Perspective Open Access
Like 0


In the Netherlands, the avian influenza outbreak in poultry in 2003 and the Q fever outbreak in dairy goats between 2007 and 2010 had severe consequences for public health. These outbreaks led to the establishment of an integrated human-veterinary risk analysis system for zoonoses, the Zoonoses Structure. The aim of the Zoonoses Structure is to signal, assess and control emerging zoonoses that may pose a risk to animal and/or human health in an integrated One Health approach. The Signalling Forum Zoonoses (SO-Z), the first step of the Zoonoses Structure, is a multidisciplinary committee composed of experts from the medical, veterinary, entomology and wildlife domains. The SO-Z shares relevant signals with professionals and has monthly meetings. Over the past 10 years (June 2011 to December 2021), 390 different signals of various zoonotic pathogens in animal reservoirs and humans have been assessed. Here, we describe the Zoonoses Structure with examples from signals and responses for four zoonotic events in the Netherlands (tularaemia, , West Nile virus, and severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)). This may serve as an example for other countries on how to collaborate in a One Health approach to signal and control emerging zoonoses.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...



  1. Allen T, Murray KA, Zambrana-Torrelio C, Morse SS, Rondinini C, Di Marco M, et al. Global hotspots and correlates of emerging zoonotic diseases. Nat Commun. 2017;8(1):1124.  https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-017-00923-8  PMID: 29066781 
  2. Roest HI, Tilburg JJ, van der Hoek W, Vellema P, van Zijderveld FG, Klaassen CH, et al. The Q fever epidemic in The Netherlands: history, onset, response and reflection. Epidemiol Infect. 2011;139(1):1-12.  https://doi.org/10.1017/S0950268810002268  PMID: 20920383 
  3. Rijksinstituut voor Volksgezondheid en Milieu (RIVM). Emerging zoonoses: Early warning and surveillance in the Netherlands. Bilthoven: RIVM. 2010. Available from: https://www.rivm.nl/bibliotheek/rapporten/330214002.pdf
  4. van Dijk G, van Dissel JT, Speelman P, Stegeman JA, Vanthemsche P, de Vries J, et al. Van verwerping tot verheffing. Q-koorts beleid in Nederland 2005-2010. [From abortion to outbreak. Q-fever policy in the Netherlands 2005-2010]. The Hague: Evaluation commission for Q fever. [Accessed: 5 Jul 2022]. Dutch. Available from: https://edepot.wur.nl/156218
  5. Maraha B, Hajer G, Sjödin A, Forsman M, Paauw A, Roeselers G, et al. Indigenous Infection with Francisella tularensis holarctica in The Netherlands. Case Rep Infect Dis. 2013;2013:916985.  https://doi.org/10.1155/2013/916985  PMID: 24078889 
  6. Rijks JM, Kik M, Koene MG, Engelsma MY, van Tulden P, Montizaan MG, et al. Tularaemia in a brown hare (Lepus europaeus) in 2013: first case in the Netherlands in 60 years. Euro Surveill. 2013;18(49):20655.  https://doi.org/10.2807/1560-7917.ES2013.18.49.20655  PMID: 24330941 
  7. Janse I, Maas M, Rijks JM, Koene M, van der Plaats RQ, Engelsma M, et al. Environmental surveillance during an outbreak of tularaemia in hares, the Netherlands, 2015. Euro Surveill. 2017;22(35):30607.  https://doi.org/10.2807/1560-7917.ES.2017.22.35.30607  PMID: 28877846 
  8. van Dijk MAM, Engelsma MY, Visser VXN, Keur I, Holtslag ME, Willems N, et al. Transboundary Spread of Brucella canis through Import of Infected Dogs, the Netherlands, November 2016-December 2018. Emerg Infect Dis. 2021;27(7):1783-8.  https://doi.org/10.3201/eid2707.201238  PMID: 34152959 
  9. van Dissel JT. Adviesbrief n.a.v. deskundigenberaad-zoönosen (DB-Z): brucellose. [Advice letter. Expert Panel Consultation Zoonoses (EPC-Z_): brucellosis]. The Hague: The House of Representatives of The Netherlands. 5 Jun 2018. Dutch. Available from: www.tweedekamer.nl/kamerstukken/brieven_regering/detail?id=2018Z10436&did=2018D32109
  10. European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC). Epidemiological update: West Nile virus transmission season in Europe, 2018. Stockholm: ECDC; 2018. Available from: https://www.ecdc.europa.eu/en/news-events/epidemiological-update-west-nile-virus-transmission-season-europe-2018
