IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

One-health approach as counter-measure against “autoimmune” responses in biosecurity


  • Mutsaers, Inge


This Swine flu pandemic of 2009 and the potential Avian flu threat of 2011–2012 have revived a most challenging debate on protection against infectious diseases. The response to the Swine flu pandemic has been ambivalent, both on the societal (political) and the scientific level. While some scientists warned against potential massive loss of human lives and urged for immediate and large-scale vaccination, others accused them of unnecessary scaremongering, arguing that the pandemic would not be that severe. The lab-created virulent Avian flu virus – which has been created in order to ‘fight’ a potential Avian flu pandemic – sparked a fierce debate on the dual-use risks of such a pre-emptive strategy. This article involves an analysis of the medical-political response to these recent viral threats using Peter Sloterdijk's immunological framework as diagnostic tool. In his trilogy Spheres Sloterdijk uses immunological concepts to analyse and assess the contemporary biopolitical situation. It shows how drawing a parallel between the functioning of the biological immune system and “immune responses” on socio-political level enables to assess and reconceptualise biosecurity.

Suggested Citation

  • Mutsaers, Inge, 2015. "One-health approach as counter-measure against “autoimmune” responses in biosecurity," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 129(C), pages 123-130.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:129:y:2015:i:c:p:123-130
    DOI: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2014.09.042

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:129:y:2015:i:c:p:123-130. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.