Developmental Milestones/Developments to Date:
Current Assessment/State of the Field:
CDC, “Cities Readiness Initiative” http://www.bt.cdc.gov/cri/ last checked 12/27/2011
- ”CDC’s Cities Readiness Initiative (CRI) is a federally funded program designed to enhance preparedness in the nation’s largest cities and metropolitan statistical areas where more than 50% of the U.S. population resides. Through CRI, state and large metropolitan public health departments have developed plans to respond to a large-scale bioterrorist event by dispensing antibiotics to the entire population of an identified MSA with 48 hours.”
- ”Participating Cities and Metropolitan Statistical Areas
- “The program was originally established in 2004 with a 21 cities that were selected based on criteria such as population and potential vulnerability to a bioterrorism threat. The program has grown to now include a total of 72 metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs), with at least one CRI MSA in every state.
• 2004: CRI funded 21 cities
• 2005: CDC funded 15 additional MSAs, for a total of 36 CRI MSAs
• 2006: CDC funded an additional 36 MSAs, for a total of 72 MSAs”
Netesov, Sergey V., Sandakhchiev, Lev S. “The Need for Creation of the International Center in Novosibirsk, Russia for Combating Infections Diseases and Bioterrorism Threat in Asia.” STATE RESEARCH CENTER OF VIROLOGY AND BIOTECHNOLOGY NOVOSIBIRSK (RUSSIA), Sep. 2001 pp 349-357.
- “In 1992, an International Science and Technology Center (ISTC)was established as a nonproliferation-targeted program for the Newly Independent States.” p 350
- “VECTOR employees have attended dozens of international conferences and workshops using ISTC Support. Hundreds of our scientists have wisited their foreign counterparts on site. It made it possible to create an atmosphere of openness and transparency at VECTOR, which is critical to science and scientists.” p 350
- “…with BTEP it is the study of infections representing serious public health problems such as HIV/AIDS, multi-drug-resistant tuberculosis, hepatitis, measles, ect. And these investigations are being started with establishing the international ethical standards at VECTOR in accordance with international GCP regulations. p 350
- “Two very perspective projects will be started soon in the field of development of fast and very sensitive PCR-microchip detection of dangerous pathogen genomes in blood and other biological samples.” p 350
- “Very focused are also the efforts that are being planned and implemented under U.S.A. Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR) program that relate to upgrade the physical security and biosafety systems at the maximum biocontainment facilities at VECTOR up to the highest modern standards.” p 351
- “Continuous involvement of foreign scientists in work at this ”Center”would be a powerful instrument of confidence building. It is critical, therefore, that all high containment capabilities and necessary supporting facilities be incorporated into the ”Center” to alleviate concerns over possible prohibited activity.” p 351
- “The geographical location of the Center – near the geographical center of Russia – is very suitable for the most effective collection of natural viral and bacterial strains and diagnostic procedures for the study of specimens from Asian Russia, Central Asia FSU republics, Mongolia and other neighbor countries, if needed because Novosibirsk is the largest in the area transportation hub. this location of the proposed ”International Center” would also allow us to join international efforts to control and deter potential bioterrorists.” p 352
- “The Collection of Cultures of Microorganisms available in the Center comprises over 10,000 deposit entries: various viral strains, including the national collection of variola virus strains and strains of viral BSL-4 pathogens.” p 352
- VECTOR houses one of the two WHO Collaborating Centers (WHO Collaborating Center for orthopoxvirus diagnosis and repository for variola virus strains and DNA), supplied with all required conditions for work with human highly pathogenic viruses including variola virus.” pp 352-353
- “As a result of this research, the proposed ”International Center” can have one of its strategic scientific goals such as making prognosis, based on the data of global monitoring, of what new infections might emerge in the future. It should be noticed that the most of these infectious agents are considered to be possible bioterrorism agents, and therefore the proposed ICERID could develop the preventive research in anti-bioterrorism direction.” p 353
- “The special attention would be paid to the investigation of the unusual outbreaks of infectious diseases in the region (Asian part of Russia, Central Asian republics – members of C.I.S., possibly – another countries of the region). This investigation may be conducted using molecular epidemiology approach, which allows to determine the sero- and genotypes of infectious agents, the source of primary infection and even to help distinguishing whether it is intentional or natural outbreak … Such investigations may be made on a regular basis for a wide list of pathogens. This type of research would be extremely useful both for monitoring of the evolution and spread of infectious agents and for the investigation of possible bioterrorism cases.” pp 353-354
Snyder, James, “Role of the Hospital-Based Microbiology Laboratory in Preparation for and Response to a Bioterrorism Event,” Journal of Clinical Microbiology. pg. 1-4, Vol. 41, No.1. Jan. 2003
- “The main role of the hospital-based clinical microbiology laboratory in support of a biothreat, biocrime, or act of bioterrorism is to “raise suspicion” when a targeted agent is suspected in a human specimen.”(Pg. 1)
- “These plans include the following: (i) criteria for distinguishing the type of bioterroism event; (ii) information regarding access to and utilization of the LRN, including diagnostic testing protocols; (iii) safety guidelines; (iv) communication and notification protocols…” (Pg. 1)
- “Therefore, risk assessment becomes the responsibility of the clinical microbiologist, infection control personnel, hospital risk management office, and infectious disease physicians.” (Pg. 3)
- “The laboratory, preferably the laboratory director, must establish and include in the laboratory bioterrorism response plan a notification policy that is enacted when a suspicious isolate cannot be ruled out and must be referred to the next higher level laboratory for confirmation of the organism’s identity.” (Pg. 3)
Editors & Staff, “Preparedness: US government releases Weill Cornell computer model for bioterror response,” Bioterrorism Week, p. 12, July 12, 2003.
- Program will, “help health officials better plan large-scale antibiotic dispensing and vaccination responses to bioterrorism and large-scale epidemics.”
Atlas, Ronald, “National Security and the Lab” Medical Laboratory Observer, Volume 35, Issue 9. 52. September 2003.
- ”The aftermath of anthrax attacks following the horrific 9/11 events increased fear that terrorists could acquire deadly pathogens from legitimate U.S. laboratories, which led to a series of laws and regulations directly impacting clinical microbiology laboratories.” – page 52
- ”Enhancement of clinical and public health laboratories is key to the nation’s biodefense capabilities, so the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) worked with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to develop protocols for diagnostic laboratories to recognize and handle major biothreat agents.” – page 52
- ”Since clinical labs have been the sources of the agents used in prior acts of bioterrorism or biocrimes, (e.g., the 1989 use of salmonella by the Rajneesh cult in Dalles, OR), they must exercise appropriate oversight as to who is given access to any pathogen which can be misused to cause harm.” – page 52
- ”Clinical labs wishing to retain select agents as clinical specimens or reference standards must meet all of the registration requirements of the Biopreparedness Act, including imposing strict biosecurity procedures and obtaining Department of Justice clearance for all individuals with access to the select agents.” – page 52
- ”The CDC and USDA must maintain accurate tracking of the acquisition, transfer and possession of these select agents, and must establish safeguards and biosecurity procedures to be followed by institutions possessing select agents.” – page 52
- ”The FBI is responsible for conducting security risk assessments of individuals seeking access to listed agents and toxins, and individuals or entities seeking to register under the Act.” – page 52
- ”The Biopreparedness Act, a new regulatory burden, should have minimal impact. The greatest impact is likely to be on the labs in the western United States where plague, tularemia, and coccidioidomycoses occur.” – page 52
Editors & Staff, “Outbreaks: Laboratory electronic reporting inadequate for bioterrorist attack,” Bioterrorism Week, Page 15, October 27, 2003.
