The Fourth One Health Biorisk Management case-based learning, Brucellosis Case Study from a Biorisk Management (BRM) One Health Perspective

Vietnam One Health University Network (VOHUN) in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Defense Biological Threat Reduction Program (BTRP) and Sandia National Laboratories (SNL) hosted the 4th monthly series of One Health Biorisk Management case-based learning on June 27th, 2020. The engagement utilizing the Zoom video conferencing platform brought together around a total of 154 participants: participants from 24 countries to review the Brucellosis case.  Mr. Christian Cando, the Vietnam country manager for the Defense Threat Reduction Agency Biological Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA/BTRP), started the meeting by welcoming all participants, the VOHUN team and the guest presenters along with and explained the mission and the outcome of the second remote engagement for 2020. He emphasized the special focus of this engagement is to enhance the BRM knowledge by taking a One Health approach to fighting the pandemic threats, such as Brucellosis.  The moderator for this month’s session was Dr. Suzanne Kelly from Sandia National Laboratories (SNL) with technical supports from the SNL team and Mr. Le Thanh Hai – Country Coordinator 

The session started with a didactic presentation on BRM Waste Management by Dr. Knudsen linking the relevancy of BRM concepts to the previous three remote engagements (April-June) where BRM concepts of risk assessment, mitigation and performance were discussed. The previous engagements set the foundation for the fourth session. Dr. Knudsen during her discussion talked about BRM waste handling of infectious laboratory animal waste, sharps, waste handler practices, intermediate and final treatment, and autoclaving practices.

Following the SNL didactic, a Human Brucellosis case study presentation was given by Dr. Adel Mohamed. Dr. Adel’s presentation discussed a clinical case of a 31-year-old male who had contracted Brucellosis. The patient did not follow proper BRM safety measures and was not properly trained on PPE or overall training on laboratory work with Brucellosis. Other biosecurity aspects were discussed, along with a focus on risk assessment, the likelihood of transmission, and the AMP model with regards to mitigation measures.

After Dr. Adel’s case presentation, Mr. Hai and Dr. Suzanne Kelly began the question and answer section of the session. Since VOHUN students did not present a case this time around, two VOHUN students were asked a question about their thoughts on the case presentations which focused on BRM concepts. After the students discussed their thoughts on the case, Dr. Suzanne Kelly moderated the rest of the session with the invited panelists consisting of Dr. Jason Blackburn, Dr. Hoang Thi Thu Ha, and Dr. Nguyen Khanh Ly.

The panelists responded in a timely organized manner and provided well thought out answers that were given to them days prior to the event to be able to have an organized discussion. The participants and the panelists were engaged in the video as well as the chat, and from the survey, this session received high remarks and great compliments on the Q&A section of the session.

Over the years, Brucellosis zoonotic disease has affected diversity of populations throughout Asia, northwest Africa, and other countries around the world. Brucellosis is a bacterium that affects livestock and can be transferred to humans through the consumption of contaminated/raw milk or dairy products as well as contact with infected animals or carcasses. This disease may include symptoms and signs of fever, joint pain, fatigue, and chronic symptoms years after antibiotic treatment. While there are progressing efforts to mitigate and control Brucellosis, it remains a persistent disease that demands the attention and control through programs and knowledge-sharing platforms such as the Vietnam One Health Network to provide such a foundation.

The session included guest speakers from Vietnam, Libya, and the U.S to answer questions and provide expertise and perspectives on Brucellosis and Biorisk Management concepts. Dr. Adel B. Mohamed from Libyan Omar Al-Mukhtar University presented a case on Brucellosis, Dr. Jason Blackburn from the University of Florida, Dr. Hoang Thi Thu Ha from National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology and Dr. Nguyen Khanh Ly National Centre for Veterinary Diagnosis provided an in-depth dialogue on the topic while Dr. Vibeke Halkjaer-Knudsen from Sandia National Laboratories provided technical subject expertise on Biological Waste Management related to the zoonotic diseases.

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