97037 - Global Health and Zoonotic Microbes

Course Unit Page


This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Good health and well-being Climate Action Oceans Life on land

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course the student will be aware of the existing Global Health Institutions. The student will have knowledge on global trade-diseases, will be aware of the bioterrorism risk and will be able to evaluate the import risk for infectious diseases. The student will be able to describe emerging and remerging viral zoonosis.

Course contents

Lecture 1 The connections between humans, animals, and the environment necessitate collaboration among sectors to comprehensively understand and reduce risks and consequences on health and wellbeing. One Health Approach offersopportunities for synergistic expertise to address complex health threats at people, animals, and the environment interfaces and highlights the need for specialists in multiple sectors. Global Health challenges transcend national, European and international boundaries and governments and need a cross-sectoral approach for this international organizations have come together to launch One Health approach to improve understanding of how diseases with the potential to trigger pandemics, emerge and spread. As an example, FAO-OIE-WHO Tripartite collaboration will be illustrated.

Lecture 2  The rate by which emerging diseases spread is accelerating, as a by-product of the growth of trade and travel globally. The growth of trade with emerging markets and developing economies has increased the likelihood of reinfection from existing animal reservoirs. Recent research suggests that, as wildlife moves along the wildlife supply chain, from capture sites to large markets, and on to restaurants the chance of spill-overs is amplified. Preventing future pandemics requires a multisectorial approach to take measures to reduce spill-over risks. Practical examples will be used to explain the principles for risk assessment and gap analysis.

Lecture 3  Bioterrorism is an international practice of biological products or pathogen to affect human-being, animals, plants and other living organisms. 80% of disease agents identified with bioterrorism potential are zoonotic. Outbreaks of disease in humans is frequently recognized or diagnosed by physicians in emergency room in hospitals. To determine the source of disease is crucial to prevent deaths with proper treatments and reduce its spread. An outline of the main zoonotic agents that can be used for bioterrorist purposes will be discussed.

Lecture 4  Approximately 60% of all known human infectious disease agents (e.g rabies, brucellosis, Leptospirosis) originate in animals. Ebola, highly pathogenic avian influenza, SARS, MERS and COVID-19 are the most recent examples of new or emerging infectious diseases in humans caused by zoonotic pathogens. The spillover risk factors and concepts will be explained through case studies.


Links for background required reading and slides will be provided and will be available as repository material on https://virtuale.unibo.it/

Teaching methods

lectures and group work

Assessment methods

Students are required to attend at least 70% of classes for credit. Final grade consists of 50% interactive work in groups and 50% individual written assignment on a topic assigned in the course.

Teaching tools

Power point presentations, videos, online resources

Students attending in presence should bring their own computer in class to participate to the online simulation and groups works.

Office hours

See the website of Alessandra Scagliarini