Emerging zoonotic diseases and the impact of pollution and climate change on health and food safety security
The University of Nicosia espouses the One Heath approach that recognises the interconnectedness of human, animal, and environmental health. This interdisciplinary research addresses health issues like emerging zoonotic diseases and the impact of pollution
and climate change on health and food safety security. Research initiatives in this area are crucial, particularly for Mediterranean countries such as Cyprus.
Currently, a collaborative study at the University of Nicosia among different sectors, including human medicine, veterinary medicine, and environmental science, is aiming to link the complexity of the lower gut microbiome of dairy cattle from Cypriot farms with parasitic infections and to determine how ecological pollution may impact cattle gut microbiome and cow’s milk quality and safety. Parasites of importance that currently are under investigation include the Cryptosporidium species, but this will be expanded to other parasites of significance to public health.
In addition, the interplay of the gut microbiome concerning antibiotic use, ambient air pollution and heavy metals, farming practices, and milk production in dairy cattle are being
explored. Ultimately, this research aims to identify primary targets for sustainable and environmentally friendly agricultural practices to maximise ruminant production efficiency, reduce antibiotic use and improve animal and human welfare.