- “Need for backup transmission methods, validation, standards, preserving human judgment in the process, and provider and end-user involvement.”
Editors, “The Thomas Butler Case: Some Unreported Information and Reasons for the Department of Justice’s Prosecution,” THE SUNSHINE PROJECT, October 28, 2003, http://www.sunshine-project.org/publications/pr/pr281003.html
- [Butler] “prompted a national bioterrorism scare”
- [worked in a] “large and secretive biodefense program supported by the US Army”
- “focus on US biodefense investigating anthrax letters in 2001, led to security concerns when vials went missing”
- “need to prevent sensitive research from the public eye”
- “a leak at a sensitive biodefense project isn’t just a potential health or terrorism threat. An accident could be an international liability.”
Gluodenis, Thomas, “Homeland security and bioterrorism applications” Medical Laboratory Observer, February 2004.
- “Biological weapons or bioweapons — typically, pathogenic organisms and their toxic products — constitute a particularly pernicious threat” (Pg. 1)
- “Unless suspicions are aroused and appropriate measures taken to sample contaminated environments, the presence of such agents is not usually confirmed until they produce symptoms in compromised individuals.” (Pg. 1)
- “At present, two approaches have been widely adopted for identifying organisms by characterizing their DNA; real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and endpoint PCR.” (Pg. 1)
- “Organisms can be packaged in ways that mask their identity and produce sets of symptoms that are not sufficiently characteristic early on for rapid and” (Pg. 3)
- “The logical next step would be better integration of the individual operations of DNA isolation, amplification, and microfluidic-based analysis.” (Pg. 4)
Kyriacou, Demetrios, “Clinical predictors of bioterrorism-related inhalational Anthrax“. Lancet 2004.
- “Unfortunately, clinical manifestations include a nonspecific prodrome of fever, cough, and chest discomfort that also characterizes other types of acute respiratory infections”
- “As a result, inhalational anthrax might not be recognized until the onset of respiratory distress and shock.”
- “The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued guidelines to differentiate between inhalational anthrax, community-acquired pneumonia, and influenza-like illness.”
- “For inhalational anthrax cases, clinical and pathological characteristics of the patients at the time of the assessment that resulted in the diagnosis of inhalational anthrax were abstracted from published accounts.”
- “The mortality rate was 94•4% for naturally occurring cases and 45•5% for bioterrorism-related cases.”
- “In particular, nausea, vomiting, pallor or cyanosis, diaphoresis, altered mental status, and raised haematocrit seemed to predict inhalational anthrax. The most accurate predictor was mediastinal widening or pleural effusion on chest radiograph. This finding was 100% sensitive (95% CI 84•6–100) for inhalational anthrax.”
Lowell, Jennifer, “Identifying Sources of Human Exposure to Plague” Journal of Clinical Microbiology. Pg. 650-656. Vol. 43, No. 2.
- “Approximately 3,000 human cases occur worldwide annually, with 12 to 15 cases reported each year in the western United States”
- “Two of the primary objectives of routine epidemiology plague investigations are to identify the source of human exposure and to assess the exposure site for potential continuing risk.”
- “The use of molecular epidemiological techniques in these investigations has been particularly difficult for Y. pestis because of its apparent lack of genetic variation.”
- “When combined with epidemiologic information, judicious use of genetic data from nonhuman organisms is highly attractive because of the power of DNA-based analyses to identify exposure sources.”
Editors, “PATIENT DECONTAMINATION RECOMMENDATIONS FOR HOSPITALS” EMSA. July 2005.
- “In the case of a medical radiation emergency, response and recovery radiation exposure limits should be established to preserve lifesaving capabilities while taking into consideration risk to staff and facility operation.” (Pg. 13)
- “After removal of contaminated clothing, patients should be instructed (or assisted if necessary) to immediately shower with soap and water. Potentially harmful practices, such as bathing patients with bleach solutions, are unnecessary and should be avoided” (Pg. 17)
- “Patient clothing should be handled only by personnel wearing appropriate personal protective equipment, and placed in an impervious bag to prevent further environmental contamination.” (Pg. 17)
- “Gloves should be worn when contact with blood or body fluids is anticipated. Gloves should be removed immediately, without touching non-contaminated surfaces, as soon as the patient care task is complete.” (Pg. 17- 18)
- “Facial protection should be worn when performing patient care tasks likely to generate splashing or spraying of blood and body fluids onto the mucous membranes of the face.” (Pg. 18)
- “Disposable fluid-repelling gowns should be worn to protect skin and clothing” (Pg. 18)
- “Hospitals should plan for decontamination operations that will not exceed their capacity, but should also develop a contingency plan for mass decontamination when patient numbers do exceed their capacity.” (Pg 19)
- “Ensure large quantities of water are available for decontamination in order to dilute the agent as much as possible. Direct excess waste water to the sanitary sewer and immediately notify the POTW and/or MS4.” (PG. 21)
Knauss, Tim, “U.N. to Get Bioterror Agent Decontamination Systems” NTI. Dec. 13, 2005.
- “Two $60,000 machines capable of cleansing mail of anthrax and other biological agents were completed”
- “BioDefense said independent tests confirm that the system, which was created after the September 2001 al-Qaeda attacks, is capable of eliminating anthrax, smallpox, ricin, HIV, influenza, botulism and the plague”
Auerswald, David P., “Deterring Nonstate WMD Attacks,” Political Science Quarterly, Volume 121, Number 4, 2006, pg 543-569.
- “For deterrence to work against an individual, a terrorist or crime group, or a nation-state, you must either increase the costs that the entity has to pay, or decrease the benefits they get, should they change their behavior.” * “PSI is both defensive and deterrent in nature.”
- “UNSC Resolution 1540 makes it a global crime to traffic in WMD materials or delivery systems, demands improvements in border controls and internal security over WMD materials, and sets the legal framework for future interdiction and punishment.”
Enemark, Christian, “United States biodefense, international law, and the problem of intent,” Politics and the Life Sciences, July 19, 2006, vol. 24, no. 1-2, p. 32.
- Transparency, Ethics, Policy, Biodefense having paradoxical effect of increasing likelihood of attack, BWC
Editors. “Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act” (National Institutes of Health Reform Act of 2006), Public Law No. 109-417, 42 U.S.C. 201 note, December 19, 2006.
- “An act to amend the Public Health Service Act with respect to public health security and all-hazards preparedness and response, and for other purposes.”
- National Preparedness and Response, Leadership, Organization, and Planning, in regards to public health and medical preparedness and the National Health Security Strategy.
- Public Health Security Preparedness, concerning the improvement of State and local health security, using information technology to improve awareness, and vaccine tracking and distribution.
