Académie royale de Médecine de Belgique


Séverine Thys. Bourse Dubois-Brigué 2016 pour une dernière année de Doctorat (PhD) - Vidéo + Présentation






 N. CLUMECK, membre titulaire  

La Fondation Dr Albert Dubois pour la pathologie Tropicale distribue cette année une bourse pour une dernière année de doctorat (PhD) et un prix pour un travail de haut niveau dans le domaine des pathologies tropicales.

Le jury, que j’ai eu l’honneur de présider, était constitué pour la partie néerlandophone des Professeurs Stany Geerts, Greet Ieven et Jozef Vercruysse, et pour la partie francophone des Professeurs Yves Carlier et Françoise Portaels.

L’Académie royale de Médecine de Belgique a reçu cinq candidatures pour la bourse Dubois-Brigué 2016.

A l’unanimité, le jury a considéré que la bourse devait être attribuée au Dr Séverine Thys de l’Université de Gand pour la poursuite de son travail doctoral sur la « perception de zoonoses négligées chez les éleveurs dans les tropiques et de l’apport de l’anthropologie pour une approche intégrée du contrôle de ces zoonoses ».

Séverine Thys a été diplômée en 2004 à l’ULB en anthropologie et a obtenu un master complémentaire en Public Health à l’ULB en 2009. Depuis 2012, elle est assistante académique à l’Institut de Médecine Tropical où elle coordonnée le réseau stratégique sur les zoonoses négligées, projet financé par la coopération belge. Depuis 2014, elle a entamé un travail de thèse doctoral à l’UZ Gent pour laquelle elle reçoit aujourd’hui la bourse de la Fondation Dubois.


 Perception of neglected zoonotic diseases among livestock owners in the tropics: The added value of Anthropology to the One Health approach for integrated control


                                                             Mme le Dr Séverine THYS (Tropical Medicine Antwerp, ULB, UGent)

Livestock owners in developing countries are most vulnerable to Neglected Zoonotic Diseases (NZD) and their risk behavior leads to more intense and complex transmission patterns. We hypothesize that innovative NZD control strategies can be developed via a bottom-up culture-sensitive approach, leading to interventions that are better adapted to the local reality and more sustainable than current ones. This doctoral project assesses cultural, cognitive and social drivers explaining people’s behavior with regard to animal husbandry, zoonoses and their control in their specific ecosystem. Through a ‘One Health’ inter-sectoral approach the project documents the extent of human-animal-ecosystem interface of four NZDs (echinococcosis, taeniasis-cysticercosis, rabies and Ebola) and examines the “when”, “how”, “where” and “why” of exposure from a socio-anthropological perspective. The underlying hypothesis of this work is that an integrated control “toolbox” for NZDs should include an inter-sectoral and transdisciplinary approach including the socio-anthropological perspective. Therefore, this doctoral project sets out to explore in particular the possible contribution of the social sciences to better control NZDs with the aim to break the vicious cycle of poverty and poor health among livestock owners in endemic and epidemic areas in developing countries.

So far the candidate’s studies focused mostly on the role of anthropology within the framework of inter-sectoral collaborations between animal and human health (Thys et al., 2016). The Dubois-Brigué scholarship will allow her to study more in-depth the environmental dimension, which is the third main pillar of the One Health concept (Zinsstag, 2012). This additional PhD year granted by the Dubois-Brigué Foundation will offer the doctoral candidate the opportunity to learn and adopt a socio-ecosystem approach for zoonotic health problems which is an approach well developed and supported by the South-East Asian One Health movement in general (Roger et al., 2016). Hosted during her scholarship in Indonesia at the One Health/EcoHealth Resource Center of the Universitas Gadjah Mada in Yogyakarta, the grantee will also strengthen her career development towards an overseas post-doc position. Based on the findings generated for Indonesia from her previous multi-country One Health research activity on zoonoses research prioritization and One Health curriculum (see, she will start elaborating a research proposal in the framework of a socio-ecological approach together with Indonesian One Health experts and identified stakeholders. A long term collaborative project in the field of One Health and Anthropology is very relevant and in very high demand among disease control managers and researchers in this particular region of the world where increased zoonotic disease transmission is strongly associated with agricultural expansion, cultural practices and a rapidly increasing livestock trade due to a fast economic growth (Vandersmissen and Welburn, 2014). Moreover, far-reaching environmental challenges (endangered species conservation, air pollution, destruction of coral reefs, deforestation, water security, increased urbanization,…) are emerging in Indonesia which should be addressed from a multisectoral and multi-disciplinary approach at various levels (Bordier and Roger, 2013). A socio-ecological analysis framework such as the one proposed by the PhD candidate seems a useful contribution, both scientifically and operationally.

BORDIER M., ROGER F., Zoonoses in South-East Asia: a regional burden, a global threat, Anim. Health. Res.Rev., 1–28 (2013).

ROGER F., CARON A., MORAND S., PEDRONO M., de GARINE-WICHATITSKY M., CHEVALIER V., TRAN A., GAIDET N., FIGUIÉ M., de VISSCHER M.-N., BINOT A., One Health and EcoHealth: the same wine in different bottles?, Infect. Ecol. Epidemiol., 6, 30978. doi:10.3402/iee.v6.30978 (2016).

THYS S., MWAPE K.E., LEFÈVRE P., DORNY P., PHIRI A.M., MARCOTTY T., PHIRI I.K., GABRIËL S., Why pigs are free-roaming: Communities’ perceptions, knowledge and practices regarding pig management and taeniosis/cysticercosis in a Taenia solium endemic rural area in Eastern ZambiaVet. Parasitol., 225, 33–42 (2016).

VANDERSMISSEN A., WELBURN S.C., Current initiatives in One Health: consolidating the One Health Global Network, Rev. Sci. Tech., 33, 421–32 (2014).

ZINSSTAG J., Convergence of EcoHealth and One Health, Ecohealth, 9, 371–3. doi:10.1007/s10393-013-0812-z (2012).