WorldWideScience

Sample records for bioterrorism

  1. History of Bioterrorism: Botulism

    Medline Plus

    Full Text Available ... 2007 2006 Natural Disasters and Severe Weather 2016 Hurricane Matthew Radiation Emergencies Chemical Emergencies Bioterrorism Information for Specific Groups Older Adults Expectant and New ...

  2. [Biological security confronting bioterrorism].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suárez Fernández, Guillermo

    2002-01-01

    A review is made on Biosecurity at both local and global level in relationship with Bioterrorism as a real threat and its control and prevention. The function of the network of High Security Laboratories around the world able to make immediate diagnosis, research on vaccines, fundamental and urgent epidemiological studies, conform a steady basis to control natural infections and also the possible bioterrorism attacks.

  3. History of Bioterrorism: Botulism

    Medline Plus

    Full Text Available ... is Doing Blog: Public Health Matters Video: "The History of Bioterrorism" Recommend on Facebook Tweet Share Compartir ... as bioterrorist weapons. Watch the Complete Program "The History of Bioterroism" (26 min 38 sec) Watch Specific ...

  4. History of Bioterrorism: Botulism

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... is Doing Blog: Public Health Matters Video: "The History of Bioterrorism" Recommend on Facebook Tweet Share Compartir ... as bioterrorist weapons. Watch the Complete Program "The History of Bioterroism" (26 min 38 sec) Watch Specific ...

  5. History of Bioterrorism: Botulism

    Medline Plus

    Full Text Available ... Information on Specific Types of Emergencies Situation Awareness Hurricanes Wildfire Flooding Earthquakes Volcanos Winter Weather Recent Outbreaks ... 2007 2006 Natural Disasters and Severe Weather 2016 Hurricane Matthew Radiation Emergencies Chemical Emergencies Bioterrorism Information for ...

  6. History of Bioterrorism: Botulism

    Medline Plus

    Full Text Available ... is Doing Blog: Public Health Matters Video: "The History of Bioterrorism" Recommend on Facebook Tweet Share Compartir ... 6348 Email CDC-INFO U.S. Department of Health & Human Services HHS/Open USA.gov TOP

  7. History of Bioterrorism: Botulism

    Medline Plus

    Full Text Available ... is Doing Blog: Public Health Matters Video: "The History of Bioterrorism" Recommend on Facebook Tweet Share Compartir ... OIG 1600 Clifton Road Atlanta , GA 30329-4027 USA 800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636) , TTY: 888- ...

  8. History of Bioterrorism: Botulism

    Medline Plus

    Full Text Available ... Radiation Emergencies Chemical Emergencies Bioterrorism Information for Specific Groups Older Adults Expectant and New Parents Evacuees Children ... on Specific Types of Emergencies Information for Specific Groups Resources for Emergency Health Professionals Training & Education Social ...

  9. History of Bioterrorism: Botulism

    Medline Plus

    Full Text Available ... Situation Awareness Hurricanes Wildfire Flooding Earthquakes Volcanos Winter Weather Recent Outbreaks and Incidents 2017 2016 2015 2014 ... 2009 2008 2007 2006 Natural Disasters and Severe Weather 2016 Hurricane Matthew Radiation Emergencies Chemical Emergencies Bioterrorism ...

  10. History of Bioterrorism: Botulism

    Medline Plus

    Full Text Available ... Matters Video: "The History of Bioterrorism" Recommend on Facebook Tweet Share Compartir This video describes the Category ... RSS ABOUT About CDC Jobs Funding LEGAL Policies Privacy FOIA No Fear Act OIG 1600 Clifton Road ...

  11. History of Bioterrorism: Botulism

    Medline Plus

    Full Text Available ... Emergencies Chemical Emergencies Bioterrorism Information for Specific Groups Older Adults Expectant and New Parents Evacuees Children and Their Caregivers People with Chronic Illnesses People with Disabilities People Experiencing ...

  12. History of Bioterrorism: Botulism

    Medline Plus

    Full Text Available ... Groups Resources for Emergency Health Professionals Training & Education Social Media What’s New Preparation & Planning More on Preparedness What CDC is Doing Blog: Public Health Matters Video: "The History of Bioterrorism" Recommend on Facebook Tweet ...

  13. History of Bioterrorism: Botulism

    Medline Plus

    Full Text Available ... Matters Video: "The History of Bioterrorism" Recommend on Facebook Tweet Share Compartir This video describes the Category ... Specific Types of Emergencies Information for Specific Groups Resources for Emergency Health Professionals Training & Education Social ... HHS/Open USA.gov TOP

  14. Bioterrorism: toxins as weapons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, Peter D

    2012-04-01

    The potential for biological weapons to be used in terrorism is a real possibility. Biological weapons include infectious agents and toxins. Toxins are poisons produced by living organisms. Toxins relevant to bioterrorism include ricin, botulinum, Clostridium perfrigens epsilson toxin, conotoxins, shigatoxins, saxitoxins, tetrodotoxins, mycotoxins, and nicotine. Toxins have properties of biological and chemical weapons. Unlike pathogens, toxins do not produce an infection. Ricin causes multiorgan toxicity by blocking protein synthesis. Botulinum blocks acetylcholine in the peripheral nervous system leading to muscle paralysis. Epsilon toxin damages cell membranes. Conotoxins block potassium and sodium channels in neurons. Shigatoxins inhibit protein synthesis and induce apoptosis. Saxitoxin and tetrodotoxin inhibit sodium channels in neurons. Mycotoxins include aflatoxins and trichothecenes. Aflatoxins are carcinogens. Trichothecenes inhibit protein and nucleic acid synthesis. Nicotine produces numerous nicotinic effects in the nervous system.

