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One Health Unit

  One Health Unit (OH)

About the Unit

The One-Health Unit is an interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary Unit, that operates independently to the Directorates due to its nature, but collaborates closely with each of AHRI’s Directorate.

We do basic health research, translational research and operational research. The three cornerstones of research are 1) zoonotic diseases with emphasis on BTB, Brucellosis, Rift Valley Fever, Rabies, Q-Fever and Co-Mers, 2) integrated human-animal health surveillance and control strategies, and 3) the role of wildlife and the environment in public health. Improving the health and well-being of pastoral communities and their livestock has been a strong focus of the unit, with direct participation of local communities. 

We collaborate nationally and internationally with other research institutions, universities, animal health institutions (domestic and wildlife), and public health institutions.

Composition of staff

The OH Unit has three researchers based at AHRI and several associated researchers. Ethiopian and international students are involved in our research. Staff and student professional background includes among others veterinarians, specialized wildlife veterinarians, medical doctors, ecologists, mid-wives, pharmacologists, and molecular biologists.


Main research areas:

  • Tuberculosis and Bovine Tuberculosis: epidemiology, control strategies in humans and livestock
  • Zoonoses (Q-fever, RVF, rabies, brucellosis): diagnostics and epidemiology
  • Integrated surveillance human-animal surveillance systems
  • Mother and child health
  • Emerging infectious diseases (co-Mers, covid-19)
  • Antimicrobial resistance
  • Wildlife diseases/ecology
  • Covid-19

Main current research projects:

  • Ethicobots (UK funded) is a consortium of institutes from the UK, Switzerland and Ethiopia. Research includes BTB prevalence studies among dairy cattle and people, molecular diagnostics, socio-economic studies and mathematical and economic modeling for BTB. The ultimate goal of the project is to assess cost-benefits of optimal control strategies for BTB in dairy farms in Ethiopia.
  • Integrated Brucellosis surveillance in pastoral communities (CDC funded): over the 5-year long project, we are conducting a large-scale integrated animal-human sero-surveillance of brucellosis in Afar and Somali region, two important pastoral regions of Ethiopia. We are also assessing feasible control strategies in a pilot area of Afar to reduce the burden of the disease among pastoral communities.
  • The Jigjiga One-Health Initiative (JOHI) is a 12 year long Swiss Government funded research and development partnership between Jigjiga University, AHRI and Swiss TPH. The project is built on three pillars: 1) capacity building (training of post-graduate students, lab capacity, training at community level, development of a One-Health curriculum at MSc level for the Jigjiga University), 2) operational research in Adadle and Shinile (Somali region) in humans and animals (livestock and wildlife), 3) policy advocacy. We have piloted an integrated animal-human surveillance system in six kebeles in Adadle and we are now planning to expand the system to the whole woreda in close collaboration with the regional health sector bureaus. The surveillance system will also include wildlife and environmental components. In addition, JOHI is assessing the feasibility of an innovative mobile DOTS system tailored to remote mobile pastoral communities.
  • NIIDS (Novel Infectious Diseases diagnosis and surveillance system), is a research partnership between AHRI and Swiss TPH, focusing on migration health (including zoonosis). The project is developing and validating an innovative comprehensive evidence platform to support and improve diagnosis, triage and clinical management of febrile diseases and co-morbidities in migrants/refugees. A combined diagnostic approach with multiple integrated PCR and serology assays is also being developed.