- National disaster medical system including the enhancement of all-hazards medical surge capacity.
- Pandemic and Biodefense Vaccine and Drug Development. Covers provisions such as the biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, the National Biodefense Science board, and clarifies countermeasures covered in Project BioShield.
Good, Linda, “Addressing Hospital Nurses’ Fear of Abandonment in a Bioterrorism Emergency” Slack Incorporated, December 2007.
- “A study of 212 Pentagon staff members indicated that respondents who were in or near the Pentagon during the September 11, 2001, attack were more likely to have posttraumatic stress disorder and major depression than coworkers who were at other locations” (Pg. 1)
- “Residual post-event effects included fear of returning to the site, sleep disorders, eating problems, grief response, and a new sense of vulnerability in their place of work and community” (Pg. 2)
- “Nurses on night shifts felt less prepared than nurses on day shifts because education and drills were usually scheduled at times they could not attend (O’Boyle et al., 2006). A day shift drill does not simulate after-hours resource issues, including concerns about access to supplies.” (Pg. 2)
- “The stocks of disposable respirators, isolation gowns, and gloves are finite and would deplete quickly. Traditional standard precautions, such as frequent disposal of PPE, may not be possible, yet facilities may lack a contingency plan.” (Pg. 2)
- “Biological attack adds elements of evil intention and activation of deeply rooted fears, resulting in the potential of strong psychological responses (Holloway, Norwood, Fullerton, Engel, & Ursano, 1997). Nurses have reported a lack of attention to their psychosocial needs in past domestic disaster events” (Pg. 3)
- “Nurses anticipate that in the event of a bioterrorism disaster, they would be functioning in a chaotic environment without the presence of hospital administration or a clear chain of command (O’Boyle et al., 2006). Nurses who have actually experienced the chaos of disaster response reinforce the need for the visible, reassuring presence of leadership.” (Pg. 4)
- “The focus group nurses anticipated that many coworkers would fail to report to work or even quit their jobs, rather than place themselves in harm’s way. Besides an unwillingness to report for duty, an inability logistically to get to work may exist in a disaster event (Qureshi, Gershon, Gebbie, Straub, & Moore, 2005). Consequently, the nurses in the study by O’Boyle et al. believed that resulting staff shortages would place even greater pressure on those remaining…… being free to attend to family safety. Qureshi et al. (2005) found this to be the most frequently cited reason for hospital employees being unwilling to report for duty in a disaster.”(Pg. 4)
Judith Reppy, “A biomedicalmilitary–industrialcomplex?” Technovation, 28(2008)802–811 .
- “This paper considers whether the surge in spending and the responses from industry, universities, and individual scientists have created a network of interlocking interests that constitute a new ‘Biomedical Military–Industrial Complex’ (BMIC), similar to the military–industrial complex that Eisenhower warned against in his Farewell Address. Despite the emergence of many practices associated with the military–industrial complex, the tentative conclusion is that the new institutions and practices in the area of biosecurity do not merit the BMIC label, at least not yet.”
Kevin Anderson, “ Vaccines for Biodefense and Emerging and Neglected Diseases,” chap. 3, Pages 33-42, 2009., Viral Biothreat Agents, (Available online 16 January 2009).
- The risk posed by viruses as biological threat agents is discussed primarily from a public health perspective, with the potential occurrence of significant morbidity and mortality as a result of infection via natural or intentional exposure. Parameters of risk associated with the spectrum of viruses considered as biological threat agents are discussed, to include examples of intentional use. In consideration of the threat posed by viruses, mitigating illness and preventing death are the principal goals of medical countermeasure development efforts. The existence of safe and efficacious vaccines is critical to establishing a robust posture of preparedness to address the spectrum of viral threat agents.”
Lee, Jeremy John et al. “Guide for mass prophylaxis of hospital employees
in preparation for a bioterrorist attack,” Am J Health-Syst Pharm—Vol 66 Mar 15, 2009, p. 570.
- “Health-system pharmacists should play an active role in designing and implementing an antibiotic prophylaxis plan for employees for a potential bioterrorist attack.”
- Anti-infective agents; Biological warfare; Disaster planning; Drugs; Guidelines
Sen. Lieberman, Joseph I., “Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Hearing – BUSINESS MEETING (continued from October 28).” Document CONGDP0020091105e5b40004z. 4 November 2009.
- “I quote: ‘DHS expertise can address certain security shortfalls in the current regulatory regime – for example in physical security, personnel screening, and information sharing with state and local law enforcement, responders, and emergency officials…'”
Kuomikakis, Bill, Ho, Jim and Duncan, Scott, “Anthrax Letters: Personal Exposure, Building Contamination, and Effectiveness of Immediate Mitigation Measures,” Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene, 7:2, 71-79. First Published on December 15, 2009.
- “This report is the first detailed and quantitative study of potential mitigation procedures intended to deal with anthrax letters using a simulated anthrax letter release within an actual office building.”
- “Several scenarios were devised to examine the effects of personnel movement on these characteristics as well as determining the effects of some potential mitigation techniques and published response guidelines for anthrax letters.”
- “Following each trial, all samplers as well as the table and chair at the release point were cleaned with 10% household bleach solution. At the completion of each scenario, extensive decontamination was performed.”
- “Opening a spore-containing letter at the release point resulted in a rapid increase in the spore aerosol concentration in less that 1 min after beginning to open the letter.”
- “The strategies tested in this study all proved to be ineffective, clearly demonstrating the extreme difficulties posed in attempting to respond to anthrax letter incidents.”
- “The rapid spread of spores outside the office where the letter was opened would make it difficult to devise a practical quick response protocol to prevent the spread.”
- “Based on this work we believe that existing response guidelines should be reassessed to provide a scientific basis on whether the procedures achieve the intended mitigation.”
Rees, Nick, “U.S. Postal Service to be in charge of drug delivery in the event of a bioattack,” BioPrepWatch http://www.bioprepwatch.com/news/211476-us-postal-service-to-be-in-charge-of-drug-delivery-in-the-event-of-a-bioattack December 31, 2009.
- “Following an executive order released Wednesday, the U.S. Postal Service will be put in charge of delivering drugs and other medical aid to Americans in the event of a large-scale biological weapon attack.”
- “President Obama’s order states that the postal service will be in charge of dispensing “medical countermeasures” for biological weapons in the event of an attack because of its ability to deliver to U.S. citizens rapidly.”
- “Federal agencies are required to develop a response plan within 180 days including possible law enforcement escorts for postal service workers under the order, which cites anthrax as a primary threat consideration. The order would see local law enforcement supplemented by local federal law enforcement officers.”
Matishak, Martin, “Budget Strips More Than $600 Million From Bioshield Program” 8 January 2010, NTI http://www.globalsecuritynewswire.org/gsn/nw_20100108_2084.php Last Checked 3 May 2011.
- “Roughly $609 million was shifted in this fiscal year from the Project Bioshield Special Reserve Fund.”
- “The Bioshield fund will now have roughly $2.4 billion available through fiscal 2013 to ‘procure and stockpile emergency countermeasures.’”
- “Project Bioshield was intended to receive about $5.6 billion over 10 years to purchase medicines designed to protect U.S. citizens from the effects of a WMD attack.”
