Emerging "One Health" Issues in Antimicrobial Resistance: What Matters, What Doesn't, and Will We Recognize the Difference?
H. Morgan Scott (Texas A&M University)
I am a graduate veterinarian holding a PhD in epidemiology and with post-doctoral training in public health. In addition to private veterinary practice, I have worked in both government (food safety surveillance) and academic settings. I am currently professor of epidemiology in the Department of Veterinary Pathobiology at Texas A&M University. I was recruited there in 2014 as part of the Texas A&M University System Chancellor’s Research Initiative and the University President’s Faculty Reinvestment Initiative on One Health and Infectious Diseases. I relocated from Kansas State University, where I previously held the E.J. Frick Endowed Professorship in Veterinary Medicine. I was drawn to an academic position that emphasizes One Health and Infectious Diseases issues at the interface of animal agriculture and human health, and with obvious environmental emphasis. Antimicrobial resistance is the prototypical One Health issue of our time. Studies of indicator bacteria and the microbiome, using culture-based and metagenomic approaches offer much hope in understanding natural phenomena and the effects of external perturbations on normal flora of the gut, skin and respiratory tract. Much of my research emphasis has been on studying factors impacting antimicrobial resistance among commensal and pathogenic enteric bacteria in food animal production systems, especially where they interface with human populations through direct contact and food consumption, and with a program spanning the realm from the molecular to the sociological. In particular, I am interested in applying both molecular epidemiological and microbial ecological approaches to quantify the emergence, propagation, dissemination, and persistence of resistant enteric bacterial (both commensal and pathogenic) strains in integrated populations of animals, their food products, and in humans. Using this knowledge, I hope to identify opportunities to prevent and intervene against resistance among enteric pathogens in animal agriculture and in human health - both in communities and in health care settings; preferably, by developing readily adoptable, highly effective and cost-efficient management practices suited to human health, public health, and food animal production systems. Four citations are included that illustrate my experience with studies in human and animal populations, investigating mitigation approaches using experimental and observational methods, developing and advanced statistical and analytical approaches, and exploring the microbiome utilizing culture-based and non-cultured-based approaches.