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Leiden University and LUMC join the Netherlands Centre for One Health

Leiden University and Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC) have joined the Netherlands Centre for One Health (NCOH), which unites experts from Utrecht University, University Medical Center Utrecht, Wageningen University and Research, Erasmus Medical Center Rotterdam, and Academic Medical Center Amsterdam in the areas of human and animal health, thereby forming an even stronger academic network on infectious diseases in The Netherlands.

Infectious diseases have an increasingly large impact on the health of humans and animals, particularly in densely populated countries like the Netherlands. In 2050, about ten million people are predicted to die worldwide from bacterial infections alone, while viral infections such as Zika are also spreading at an alarming rate. This coincides with a rapid spread of antimicrobial resistance and very few new drug candidates for the treatment of bacterial infections that are in the industrial pipelines.

“LUMC will participate with various clinical disciplines and scientific research groups that are active within the profile area of “Infection, Immunity and Tolerance”. This participation will contribute to more insights and a better recognition of emerging zoonotic infections and antimicrobial resistance. It will also support new developments of immunotherapy and vaccinations to treat and protect against emerging zoonotic infections,’ says professor Pancras Hogendoorn, dean of the LUMC.

“The problems relating to antibiotics and resistance are enormous”, says Geert de Snoo, dean of the Faculty of Science of the Leiden University. “At Leiden University we have strong expertise in the area of drug development, with antibiotics as one of the major focus areas. By integrating expertise of the different partners in the NCOH we will increase our chances to make major contributions to combatting the threat of infectious diseases to human health and become a more attractive partner for government and industry. Similar developments are seen in, for example, the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom, which increases competitiveness.”

The Netherlands Centre for One Health was originally set up by Utrecht University, University Medical Center Utrecht, Wageningen University & Research, Erasmus MC and the Academic Medical Center Amsterdam. ‘I am very pleased that Leiden University and LUMC both join the NCOH as a partner. Together, the leading academic research institutes provide significant added value in order to realize the NCOH ambitions. With Leiden University and LUMC now joining NCOH, we will work together to tackle One Health issues in public health, animal health, and the environment, and an integrated and interdisciplinary approach.‘, says Martin Scholten, Chairman Supervisory Board NCOH.