- “The program ostensibly provided biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies with assurances that the federal government would purchase successful countermeasures against bioterrorism and other WMD agents.”
- “Its largest project, an $877.5 million program for production of a new anthrax vaccine, was canceled in 2006…. followed in 2007 by the suspension of an effort to produce a drug for radiation exposure.”
- “The effort to date has purchased about $2 billion worth of countermeasures for the U.S. Strategic National Stockpile.”
- “Congress also has decreased the amount available in the Bioshield account. In fiscal 2004 and 2005 lawmakers removed a total of $25 million and in 2009 they transferred $412 million to other programs.”
- “House lawmakers, in their version of the fiscal 2010 spending legislation, suggested transferring $500 million to the infectious diseases institute, saying the Bioshield program has “encountered great difficulty in procuring medical countermeasures.’”
- “The move marks the first time an administration specifically requested money to be withdrawn from the Bioshield account.”
- “Using Bioshield funds for flu preparedness and other issues not associated with national security will severely diminish the nation’s efforts to prepare for WMD events and will the nation less, not more, prepared.”
- “In June, it sent a letter to Obama urging the administration not to make Bioshield funds available for the development of the H1N1 influenza vaccine.”
- “The Bioshield program is intended to provide a market incentive for the advanced development and production of needed biodefense medical countermeasures.”
Jacobson, Holly “Training Needs of Nurses in Rural Texas” Public Health Nursing, February 2010.
- “Federal funding for domestic biodefense increased from US$576 million in 2001 to an estimated US$5,415million in 2008, a 10-fold increase (Franco, 2008). This increase in funding has been instrumental in strengthening the preparedness infrastructure across a variety of federal, state, and local agencies.” (Pg. 1)
- “However, it still remains the responsibility of state and local health departments to create emergency plans that are specific to and reflect the unique characteristics of their communities” (Pg. 1)
- “Research suggests that nurses play an integral role in the early detection and timely management of biological agents” (Pg. 2)
- “response training is particularly notable in rural areas, which have unique organizational and geographic features demanding different approaches to bioterrorism preparedness training and response efforts.” (Pg. 2)
- “Also consistent with previous findings, nurses represented in this study have had very limited prior participation in emergency and bioterrorism preparedness and response. Considering the national interest in emergency preparedness, this result suggests that current training strategies may need to be revised.” (Pg. 5)
PharmAthene, Inc. “Data Show Valortim(R) Anthrax Anti-Toxin May Augment Immune System’s Ability to Destroy Anthrax Bacteria,” http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/data-show-valortimr-anthrax-anti-toxin-may-augment-immune-systems-ability-to-destroy-anthrax-bacteria-85189772.html, PR Newswire, February 24, 2010.
- “Valortim® is a fully human anti-toxin monoclonal antibody being developed for the prevention and treatment of inhalational anthrax. Preclinical studies suggest that Valortim® has the potential to provide protection against anthrax infection when administered prophylactically (prior to the emergence of symptoms of anthrax infection) and also may increase survival when administered therapeutically (once symptoms become evident).”
- “Valortim® appears to augment the immune system’s ability to kill anthrax bacilli by enhancing the human dendritic cell response to a challenge with anthrax spores.”
- “Studies indicate that it may also assist in enhancing the adaptive immune response to anthrax, which may lead to a reduction and clearance of the bacteria in the host organism.”
Bouri, Nidhi & Franco, Crystal, “Environmental Decontamination Following a Large-Scale Bioterrorism Attack: Federal Progress and Remaining Gaps,” Biosecurity and Bioterrorism: Biodefense Strategy, Practice, and Science, Volume 8, Number 2, 2010. April 7, 2010.
- “The process of environmental decontamination is a key step in a successful response to a large-scale attack involving a biological agent. Costs for the decontamination response following the 2001 anthrax attacks were estimated in the hundreds of millions of dollars, and some facilities could not be reopened for more than 2 years.”
- “However, a large-scale biological attack would likely result in an even greater amount of contamination, more areas that need to be cleaned and made safe, and a much greater cost to the American public.”
- “The Select Biological Agents (biological organisms of particular concern) can be categorized along a continuum of decontamination difficulty, ranging from not problematic to very problematic, with a range of difficulty in between. Factors influencing the difficulty of decontamination for a particular agent following a biological attack would include both the natural stability of the agent in the environment and added man-made stability through weaponization.”
- “Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax, is considered to be the most problematic agent of concern. Anthrax is both a threat to human health and extremely hardy in the environment. Thus, anthrax requires extensive environmental decontamination following a release.”
- “The main purpose of this analysis is to identify the gaps in decontamination policy and technical practice at the federal level, including safety standards, that must be addressed in order to facilitate a successful response to a large-scale attack involving a biological agent.”
- “The U.S. intelligence community, including the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), the Department of State, the National Intelligence Council, and the Defense Science Board, has assessed the threat of an attack on the U.S. using biological weapons, and they have determined that the threat of a biological attack on the U.S. is current and real.14 Yet, as noted by the Com- mission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation and Terrorism (the Commission) in their World at Risk report released in December 2008, the U.S. remains vulnerable and unprepared to deal with such an attack.”
- “Decontamination is the process of removing or inactivating a hazardous substance (in this case, a biological agent) from contaminated environments or surfaces, including skin, clothing, buildings, air, and water, in order to prevent adverse health events from occurring. Remediation fol- lowing an attack with a biological weapon will involve a number of different phases of response, including: Sampling, Testing, and Analysis; Containment and Mitigation; Decontamination, Confirmatory Sampling, and Testing”
- “Although efforts are underway and advancements have been made in the field of biological agent decontamination, there are a number of high-level policy and scientific questions that have not yet been resolved. These gaps will be major stumbling blocks to a successful decontamination response following a large bioterrorism attack. Gaps include challenges in leadership, research coordination, funding, and decontamination response.”
- “Numerous federal agencies have responsibility for portions of the decontamination response to a bioterrorism attack. Yet, federal plans do not sufficiently delineate decontamination leadership roles and responsibilities.”
- “Currently, the U.S. lacks a coordinated and sustained federal research program in biological decontamination.”
- “The federal government does not have the human resources to carry out a decontamination response on its own, even for a small biological event.”
- “The nation must be ready to effectively and efficiently respond to and recover from a large-scale bioterrorism attack, and the federal government must take steps now to ensure that the U.S. has the technical and operational capabilities necessary to re- cover after an attack.”
- “The DOD Chemical and Biological Defense Program (CBDP) strives to develop capabilities for decontamination research and response ‘‘that enable the quick restoration of combat power, maintain/recover essential functions that are free from the effects of CBRN hazards, and facilitate the return to pre-incident operational capability””(Pg. 3)
- “Investment now in biological decontamination research to improve technologies and methods has the potential to save the country tens of billions of dollars in clean-up costs for the next event” (Pg. 5)
- “The risks of secondary aerosolization are important to understand, because they will greatly affect decontamination methods and standards, as well as policy decisions surrounding evacuation, transportation, and population movement” (Pg. 6)
- “The federal government does not have the human resources to carry out a decontamination response on its own, even for a small biological event” (Pg. 7)
Matishak, Martin, “House Lawmakers Look to Strengthen Security at U.S. Biolabs“, 11 June 2010, Global Security Newswire, http://gsn.nti.org/gsn/nw_20100611_4895.php, Last Checked 7 October 2010
- “Members of the U.S. House Homeland Security Committee yesterday unveiled their version of legislation aimed at overhauling security at the country’s biological research facilities and enhancing federal efforts against the threat posed by weapons of mass destruction.”
