The role of veterinary research in human health promotion in South Asia

Veterinary Research and Human Health


  • Vishnu Prasad Santhosh Pillai College of Veterinary and Animal Sciences Pookode, Wayanad, Kerala, India, 673576
  • Sneha Aji Reji College of Veterinary and Animal Sciences Pookode, Wayanad, Kerala, India, 673576



South Asia, Public health, Veterinary science research, One health, Antibiotic resistance, Food security


Veterinary science research has a leading role in promoting human health, in a One Health approach. In this review the public health challenges in the South Asian region were analyzed and the role of the veterinary sector in addressing them were highlighted. Livestock and livestock products research is integral to achieving food security and beating malnutrition. The veterinary public health domain encompassing zoonoses research, food safety, environmental health, and antimicrobial resistance research, is worthy of attention as it integrates animal and human health. Biomedical research is an exciting field that utilizes veterinary expertise to understand human diseases. Food security and safety, antimicrobial resistance, environmental pollution and climate change, and insufficient funds were described as major challenges faced by South Asian countries. Impressive prospects of veterinary science research to address these challenges were highlighted. Increasing awareness, better allocation of funds and One Health approach were enumerated as some recommendations to overcome the challenges. From a One Health perspective, veterinary science research has a notable role in addressing major public health issues in South Asian countries. Increased surveillance and optimized research could promote better public health and support economic growth in the South Asian region.


Metrics Loading ...


Ahmed I, Rabbi MB, Sultana S. (2019). Antibiotic resistance in Bangladesh: A systematic review. International Journal of Infectious Diseases 80: 54-61.

Ariyawansa S, Gunawardana KN, Hapudeniya MM, Manelgamage NJ, Karunarathne CR, Madalagama RP, Ubeyratne KH, Wickramasinghe D, Tun HM, Wu P, Lam TTY, Chan OSK. (2023). One Health surveillance of antimicrobial use and resistance: challenges and successes of implementing surveillance programs in Sri Lanka. Antibiotics (Basel Switzerland) 12(3): 446.

Bilal H, Khan MN, Rehman T, Hameed MF, Yang X. (2021). Antibiotic resistance in Pakistan: a systematic review of past decade. BMC Infectious Diseases 21(1): 244.

Bunge EM, Hoet B, Chen L, Lienert F, Weidenthaler H, Baer LR, Steffen R. (2022). The changing epidemiology of human monkey pox-A potential threat? A systematic review. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases 16(2): e0010141.

Calhoun JH, Murray CK, Manring MM. (2008). Multidrug-resistant organisms in military wounds from Iraq and Afghanistan. Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research 466(6): 1356-1362.

Carpenter A, Waltenburg MA, Hall A, Kile J, Killerby M, Knust B, Negron M, Nichols M, Wallace RM, Behravesh CB, McQuiston JH. (2022). Vaccine preventable zoonotic diseases: challenges and opportunities for public health progress. Vaccines 10(7): 993.

CDC. (2019). Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Antibiotic Resistance Threats in the United States. Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, CDC. DOI:

CDC. (2022). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, USA. Foods that can cause food poisoning. illness.html#:~:text=Raw%20meat%20may%20contain%20Salm onella,and%20does%20not%20prevent%20illness. Accessed 11 March 2023

Chowdhury S, Aleem MA, Khan MSI, Hossain ME, Ghosh S, Rahman MZ. (2021). Major zoonotic diseases of public health importance in Bangladesh. Veterinary Medicine and Science 7(4): 1199-1210.

Chowdhury S, Hossain ME, Ghosh PK, Ghosh S, Hossain MB, Beard C, Rahman M, Rahman MZ. (2019). The pattern of highly pathogenic Avian influenza H5N1 outbreaks in South Asia. Tropical Medicine and Infectious Disease 4(4): 138.

Dahal RH, Chaudhary DK. (2018). microbial infections and antimicrobial resistance in Nepal: Current trends and recommendations. The Open Microbiology Journal 12: 230–242.

Dreyfus A, Ruf MT, Mayer-Scholl A, Zitzl T, Loosli N, Bier NS, Hiereth S, Ulrich S, Poppert S, Straubinger RK, Stenos J, Tshokey T. (2021). Exposure to Leptospira spp. and associated risk factors in the human, cattle and dog populations in Bhutan. Pathogens (Basel, Switzerland) 10(3): 308.

DCA. (2020). Dutch Committee for Afghanistan. One Health. Accessed 12 July 2023.