  15. BIRS - Bioterrorism Information Retrieval System.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tewari, Ashish Kumar; Rashi; Wadhwa, Gulshan; Sharma, Sanjeev Kumar; Jain, Chakresh Kumar

    2013-01-01

    Bioterrorism is the intended use of pathogenic strains of microbes to widen terror in a population. There is a definite need to promote research for development of vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostic methods as a part of preparedness to any bioterror attack in the future. BIRS is an open-access database of collective information on the organisms related to bioterrorism. The architecture of database utilizes the current open-source technology viz PHP ver 5.3.19, MySQL and IIS server under windows platform for database designing. Database stores information on literature, generic- information and unique pathways of about 10 microorganisms involved in bioterrorism. This may serve as a collective repository to accelerate the drug discovery and vaccines designing process against such bioterrorist agents (microbes). The available data has been validated from various online resources and literature mining in order to provide the user with a comprehensive information system. The database is freely available at http://www.bioterrorism.biowaves.org.

  16. Biological warfare, bioterrorism, and biocrime

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jansen, H. J.; Breeveld, F. J.; Stijnis, C.; Grobusch, M. P.

    2014-01-01

    Biological weapons achieve their intended target effects through the infectivity of disease-causing infectious agents. The ability to use biological agents in warfare is prohibited by the Biological and Toxin Weapon Convention. Bioterrorism is defined as the deliberate release of viruses, bacteria

  17. Bioterrorism

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Blisters may form, followed by a deep, black scab. The area is usually painless. Gastrointestinal anthrax typically ... agents have also been studied for use as biological weapons, such as tularemia, brucellosis, Q fever, and ...

  18. Biological warfare, bioterrorism, and biocrime.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jansen, H J; Breeveld, F J; Stijnis, C; Grobusch, M P

    2014-06-01

    Biological weapons achieve their intended target effects through the infectivity of disease-causing infectious agents. The ability to use biological agents in warfare is prohibited by the Biological and Toxin Weapon Convention. Bioterrorism is defined as the deliberate release of viruses, bacteria or other agents used to cause illness or death in people, but also in animals or plants. It is aimed at creating casualties, terror, societal disruption, or economic loss, inspired by ideological, religious or political beliefs. The success of bioterroristic attempts is defined by the measure of societal disruption and panic, and not necessarily by the sheer number of casualties. Thus, making only a few individuals ill by the use of crude methods may be sufficient, as long as it creates the impact that is aimed for. The assessment of bioterrorism threats and motives have been described before. Biocrime implies the use of a biological agent to kill or make ill a single individual or small group of individuals, motivated by revenge or the desire for monetary gain by extortion, rather than by political, ideological, religious or other beliefs. The likelihood of a successful bioterrorist attack is not very large, given the technical difficulties and constraints. However, even if the number of casualties is likely to be limited, the impact of a bioterrorist attack can still be high. Measures aimed at enhancing diagnostic and therapeutic capabilities and capacities alongside training and education will improve the ability of society to combat 'regular' infectious diseases outbreaks, as well as mitigating the effects of bioterrorist attacks. © 2014 The Authors Clinical Microbiology and Infection © 2014 European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases.

  19. Computerized bioterrorism education and training for nurses on bioterrorism attack agents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nyamathi, Adeline M; Casillas, Adrian; King, Major L; Gresham, Louise; Pierce, Elaine; Farb, Daniel; Wiechmann, Carrie; Weichmann, Carrie

    2010-08-01

    Biological agents have the ability to cause large-scale mass casualties. For this reason, their likely use in future terrorist attacks is a concern for national security. Recent studies show that nurses are ill prepared to deal with agents used in biological warfare. Achieving a goal for bioterrorism preparedness is directly linked to comprehensive education and training that enables first-line responders such as nurses to diagnose infectious agents rapidly. The study evaluated participants' responses to biological agents using a computerized bioterrorism education and training program versus a standard bioterrorism education and training program. Both programs improved participants' ability to complete and solve case studies involving the identification of specific biological agents. Participants in the computerized bioterrorism education and training program were more likely to solve the cases critically without reliance on expert consultants. However, participants in the standard bioterrorism education and training program reduced the use of unnecessary diagnostic tests.

  20. BIRS – Bioterrorism Information Retrieval System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tewari, Ashish Kumar; Rashi; Wadhwa, Gulshan; Sharma, Sanjeev Kumar; Jain, Chakresh Kumar

    2013-01-01

    Bioterrorism is the intended use of pathogenic strains of microbes to widen terror in a population. There is a definite need to promote research for development of vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostic methods as a part of preparedness to any bioterror attack in the future. BIRS is an open-access database of collective information on the organisms related to bioterrorism. The architecture of database utilizes the current open-source technology viz PHP ver 5.3.19, MySQL and IIS server under windows platform for database designing. Database stores information on literature, generic- information and unique pathways of about 10 microorganisms involved in bioterrorism. This may serve as a collective repository to accelerate the drug discovery and vaccines designing process against such bioterrorist agents (microbes). The available data has been validated from various online resources and literature mining in order to provide the user with a comprehensive information system. Availability The database is freely available at http://www.bioterrorism.biowaves.org PMID:23390356

  1. THE BIOTERRORISM THREAT: TECHNOLOGICAL AND POLITICAL CONSIDERATIONS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    J. F. PILAT

    2000-03-01

    Bioterrorism--along with biowarfare, from which it may not always be distinguishable in practice--will be a feature of the strategic landscape in the 21st century and is high on the US national security agenda. Bioterrorism poses a potential threat to the US population, agriculture, interests, friends and allies, and military forces (asymmetric threats). Yet these possibilities have not been widely pursued or realized by terrorists. The perceived threat is far worse than anything experienced to date, and is largely technologically driven.

  2. The Nature of the Bioterrorism Threat

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Regens, J. L.