Researchers at OH

Rea Tschopp, DVM, MSc, PhD, Head of the Unit
Email: rea.tschopp@ahri.gov.et
Tel: +251 911 42 70 21

Ashenafi GebreGiorgis (DVM, MSc)
 Email: ashenafigg12@gmail.com

Gizachew Gemechu (DVM)
 Email: gizageme@gmail.com

Fentabil Getnet
Associated researcher



Ibrahim M, Schelling E, Zinsstag J, Hattendorf J, Andarie E, Tschopp R. 2021. Sero-prevalence of brucellosis, Q-fever and Rift Valley Fever in humans and livestock in Somali region, Ethiopia. Plos NegTrop Dis. In press


Tschopp R, Yahyaoui H. Bovine tuberculosis at the human-livestock-wildlife interface in sub-Saharan Africa. Chapter 22 (Page no: 283). In: Zinsstag, J., Schelling E., Crump, L., Whittaker, M., Tanner, M., and Stephen, C. (2020) One Health: The Theory and Practice of Integrated Health Approaches, 2nd edition. Wallingford, UK: CAB International.

Zinsstag J, Gobu L, Tschopp R, Ibrahim M. 2020. An interdisciplinary centre of excellence for pastoralists in the Horn of Africa. Rural21, pp 20-21

Gemechu G, S Ayalew, E Hailu, A Tarekegn, R Tschopp. 2020. Mycobacterium tuberculosis in a Primagam negative wild caught olive baboon (Papio Anubis) in Ethiopia. Ethiopian Veterinary Journal 24(1): 116-126.

Getnet F, Demissie M, Worku A, Gobena T, Tschopp R, Seyoum B. 2020. Longer delays in diagnosis and treatment of pulmonary tuberculosis in pastoralist setting, Eastern Ethiopia. Risk Management and Healthcare policy 13: 583-594.

Wild H, Ali SM, Bonfoh B, Tschopp R, Berry M, Zinsstag J. 2020. Mobile Pastoralists in Africa A Blind Spot in Global Health Surveillance. Tropical Medicine & International Health. https://doi.org/10.1111/tmi.13479

Hassell JM, D Zimmerman, EM. Fèvre, J Zinsstag, S Bukachi, M Barry, M Muturi, B Bett, N Jensen, S Ali, S Maples, J Rushton, R Tschopp, YO Madaine, RA Abtidon, H Wild. 2020. Africa’s nomadic pastoralists and their animals are an invisible frontier in pandemic surveillance. American Journal of Tropical Medicine & Hygiene. doi:10.4269/ajtmh.20-1004

Wild H, Mendosa E, Trautwein M, Edwards J, Jowell A, Kidanu A GG, Tschopp R, Barry M. 2020. Health interventions among mobile pastoralists: A systematic review to guide health service design. Tropical Medicine & International Health. DOI: 10.1111/tmi.13481

Osman K, J Zinsstag, R Tschopp, E Schelling, J Hattendorf, A Umer, S Ali and CI Cercamondi.  2020. Nutritional status and its association with intestinal parasites among young children from pastoral communities of the Ethiopian Somali Region. Maternal and child nutrition, e12955: 11 pages

Umer A, J. Zinsstag, E. Schelling, R. Tschopp, J. Hattendof, K. Osman , M. Yuya, A. Ame and E. Zemp. Antenatal Care and Skilled Delivery Service Utilization in Somali Pastoral Communities of Eastern Ethiopia. 25(3): 328–337. doi: 10.1111/TMI.13346


Mbilo C, Léchenne M, Mauti S, Chitnis N, Tschopp R, Zinsstag J. 2019. Rabies in dogs, livestock and wildlife: a veterinary perspective. Rev Sci et Tech, 37(2):331-340

Mekonnen GA, Conlan AJK, Berg S, Ayele BT, Alemu A, Guta S, Lakew M, Tadesse B, Gebre S, Wood JLN, Ameni G, the ETHICOBOTS consortium. Prevalence of Bovine tuberculosis and its associated risk factors in the emerging dairy belts of regional cities in Ethiopia. 2019 Prev Vet Med 168:81-89

Getnet F, M Demissie; A Worku; T Gobena; R Tschopp; M Girmachew; G Assefa; B Seyoum. 2019. Delay in Diagnosis of Pulmonary Tuberculosis increases the Risk of Pulmonary Cavitation in Pastoralist Setting of Ethiopia. BMC Pulmonary Medicine

