DOI: 10.15252/msb.202311686 ISSN: 1744-4292

Real‐time genomics for One Health

Lara Urban, Albert Perlas, Olga Francino, Joan Martí‐Carreras, Brenda A Muga, Jenniffer W Mwangi, Laura Boykin Okalebo, Jo‐Ann L Stanton, Amanda Black, Nick Waipara, Claudia Fontsere, David Eccles, Harika Urel, Tim Reska, Hernán E Morales, Marc Palmada‐Flores, Tomas Marques‐Bonet, Mrinalini Watsa, Zane Libke, Gideon Erkenswick, Cock van Oosterhout
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • General Immunology and Microbiology
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • Information Systems


The ongoing degradation of natural systems and other environmental changes has put our society at a crossroad with respect to our future relationship with our planet. While the concept of One Health describes how human health is inextricably linked with environmental health, many of these complex interdependencies are still not well‐understood. Here, we describe how the advent of real‐time genomic analyses can benefit One Health and how it can enable timely, in‐depth ecosystem health assessments. We introduce nanopore sequencing as the only disruptive technology that currently allows for real‐time genomic analyses and that is already being used worldwide to improve the accessibility and versatility of genomic sequencing. We showcase real‐time genomic studies on zoonotic disease, food security, environmental microbiome, emerging pathogens, and their antimicrobial resistances, and on environmental health itself – from genomic resource creation for wildlife conservation to the monitoring of biodiversity, invasive species, and wildlife trafficking. We stress why equitable access to real‐time genomics in the context of One Health will be paramount and discuss related practical, legal, and ethical limitations.

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