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Biosafety Wiki: This site is designed to help you assess the biosafety risk associated with working with biological agents primarily in the laboratory environment.


Adamo, Beth,Evacuating Your Home During a Terrorist Attack“, Safety. 2000.

  1. “If the order to evacuate is given, you should do so immediately and carefully follow the directions given by local authorities. If a local shelter has been established, go there.” *“Wherever you’ve decided to go, the best way to get there is by car.”
  2. “Be prepared for any emergency by assembling an emergency supplies kit.”

Public Health, Emergency Response, Biosafety, Bioterrorism


Shapiro, Daniel, S., & Schwartz, Donald, R., “Exposure of laboratory workers to Francisella tularensis despite a bioterrorism procedureJ. of Clinical Microbiology, June 2002, pp. 2278-2281. PubMed last checked 12/12/11

  1. ”A rapidly fatal case of pulmonary tularemia in a 43-year-old man who was transferred to a tertiary care facility is presented. The microbiology laboratory and autopsy services were not notified of the clinical suspicion of tularemia by the service caring for the patient. Despite having a laboratory bioterrorism procedure in place and adhering to established laboratory protocol, 12 microbiology laboratory employees were exposed to Francisella tularensis and the identification of the organism was delayed due to lack of notification of the laboratory of the clinical suspicion of tularemia. A total of 11 microbiology employees and two persons involved in performing the patient’s autopsy received prophylactic doxycycline due to concerns of transmission. None of them developed signs or symptoms of tularemia. One microbiology laboratory employee was pregnant and declined prophylactic antibiotics. As a result of this event, the microbiology laboratory has incorporated flow charts directly into the bench procedures for several highly infectious agents that may be agents of bioterrorism. This should permit more rapid recognition of an isolate for referral to a Level B laboratory for definitive identification and should improve laboratory safety.” P. 2278.
  2. ”Despite the presence in the clinical microbiology laboratory of a written procedure for working with agents of bioterrorism, including F. tularensis, the identification of F. tularensis isolated from a fatal case of pulmonary tularemia was delayed, resulting in the manipulation of the organism at the bench by laboratory workers, many of whom subsequently began taking prophylactic antibiotics.” P. 2278
  3. ”Although tularemia is rare, with approximately 200 cases annually in the United States, in Pike’s study of 3,921 cases of laboratory-associated infections, it ranked second in the United States as a cause of laboratory-associated infections, behind only brucellosis, and third worldwide, behind brucellosis and typhoid (15).” P. 2278
  4. ”Although the medical service caring for this patient was concerned enough about the possibility of tularemia to give him intramuscular streptomycin, the microbiology laboratory and the autopsy service were not informed of this clinical suspicion. As a result, there was both a delay in sending the clinical isolate for definitive identification and an increased risk to the microbiology staff. Although a specific bioterrorism procedure was in place in the microbiology laboratory, it was separate from, and had not been sufficiently integrated into, the specific bench procedures for the workup of blood, respiratory, and sterile body fluid cultures. As a result, technologists working with the isolate on these benches did not suspect F. tularensis. It has been the standard procedure in our microbiology laboratory to subculture all positive blood cultures within a biological safety cabinet. This procedure, which involves a broth culture, is one that can potentially result in the production of an infectious aerosol.” P. 2280
  5. ”The clinical microbiology laboratory at Boston Medical Center is currently designated a Level A laboratory. This classification means that the laboratory should not attempt the identification of potential bioterrorism agents such as F. tularensis, but it does require the ability to rapidly rule out such agents and to forward those isolates which cannot be ruled out to a Level B laboratory (12, 13).” P. 2280
  6. ”The misidentification or preliminary identification of F. tularensis as a Haemophilus species has been noted in a number of published reports (2, 11, 18). F. tularensis is characteristically isolated as small, poorly staining gram-negative rods seen mostly as single cells which yield mostly pinpoint colonies on chocolate agar and often on sheep agar at 48 h, do not grow on either MacConkey or eosin-methylene blue agar, are oxidase negative, and have a weakly positive or a negative catalase test.” P. 2280
  7. ”Although Yersinia pestis and Bacillus anthracis, two agents that have been classified as a Category A critical biological agents, have only rarely been reported to cause laboratory infections, we have incorporated flow charts for the identification of these organisms into our procedures in order to prevent a delay in their identification. In the clinical virology laboratory, we have incorporated a flow chart for those situations in which cytopathic effect is seen and which is consistently demonstrated upon passage but cannot be identified with our standard laboratory procedures.” P. 2280
  8. ”The role of performing autopsies in the possible detection of cases of bioterrorism is an important one (14). Under ideal circumstances, autopsies in cases of suspected bioterrorism should be performed in a specially designated morgue rather than in a routine hospital-based setting to minimize the risk of transmission of exotic agents, such as those causing viral hemorrhagic fevers.” P. 2281

