ICBAS - Instituto de Ciências Biomédicas Abel Salazar

ICBAS brings One Health concept to schools

Making children, teenagers, and young people aware that what we understand as Health also includes the health of animals, plants and the environment is the focus of the initiative "One Health in Schools". In April and May, the concept was presented in a simple and participatory way in two primary schools in the Greater Porto region. Two different challenges, chosen by each of them, were also launched, accompanied by a practical activity alluding to the topic."

The Escola do Marco, from Agrupamento de Escolas António Sérgio in Vila Nova de Gaia, chose the topic 'Pets - benefits and care'. The students were visited by Lola the dog and heard from her guardian, the veterinarian Luísa Guardão from ICBAS, about the importance of maintaining a healthy relationship with our animals. The Escola da Caramila, from Agrupamento Fontes Pereira de Melo in Porto, chose to work on the theme 'Water, a good for everyone? After an initial talk, and thanks to the participation of marine biologist Lúcia Gomes from the ICBAS Hydrobiology laboratory, they learned how to manually make a homemade filter from recycled materials to purify water and to identify various characteristics of this precious liquid.

But the activities won't stop there. In June, these children will come to ICBAS to present the solutions to the challenges. Families will also be able to watch and learn from the research carried out by the little ones at home.

From September, the 'One Health in Schools' will reach other levels of education, with a similar format, but adapted to the motivations and expectations of each stage.

At Escola do Marco, the dog Lola was the protagonist of the activity 'Pets - benefits and care'. Image credits: Sofia A. Costa Lima.

The importance of access to drinking water was reinforced with the construction of a 'homemade' filter at the Escola da Caramila. Image credits: Sofia A. Costa Lima.

One Health PhD Forum

The One Health PhD Forum will be held at ICBAS on 13 June 2024. It is a 1-day scientific meeting in which any PhD student enrolled in an ICBAS-UP Doctoral Programme is invited to participate.

The main objective of the meeting is to promote the exchange of scientific knowledge from a One Health perspective, among all the participants. The program includes 2 keynote lectures related to relevant topics of broad interest to everyone.

PhD students can submit his/her work in the area of One Health*, to be presented in oral presentation or virtual poster format. The best presentation and the best poster will be awarded with a travel grant.

**Registration and Abstract submission are now closed**

Any member of the ICBAS community can attend this event. Registration is not required.

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Demystifying antibiotics in the environment

By Bárbara Diogo, PhD student at ICBAS/CIIMAR

PORTO - With the increase in population and constant proliferation of diseases, the amount of antibiotics used in the treatment/prevention of the most varied diseases, both in humans and animals, has increased exponentially. Antibiotics are widely recognized as one of the most effective treatments in the history of medicine (human and veterinary), however, their excessive use represents a significant threat to public and environmental health. As a consequence of their increasing use and inadequate disposal, environmental contamination by antibiotics appears to induce adverse effects on non-target organisms and favor the emergence and dissemination of resistant bacteria (resulting in a reduction in their effectiveness).

Several studies focus on some individual (e.g., mortality, changes in behavior and reproduction and behavior) and subindividual (e.g., oxidative stress, neurotoxicity) effects that antibiotics can cause in organisms at different trophic levels. Since environmental ecosystems are complex, the isolated study of these compounds can lead to inadequate and incomplete responses. Currently, the scientific community is concerned with expanding knowledge about the ecotoxicological effects of antibiotics (e.g., Sulfamethoxazole and Trimethoprim) in model species (e.g., Escherichia coli and Danio rerio, see image) and with important functions in ecosystems (e.g., decomposition, filtration) in a climate change scenario (antibiotics vs temperature variations vs pH variations). Therefore, it is important to study the effects of antibiotics on non-target organisms, considering that the natural ecosystems are exposed to several challenges simultaneously (e.g., climate changes, pollution).

The search for solutions based on an integrated, interdisciplinary research and with a One Health approach is fundamental, to mitigate the impacts associated with this problem, in order to protect human, animal, and environmental health

In Petri dishes it is possible to observe the inhibition growth of the bacterium Escherichia coli ATCC 25922 when exposed to the antibiotics Sulfamethoxazole (SMX) and Trimethoprim (TRIM); Morphological changes (→) are also observed in Danio rerioembryos, before (CTL) and after exposure to antibiotics (SMX and TRIM). Image credits: Bárbara Diogo


One Health Talks

To face the challenge of discussing One Health em menos de 60 minutos, continuamos o 1º ciclo de conversas mensais do ICBAS no próximo dia 23 de maio. 

Na oitava sessão (e última deste ciclo), Isabel Lourinho, Psicóloga Especialista Clínica e da Saúde, Coordenadora do Gabinete de Apoio ao Estudante Empregabilidade e Alumni do ICBAS e Psicóloga Clínica no Icuf, convida Ana Neiva, arquiteta, investigadora, curadora e Professora auxiliar convidada na FAUP e na FCAATI da U. Lusófona, para discutirem o tema ‘ Corpo, Mente e Arquitetura: Ambientes como promotores de Bem-Estar ‘.

O evento decorrerá das 13h às 13.50h na Biblioteca do ICBAS/FFUP, sala 2.

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The human evolution from the perspective of One Health

By Luísa Azevedo, ICBAS

PORTO - The history of human evolution seems to be lost in time when our limited time does not leave us time to contemplate it. However, the milestones of this million-year history continues to fascinate generations because one of our main wonders is to understand our most distant origins. This is a trail with many milestones, important milestones and seemingly less relevant milestones, but which were the basis of other adaptations. One of these important milestones was the development of the vision. We are visual beings. Our eyes are adapted to perceive light, color, movement, and the others, living and non-living. Another important milestone was the gradual anatomical adaptations that led to bipedalism, and which allowed a broader perception of the world around us, freeing our hands to build tools, shelter and the quest for food. Then, time arrived for the development of our brain and our unique cognitive abilities, which entrust us with the responsibility of taking care of the world around us, and the other living beings.

As we discuss, and want to continue discussing about the importance of the approach that integrates the environment, humans and all other living beings, i.e. the One Health , it is worth thinking about how we got here, our evolutionary process, and the way we have always interacted with Nature, but also how we will continue to do so. From a perspective of historical legacy, perhaps centuries or millennia from now, someone may write about how this One Health multidisciplinary approach marked another significant step in our ongoing journey.

Image Credits: Luísa Azevedo

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