    2003-02-25

    This analysis provides an overview of the nature of the bioterrorism threat. It identifies potential CDC Class A biological agents that are likely candidates for use in a terrorist incident and describes the known sources of vulnerability. The paper also summarizes S&T resources/needs and assesses response options for achieving effective biodefense against terrorist threats.

  3. The Approach to Bioterrorism Incidents in Turkey

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kenar, L.; Karayilanoglu, T.; Ortatatli, M

    2007-01-01

    Achieving an adequate level of planning and preparedness for terrorist events involving unconventional weapons, such as the intentional release of nuclear, radiological, biological, and/or chemical agents is a great challenge for Turkey. However, since bioterror agents possess different properties than other conventional attacks like the need for decontamination and the need for personal protective equipment, etc., special plannings should be made where various governmental organizations should be involved. First response against a bioterror attack is commonly given by local or regional organizations. Some of the following reactions include quick notification of authorities, establishment of a local crisis management center, information to public, medical management and decontamination, quarantine measures, evacuation to hospitals for suspected cases, forensic measures, social aids to victims Laboratory management is essential for bioterror attacks, so that the treatment or prophylaxis of injured cases with the organism can be performed properly. Therefore, an accredited reference laboratory should be set up for final diagnosis. Although much progress has been made in this regards, much work remains be to done in terms of ensuring adequate level via bioterror drills, adequate hospital-based decontamination unit and negative pressure isolation bed capacities, and adequate hospital-based stockpiles of personal protective equipment, drugs, vaccines and ventilators. From this point of view, potential organizations which are supposed to be assigned in this event must have task-oriented official departments and the roles should be outlined in detailed. Within this connection, a scenario simulating a bioterrorist attack and describing the response and coordination developed is schematised. (author)

  4. Countering bioterrorism: the role of science and technology

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Panel on Biological Issues, Committee on Science and Technology for Countering Terrorism, National Research Council

    2002-01-01

    .... Thus, investments in research on bioterrorism will have enormous potential for application in the detection, prevention, and treatment of emerging infectious diseases that also are unpredictable...

  5. Bioterrorism and Smallpox: Policies, Practices, and Implications for Social Work

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mackelprang, Romel W.; Mackelprang, Romel D.; Thirkill, Ashley D.

    2005-01-01

    Terrorist acts and the fear of terrorism have become a part of everyday life in the early 21st century. Among the threats most feared is bioterrorism, including the intentional release of smallpox. With the invasion of Iraq and toppling of the Saddam Hussein regime, acute bioterrorism fears have abated; however, an ongoing threat remains. This…

  6. Bio-Terrorism Threat and Casualty Prevention

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NOEL,WILLIAM P.

    2000-01-01

    The bio-terrorism threat has become the ''poor man's'' nuclear weapon. The ease of manufacture and dissemination has allowed an organization with only rudimentary skills and equipment to pose a significant threat with high consequences. This report will analyze some of the most likely agents that would be used, the ease of manufacture, the ease of dissemination and what characteristics of the public health response that are particularly important to the successful characterization of a high consequence event to prevent excessive causalities.

  7. Bioterrorism, public health, and the law.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bayer, Ronald; Colgrove, James

    2002-01-01

    The controversy over the Model State Emergency Health Powers Act has underscored the enduring tension in public health between guarding the common welfare and respecting individual liberty. The current version of the act, crafted in response to extensive public commentary, attempts to strike a balance between these values but has failed to allay the concerns of many civil libertarians and privacy advocates. Although the debates over the model act have been triggered by the threat of bioterrorism, they illustrate broader philosophical differences, with profound implications for all realms of public health policy.

  8. Management of natural and bioterrorism induced pandemics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tyshenko, Michael G

    2007-09-01

    A recent approach for bioterrorism risk management calls for stricter regulations over biotechnology as a way to control subversion of technology that may be used to create a man-made pandemic. This approach is largely unworkable given the increasing pervasiveness of molecular techniques and tools throughout society. Emerging technology has provided the tools to design much deadlier pathogens but concomitantly the ability to respond to emerging pandemics to reduce mortality has also improved significantly in recent decades. In its historical context determining just how 'risky' biological weapons is an important consideration for decision making and resource allocation. Management should attempt to increase capacity, share resources, provide accurate infectious disease reporting, deliver information transparency and improve communications to help mitigate the magnitude of future pandemics.

  9. Vaccines and bioterrorism: smallpox and anthrax.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kimmel, Sanford R; Mahoney, Martin C; Zimmerman, Richard K

    2003-01-01

    Because of the success of vaccination and the ring strategy in eradicating smallpox from the world, smallpox vaccine has not been recommended for the United States civilian populations for decades. Given the low but possible threat of bioterrorism, smallpox vaccination is now recommended for those teams investigating potential smallpox cases and for selected personnel of acute-care hospitals who would be needed to care for victims in the event of a terrorist attack. Treatment and post-exposure prophylaxis for anthrax are ciprofloxacin or doxycycline. Anthrax vaccine alone is not effective for post-exposure prevention of anthrax; vaccination is accompanied by 60 days of antibiotic therapy. In addition to military use, anthrax vaccine is recommended for pre-exposure use in those persons whose work involves repeated exposure to Bacillus anthracis spores.

  10. Biosensors for security and bioterrorism applications

    CERN Document Server

    Nikoleli, Georgia-Paraskevi

    2016-01-01

    This book offers comprehensive coverage of biomarker/biosensor interactions for the rapid detection of weapons of bioterrorism, as well as current research trends and future developments and applications. It will be useful to researchers in this field who are interested in new developments in the early detection of such. The authors have collected very valuable and, in some aspects indispensable experience in the area i.e. in the development and application of portable biosensors for the detection of potential hazards. Most efforts are centered on the development of immunochemical assays including flow-lateral systems and engineered antibodies and their fragments. In addition, new approaches to the detection of enzyme inhibitors, direct enzymatic and microbial detection of metabolites and nutrients are elaborated. Some realized prototypes and concept devices applicable for the further use as a basis for the cooperation programs are also discussed. There is a particular focus on electrochemical and optical det...