Lab Safety, Biosafety, Tularemia, Anthrax, Plague, Biodetection


Editors, “Terrorism. Iodine pills, just in case.Harvard Medical School. July 2002.

  1. “People are also buying potassium iodide (KI) pills, which help protect the thyroid gland from radiation.”
  2. “Health officials worry that people who take the potassium iodide will think they’re safe and ignore evacuation orders” *“If a nuclear catastrophe were to occur, the threshold for taking the pills would be lower for children and pregnant women than for other adults.”
  3. “Potassium iodide pills flood the thyroid with the stable version, lowering the uptake of the radioactive atoms, which are subsequently excreted in urine.”
  4. “One Web site,, sells 130-mg pills in packets of 14 for $9.95, but adds a hefty $6.95 shipping charge.”

Bioterrorism, Public Health, Emergency Response, Quarantine, Nuclear, Biosafety


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

  1. “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)
  2. “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)
  3. “Therefore, risk assessment becomes the responsibility of the clinical microbiologist, infection control personnel, hospital risk management office, and infectious disease physicians.” (Pg. 3)
  4. “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)

Public Health, Bioterrorism, CDC, Lab Safety, Biodetection, Biodefense, Biosafety, Biosecurity, Decontamination, Personnel Reliability


Editors, “Sentinel bioterrorism responders: Are hospital labs ready?”. MLO, August 2003.

  1. “Bioterrorism is the intentional application of microorganisms or their toxins for the purpose of causing death or disease in humans or in the animals or plants on which humans depend.”(Pg. 1)
  2. “Training is needed for laboratorians to know what specimens to collect and how to transport them.”(Pg. 1)
  3. “In May 2000, at the direction of the U.S. Congress, a mock bioterrorist event was held in Denver to test the nation’s systems. This $3-million exercise uncovered many deficiencies.” (Pg. 2)
  4. “Gradually, procedures for collection of specimens and detection of the agents in culture, when appropriate, are being posted on the ASM website at” (Pg. 2)
  5. “Generally, a leakproof package with a double liner and absorbent material to contain the specimen is sufficient. The package must be able to withstand the method of transport without damage.” (Pg. 3)
  6. “Staff can be trained specifically for the recognition of these agents. In addition, the laboratory will be able to identify other pathogens encountered on a daily basis more rapidly — but if the important tests for identification are not put into practice on a daily basis, rapid recognition will fail.” (Pg. 4)
  7. “The agents likely to be bioterrorist candidates, however, are all indolenegative.” (Pg. 4)
  8. “Do not wait for confirmatory tests to report to health department. Risk of human-to-human spread is significant.” (Pg. 5)

Bioterrorism, CDC, Emergency Response, Biosafety


Editors, “Assessing The Threat of BW Terrorism”. NTI. 2004.

