Integrate – OHSS:

A Step-by-Step guide to creating a One Health Surveillance System from existing surveillance programs

The MATRIX step-by-step guide

Welcome to the MATRIX step-by-step guide, designed to support you in your goal of creating a One health surveillance system (OHSS) for a particular pathogen, or group of pathogens using existing surveillance programs from different sectors.

In this guide, we define a One Health surveillance system as a system in which collaborative efforts exist across at least two sectors (among human health, animal health, food safety and environment) in the surveillance process to produce and disseminate information with a purpose to improve any of human, animal or environmental health, in accordance with the ORION One Health Glossary. An OHSS can either be built as an entirely new system, or by integrating data or information from existing surveillance systems or data sources in the sectors of interest. In this guide, we focus on the latter approach.  

This guide provides a resource of suggestions, considerations and tips, organised into a theoretical step-be-step approach that can be taken to develop an OHSS from existing structures. The guide is not, and cannot be, prescriptive, given that every planned OHSS will be different based on the context within which it is to perform, and the various surveillance systems that will contribute data or information. Therefore, it is a general guide to which the users must overlay their unique situation.


The guide can be used standalone, or in conjunction with the One health risk analysis system Road Map (OHRAS, ), developed by the One Health European Joint Project COHESIVE  and refined by the One Health European Joint Project MATRIX. The OHRAS provides a road map for developing an OH risk analysis system. Our guide can be utilised at step 4 of the roadmap. To reflect the close connection between the two tools, we have sought to align terminologies and refer back to the OHRAS where topics relevant to both are discussed.

To help orientate readers we refer throughout the guide to the ‘Surveillance pathway’. This pathway, reproduced from Filter 20211 and modified for our purposes, is schematically represented below. It outlines the general steps in the surveillance process from start to finish.

‘The Surveillance Pathway’ modified from Filter 20211

The suggestions, considerations and tips presented in this guide have been collected through multiple different avenues, including:

  • interviews with persons involved in the designing and execution of existing OHSSs
  • review of published literature describing existing OHSSs
  • review and comparative analysis of sector specific surveillance systems (Zenodo reference)
  • expert opinion

To maintain relevancy, the guide will be reviewed and updated regularly, particularly as new data become available.


  1. Filter, M., T. Buschhardt, F. Dórea, E. Lopez de Abechuco, T. Günther, E. M. Sundermann, J. Gethmann, J. Dups-Bergmann, K. Lagesen and J. Ellis-Iversen (2021). “One Health Surveillance Codex: promoting the adoption of One Health solutions within and across European countries.” One Health 12: 100233.