  11. Ziegler U, Lühken R, Keller M, Cadar D, van der Grinten E, Michel F, et al. West Nile virus epizootic in Germany, 2018. Antiviral Res. 2019;162:39-43.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.antiviral.2018.12.005  PMID: 30550796 
  12. Sikkema RS, Schrama M, van den Berg T, Morren J, Munger E, Krol L, et al. Detection of West Nile virus in a common whitethroat (Curruca communis) and Culex mosquitoes in the Netherlands, 2020. Euro Surveill. 2020;25(40):2001704.  https://doi.org/10.2807/1560-7917.ES.2020.25.40.2001704  PMID: 33034280 
  13. Vlaskamp DR, Thijsen SF, Reimerink J, Hilkens P, Bouvy WH, Bantjes SE, et al. First autochthonous human West Nile virus infections in the Netherlands, July to August 2020. Euro Surveill. 2020;25(46):2001904.  https://doi.org/10.2807/1560-7917.ES.2020.25.46.2001904  PMID: 33213687 
  14. Oreshkova N, Molenaar RJ, Vreman S, Harders F, Oude Munnink BB, Hakze-van der Honing RW, et al. SARS-CoV-2 infection in farmed minks, the Netherlands, April and May 2020. Euro Surveill. 2020;25(23):2001005.  https://doi.org/10.2807/1560-7917.ES.2020.25.23.2001005  PMID: 32553059 
  15. Oude Munnink BB, Sikkema RS, Nieuwenhuijse DF, Molenaar RJ, Munger E, Molenkamp R, et al. Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 on mink farms between humans and mink and back to humans. Science. 2021;371(6525):172-7.  https://doi.org/10.1126/science.abe5901  PMID: 33172935 
  16. The Royal Dutch Society for Veterinary Medicine. Vetinf@ct 38: Update COVID-19/SARS-CoV-2 in dieren. [Vetinf@ct 38: Update COVID-19/SARS-CoV-2 in animals]. Houten: The Royal Dutch Society for Veterinary Medicine. 2021. Dutch. Available from: https://www.knmvd.nl/vetinfct-38-update-covid-19-sars-cov-2-in-dieren/
  17. Ministry of Health. Welfare and Sport. Advies van het Outbreak Management Team Zoönose (OMT-Z) over de risico's van het coronavirus op nertsenbedrijven. [Advice from the Outbreak Management Team Zoonosis (OMT-Z) on the risks of the coronavirus on mink farms]. The Hague: Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport. 3 Jun 2020. Dutch. Available from: https://www.rijksoverheid.nl/documenten/brieven/2020/06/03/advies-omt-z-nertsen-en-sars-cov-2
  18. Ministry of Health. Welfare and Sport. Het Outbreak Management Team Zoönose (OMT-Z) brengt advies uit over de voortgaande transmissie van het coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 bij nertsen en de potentiële gevolgen voor de volksgezondheid. [The Zoonosis Outbreak Management Team (OMT-Z) advises on the ongoing transmission of the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 in minks and its potential impact on public health]. The Hague: Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport. 17 Jul 2020. Dutch. Available from: https://www.rijksoverheid.nl/documenten/brieven/2020/07/17/advies-nav-omt-z-nertsen-en-sars-cov-2
  19. Ministry of Agriculture. Nature and Food Quality. Act of 16 December 2020 amending the Prohibition of Fur Farming Act in connection with an early termination of fur farming. Official Gazette of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. 24 Dec 2020. Dutch. Available from: https://zoek.officielebekendmakingen.nl/stb-2020-555.html
  20. Public Health England (PHE). Human Animal Infections and Risk Surveillance (HAIRS) group. processes of risk assessment. London: PHE; 2018. Available from: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/hairs-risk-assessment-process
  21. One Health European Joint Programme (EJP). One Health: Setting up a risk analysis system for zoonoses. Available from: www.ohras.eu
  22. World Health Organization (WHO), Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and World Organization for Animal Health (OIE). Taking a multisectoral one health approach: a tripartite guide to addressing zoonotic diseases in countries. Geneva: WHO; 2019. Available from: https://www.who.int/initiatives/tripartite-zoonosis-guide

Data & Media loading...

Submit comment
Comment moderation successfully completed
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error