  1. “With the exception of the smallpox virus, most bioterrorism threat agents can be isolated from natural sources such as diseased animals, patients, or even contaminated soil in the case of anthrax spores. Nevertheless, more than 85 different strains (varieties) of anthrax bacteria have been identified in nature, and only a few of these strains are highly virulent, or capable of causing disease.”
  2. “Once terrorists acquired a “seed culture” of a virulent pathogen, they would need to cultivate the agent in laboratory glassware or a small stainless steel fermentation tank.”
  3. “The goal of weaponization is to convert the agent into a form in which it can be dispersed as an aerosol cloud of microscopic particles, ranging in size from one to five microns (thousandths of a millimeter). Only particles with these dimensions are small enough to lodge in the tiny air sacs of the victims’ lungs to cause infection.”
  4. “Anthrax spores can survive for decades in soil and for hours in an airborne aerosol. Furthermore, anthrax spores can survive environmental contaminants and potentially become re-aerosolized.”

Bioterrorism, Anthrax, Smallpox, Biosafety, Public Health


Santora, Marc, “City Opens a Secure Lab To Counter Bioterrorism,” 14 July 2004, New York Times Last Checked 20 February 2011.

  1. “Opening of a $16 million high-security laboratory to help detect and deal with future threats.”
  2. “Today New York faces a different kind, a more dangerous kind, of biohazard: bioterrorism.”
  3. “The laboratory here, which is testing for bioterrorism, also greatly upgrades our ability to test rapidly, say, for tuberculosis.'”
  4. “In the new lab, more than 100 technicians and scientists will be able to work at one time if required.'”
  5. “…secure Level 3 section. Those areas, which hold dangerous pathogens, feature filtered air, sealed doors and negative air pressure, which prevent germs from leaking out.”
  6. “Since Sept. 11, 2001, universities, states and the federal government have greatly expanded their financing for Level 3 facilities, raising concern about ensuring the security of the pathogens being studied.”

Scientist, Biosafety, Anthrax, Lab Safety


Elizabeth K. Leffel, Douglas S. Reed, “Marburg and Ebola Viruses as Aerosol Threats,” Biosecurity and Bioterrorism: Biodefense Strategy, Practice, and Science, 2004;2(3):186-191.

  1. “Although transmission during naturally occurring outbreaks is believed to occur from close personal contact with blood or other body fluids, or the failure to practice proper medical hygiene as relates to blood-borne pathogens, in the past 10 years several publications have indicated that filoviruses possess a number of properties that would make them suitable as biological weapons.”
  2. “While the possibility of aerosol exposure cannot be ruled out in some cases, it is clear that direct contact is the primary means of transmission.”
  3. “The high mortality rates, coupled with the knowledge that these viruses possess properties considered desirable in biological weapons, explains the considerable concern about their potential use.”
  4. “Without data there can be little understanding of the level of threat that filoviruses present. For example, it is not clear from the available data whether filoviruses would cause large-scale infections and deaths if disseminated by aerosol over a city without extensive preparation or modification (“weaponization”).”

Ebola, Biosecurity, Bioterrorism, Biosafety, Biodevelopment


Rose, Laura, “Chlorine Inactivation of Bacterial Bioterrorism Agents“. Applied and Environmental Microbiology. Pg. 566-568, Vol. 71, No.1

  1. “Currently, chlorination is the most common method of disinfecting drinking water in the United States. (Pg. 1)
  2. “The Bacillus anthracis spores were less susceptible to cholorine disinfection than the gram-negative organisms.” (Pg. 1)

Anthrax, Public Health, Emergency Response, Decontamination, Bioterrorism, Biosafety, Chemical


Lowell, Jennifer, “Identifying Sources of Human Exposure to PlagueJournal of Clinical Microbiology. Pg. 650-656. Vol. 43, No. 2.

  1. “Approximately 3,000 human cases occur worldwide annually, with 12 to 15 cases reported each year in the western United States”
  2. “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.”
  3. “The use of molecular epidemiological techniques in these investigations has been particularly difficult for Y. pestis because of its apparent lack of genetic variation.”
  4. “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.”

Public Health, Pandemic, Plague, Decontamination, Biodetection, Bioterrorism, Biodefense, Biosafety


Kaiser, Jocelyn, “Resurrected Influenza Virus Yields Secrets of Deadly 1918 Pandemic”, Science, Vol. 310, 7 October 2005, page 28-29.