  11. A Bioterrorism Prevention Strategy for the 21st Century

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Lein, Brian

    2003-01-01

    .... The results of the anthrax attack and multiple wargames revealed that the United States is currently ill prepared to prevent or deter a bioterrorism attack against it's homeland and protect the citizens...

  12. Planning the bioterrorism response supply chain: learn and live.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brandeau, Margaret L; Hutton, David W; Owens, Douglas K; Bravata, Dena M

    2007-01-01

    Responses to bioterrorism require rapid procurement and distribution of medical and pharmaceutical supplies, trained personnel, and information. Thus, they present significant logistical challenges. On the basis of a review of the manufacturing and service supply chain literature, the authors identified five supply chain strategies that can potentially increase the speed of response to a bioterrorism attack, reduce inventories, and save money: effective supply chain network design; effective inventory management; postponement of product customization and modularization of component parts; coordination of supply chain stakeholders and appropriate use of incentives; and effective information management. The authors describe how concepts learned from published evaluations of manufacturing and service supply chains, as well as lessons learned from responses to natural disasters, naturally occurring outbreaks, and the 2001 US anthrax attacks, can be applied to design, evaluate, and improve the bioterrorism response supply chain. Such lessons could also be applied to the response supply chains for disease outbreaks and natural and manmade disasters.

  13. Bioterrorism versus radiological terrorism: notes from a bio/nuclear epidemiologist.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goffman, Thomas E

    2009-01-01

    The antiterrorism and disaster planning communities often speak of the high potential for bioterrorism and possible potential for radioterrorism, specifically the explosion of a fission device on US soil. Information gained from an epidemiologist's work in the national and international scene, which inevitably involves Intel regarding the cultures and subcultures being studied, suggest that bioterrorism is far less likely to be a major threat, that has been over-emphasized at the state level due to warnings from Homeland Security, and that Homeland Security itself appears biased toward bioterrorism of late with very little available rational basis.

  14. Response to bio-terrorism directed against animals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, J L; Sheesley, D

    2000-01-01

    The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has a long history of rapid direction, control, and eradication of devastating diseases. Our immediate response mechanisms to diseases such as avian influenza, Venezuelan equine encephalomyelitis, and Newcastle disease, have long been recognized by the global emergency response community as models of control and eradication. APHIS and the U.S. livestock industries, in partnership with the Animal Agriculture Coalition, re-evaluated the Nation's animal health emergency preparedness and response systems. The group identified areas that negatively impact, biologically and/or economically, the Nation's animal and food production industries. To counter the increased risks including bioterrorism, APHIS plans to establish a world-class "Center of Excellence for Animal Health Emergency Management." APHIS, Intelligence agencies, other Federal departments, State governments, and industries are working together to provide accurate information on the foreign and domestic threats posed to the U.S. agricultural sector by biological weapons. Additionally, the same agencies and organizations are evaluating, updating, and improving the coordination and training mechanisms necessary to respond in the even of a widespread pest or disease outbreak.

  15. Striking against bioterrorism with advanced proteomics and reference methods.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Armengaud, Jean

    2017-01-01

    The intentional use by terrorists of biological toxins as weapons has been of great concern for many years. Among the numerous toxins produced by plants, animals, algae, fungi, and bacteria, ricin is one of the most scrutinized by the media because it has already been used in biocrimes and acts of bioterrorism. Improving the analytical toolbox of national authorities to monitor these potential bioweapons all at once is of the utmost interest. MS/MS allows their absolute quantitation and exhibits advantageous sensitivity, discriminative power, multiplexing possibilities, and speed. In this issue of Proteomics, Gilquin et al. (Proteomics 2017, 17, 1600357) present a robust multiplex assay to quantify a set of eight toxins in the presence of a complex food matrix. This MS/MS reference method is based on scheduled SRM and high-quality standards consisting of isotopically labeled versions of these toxins. Their results demonstrate robust reliability based on rather loose scheduling of SRM transitions and good sensitivity for the eight toxins, lower than their oral median lethal doses. In the face of an increased threat from terrorism, relevant reference assays based on advanced proteomics and high-quality companion toxin standards are reliable and firm answers. © 2016 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  16. Exercising multi-jurisdictional response to bioterrorism in Canada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jones, M. S.; Marchione, A.; MacDonald, S.; Vidosa, D.

    2009-01-01

    Throughout 2007, the CRTI Biological Cluster conducted a series of biological terrorism exercises within a project entitled Bi-Ex West. The overall purpose of Bi-Ex West was to determine how the federal science and technology community could assist responders in a bio-terrorism attack involving a zoonotic agent. Bi-Ex West consisted of three immersive electronic tabletop exercises, which culminated into a two-day full-scale field exercise involving more than 200 players distributed throughout six sites. Participants represented 18 agencies, including agricultural, health and emergency management organizations at the federal, provincial and municipal levels, as well as first responders from the law enforcement and fire rescue communities. These exercises were conducted in a learning environment that fostered knowledge sharing between local, provincial and federal agencies and enabled participants to exercise their roles, responsibilities and procedures when responding to a biological terrorist event. It also provided agencies with an opportunity to gain a better understanding of how to integrate their various response plans to improve coordination. Observations and recommendations were collected from evaluators and participants over the course of the exercise. The resulting 70 recommendations have been grouped under the following categories: Roles and Responsibilities; Communication; Training, Education and Planning; Resources and Equipment; Security and; Exercise Design. In addition to action items attached to the recommendations, a number of CBRNE activities resulted from Bi-Ex West increasing the capacity of resources within the Federal Government and the Province of British Columbia.(author)

