University of Oulu

Mobasheri A (2020) COVID-19, Companion Animals, Comparative Medicine, and One Health. Front. Vet. Sci. 7:522. doi: 10.3389/fvets.2020.00522

COVID-19, companion animals, comparative medicine, and One Health

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Author: Mobasheri, Ali1,2,3,4
Organizations: 1Research Unit of Medical Imaging, Physics and Technology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
2Department of Regenerative Medicine, State Research Institute, Centre for Innovative Medicine, Vilnius, Lithuania
3University Medical Center Utrecht, Departments of Orthopedics, Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology, Utrecht, Netherlands
4Centre for Sport, Exercise and Osteoarthritis Versus Arthritis, Queen's Medical Centre, Nottingham, United Kingdom
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.2 MB)
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Frontiers Media, 2020
Publish Date: 2020-12-01


The COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 has stimulated open collaboration between different scientific and clinical disciplines like never before. Public and private partnerships continue to form in order to tackle this unprecedented global challenge. This paper highlights the importance of open collaboration and cooperation between the disciplines of medicine, veterinary medicine, and animal health sciences in the fight against COVID-19. Since the pandemic took the whole world by surprise, many existing drugs were rapidly repurposed and tested in COVID-19 clinical trials and some of the trials are revealing promising results, it is clear that the long-term solution will come in the form of vaccines. While vaccines are being developed, the antiviral agent Remdesivir (RDV, GS-5734) is being repurposed for use in human clinical trials but this is being done without acknowledging the significant efforts that went into development for treating cats with feline infectious peritonitis (FIP), a highly fatal immune-mediated vasculitis in cats which is caused by a feline coronavirus. There are many other antiviral drugs and immune modulating treatments that are currently being trialed that have animal health origins in terms of discovery and clinical development. Closer collaboration between the animal health and human health sectors is likely to accelerate progress in the fight against COVID-19. There is much that we do not yet know about COVID-19 and its causative agent SARS-CoV-2 but we will learn and progress much faster if we increase interdisciplinary collaboration and communication between human and animal health researchers and taking a genuine “One Health” approach to this and other emerging viral pathogens. Enhanced knowledge of zoonotic coronaviruses can significantly enhance our ability to fight current and future emerging coronaviruses. This article highlights the acute need for One Health and comparative medicine and the crucial importance of building on and recognizing veterinary research for addressing future human pandemics.

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Series: Frontiers in veterinary science
ISSN: 2297-1769
ISSN-E: 2297-1769
ISSN-L: 2297-1769
Volume: 7
Article number: 522
DOI: 10.3389/fvets.2020.00522
Type of Publication: A2 Review article in a scientific journal
Field of Science: 413 Veterinary science
3111 Biomedicine
Copyright information: © 2020 Mobasheri. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.