Ema FA, Shanta RN, Rahman MZ, Islam MA, Khatun MM. (2022). Isolation, identification, and antibiogram studies of Escherichia coli from ready-to-eat foods in Mymensingh, Bangladesh. Veterinary World 15(6): 1497.

Entrican G, Francis MJ. (2022). Applications of platform technologies in veterinary vaccinology and the benefits for one health. Vaccine 40(20): 2833-2840.

Gamage CD, Koizumi N, Perera AK, Muto M, Nwafor-Okoli C, Ranasinghe S, Kularatne SA, Rajapakse RP, Kanda K, Lee RB, Obayashi Y, Ohnishi M, Tamashiro H. (2014). Carrier status of leptospirosis among cattle in Sri Lanka: a zoonotic threat to public health. Transboundary and Emerging Diseases 61(1): 91-96.

Gautam A, Upadhayay P, Ghimre D, Khanal A, Gaire A, Kaphle K. (2021). Prioritised zoonotic diseases of Nepal: A Review. International Journal of Applied Sciences and Biotechnology 9(1): 1-15.

GHSI. (2012). Global Health Security Index. Country score justifications and references; Maldives.

Haider N, Rothman-Ostrow P, Osman AY, Arruda LB, Macfarlane- Berry L, Elton L, Thomason MJ, Yeboah-Manu D, Ansumana R, Kapata N, Mboera L, Rushton J, McHugh TD, Heymann DL, Zumla A, Kock RA. (2020). COVID-19 zoonosis or emerging infectious disease? Frontiers in Public Health 8: 596944.

Howe PE. (1950). Foods of animal origin. Journal of the American Medical Association 143(15): 1337-1342.

Hutchings MI, Truman AW, Wilkinson B. (2019). Antibiotics: past, present and future. Current Opinion in Microbiology 51: 72-80.

Johnson KA, Johnson DE. (1995). Methane emissions from cattle. Journal of Animal Science 73(8): 2483-2492.

Khalil MA, El-Zaher A, Eman HF, El-Salam OA, Ali SS. (2022). Exploring the therapeutic potential of acetonic plant extracts in the healing of skin wounds infected with multidrug resistant pathogens. Journal of Applied Biomedicine 20(2): 45-55.

Kimman T, Hoek M, de Jong MC. (2013). Assessing and controlling health risks from animal husbandry. NJAS-Wageningen Journal of Life Sciences 66: 7-14.

Kumar R, Singh SP, Savalia CV. (2015). Overview of emerging zoonoses in India: Areas of concern. Journal of Tropical Diseases 3(3): 165.

Kumari S, Fagodiya RK, Hiloidhari M, Dahiya RP, Kumar A. (2020). Methane production and estimation from livestock husbandry: A mechanistic understanding and emerging mitigation options. Science of the Total Environment 709: 136135.

Lathers CM. (2001). Role of veterinary medicine in public health: antibiotic use in food animals and humans and the effect on evolution of antibacterial resistance. The Journal of Clinical Pharmacology 41(6): 595-599.

Lopes TS, Fontoura PS, Oliveira A, Rizzo FA, Silveira S, Streck AF. (2020). Use of plant extracts and essential oils in the control of bovine mastitis. Research in Veterinary Science 131: 186-193.

Mackenzie JS, Jeggo M. (2019). The One Health approach – why is it so important? Tropical Medicine and Infectious Disease 4(2): 88.

Macy J, Horvath TL. (2017). Focus: Comparative Medicine: An inclusive crossover discipline. The Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine 90(3): 493-498.

Mahoney AR, Safaee MM, Wuest WM, Furst AL. (2021). The silent pandemic: Emergent antibiotic resistances following the global response to SARS-CoV-2. iScience 24(4): 102304.

Manandhar S, Zellweger RM, Maharjan N, Dongol S, Prajapati KG, Thwaites G, Basnyat B, Dixit SM, Baker S, Karkey A. (2020). A high prevalence of multi-drug resistant Gram-negative bacilli in a Nepali tertiary care hospital and associated widespread distribution of Extended-Spectrum Beta-Lactamase (ESBL) and carbapenemase-encoding genes. Annals of Clinical Microbiology and Antimicrobials 19(1): 48.

Mathew P, Sivaraman S, Chandy S. (2019). Communication strategies for improving public awareness on appropriate antibiotic use: Bridging a vital gap for action on antibiotic resistance. Journal of Family Medicine and Primary Care 8(6): 1867-1871.

Munasinghe T, Vidanapathirana G, Kuthubdeen S, Ekanayake A, Angulmaduwa S, De Silva K, Subhasinghe S, Kalupahana R, Liyanapathirana V, Ip M. (2021). Colonization with selected antibiotic resistant bacteria among a cohort of Sri Lankan university students. BMC Infectious Diseases 21(1): 578.