Getnet F, M Demissie, A Worku, T Gobena, B Seyoum, R Tschopp, CT Andersen. 2019. Determinants of patient delay in diagnosis of pulmonary tuberculosis in Somali pastoralist setting of Ethiopia: a matched case-control study. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(18), 3391

Umer A, J. Zinsstag, E. Schelling, R. Tschopp, J. Hattendof, K. Osman , M. Yuya, A. Ame and E. Zemp. Antenatal Care and Skilled Delivery Service Utilization in Somali Pastoral Communities of Eastern Ethiopia. 25(3): 328–337. doi: 10.1111/TMI.13346

Getnet AM, G Ameni, The ETHICOBOTS consortium, S Berg, AJK Conlan. 2019. Network analysis of dairy cattle movement and associations with bovine tuberculosis spread and control in emerging dairy belts of Ethiopia. BMC Veterinary Research, 15: 262

Tschopp R, Wasie L. 2019. Important role of Non Tuberculous Mycobacteria in Non-Human primate TB testing in Ethiopia. Ethiopian Veterinary Journal. 23(2):101-106

Nooh F, L Crump, A Hashi, R Tschopp, E Schelling, K Reither, J Hattendorf, S M. Ali, B Obrist, J Utzinger and J Zinsstag. 2019. The impact of pastoralist mobility on tuberculosis control in Ethiopia: a systematic review and meta-synthesis, Infectious Diseases and Poverty, 873. https://doi.org/10.1186/s40249-019-0583-z


Zinsstag J, Crump L, Hattendorf J, Osman Maidane Y et al. Climate change and One-Health (2018). Minireview-Environmental Microbiology.. FEMS Microbiology Letters, 365.

Zerfu B, Medhin G, Mamo G, Getahun G, Tschopp R, Legesse M (2018) Community-based prevalence of typhoid fever, typhus, brucellosis and malaria among symptomatic individuals in Afar Region, Ethiopia. PLoS Negl Trop Dis 12(10): e0006749. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal. pntd.0006749

GebreMichael S, Gemete G, Mihret A, Waelti P, Tschopp R.  2018. Socio-economic aspects related to feeding resources and practices in selected intensive dairy farms in Central Ethiopia. AJAR 14(5):252-262

Before 2018

Tschopp R & Schneider J. A clinical case report of Oesophagostomiasis in a captive Hamadryas Baboon (Papio Hamadryas) in Ethiopia. Ethiopian Veterinary Journal (2016).

Tschopp R, A. Aseffa. Bovine tuberculosis and other Mycobacteria in animals in Ethiopia: a systematic review. Jacobs Publishing (2016) . 2(2):026.

Tschopp R, S. Bekele, A. Aseffa. Dog Demography, Animal Bite Management and Rabies Knowledge-Attitude and Practices in the Awash Basin, Eastern Ethiopia. Plos NTD (2016). DOI:10.1371/journal.pntd.0004471

Zinsstag J, F Abakar, M Ibrahim, R Tschopp, L Crump,  B Bonfoh, E Schelling. Cost-effective control strategies for  animal and zoonotic diseases in pastoralist populations. In The future of pastoralism, Off. Sci. Tech. Off. Int. Epiz (2016). 35(2): 673-681.

Comas I, E. Hailu, T. Kiros, S. Bekele, W. Mekonnen, B. Gumi, R. Tschopp et al. Population Genomics of Mycobacterium tuberculosis in Ethiopia Contradicts the Virgin Soil Hypothesis for Human Tuberculosis in Sub-Saharan Africa. Current Biology (2015),

Berg S, E. Schelling, E. Hailu, R. Firdessa, B. Gumi, G. Erenso et al. Investigation of the high rates of extrapulmonary tuberculosis in Ethiopia reveals no single driving factor and minimal evidence for zoonotic transmission of Mycobacterium bovis infection. BMC Infectious Diseases (2015) 15:112