  1. “The research grows out of Armed Forces Institute of Pathology (AFIP) pathologist Jeffery Taubenberger’s efforts, begun in 1995, to sequence the genome of the 1918 flu virus. Working mainly with tissue from a victim found in permafrost in Alaska, he and others have been piecing together the virus’s eight genes and characterizing their protein products.”
  2. “Because of the sensitive nature of the work, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) lab’s safety precautions received unusual scrutiny, says Tumpey, including review by several biosafety committees. Workers followed biosafety level 3 (BSL-3) practices, with additional enhancements for instance, wearing battery-powered air purifiers with face shields and showering when leaving the lab.”
  3. “A new federal biosecurity board gave the paper an unusual last-minute review to make sure the merits of its publication outweighed the risks of releasing potentially dangerous knowledge. The board’s green light is a relief to scientists who have worried about a clampdown on scientific information following the anthrax attacks.” *“Science decided to publish the 1918 flu paper because it ‘could help prevent another global flu pandemic,’ says Editor-in-Chief Donald Kennedy.”

1918 Flu, Flu, Pandemic, Biosafety, Dual Use, Biosecurity



  1. “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)
  2. “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)
  3. “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)
  4. “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)
  5. “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)
  6. “Disposable fluid-repelling gowns should be worn to protect skin and clothing” (Pg. 18)
  7. “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)
  8. “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)

Decontamination, Public Health, Quarantine, Nuclear, Biosecurity, Biosafety, Biotechnology, CDC, Bioterrorism, Biodefense


Sabelnikov, A et. al, “Airborne exposure limits for chemical and biological warfare agents: Is everything set and clear?International Journal of Environmental Health Research, 16(4), 241-253. August, 2006.

  1. “In the case of a radiological terrorist event, emergency response guidelines (ERG) have been worked out.”
  2. “In the case of a terrorist event with the use of chemical warfare (CW) agents the situation is not that clear, though the new guidelines and clean-up values are being generated based on re-evaluation of toxicological and risk data.”
  3. “For biological warfare (BW) agents, such guidelines do not yet exist.”
  4. “In the case of a terrorist event with the use of chemical warfare (CW) agents, the situation is not that clear, because airborne exposure limits (AELs), obtained by extrapolation of toxicological data among animal species and from animals to humans has proven to be unreliable for many chemical agents (Johnson 2003).”
  5. “The Emergency Response Planning Guidelines (ERPG) developed by the American Industrial Hygienist Association (AIHA) (AIHA 2003) define three risk/exposure levels: level one is defined as ‘‘the maximum airborne concentration of toxic chemical below which, it is believed, nearly all the individuals could be exposed for up to 1 h without experiencing more than mild, transient adverse health effects or without perceiving a clearly defined objectionable odor.”
  6. “Research on man was not and is not possible, because of ethical reasons, and the most, if not all, the information on military tests and research in this area including animal models is classified (Johnson 2003 is one of the few exceptions).”
  7. “With regard to CW agents, it is suggested that in spite of the fact that the new, revised exposure limits were proposed or recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC, and the US Army, further research is still needed.”

Emergency Response, Anthrax, Biosafety, Classified, Scientist


Chakhava, George; Kandelaki, Nino. “Progress in the Life Sciences in Georgia Strategies for Managing Dual Use Research of Concern“. Center for Strategic Development and Research in Medical Education at TSMU and the ethics of science: Georgian Association of Medical Specialties. March 27, 2009.

  1. “Three types of ethics committees exist currently in Georgia: National Council on Bioethics, research and clinical (medical) ethics committees. Schematically outlines all these chematically ethics committees and the legal basis for their establishment and functioning.”

Georgia, Dual Use, Biosafety, Biosecurity


Beam, ElizabethThe Nebraska Experience in Biocontainment Patient CarePublic Health Nursing Vol. 27 No. 2, April 2010.