  17. Metabolic network analysis-based identification of antimicrobial drug targets in category A bioterrorism agents.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yong-Yeol Ahn

    Full Text Available The 2001 anthrax mail attacks in the United States demonstrated the potential threat of bioterrorism, hence driving the need to develop sophisticated treatment and diagnostic protocols to counter biological warfare. Here, by performing flux balance analyses on the fully-annotated metabolic networks of multiple, whole genome-sequenced bacterial strains, we have identified a large number of metabolic enzymes as potential drug targets for each of the three Category A-designated bioterrorism agents including Bacillus anthracis, Francisella tularensis and Yersinia pestis. Nine metabolic enzymes- belonging to the coenzyme A, folate, phosphatidyl-ethanolamine and nucleic acid pathways common to all strains across the three distinct genera were identified as targets. Antimicrobial agents against some of these enzymes are available. Thus, a combination of cross species-specific antibiotics and common antimicrobials against shared targets may represent a useful combinatorial therapeutic approach against all Category A bioterrorism agents.

  18. Bioterrorism and radiation. What to do? What research is needed?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Coleman, C.N.; Tofilon, P.

    2003-01-01

    Radiological and nuclear terrorism has emerged as a major concern. Often included within the broad category of bioterrorism, the response to the intentional exposure of populations to radiation requires governmental agencies, law enforcement agencies, policy-makers, experts in radiation medicine and radiation biology and an educated citizenry. Emerging knowledge of normal tissue injury following radiation will provide important areas for research, as outlined in a recent Radiation Research Program (RRP) Workshop from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) (Stone HB, Rad Res 157:204- 223, 2002). Such research involves radiation biology and wound healing and may ultimately provide strategies for pre-exposure radioprotectors as well as post-exposure strategies to prevent serious normal tissue damage. Radiation in the Moderate Dose range, defined as 1-10 Gy, applies to radiological and nuclear terrorism and also to clinical radiation therapy. (RRP Moderate Dose Radiation Workshop, Coleman CN, Rad Res, in press 2003). New approaches such as Intensity Modulated Radiotherapy (IMRT) will expose more tissues to low doses of radiation. Strategies for developing agents for normal tissue targets (Tofilon). The successful application of radiotherapy as a cancer treatment modality is severely constrained by the risk for normal tissue injury. Because approximately half of all cancer patients receive radiation treatment, the ability to selectively protect normal tissue would be of obvious clinical benefit. In addition to cancer therapy, current geopolitical circumstances reinforce the need for generating agents that protect against the consequences of environmental radiation exposure, accidental or intentional. Currently, there are relatively few available agents with the potential to reduce or eliminate radiation-induced normal tissue injury after clinical and/or environmental exposure. A goal of the Radiation Research Program is to identify and develop novel radioprotectors

  19. Intelligence Support to the Life Science Community: Mitigating Threats from Bioterrorism

    Science.gov (United States)

    2004-01-01

    Lab: Made-from-Scratch Pathogen Prompts Concerns about Bioethics , Terror- ism,” Washington Post, 12 July 2002. ing discoveries that might aid...tural bioterrorism that the authors and the Department of Agriculture agreed would be of high-dual use value to individu- als with bad intentions

  20. 75 FR 42363 - Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2002; Biennial Review...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-21

    ... be e-mailed to: [email protected] . FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Robbin Weyant, Director..., Atlanta, GA 30333. Telephone: (404) 718- 2000. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Bioterrorism Act requires... to the Select Agent regulations (42 CFR Part 73) to implement a tiering and/or stratification schema...

  1. A Comprehensive Evaluation System for Military Hospitals' Response Capability to Bio-terrorism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Hui; Jiang, Nan; Shao, Sicong; Zheng, Tao; Sun, Jianzhong

    2015-05-01

    The objective of this study is to establish a comprehensive evaluation system for military hospitals' response capacity to bio-terrorism. Literature research and Delphi method were utilized to establish the comprehensive evaluation system for military hospitals' response capacity to bio-terrorism. Questionnaires were designed and used to survey the status quo of 134 military hospitals' response capability to bio-terrorism. Survey indicated that factor analysis method was suitable to for analyzing the comprehensive evaluation system for military hospitals' response capacity to bio-terrorism. The constructed evaluation system was consisted of five first-class and 16 second-class indexes. Among them, medical response factor was considered as the most important factor with weight coefficient of 0.660, followed in turn by the emergency management factor with weight coefficient of 0.109, emergency management consciousness factor with weight coefficient of 0.093, hardware support factor with weight coefficient of 0.078, and improvement factor with weight coefficient of 0.059. The constructed comprehensive assessment model and system are scientific and practical.

  2. Community response grids: using information technology to help communities respond to bioterror emergencies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jaeger, Paul T; Fleischmann, Kenneth R; Preece, Jennifer; Shneiderman, Ben; Wu, Philip Fei; Qu, Yan

    2007-12-01

    Access to accurate and trusted information is vital in preparing for, responding to, and recovering from an emergency. To facilitate response in large-scale emergency situations, Community Response Grids (CRGs) integrate Internet and mobile technologies to enable residents to report information, professional emergency responders to disseminate instructions, and residents to assist one another. CRGs use technology to help residents and professional emergency responders to work together in community response to emergencies, including bioterrorism events. In a time of increased danger from bioterrorist threats, the application of advanced information and communication technologies to community response is vital in confronting such threats. This article describes CRGs, their underlying concepts, development efforts, their relevance to biosecurity and bioterrorism, and future research issues in the use of technology to facilitate community response.