Tschopp R, S. Bekele, T. Moti, D. Young, A. Aseffa. Brucellosis and bovine tuberculosis prevalence in livestock from pastoralist communities adjacent to Awash National Park, Ethiopia. Preventive Veterinary Medicine 120(2015) 187–194

De Garine-Wichatitsky M, A. Caron, R. Kock, R. Tschopp, M. Munyeme, M. Hofmeyr, and A. Michel (2013). A review of Bovine tuberculosis at the wildlife-livestock-human interface in sub-Saharan Africa. Epidemiol. Infect. 141:1342-1356.  DOI: 10.1017/S0950268813000708

Aseffa A, Mihret A, Habte A, Abebe M, Wassie L, Tschopp R, Beyene D, Ameni G, Berg S, Doherty TM, Gagneux S, Young D, and Howe R. (2013).Advances in tuberculosis: a review. African Journal of Microbiology Research, 7(2), pp. 73-81

Tschopp R., B. Abera, S.Yao Sourou, E.Guerne-Bleich, A. Aseffa, J. Zinsstag, A.Wubete, D. Young (2013). Bovine tuberculosis and brucellosis prevalence in selected milk cooperatives in Arsi zone, Oromia region, Ethiopia. BMC Vet Res, 9:163

Tschopp R., A. Aseffa, J. Zinsstag (2014). Cattle Productivity under Traditional Village Husbandry System in Sellale, Central Ethiopia: A Four and a Half Year Herd Follow-Up. International Journal of Agriculture Innovations and Research 2(5): 2319-1473

Tschopp R., J. Hattendorf., F. Roth., A. Choudhoury., A. Shaw., A. Aseffa., J. Zinsstag (2012). Cost estimate of bovine tuberculosis to Ethiopia. . Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology 365, 249-68.

Gumi B., E. Schelling, R. FIrdessa, G. Erenso, D. Biffa, A. Aseffa, R. Tschopp, L. Yamuah, D. Young, J. Zinsstag. 2012. Low prevalence of bovine tuberculosis in Somali pastoral livestock, Southeast Ethiopia. Tropical Animal Health and Production, 43(6): 1081-1087

Firdessa R., S. Berg, E. Hailu, E.Schelling, B. Gumi, G. Erenso, E. Gadisa, T. Kiros, M. Habtamu, J. Hussein, J. Zinsstag, B. Robertson, G. Ameni, A.J. Lohan, B. Loftus, I. Comas, S. Gagneux, R. Tschopp et al. (2013). Mycobacterial lineages causing pulmonary and extrapulmonary tuberculosis, Ethiopia. EID. 9(3). DOI: 10.3201/eid1903.120256.

Tschopp R., Firdessa R., Wubete A., Sombo M., Hailu E., Erenso G., Kiros T., Yamuah L., Vordermeier M., Hewinson G., Young D., Gordon S.V., Sahile M., Aseffa A., Berg S. (2012). High prevalence of bovine tuberculosis in dairy cattle in central Ethiopia: implications for the dairy industry and public health. PlosOne 7(12):e52851.

Tschopp R. , K. Boboshsa, A. Aseffa, E. Schelling,  M. Habtamu, E. Hailu, Jemal Hussein, D. Young, J. Zinsstag (2011). Bovine tuberculosis at a cattle-small ruminant-human interface in Meskan Woreda, Gurage region, Central Ethiopia. BMC Infectious diseases. 11:318, doi:10.1186/1471-2334-11-318

Gumi B., E. Schelling, R. Firdessa,  A.Aseffa,  R. Tschopp, L.Yamuah,  D.Young, J. Zinsstag (2011). Prevalence of tuberculin reactors in pastoral cattle herds in the Oromia Region, Southern Ethiopia. Trop Anim Health Prod. 43(6):1081-7.

