as a collaboration between Statens Serum Institut/Danish Veterinary Consortium and the Danish Agency for Patient Safety. Ornithosis is a zoonosis caused by Chlamydia psittaci transmitted from infected birds. In collaboration with the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration, the source of infection is traced by taking samples from birds or bird holdings/flocks with direct or indirect contact to infected humans. The samples from birds are submitted to SSI and investigated by PCR. Birds with suspected avian chlamydiosis must be reported to the veterinary authorities.
Partners: The Danish Veterinary and Food Administration, University of Copenhagen, The Danish Patient Safety Authority.
Cross-disciplinary collaboration on foodborne outbreaks
SSI is a part of a close collaboration between the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration and the National Food Institute at the Technical University of Denmark in coordinating food- and waterborne outbreaks in Denmark. The collaboration is formalized in The Central Outbreak Management Group (COMG) with representatives from the above-mentioned institutions. COMG meets weekly, monitors the incidence of human gastrointestinal infections, and compare to findings of pathogens in food and feed.
Class III facility
VUAs pilot plant
Charlotte Green Jensen