  3. A decision framework for coordinating bioterrorism planning: lessons from the BioNet program.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manley, Dawn K; Bravata, Dena M

    2009-01-01

    Effective disaster preparedness requires coordination across multiple organizations. This article describes a detailed framework developed through the BioNet program to facilitate coordination of bioterrorism preparedness planning among military and civilian decision makers. The authors and colleagues conducted a series of semistructured interviews with civilian and military decision makers from public health, emergency management, hazardous material response, law enforcement, and military health in the San Diego area. Decision makers used a software tool that simulated a hypothetical anthrax attack, which allowed them to assess the effects of a variety of response actions (eg, issuing warnings to the public, establishing prophylaxis distribution centers) on performance metrics. From these interviews, the authors characterized the information sources, technologies, plans, and communication channels that would be used for bioterrorism planning and responses. The authors used influence diagram notation to describe the key bioterrorism response decisions, the probabilistic factors affecting these decisions, and the response outcomes. The authors present an overview of the response framework and provide a detailed assessment of two key phases of the decision-making process: (1) pre-event planning and investment and (2) incident characterization and initial responsive measures. The framework enables planners to articulate current conditions; identify gaps in existing policies, technologies, information resources, and relationships with other response organizations; and explore the implications of potential system enhancements. Use of this framework could help decision makers execute a locally coordinated response by identifying the critical cues of a potential bioterrorism event, the information needed to make effective response decisions, and the potential effects of various decision alternatives.

  4. The application of ultraviolet germicidal irradiation to control transmission of airborne disease: bioterrorism countermeasure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brickner, Philip W; Vincent, Richard L; First, Melvin; Nardell, Edward; Murray, Megan; Kaufman, Will

    2003-01-01

    Bioterrorism is an area of increasing public health concern. The intent of this article is to review the air cleansing technologies available to protect building occupants from the intentional release of bioterror agents into congregate spaces (such as offices, schools, auditoriums, and transportation centers), as well as through outside air intakes and by way of recirculation air ducts. Current available technologies include increased ventilation, filtration, and ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) UVGI is a common tool in laboratories and health care facilities, but is not familiar to the public, or to some heating, ventilation, and air conditioning engineers. Interest in UVGI is increasing as concern about a possible malicious release of bioterror agents mounts. Recent applications of UVGI have focused on control of tuberculosis transmission, but a wide range of airborne respiratory pathogens are susceptible to deactivation by UVGI. In this article, the authors provide an overview of air disinfection technologies, and an in-depth analysis of UVGI-its history, applications, and effectiveness.

  5. Bioterrorism and its aftermath: dealing individually and organizationally with the emotional reactions to an anthrax attack.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sugden, Brian W; Katchmar, Rosemary

    2005-01-01

    From September 2001 through April 2004, the United States Postal Service (USPS) dealt, for the first time, with bioterrorism resulting in employee deaths and the closure of a large mail processing plant in Washington, D.C. The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) partnered with the USPS throughout this tumultuous time to meet the multiple and evolving behavioral health needs of the employees and facilitate the employees' emotional preparedness for their return to work at the closed facility. This paper discusses the reactions manifested by the employees during this extended period, as well as the EAP activities in the recovery process.

  6. Assessment of Knowledge and Attitude of Dentists Toward Bioterrorism Awareness in Dhule (Maharashtra, India: A Cross-sectional Survey

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Minal M Kshirsagar

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Introduction: Bioterrorism, as a major health problem, has received lots of attention in the recent years. It is the intentional use of microorganisms and toxins to produce disease and death in humans, livestock, and crops; their attraction in war and their use in terrorist attacks are attributed to various unique features. Aim: To assess the knowledge and attitude of graduate dentists and postgraduate dentists toward bioterrorism in Dhule city, Maharashtra (India. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study included graduate dentists and postgraduate dentists in Dhule, Maharashtra, India. The list of dentists of Dhule city was obtained from the Indian Dental Association office, Dhule branch. Among 110 dentists practicing in Dhule city, 97 responded. A structured, self-administered questionnaire consisting of 15 closed-ended questions was employed. The information regarding age, gender, and profession (specialty branch was collected. The data were tabulated and subjected to analysis using Pearson’s chi-square test. Results: Statistically significant difference was seen when knowledge and attitude of dentists and dentists with postgraduate qualification toward bioterrorism were compared (P < 0.05. Conclusion: Dentists with postgraduate qualification have better knowledge and attitude toward bioterrorism as compared to graduate dentists. Most of the dentists felt the need to educate the public regarding suspected bioterrorist attack, and they were willing to do so and had the confidence that it was preventable.

  7. Responding to bioterror concerns by increasing milk pasteurization temperature would increase estimated annual deaths from listeriosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stasiewicz, Matthew J; Martin, Nicole; Laue, Shelley; Gröhn, Yrjo T; Boor, Kathryn J; Wiedmann, Martin

    2014-05-01

    In a 2005 analysis of a potential bioterror attack on the food supply involving a botulinum toxin release into the milk supply, the authors recommended adopting a toxin inactivation step during milk processing. In response, some dairy processors increased the times and temperatures of pasteurization well above the legal minimum for high temperature, short time pasteurization (72 °C for 15 s), with unknown implications for public health. The present study was conducted to determine whether an increase in high temperature, short time pasteurization temperature would affect the growth of Listeria monocytogenes, a potentially lethal foodborne pathogen normally eliminated with proper pasteurization but of concern when milk is contaminated postpasteurization. L. monocytogenes growth during refrigerated storage was higher in milk pasteurized at 82 °C than in milk pasteurized at 72 °C. Specifically, the time lag before exponential growth was decreased and the maximum population density was increased. The public health impact of this change in pasteurization was evaluated using a quantitative microbial risk assessment of deaths from listeriosis attributable to consumption of pasteurized fluid milk that was contaminated postprocessing. Conservative estimates of the effect of pasteurizing all fluid milk at 82 °C rather than 72 °C are that annual listeriosis deaths from consumption of this milk would increase from 18 to 670, a 38-fold increase (8.7- to 96-fold increase, 5th and 95th percentiles). These results exemplify a situation in which response to a rare bioterror threat may have the unintended consequence of putting the public at increased risk of a known, yet severe harm and illustrate the need for a paradigm shift toward multioutcome risk benefit analyses when proposing changes to established food safety practices.