- “That panel concluded that an attack involving a weapon of destruction is likely to occur somewhere in the world by 2013 in the absence of significant security improvement. It further determined a biological strike was more likely to occur than a nuclear or chemical attack because of the prevalence of deadly pathogens and other disease materials around the globe.”
- “‘Our legislation concerns all weapons of mass destruction threats but will give special emphasis to the emerging threat of biological weapons,’ Representative Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.), one of the bill’s co-sponsors, said during a press conference on Capitol Hill. He said the proposal ‘offers an extensive blueprint to address the greatest catastrophic risk we face.’”
- “Pascrell said panel members had consulted with scientists from U.S. laboratories as well as others in the biodefense field and concluded that the Agriculture and Health and Human Services departments are the best equipped to perform inspections and evaluations of disease research facilities.”
- “The Homeland Security Secretary would be charged with producing biennial ‘bioterrorism risk assessments’ that identify and assess evolving biological risks to the country.”
- “The National Intelligence Director would receive the authority to coordinate with other federal offices to develop and implement strategies for countering biological and other WMD threats and expand efforts to create a ‘national cadre’ of experts to support biodefense efforts.”
- “The Health and Human Services Department would be required to develop and implement a national strategy for distributing medical countermeasures in the event of a WMD crisis.”
- “The Secretary of State must work to address biosecurity in international forums such as the United Nations, the World Health Organization and the Biological Weapons Convention. Specifically, officials should support sharing of information among nations regarding biological attacks and events with major health consequences.”
Dilanian, Ken, “Senators deplore cuts in bioterrorism funds; A bipartisan group of 17 calls a drug-vaccine program vital to security,” Los Angeles Times, MAIN NEWS; National Desk; Part A; Pg. 18, July 23, 2010.
- “A bipartisan group of 17 senators has signed a letter denouncing an effort to cut billions in funds for drugs and vaccines intended to thwart bioterrorism.”
- “At issue is a House budget bill that would cut up to $2 billion from the Project BioShield special reserve fund to buy drugs and vaccines in the event of a biological attack. The funds were set aside as a guarantee to private companies that if they produced the medicines, government money would be available to buy them.”
- “Senator Joe Lieberman: “The catastrophic events of September 11th and the anthrax attacks that followed demonstrated that our government was ill prepared to deal with the kinds of terrorist attacks we may well face in the future,” “We still have no modern vaccine for anthrax and no countermeasures for dozens of other potential bioterror pathogens. The BioShield Program was meant to address these serious security shortcomings.”
- “Bioterrorism experts have called the cut an example of how the Obama White House is failing to thoroughly address the threat of a biological attack, which they say could kill 400,000 Americans and do $2 trillion in economic damage.”
- “White House spokesman Nick Shapiro said the government had been dissatisfied with Project BioShield and was redesigning a system creating incentives for private drug companies to produce drugs and vaccines faster.”
Editors, “Senators Oppose Looming Bioshield Funding Cuts” 23 July 2010, Global Security Newswire http://gsn.nti.org/gsn/nw_20100723_7284.php Last Checked 20 February 2011.
- “Three U.S. senators this week led the charge against a move to cut as much as $2 billion from the coffers of a program intended to promote development of countermeasures to biological agents and other WMD materials.”
- “Legislation passed July 1 in the House of Representatives would reallocate money from the Project Bioshield Special Reserve Fund or separate pandemic flu preparedness funding to pay for education assistance to states.”
- “To date Project Bioshield has reportedly bought about $2 billion worth of countermeasures for the U.S. Strategic National Stockpile.”
- “It has also already been stripped of hundreds of millions of dollars and has experienced some high-profile failures, including the cancellation of a contract for a new anthrax vaccine.”
- “Furthermore, the casualty potential of a biological attack is far greater than any terrorist attack we have seen to date. Yet, we still have no modern vaccine for anthrax and no countermeasures for dozens of other potential bioterror pathogens.”
- “The Project Bioshield rescission included in the House amendment, or any similar future rescission, would devastate the Bioshield program by cutting a majority of the program’s remaining funding, which is intended for the procurement of new vaccines and countermeasures.”
- “The Obama administration is preparing a method to better promote private production of vaccines and other countermeasures.”
- “‘Bioshield has demonstrated limited success in providing incentives for private-sector developers and has not provided a robust pipeline of medical countermeasures.”
Grossman, Elaine, “Pentagon Pulls $1B from WMD-Defense Efforts to Fund Flu Vaccine Initiative,” August 27, 2010, Global Security Newswire. http://gsn.nti.org/siteservices/print_friendly.php?ID=nw_20100827_5297 Last checked September 2, 2010.
- “The U.S. Defense Department has shifted more than $1 billion out of its nuclear, biological and chemical defense programs to underwrite a new White House priority on vaccine development and production to combat disease pandemics, according to government and industry officials.”
- “The planned funding reduction ‘terminates essential CBRN [chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear] defense programs … required to meet high priority service needs, prevent casualties and protect against CBRN incidents,’ according to a Pentagon budget document drafted in early August.”
- “Amoretta Hoeber, a defense consultant and chair emeritus of the NBC Industry Group, said in an interview this week, ‘that if the funding reductions result in shutting down production lines for any highly specialized WMD defense items, it is unclear how quickly the industry could reconstitute its manufacturing capability in the event that a new threat emerged.’”
- “President Barack Obama noted the initiative in his Jan. 27 State of the Union address, saying it would ‘give us the capacity to respond faster and more effectively to bioterrorism or an infectious disease — a plan that will counter threats at home and strengthen public health abroad.’”
- “The new initiative includes both Health and Human Services (HHS) and Pentagon plans for constructing ‘Centers for Innovation in Advanced Development and Manufacturing,’ to help small biotechnology companies innovate new vaccines and field them more rapidly. The modern facilities would also be capable of large-scale production of vaccine stocks during a public health emergency involving ‘emerging infectious diseases or unknown threats, including pandemic influenza,’ the HHS report states.”
- “Meanwhile, the Pentagon is left with deep budget cuts in a number of its WMD-defense efforts, and it remains unclear whether funds to backfill those project accounts will be identified, even after the fiscal 2012 budget request is delivered to Congress.”
Emergent BioSolutions Inc. “Emergent BioSolutions Awarded NIAID Contract That Increases Potential Funding to Over $58 Million for Advanced Development of Third Generation Anthrax Vaccine,” http://www.marketwatch.com/story/emergent-biosolutions-awarded-niaid-contract-that-increases-potential-funding-to-over-58-million-for-advanced-development-of-third-generation-anthrax-vaccine-2010-09-01?reflink=MW_news_stmp, press release, BUSINESS WIRE, September 1, 2010.