Murray AL, Sischo WM. (2007). Addressing educational challenges in veterinary medicine through the use of distance education. Journal of Veterinary Medical Education 34(3): 279-285.

NRC. (2005). National Research Council (US) Committee on the National Needs for Research in Veterinary Science. Critical Needs for Research in Veterinary Science. National Academies Press (US).

Nobel FA, Islam S, Babu G, Akter S, Jebin RA, Sarker TC, Islam A, Islam MJ. (2022). Isolation of multidrug resistance bacteria from the patients with wound infection and their antibiotics susceptibility patterns: A cross-sectional study. Annals of Medicine and Surgery 84: 104895.

Odetokun IA, Akpabio U, Alhaji NB, Biobaku KT, Oloso NO, Ghali- Mohammed I, Biobaku AJ, Adetunji VO, Fasina FO. (2019). Knowledge of antimicrobial resistance among veterinary students and their personal antibiotic use practices: A national cross-sectional survey. Antibiotics 8(4): 243.

Palangi V, Lackner M. (2022). Management of enteric methane emissions in ruminants using feed additives: a review. Animals 12(24): 3452.

Perera BMAO. (2014). Livestock production - Current status in South and South-East Asia, Future directions and priority areas for Research (INIS-XA-14R0177). International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA): IAEA.

Prasad AN. (2008). War affected children in Afghanistan. Medical Journal Armed Forces India 64(1): 65-66.

Rahmat ZS, Rafi HM, Nadeem A, Salman Y, Nawaz FA, Essar MY. (2022). Child malnutrition in Afghanistan amid a deepening humanitarian crisis. International Health 15(4): 353-356.

Rana N, Kumar A. (2017). Veterinary education in India: Shaping the future agenda with focus on veterinary public health education. Indian Journal of Animal Sciences 87(9): 1052-1061.

Rinchen S, Tenzin T, Hall D, van der Meer F, Sharma B, Dukpa K, Cork S. (2019) A community-based knowledge, attitude, and practice survey on rabies among cattle owners in selected areas of Bhutan. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases 13(4): e0007305.

Rudd JM, Tamil Selvan M, Cowan S, Kao YF, Midkiff CC, Narayanan S, Ramachandran A, Ritchey JW, Miller CA. (2021). Clinical and histopathologic features of a feline SARS-CoV-2 infection model are analogous to acute COVID-19 in humans. Viruses 13(8): 1550.

Rupasinghe R, Chomel BB, Martínez-Lopez B. (2022). Climate change and zoonoses: A review of the current status, knowledge gaps, and future trends. Acta Tropica 226: 106225.

Sadiq A, Samad M, Saddam Basharat N, Ali S, Roohullah Saad Z, Khan AN, Ahmad Y, Khan A, Khan J. (2020). Methicillin- resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in slaughter houses and meat shops in capital territory of Pakistan during 2018– 2019. Frontiers in Microbiology 11: 577707.

Samanta AK, Bokhtiar SM, Ali Y. (2019). Livestock feeds and feeding practices in South Asia. SAARC Agriculture Centre, Dhaka, Bangladesh. Pp. 1- 280. ISBN:978-984-34-7647-0

Sandhu GK, Singh D. (2014). Level of awareness regarding some zoonotic diseases, among dog owners of Ithaca, New York. Journal of Family Medicine and Primary Care 3(4): 418-423.

Scott LC, Menzies PI. (2011). Antimicrobial resistance and small ruminant veterinary practice. Veterinary Clinics: Food Animal Practice 27(1): 23-32.

Sharma G, Mutua F, Deka RP, Shome R, Bandyopadhyay S, Shome BR, Kumar NG, Grace D, Dey TK, Lindahl J. (2022). Comparing the effectiveness of different approaches to raise awareness about antimicrobial resistance in farmers and veterinarians of India. Frontiers in Public Health 10: 837594.

Shen Z, Wang Y, Zhang Q, Shen J. (2018). Antimicrobial resistance in Campylobacter spp. Microbiology Spectrum 6(2):

Shomaker TS, Green EM, Yandow SM. (2013). Perspective: One Health. Academic Medicine 88(1): 49-55.

Shou S, Liu M, Yang Y, Kang N, Song Y, Tan D, Liu N, Wang F, Liu J, Xie Y. (2021). Animal models for COVID-19: hamsters, mouse, ferret, mink, tree shrew, and non-human primates. Frontiers in Microbiology 12: 626553.