Tschopp R., A. Aseffa, E. Schelling, and J. Zinsstag (2010). Perception of farmers towards agriculture, livestock and natural resources in Ethiopia. Journal of Mountain Research and Development 30(4): 381-390

Tschopp R., A. Aseffa, E. Schelling, S. Berg, E. Hailu, E. Gadisa, M. Habtamu, K. Argaw, and J. Zinsstag (2010). Bovine tuberculosis at the wildlife-livestock-human interface in Hamer Woreda, South Omo, Southern Ethiopia. PloSOne 5(8): e12205. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0012205

Bonfoh B., Schwabenbauer K., Wallinga D., Hartung J., Schelling E., Zinsstag J., Meslin F-X., Tschopp R., Akakpo J.A., and M. Tanner. 2010. Human health hazards associated with livestock production. In: Livestock in a changing landscape: drivers, consequences, and responses (Vol I). Eds: Steinfeld H., Mooney H.A., Schneider F., and Neville L.E. Island Press. Pp 197-221.

Zinsstag J., R. Tschopp, E. Schelling. L’interface faune sauvage – élevage – homme de la tuberculose bovine en Afrique. Book chapter in “Ecologie de la santé et Conservation”. In Gauthier-Clerc M. and Thomas F. (Eds) Ecologie de la santé et biodiversité. Group de Boeck SA, Bruxelles. 2010, Partie 2, Chapitre 7. pp 259-270

Tschopp R., S. Berg, K. Argaw , E. Gadissa, M. Habtamu, E. Schelling , D. Young, A. Aseffa, and J. Zinsstag (2010). Bovine tuberculosis in Ethiopian wildlife. J Wildl Dis. 46(3): 753-762

Tschopp R., E. Schelling, J. Hattendorf, D. Young , A. Aseffa, and J. Zinsstag (2010). Repeated representative cross-sectional skin testing for bovine tuberculosis in cattle in traditional husbandry system in Ethiopia. Vet Rec. 167: 250-256

Tschopp R., M. Getu, A. Aseffa, and J. Zinsstag (2008). Approach to assess the economic impact of bovine tuberculosis in Ethiopia. Ethiop J Health Dev 22 (Special Issue)

Tschopp R., E. Schelling, J. Hattendorf, A. Aseffa, and J. Zinsstag (2009). Risk factors of Bovine Tuberculosis in cattle in rural livestock production systems of Ethiopia. Prev Med Vet. 89: 205-211

Postgraduate Students

PhD studies

Yahya Maidane (associated PhD-2020-2023). Integrated animal-human-environment diseases surveillance system in Adadle woreda

Abdifatah Muhumed (associated PhD-2020-2023). Interventional plan to improve the quality of water, WASH and reducing the diarrheal disease in children under the age of five

Regina Oackley (associated PhD-2020-2023). Migration health and zoonoses

Wondemu Ashagre (PhD- 2020-2023). Strain typing of M. tuberculosis among Somali pastoralists

Fentabil Getnet. Completed 2020. Delay in diagnosis of pulmonary tuberculosis and its association with infectiousness of adult patients in selected hospitals of Somali Regional State, Ethiopia

Mohammed Ibrahim. Completed 2020. Public health and economic importance of camel diseases with the emphasis on zoonoses including brucellosis, RVF and Q-fever in Ethiopia Somali region.

Masters studies

Rahma Abditon. Completed 2020. Strategies of improving maternal and Newborn Health through integrated Human and animal surveillance in Adadle District, Somali region, Ethiopia.

Yahia Maidane. Completed 2020. Integrated Syndromic human and animal surveillance in Adadle District of Ethiopian Somali Region.

Abdifatah Muhumed. Completed 2020. Water quality and the prevalence of diarrhea among children in Adadle district, Eastern Ethiopia

Rea Tschopp (DVM, MSc, PhD) 
Head,One Health Unit
Email: rea.tschopp@ahri.gov.et 
Tel: +251 911 42 70 21