- “Emergent BioSolutions Inc. announced today that it has signed a contract valued at up to $28.7 million with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), an institute within the National Institutes of Health (NIH), for advanced development of the company’s third generation anthrax vaccine candidate.”
- “This product candidate, one of two third generation vaccines being developed as part of Emergent’s anthrax franchise, consists of BioThrax(R) (Anthrax Vaccine Adsorbed) in combination with a novel immunostimulatory compound, CPG 7909 (VaxImmune(TM)). “
- “Daniel J. Abdun-Nabi, president and chief operating officer of Emergent BioSolutions said ‘We believe our vaccine candidate addresses key criteria established by the government for a third generation anthrax vaccine. If successfully developed, we believe this product would strengthen the government’s portfolio of biodefense medical countermeasures.’”
- “The Phase II clinical trial is anticipated to begin in the first quarter of 2012, with preliminary data expected to be available in the second half of 2012.”
Bigongiari, Jeffrey, “Multiple bioagent vaccines in the pipeline,” Bioprepwatch, NEWS, September 13 2010, http://www.bioprepwatch.com/news/215388-multiple-bioagent-vaccines-in-the-pipeline Last Checked September 23 2010.
- “Scientists in the United States are working on a number of vaccines intended to lessen the threat posed by agents of bioterrorism.”
- “There are currently ten separate treatments in development by biopharmaceutical companies to treat the devastating disease anthrax, according to BusinessWire.”
- “Increasingly, attention is being paid to bioterror agents and “super bugs” that are resistant to known treatments. In the United States alone, 2 million drug-resistant infections are reported every year, costing a total of $34 billion annually, according to the Infectious Disease Society.”
Troy, Tevi, “Obama’s biological countermeasures,” September 5, 2010, Politico, News, Opinion Contributor http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0910/41761.html Last Checked September 15, 2010.
- “President Barack Obama announced in his State of the Union address ‘a new initiative that will give us the capacity to respond faster and more effectively to bioterrorism or an infectious disease — a plan that will counter threats at home and strengthen public health abroad.’ Eight months later, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has come out with a report launching the initiative. It does not just call for additional spending, as most federal initiatives seem to do, but for a reconsideration of our life science development process, with a specific call for clearing up bottlenecks that hold up new countermeasures to combat a host of biological threats.”
- “‘The review repeatedly revealed that aspects of the current regulatory framework and unmet need for regulatory science present both perceived and real barriers for developers seeking to enter the MCM arena.’”
- “To address this, according to the accompanying HHS press release, ‘HHS will make a significant investment to provide FDA scientists with the resources to develop faster ways to analyze promising new discoveries and give innovators a clear regulatory pathway to bring their products to market.’”
- “There is little doubt that bureaucratic hiccups and ‘bottlenecks,’ as the report calls them, make the development process for new medical products — including drugs, vaccines, biologics and devices — longer than it needs to be. It takes about 10 years and $1 billion to bring a new pharmaceutical product to market, making such an investment only available to large or well-funded entities.”
Matishak, Martin, “Biodefense System Overhaul Was Necessary, HHS Secretary Says” Global Security Newswire, 27 September 2010, http://gsn.nti.org/gsn/nw_20100927_8250.php Last Checked 28 September 2010
- “A planned $1.9 billion revamp of the nation’s medical countermeasure enterprise was overdue as government scientists were using decades old technology to confront new and emerging biological threats.”
- “Countermeasures are typically defined as drugs and vaccines that ward against chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear agents and emerging infectious diseases.”
- “Successful countermeasure development also has proven difficult because the private sector saw little financial benefit in producing biodefense medicines and vaccines for the government, according to Sebelius. The development process can be costly and there is little if any market for such products outside the public sector.”
- “Of the initial $1.9 billion investment, $822 million would be spent on initiatives designed to decrease the amount of time the government needed to make pandemic flu vaccines, while the Food and Drug Administration would receive roughly $170 to enhance its regulatory efforts.”
- “Another $678 million would go toward setting up one or more nonprofit organizations that could provide financial support to small firms working on new treatments, as well as provide the companies with new production systems and manufacturing of vaccines for times of high demand.”
- “Sebelius said the ultimate goal of the revamp was a ‘nimble, flexible capacity to produce medical countermeasures rapidly in the face of any attack or threat’ including a naturally occurring, yet previously unrecognized, infectious disease.”
Bigongiari, Jeffery, “Emergent BioSolutions, Inc.’s inhalational anthrax treatment receives Fast Track status,” Bioprepwatch, NEWS, October 4, 2010, http://www.bioprepwatch.com/news/216615-emergent-biosolutions-incs-inhalational-anthrax-treatment-receives-fast-track-status. Last Checked October 6, 2010.
- “Emergent BioSolutions, Inc., announced on October 1 that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has granted Fast Track Designation for its anthrax monoclonal antibody development program investigating AVP-21D9 for the treatment of inhalation anthrax.”
- “AVP-21D9 recently began a Phase I clinical trial, which involves 50 volunteers. It is a fully human monoclonal antibody candidate that is billed as a parenteral post-exposure therapeutic.”
- “The FDA’s Fast Track Designation is intended to provide for the expedited review of therapeutics that demonstrate a potential to solve currently unmet medical needs. Under Fast Track Designation guidelines, Emergent BioSolutions, Inc., can receive expedited regulatory treatment that includes frequent meetings and written correspondence with FDA officials, priority review of its Biological License Applications and the ability to submit its BLA on a rolling basis.”
Lemyre, Louise, et. al., “Psychosocial Considerations for Mass Decontamination,” Journal, Radiation Protection Dosimetry, pp. 1-7, October 5, 2010.
- “Mass exposure to explosions, infectious agents, foodborne illnesses, chemicals or radiological materials may require mass decontamination that have critical psychosocial implications the public and for both traditional and non-traditional responders in terms of impact and of response.”
- “In this paper, a common platform for mass casualty management is explored and suggestions for mass interventions are proposed across the complete event timeline, from pre-event threat and warning stages through to the impact and reconstruction phases. Implication for responders, healthcare and emergency infrastructure, public behavior, screening processes, risk communication and media management are described.”
- “Mass decontamination involving large cohorts of the general public remains a gap in preparedness.”
- “This paper will present psychosocial considerations for a generic platform, followed by a discussion of six main psychosocial issues are are common to mass decontamination events: (i) perception, (ii) somatisation, (iii) media role and communication, (iv) information sharing, (v) behavioural guidance and (vi) organisational issues.”
Editors, “NIH Funds Advanced Development of Three Biodefense Vaccines: Research to Focus on Improving Delivery of Dengue and Anthrax Vaccines,” National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), NIH News, http://www.niaid.nih.gov/news/newsreleases/2010/Pages/biodefenseVax.aspx, October 7, 2010.
- “The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, today announced three new contracts to fund research on vaccines to protect against emerging infectious diseases and biological threats that could be used in a terror attack. Each project focuses on simple and efficient vaccine delivery approaches that could be deployed quickly. The total funding for the three contracts could reach $68 million, depending on the successful completion of defined project milestones.”