Shrestha A, Bhattarai RK, Luitel H, Karki S, Basnet HB. (2021). Prevalence of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and pattern of antimicrobial resistance in mastitis milk of cattle in Chitwan, Nepal. BMC Veterinary Research 17: 1-7.

Sobur MA, Sabuj AAM, Sarker R, Rahman AT, Kabir SL, Rahman MT. (2019). Antibiotic-resistant Escherichia coli and Salmonella spp. associated with dairy cattle and farm environment having public health significance. Veterinary world 12(7): 984.

Sunil Chandra NP. (2007). Viral zoonoses in Sri Lanka and public health implications. Proceedings of the International Symposium on Infectious Disease and Health Science 2: 4.

Taneja N, Sharma M. (2019). Antimicrobial resistance in the environment: The Indian scenario. The Indian Journal of Medical Research 149(2): 119–128.

Taylor LH, Latham SM, Woolhouse ME. (2001). Risk factors for human disease emergence. Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences, 356(1411): 983–989.

Tazerji SS, Nardini R, Safdar M, Shehata AA, Duarte PM. (2022). An overview of anthropogenic actions as drivers for emerging and re-emerging zoonotic diseases. Pathogens 11(11): 1376.

The Tribune (2015). Funds, land shortage put a spoke in vet college projects. Accessed 17 July 2023

Thio S, Wijaya S. (2010). The concern and awareness of consumers and food service operators towards food safety and food hygiene in small and medium restaurants in Surabaya, Indonesia. International Food Research Journal 17(3): 641-650.

UN-FAO. Gateway to dairy production and products; Health hazards. Accessed 2023 March 11.

UNICEF. United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund. Nutrition in South Asia. Accessed 2023 March 14

Vemula SR, Kumar RN, Polasa K. (2012). Foodborne diseases in India-a review. British Food Journal 114(5): 661-680.

Wangmo K, Dorji T, Pokhrel N, Dorji T, Dorji J, Tenzin T. (2021). Knowledge, attitude, and practice on antibiotic use and antibiotic resistance among the veterinarians and para-veterinarians in Bhutan. PloS one 16(5): e0251327.

World Bank (2022). Population, total – South Asia. Accessed July 17 2023.

World bank (2023). South Asia; Overview. Accessed 19 July 2023.

WHO. (2017). World Health Organization. WHO publishes list of bacteria for which new antibiotics are urgently needed. Accessed 20 July 2023.

WHO. (2002). World Health Organization. “Future trends in veterinary public health: A report of who study group.” (Technical Report Series, No. 907)

WHO. (2022). World Health Organization, Europe. One Health.,animal%2Dhuman%2Denvironment%20interface. Accessed 7 July, 2023.

WHO. (2022). World Health Organization. Food safety. Accessed 10 Mar. 2023.

Wu Y, Luo L, Wang Y, Chen X, Mo D, Xie L, Sun A. (2023). Strengthened public awareness of one health to prevent zoonosis spillover to humans. Science of The Total Environment 879: 163200.

Yasmeen N, Jabbar A, Shah T, Fang LX, Aslam B, Naseeb I, Shakeel F, Ahmad HI, Baloch Z, Liu Y. (2022). One health paradigm to confront zoonotic health threats: A Pakistan prospective. Frontiers in Microbiology 12: 719334.

Zehra A, Gulzar M, Singh R, Kaur S, Gill JPS. (2019). Prevalence, multidrug resistance and molecular typing of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in retail meat from Punjab, India. Journal of Global Antimicrobial Resistance 16: 152-158.

Zhao F, He Y, Lu H. (2022). Marburg virus disease: A deadly rare virus is coming. Bioscience Trends 16(4): 312-316.

Zinner SH. (2007). Antibiotic use: present and future. The New Microbiologica 30(3): 321-325.

Zinsstag J, Crump L, Schelling E, Hattendorf J, Maidane YO, Ali KO, Muhummed A, Umer AA, Aliyi F, Nooh F, Abdikadir MI, Ali SM, Hartinger S, Mausezahl D, de White MBG, Cordon-Rosales C, Castillo DA, McCracken J, Abakar F, Cercamondi C, ... Cisse G. (2018). Climate change and One Health. FEMS Microbiology Letters 365(11): fny085.




How to Cite

Pillai, V. P. S., & Reji, S. A. . (2023). The role of veterinary research in human health promotion in South Asia: Veterinary Research and Human Health. Letters In Animal Biology, 3(2), 16–22.



Review Articles
Recieved 2023-08-19
Accepted 2023-09-26
Published 2023-09-29

Similar Articles

You may also start an advanced similarity search for this article.