  8. Social Media and Its Dual Use in Biopreparedness: Communication and Visualization Tools in an Animal Bioterrorism Incident

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sjöberg, Elisabeth; Barker, Gary C.; Landgren, Jonas

    2013-01-01

    This article focuses on social media and interactive challenges for emergency organizations during a bioterrorism or agroterrorism incident, and it outlines the dual-use dilemma of social media. Attackers or terrorists can use social media as their modus of operandi, and defenders, including...... emergency organizations in law enforcement and public and animal health, can use it for peaceful purposes. To get a better understanding of the uses of social media in these situations, a workshop was arranged in Stockholm, Sweden, to raise awareness about social media and animal bioterrorism threats. Fifty......-six experts and crisis communicators from international and national organizations participated. As a result of the workshop, it was concluded that emergency organizations can collect valuable information and monitor social media before, during, and after an outbreak. In order to make use of interactive...

  9. Accidental and deliberate microbiological contamination in the feed and food chains — How biotraceability may improve the response to bioterrorism

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Knutsson, Rickard; van Rotterdam, Bart; Fach, Patrick

    2011-01-01

    A next frontier of the global food safety agenda has to consider a broad spectrum of bio-risks, such as accidental and intentional contaminations in the food and feed chain. In this article, the background for the research needs related to biotraceability and response to bioterrorism incidents...... are outlined. Given the current scale of international trade any response need to be considered in an international context. Biotraceability (e.g the ability to use downstream information to point to processes or within a particular food chain that can be identified as the source of undesirable agents......) is crucial in any food-born outbreak and particular in the response to bioterrorism events. In the later case, tested and proven biotraceability improves the following; (i) international collaboration of validated tracing tools and detection methods, (ii) multi-disciplinary expertise and collaboration...

  10. Patients' request for and emergency physicians' prescription of antimicrobial prophylaxis for anthrax during the 2001 bioterrorism-related outbreak

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aber Robert C

    2005-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Inappropriate use of antibiotics by individuals worried about biological agent exposures during bioterrorism events is an important public health concern. However, little is documented about the extent to which individuals with self-identified risk of anthrax exposure approached physicians for antimicrobial prophylaxis during the 2001 bioterrorism attacks in the United States. Methods We conducted a telephone survey of randomly selected members of the Pennsylvania Chapter of the American College of Emergency Physicians to assess patients' request for and emergency physicians' prescription of antimicrobial agents during the 2001 anthrax attacks. Results Ninety-seven physicians completed the survey. Sixty-four (66% respondents had received requests from patients for anthrax prophylaxis; 16 (25% of these physicians prescribed antibiotics to a total of 23 patients. Ten physicians prescribed ciprofloxacin while 8 physicians prescribed doxycycline. Conclusion During the 2001 bioterrorist attacks, the majority of the emergency physicians we surveyed encountered patients who requested anthrax prophylaxis. Public fears may lead to a high demand for antibiotic prophylaxis during bioterrorism events. Elucidation of the relationship between public health response to outbreaks and outcomes would yield insights to ease burden on frontline clinicians and guide strategies to control inappropriate antibiotic allocation during bioterrorist events.

  11. Social media and its dual use in biopreparedness: communication and visualization tools in an animal bioterrorism incident.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sjöberg, Elisabeth; Barker, Gary C; Landgren, Jonas; Griberg, Isaac; Skiby, Jeffrey E; Tubbin, Anna; von Stapelmohr, Anne; Härenstam, Malin; Jansson, Mikael; Knutsson, Rickard

    2013-09-01

    This article focuses on social media and interactive challenges for emergency organizations during a bioterrorism or agroterrorism incident, and it outlines the dual-use dilemma of social media. Attackers or terrorists can use social media as their modus operandi, and defenders, including emergency organizations in law enforcement and public and animal health, can use it for peaceful purposes. To get a better understanding of the uses of social media in these situations, a workshop was arranged in Stockholm, Sweden, to raise awareness about social media and animal bioterrorism threats. Fifty-six experts and crisis communicators from international and national organizations participated. As a result of the workshop, it was concluded that emergency organizations can collect valuable information and monitor social media before, during, and after an outbreak. In order to make use of interactive communication to obtain collective intelligence from the public, emergency organizations must adapt to social networking technologies, requiring multidisciplinary knowledge in the fields of information, communication, IT, and biopreparedness. Social network messaging during a disease outbreak can be visualized in stream graphs and networks showing clusters of Twitter and Facebook users. The visualization of social media can be an important preparedness tool in the response to bioterrorism and agroterrorism.

  12. Lab Safety and Bioterrorism Readiness Curricula Using Active Learning and Hands-on Strategies as Continuing Education for Medical Technologists

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Steven Fiester

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available Frequent reports of laboratory- (and hospital- acquired infection suggest a deficiency in safety training or lack of compliance. To assess the need for continuing education (CE addressing this problem, an original education needs assessment survey was designed and administered to medical technologists (med-techs in Northeast Ohio. Survey results were used to design a learner-centered training curriculum (for example, Lab Safety and Bioterrorism Readiness trainings that engaged med-techs in active learning, integrative peer-to-peer teaching, and hands-on exercises in order to improve microbiology safety knowledge and associated laboratory techniques. The Lab Safety training was delivered six times and the Bioterrorism Readiness training was delivered five times. Pre/posttesting revealed significant gains in knowledge and techniques specific to laboratory safety, security, risk assessment, and bioterrorism readiness amongst the majority of med-techs completing the CE trainings. The majority of participants felt that the hands-on exercises met their needs and that their personal laboratory practices would change as a result of the training course, as measured by attitudinal surveys. We conclude that active learning techniques and peer education significantly enhance microbiology learning amongst participating med-techs.