- “The three studies will focus on a dengue vaccine delivered by a needle-free device, an anthrax vaccine delivered orally and an anthrax vaccine delivered in conjunction with an adjuvant—a compound that stimulates the immune system.”
- “PaxVax Inc. of San Diego will develop and test two formulations of an anthrax vaccine. Both formulations contain a gene known as rPA, which codes for a protein that protected animals from anthrax in previous studies. The gene will be inserted into a carrier virus or vector called adenovirus 4 and the vaccine delivered orally via a capsule.”
- “Pending review and approval of the Investigational New Drug Application by the Food and Drug Administration, a Phase 1 clinical trial will be conducted to select one of the two formulations for further development. NIAID has made an initial award of $3.8 million to PaxVax. If milestones are met, the total award could amount to $23.8 million over the next nine years.”
Purlain, Ted, “Experts discover how anthrax toxins disrupt cell mechanisms,” bioprepwatch, http://www.bioprepwatch.com/news/217493-experts-discover-how-anthrax-toxins-disrupt-cell-mechanisms, Last checked October 20, 2010. October 14, 2010.
- “Two groups of anthrax experts at the University of California San Diego recently discovered how two separate toxins from anthrax bacteria function to disrupt critical cell mechanisms during infection.”
- “One group examined anthrax in mice and human cells, while the other looked at how the deadly bioterrorism agent functioned in fruit flies. Together, they showed that the toxins worked in conjunction to stop the final step in a process that allows cells to communicate and adhere to one another through the transportation of certain molecules.”
- “The UCSD researchers’ report, published in the October 14 issue of the journal Nature, concludes that by interfering with the sites of cell to cell communication, anthrax stops the flow of molecular components critical to cell functioning, leading to the failure of critical blood vessels. During the final stages of infection, this is what usually kills victims.”
- “The information the two teams found during their study is becoming increasingly important as scientist try to find better ways to protect large numbers of people from bioterrorist threats.”
Guichard, Annabell, et.al., “Anthrax toxins cooperatively inhibit endocytic recycling by the Rab11/Sec15 exocyst,” Nature, Magazine, Volume 467, pg. 854-859, October 14, 2010.
- “Whereas host targets of LF (mitogen-activated protein-kinase kinases) and EF (cAMP-dependent processes)3 have been impli- cated in the initial phase of anthrax1,2, less is understood about toxin action during the final stage of infection. Here we use Drosophila melanogaster to identify the Rab11/Sec15 exocyst, which acts at the last step of endocytic recycling, as a novel target of both EF and LF.”
- “B. anthracis, the aetiological agent of anthrax, secretes three factors that are required for systemic virulence1–3: the toxic enzymatic moieties LF and EF, and protective antigen (PA), which promotes entry of LF and EF into host cells.”
- “It has been speculated that additional host targets may con- tribute to mediating the lethal effects of anthrax toxins7 and inter- actions between the two toxins remain poorly understood.”
- “In summary, LF and EF toxins interact synergistically in Drosophila to block Rab11/Sec15-dependent endocytic recycling, resulting in reduced Notch signalling and cadherin-dependent adhesion at the adherens junction, and these toxins produce very similar effects in mammalian cells.”
- “The reduction in Dl/Notch levels in response to anthrax toxin treatment requires further analysis with respect to potential consequences.”
Goodchild J., “DHS simulates terror attack in subway systems” CSO, October 18, 2010, http://www.csoonline.com/article/626322/dhs-simulates-terror-attack-in-subway-systems?page=1 12 Last accessed October 21, 2010.
- “As part of an effort to enhance emergency response and security in the country’s transportation systems, DHS officials have been conducting a scientific study of airflow throughout the underground portion of the subway in both Boston and Washington.”
- “While Washington D.C. has the newest subway system in America, Boston’s MBTA subway system is the oldest of its kind in the country (Related: MBTA flaw disclosure: The students speak up). Inside the “T,” as it is known to locals, a scientific team placed equipment – electronic monitoring devices used to gather data on the behavior of airborne contaminants if they were to be released into the subway.”
- “To collect data on the behavior of airborne contaminants, the scientists released two types of innocuous tracer gases; sulfur hexafluoride and perfluoro-carbon. Both are stable, colorless, odorless, non-combustible gases that have been used extensively and safely as atmospheric tracers since the 1960s. The tracer gases cause no health risk or damage to materials and were released at low concentrations, according to DHS officials. However, the materials move like any chemical agent, and can give scientists a sampling of just how quickly an airborne contaminant can travel in a subway.”
- “Once an aerosol is released into the air, it takes awhile for it to settle,” explained researcher David Silcott, general manager of IBX Biodefense.”Once a train comes along, it pushes it down further into the system.”
- “The results will help MBTA authorities develop a plan to quickly detect an attack and shut down subways to limit the spread of contaminants. While the test is primarily to gauge behavior of chemical or biological agents, the study will also help researchers understand airflow characteristics for smoke or unintentional spills of chemicals or fuels, said Lustig. The results can help MBTA officials develop evacuation, ventilation, and other incident response strategies, too, she said.”
Editors, “Scientists closer to a safer anthrax vaccine” Homeland Security Newswire September 4, 2010 http://homelandsecuritynewswire.com/scientists-closer-safer-anthrax-vaccine Last accessed October 21, 2010.
- “Researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University have identified two small protein fragments that could be developed into an anthrax vaccine that may cause fewer side effects than the current vaccine.”
- “The current anthrax vaccine is intended mainly for members of the armed forces serving in areas considered high risk and for individuals involved in homeland biosecurity.”
- “While this 40-year-old vaccine can prevent disease, it has significant drawbacks. Immunity is temporary, and five injections over the course of eighteen months are needed to sustain it. One in five vaccine recipients develop redness, swelling or pain at the injection site, and a small number develop severe allergic reactions.”
- “The researchers injected the current vaccine into mice and recovered six different “pure” strains of antibodies known as monoclonal antibodies. They then mixed each type of antibody with the 145 peptides formed by chopping up the vaccine protein. The researchers looked for peptides that were “recognized by” (became bound to) an antibody – an indication that those particular peptides might themselves be able to stimulate the production of protective antibodies on their own.”
- “Ultimately, the researchers found that two of the 145 peptides fit the bill: Each peptide elicited antibodies when injected into mice, and these antibodies protected macrophages from death that would normally have occurred when the macrophages were exposed to anthrax toxin (macrophages are protective white blood cells involved in the body’s immune response to foreign invaders). The next step in the Einstein research will be to inject the peptides into an animal model to see if the peptides can protect against anthrax infection.”
Editors, “Sea floor organisms offer response to bioterrorism” Homeland Security Newswire October 7, 2010 http://homelandsecuritynewswire.com/sea-floor-organisms-offer-response-bioterrorism Last accessed October 21, 2010.
- “The U.S. Defense Threat Reduction Agency recently signed a $29.5 million contract with San Diego-based Trius Therapeutics and the Scripps Institute of Oceanography to search for new antibiotics at the bottom of the ocean that could be used to fight bioterrorism.”