  1. “The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) set health protection goals and objectives that address preparation for these emerging health threats in the current era of international travel (2007)” (Pg. 1) .
  2. “Public health nurses in local health departments may receive the first call regarding a potential case of avian influenza, monkeypox, or viral hemorrhagic fever. In some cases, caring for the index patient and their direct contacts in the diagnosing hospital is the most logical approach.” (Pg. 1)
  3. “Early access to a biocontainment patient care unit (BPCU) for isolation during a bioterrorism or a public health emergency event along with appropriate use of epidemiological and therapeutic interventions in the community may dramatically impact the size and severity of a disease outbreak” (Pg. 1-2)
  4. “The collaboration of many organizations in Nebraska led to the development of a BPCU for the care of patients with potentially dangerous, highly infectious illnesses.” (Pg. 2)
  5. “Plans are most effective when routinely practiced. Under the direction of the lead registered nurse, NBU personnel drill on a quarterly basis to test the adequacy of policies and procedures, learn new equipment as it is introduced, and test various care processes.” (Pg. 2)
  6. “Community education is required for an isolation unit to be successful in achieving its public health mission. The NBU personnel provide education and training focused on communication and decision making in a situation requiring isolation of a potentially dangerous emerging infectious disease.” (Pg. 3)
  7. “Some examples of unique policies to the NBU include: Transporting a patient to the biocontainment unit from the emergency department; Transporting a patient to the biocontainment unit from another patient care area within the Nebraska Medical Center; Obtaining and processing laboratory specimens; Laundry and biohazard waste removal from the biocontainment unit; Contingency plan for hospital surge capacity; Removal of patient remains.” (Pg. 3)
  8. “Beyond moving a patient inside the hospital, vehicle transport for those who require intense isolation continues to be a concern among local, state, and federal organizations charged with this responsibility.” (Pg. 4)
  9. “The continued success of the NBU has been a function of several key factors. These factors include three major areas: strong leadership, an engaged professional team, and successful collaborations.” (Pg. 4)
  10. “The role of the lead registered Beam et al.: Nebraska Biocontainment Patient Care 143 nurse includes managing day-to-day operations and guiding routine monthly meetings and quarterly procedural drills.” (Pg. 4-5)
  11. “A BPCU would allow health care workers to maintain their personal safety while providing care to a patient with a hazardous infection. The personnel who work in this specialized care unit could also become a resource for a larger public health emergency.” (Pg. 5)

Public Health, Bioterrorism, Emergency Response, Biosafety, CDC, Quarantine


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.

  1. “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.”
  2. “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.”
  3. “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.”
  4. “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.”
  5. “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.”
  6. “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.”
  7. “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”
  8. “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.”
  9. “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.”
  10. “Currently, the U.S. lacks a coordinated and sustained federal research program in biological decontamination.”
  11. “The federal government does not have the human resources to carry out a decontamination response on its own, even for a small biological event.”
  12. “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.”
  13. “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)
  14. “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)
  15. “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)
  16. “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)

Decontamination, Anthrax, Biodefense, Biosafety, Bioterrorism, Emergency Response, Public Health, Biosecurity, Quarantine


Editors, ”U.S. Awards Contract For Radiation Treatment Work” GSN. Sept. 7, 2010.

  1. “Funding from the department’s Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority is to be used to develop a medical treatment which uses myeloid progenitor cells, which can develop into any type of blood cell. The medication, CLT-008, is intended to foster the growth of and assist the body’s progenitor cells, according to an agency release.”
  2. “The Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority also approved millions of dollars in new funding for additional work on a treatment for plague and tularemia — two disease agents classified as potential bioterrorism threats, according to a press release.”
  3. “The antibiotic could be used against tularemia and plague infections as well as more common illnesses such as pneumonia that are growing increasingly resistant to antibiotics.”
  4. “”This new antibiotic is part of our push against antibiotic resistance for certain bacterial infections, and at the same time could provide a new treatment for plague and tularemia biothreats””

Bioterrorism, Biosafety, Public Health, Emergency Response, Pharma, Drug Resistance, Biodevelopment, Biotechnology, Quarantine


Troy, Tevi, “Obama’s biological countermeasures,” September 5, 2010, Politico, News, Opinion Contributor Last Checked September 15, 2010.

  1. “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.”
  2. “‘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.’”
  3. “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.’”
  4. “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.”

