My current research interests are in four major areas: i) Emerging Veterinary Viruses, ii) Foodborne Viruses, iii)Zoonotic Viruses and iv) One Health.
In the first three areas the research has primarily been focussing on the detection and characterization of viruses in the different hosting animals, as well as in food and environmental matrices. This included the development of new virus extraction methods, new virus detection methods, characterization methods, and also antibody detection tests to study infections, antibody prevalences and dynamics of infections in susceptible hosts and host populations including reservoirs. Through this type of research infection and transmission levels can be elucidated and it also enables studies of virus epidemiology in a broader sense in different animal populations. Research in the field of One Health was based on collaboration between human and veterinary medicine but has been extended to multidisciplinary approaches including much more health related research disciplines.
Within the chair group Quantitative Veterinary Epidemiology I hold a special chair on 'Emerging and Zoonotic Viruses'. Outcomes of our studies on zoonotic virus infections can be used for a variety of epidemiolologic analyses. (https://www.wur.nl/en/Research-Results/Chair-groups/Animal-Sciences/Quantitative-Veterinary-Epidemiology-1.htm)
As coordinator of the Epizone European Research Group I work on the international cooperation between institutes working on epizootic animal diseases.
EPIZONE is the worldwide network of highly qualified scientists working on epizootic animal diseases. They play a key role in research on prevention, detection and control of diseases of poultry, swine, fish, sheep, cattle, horses and wildlife. The goal is to reduce both the risks and the harm to animal health and welfare in the EU and far beyond. www.epizone-eu.net
I am actively involved in the Wageningen University theme ‘Global one Health’ on research as well as education. Controlling the risks of infectious diseases and reducing chronic diseases are crucial to food security, public health, climate change and biodiversity. We use the phrase ‘A Global One Health’, as it reflects the interconnectedness and global nature of health care for humans, animals, plants and the environment. Many health risks can be controlled through effective interventions consisting of an adequate and varied food supply, better life-style, hygiene, medicines, vaccines, vector control and crop protection.
The health of people, animals, and their environments are closely connected. Therefore health related scientific disciplines should work together to improve our approach towards preparedness and management of diseases. Global One Health is the combined effort of multiple disciplines to improve the health of humans, animals and plants within sustainable ecosystems at global level by using an integrated systems approach to come to transnational and global policy, research and practices.