- “Ted Purlain, citing a SignOnSanDiego.com report, writes that over the next four years, the two organizations expect to find treatments for the bubonic plague, Yersinia pestis, and other bacterial infections that could be utilized by terror groups for an attack on the United States.”
- “Researchers at the Scripps Institute for Oceanography have spent much of the last fifteen years scouring the seas for useful microorganisms and have built a library of more than 15,000 strains of bacteria, yeast and fungi that are kept on ice at their laboratories.”
- “Trius will use its Focused Antisense Screening Technology to evaluate dozens of potential treatment candidates every week. The process will measure how effectively a molecule can act against specific proteins that are known to be critical in the functions of specific pathogens.”
- “The scientists hope to find bacteria that precisely target a pathogen’s means of attack. If they are too toxic, they can cause unwanted side effects.“It’s quite easy to find compounds that are generally toxic,” Stein told SignOnSanDiego.com. “The challenge is detecting which ones of those are inhibiting the cell because they are highly specific and potent.””
- “The military has recently increased its efforts to find new treatments for the effects of biological weapons as more infections have become drug resistant and the pipeline for new antibiotics has begun to dry up.”
- “Currently, there are two compounds undergoing Phase II clinical trials that were found at the bottom of the ocean floor.”
Feals, Jennifer, “NH Air National Guard holds training drill for anthrax exposure,” Seacoastonline.com, NEWS, November 07, 2010.
- “Annual flu shots helped approximately 1,000 Air National Guard members prepare for a large-scale outbreak Saturday. During the four-hour disaster drill simulated to represent the inhalation of anthrax, Guard members practiced disaster response and the role the group would play as a first responder.”
- “A Point of Dispensing (POD) operations unit was set up Saturday on the grounds of the N.H. Air National Guard’s Pease base as members were processed through what would be a mass vaccination dispensing scenario, during which approximately 800 members actually received yearly flu vaccinations.”
- “The exercise, involving the N.H. National Guard and eight of the state’s 15 Public Health Regions, was designed to test the state’s Strategic National Stockpile, Cities Readiness Initiative, Multi-Agency Coordinating Entity and Point of Dispensing plans. A similar response plan could be applied to a national disaster or terrorist attack.”
- “During an actual emergency, medication, supplies and equipment would be shipped from the Strategic National Stockpile to local responders and hospitals. The stockpile was last used during Hurricane Katrina and portions of the nation during the H1N1 outbreak. Three Point of Dispensing Units would be established throughout the state, in the Seacoast as well as northern and central New Hampshire.”
Editors, “Lugar Touts U.S. Effort to Safeguard Disease Materials,” NTI, Global Security Newswire, November 9, 2010.
- “U.S. Senator Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) described in an address yesterday how the nation’s Cooperative Threat Reduction program was seeking to secure potential biological-weapon ingredients beyond the former Soviet Union.”
- “he Nunn-Lugar program has already helped to shutter biological weapons capabilities in one-time Soviet states, but deadly biological agents including Ebola, Marburg and anthrax remained largely unprotected at research facilities in Africa. Lugar is set to travel with Defense Department experts to examine scientific facilities in Burundi, Kenya and Uganda.”
- “‘The footprint of weapons-producing laboratories and the size of today’s strategic weapons grow smaller every day,” he said. “A delivery system may be as mundane as a commercial cargo carrier. In the case of infectious pathogens, the delivery system could be an individual human being.’”
- “As we look to the future of the Nunn-Lugar program, biological threat reduction is an area that is rapidly increasing in importance. The work of securing dangerous pathogens, building central reference laboratories and establishing disease surveillance and monitoring is critically needed in many parts of the world.”
- “Nunn-Lugar biological engagement directly serves vital U.S. interests, including safeguarding the welfare of our troops overseas, preventing terrorist use of deadly pathogens, and detecting emerging infectious diseases and pandemics before they threaten the American people.”
Kron, Josh, “Uganda Seen as a Front Line in Bioterrorism.” NYT A8, November 11, 2010.
- Uganda Virus Research Institute
- “need to tighten the security of vulnerable public health laboratories in East Africa” – Andrew C. Weber, Asst. to Secretary of Defense for Nuclear and Chemical and Biological Defense Programs.
- “preventing terrorist acquisition of dangerous pathogens, the seed material for biological bioweapons, is a security imperative.”
- Shabab insurgent group – “attention on East Africa as a frontier in American security interests.”
- warm, wet environment fuels biothreats of anthrax, marburg, and ebola.
- anthrax- killed hundred of hippos in recent years
- marburg- tourist died after contracting disease at a natl park
- ebola- outbreak 2007- killed over 20 people
- relaxed security and poor funding/financing creates a security risk.
Pittman, Elaine, “Letter Carriers Add Bioterror Response to the Postal Service,” Emergencymgmt.com, Health, November 16, 2010. http://www.emergencymgmt.com/health/Letter-Carriers-Add-Bioterror-Response-to-the-Postal-Service.html. Last Checked November 22, 2010.
- “United States using weaponized anthrax — although considered a low- probability event — would have a high impact on the affected communities. If left
untreated, the death rate for those who inhale anthrax is more than 99 percent, according to the Military Vaccine Agency.”
- “The good news is that oral medications can be used to treat people who have been exposed; however, the medication must be administered within 48 hours of infection. A bioterrorist attack would likely take place in a large, metropolitan area, and depending on wind speed and direction, the spores could travel hundreds of miles.”
- “In response, state and local health departments are prepared to set up mass dispensing sites to distribute medication from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Strategic National Stockpile to people who may have been infected. But the federal government sought additional methods to dispense the medical countermeasures, and in its planning found a partner in a program that visits nearly all U.S. residences Monday through Saturday — the U.S. Postal Service (USPS).”
- “The postal plan was identified as a viable delivery method following an anthrax attack, because postal workers would be doing their everyday job, but with a different material.”
- “Although some people will receive the pills through the mail service, affected individuals will need to visit a dispensing site at some point. Each household will initially receive 20 pills, Ferguson said, but individuals exposed to anthrax must take the medication for 60 days.”
Pflanz M., “US sends team to East Africa to crack down on ‘germ terrorism’ threat” The Telegraph, November 9, 2010. Last accessed December 21, 2010 http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/kenya/8120232/US-sends-team-to-East-Africa-to-crack-down-on-germ-terrorism-threat.html
- “A team of Pentagon arms control experts is being sent to East Africa to warn of growing threats that al-Qaeda could make biological weapons with deadly germs stolen from insecure laboratories.”
- “The panel, including Kenneth Myers, the director of the Pentagon’s Threat Reduction Agency, will inspect facilities in Kenya and Uganda where some of the world’s most infectious diseases are stored and studied.”
- “Defense analysts are increasingly concerned that the laboratories’ security is too weak to withstand the increasing threat from regional terror groups, including al-Qaeda, who are hunting for ingredients for biological weapons.”
- “Research laboratories in Africa often lack basic security systems and diseases kept to be studied can be poorly stored and catalogued, meaning thefts would be almost impossible to detect or quantify.”
- “A number of African nations with active terrorist cells have unsecured facilities that are tracking and sometimes handling some of the deadliest pathogens on Earth, including Ebola, Marburg, Rift Valley Fever and plague.”