Biodefense, Biosafety, Project Bioshield


Kron, Josh, “Uganda Seen as a Front Line in Bioterrorism.” NYT A8, November 11, 2010.

  1. Uganda Virus Research Institute
  2. “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.
  3. “preventing terrorist acquisition of dangerous pathogens, the seed material for biological bioweapons, is a security imperative.”
  4. Shabab insurgent group – “attention on East Africa as a fronteir in American security interests.”
  5. warm, wet environment fuels biothreats of anthrax, marburg, and ebola.
  6. anthrax- killed hundred of hippos in recent years
  7. marburg- tourist died after contracting disease at a natl park
  8. ebola- outbreak 2007- killed over 20 people
  9. relaxed security and poor funding/financing creates a security risk.

Biodefense, Anthrax, Bioterrorism, Lab Safety, Public Health, Marburg, Biosafety, Ebola, Africa


Hoffer, Steven, “Lax Security at Ugandan Anthrax Labs Poses US Security Threat,” AOL News Surge Desk, November 11, 2010.

  1. “Sen. Richard Lugar of Indiana visited Uganda’s Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries on Wednesday as part of a three-country tour of East Africa assessing the ‘next generation’ of threats to American security, according to The New York Times.”
  2. “The ministry’s laboratories and other similar facilities in the region are a U.S. security concern because they present an easy target for terrorist organizations to obtain virus samples like anthrax, Ebola and Marburg, as well as other dangerous materials. Security at the facilities is described as lax at best, with dangerous materials stored in unlocked refrigerators.”
  3. “Uganda is considered both a breeding ground for deadly viruses and a hotbed of terrorist activity. Hundreds of hippopotamuses have died from exposure to anthrax in recent years, and the nation has also recorded deaths from Ebola and Marburg.”
  4. “The prevalence of disease, combined with the recent suicide bombings by the Islamist insurgent al-Shabab movement during the final match of this summer’s World Cup, has captured American attention and concern about the region.”

Anthrax, Lab Safety, Biosafety, Ebola, Africa


Matishak, Martin, “U.S Will Expand Biosecurity Work to Africa, Official Says,” 23 November 2010, Global Security Network Last Checked 20 February 2011.

  1. “The U.S. Cooperative Threat Reduction initiative will work to secure deadly pathogens in Africa to prevent their use as tools of bioterrorism, a key Defense Department official said yesterday.”
  2. “The Nunn-Lugar program has effectively safeguarded biological weapons facilities in the former Soviet Union but deadly disease materials, such as Ebola and anthrax, remain for the most part unprotected at research institutions in East Africa…”
  3. “‘I’ve been to a lot of the former bioweapons laboratories in the Soviet Union territory and if you look at the diseases that they weaponized, the pathogen samples originated in Africa,’ he said during a global health and security conference..”
  4. “‘We don’t want terrorist groups to do the same thing that the Soviet weapons program did,’ according to Weber…”
  5. “The program is on track to receive roughly $523 million in fiscal year 2011, once the annual spending bills are approved by both houses of Congress and sewn together in conference.”
  6. “Weber said recently the program was likely to provide several million dollars to African states to improve security at laboratories that store dangerous pathogens. He added yesterday that “big thrust and focus” of the initiative’s biological engagement work in Africa would be to improve biosafety and biosecurity at research institutions.”
  7. “Biosafety is often defined as measures intended to prevent the release of infectious agents within a laboratory or the outside environment. Biosecurity involves active methods to avert biological terrorism or other disease breakouts.”
  8. “The decision to expand the threat reduction program into Africa rather than other regions was based on several priorities, including: the prevalence of endemic disease, the presence of terrorist groups with intent to use biological agents; and the level of existing infrastructure and capacity and the impact the effort could have on improving that, according to Weber.”
    *”’Unfortunately, there’s terrorism in East Africa, as well as the South Asia region. So yes, we need to work in both; we need to prioritize. A lot of what I described should be a global effort but we can’t start everywhere at the same time,’ he told GSN.”

Biosecurity, Biosafety, Bioterrorism, Anthrax, Ebola






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