  13. Game theory of pre-emptive vaccination before bioterrorism or accidental release of smallpox.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Molina, Chai; Earn, David J D

    2015-06-06

    Smallpox was eradicated in the 1970s, but new outbreaks could be seeded by bioterrorism or accidental release. Substantial vaccine-induced morbidity and mortality make pre-emptive mass vaccination controversial, and if vaccination is voluntary, then there is a conflict between self- and group interests. This conflict can be framed as a tragedy of the commons, in which herd immunity plays the role of the commons, and free-riding (i.e. not vaccinating pre-emptively) is analogous to exploiting the commons. This game has been analysed previously for a particular post-outbreak vaccination scenario. We consider several post-outbreak vaccination scenarios and compare the expected increase in mortality that results from voluntary versus imposed vaccination. Below a threshold level of post-outbreak vaccination effort, expected mortality is independent of the level of response effort. A lag between an outbreak starting and a response being initiated increases the post-outbreak vaccination effort necessary to reduce mortality. For some post-outbreak vaccination scenarios, even modest response lags make it impractical to reduce mortality by increasing post-outbreak vaccination effort. In such situations, if decreasing the response lag is impossible, the only practical way to reduce mortality is to make the vaccine safer (greater post-outbreak vaccination effort leads only to fewer people vaccinating pre-emptively). © 2015 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  14. Negative impact of laws regarding biosecurity and bioterrorism on real diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wurtz, N; Grobusch, M P; Raoult, D

    2014-06-01

    Research on highly pathogenic microorganisms in biosafety level 3 and 4 laboratories is very important for human public health, as it provides opportunities for the development of vaccines and novel therapeutics as well as diagnostic methods to prevent epidemics. However, in recent years, after the anthrax and World Trade Center attacks in 2001 in the USA, the threat of bioterrorism has grown for both the public and the authorities. As a result, technical and physical containment measures and biosafety and biosecurity practices have been implemented in laboratories handling these dangerous pathogens. Working with selected biological agents and toxins is now highly regulated, owing to their potential to pose a threat to public health and safety, despite the fact that the anthrax attack was found to be the result of a lack of security at a US Army laboratory. Thus, these added regulations have been associated with a large amount of fruitless investment. Herein, we describe the limitations of research in these facilities, and the multiple consequences of the increased regulations. These limitations have seriously negatively impacted on the number of collaborations, the size of research projects, and, more generally, scientific research on microbial pathogens. Clearly, the actual number of known victims and fatalities caused by the intentional use of microorganisms has been negligible as compared with those caused by naturally acquired human infections. © 2014 The Authors Clinical Microbiology and Infection © 2014 European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases.

  15. The germs of terror – Bioterrorism and science communication after September 11

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Chiara Montani

    2006-09-01

    Full Text Available The attacks of September 11 2001 and in particular, the sending of letters containing anthrax spores the following October had a profound effect on society, and at the same time on science and its communicative mechanisms. Through a quanto-qualitative analysis of articles taken from four publications: two daily newspapers, the Corriere della Sera from Italy and the New York Times from the United States and two science magazines, Science and Nature, we have shown how the aforementioned events provoked the emergence of media attention regarding bioterrorism. A closer reading of the articles shows that today, science – including that found in science magazines – is closely related to politics, economics and the debate over the freedom to practice communicate. The very mechanisms of communication between scientists were changed as a result of this debate, as can be seen from the signing of the Denver Declaration in February 2003, which brought about the preventative self-censorship of publication of biomedical research findings.

  16. The germs of terror – Bioterrorism and science communication after September 11 (Italian original version

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Chiara Montani

    2006-09-01

    Full Text Available The attacks of September 11 2001 and in particular, the sending of letters containing anthrax spores the following October had a profound effect on society, and at the same time on science and its communicative mechanisms. Through a quanto-qualitative analysis of articles taken from four publications: two daily newspapers, the Corriere della Sera from Italy and the New York Times from the United States and two science magazines, Science and Nature, we have shown how the aforementioned events provoked the emergence of media attention regarding bioterrorism. A closer reading of the articles shows that today, science – including that found in science magazines – is closely related to politics, economics and the debate over the freedom to practice communicate. The very mechanisms of communication between scientists were changed as a result of this debate, as can be seen from the signing of the Denver Declaration in February 2003, which brought about the preventative self-censorship of publication of biomedical research findings.

  17. Bioterrorism and Biological Warfare, from Past to the Present: A classic review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Majid Zare Bidaki

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Bioterrorism is defined as any terrorist action of intentional release or dissemination of highly pathogenic biological agents, including a variety of microorganisms or biological toxins. With the growing threat of terrorism, is necessary that the potential danger of various microorganisms – as a powerful tool of aggression and threat- to be taken seriously. This review tries to explain the concept of biological weapons and their historical development process with an emphasis on efforts to control the proliferation of these types of weapons over the last century. Potential impact of infectious diseases on people and armed forces was known from since 600 BC. Using the victims of the plague as a weapon in medieval warfare and spread of smallpox as a weapon during the war against the Indians when initially America was discovered, the development of biological weapons during the World War I, World War II and the Cold War, and even since the beginning of the third millennium, all show the strategic importance of pathogenic microorganisms as a deterrent power for the superiority of some governments and cults. Historical attempts to use infectious diseases as biological weapons reveal that the distinction between a natural outbreak of an infectious disease and that of a deliberate biological attack is very difficult. Abusing this characteristic of infectious diseases has made it possible for the purposes of superiority. International agreements to control the development of biological weapons, such as “the 1925 Geneva Protocol” and “the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Biological and Toxic Weapons” have not been able to control the development and using of biological warfare.  The current paper is a classic review (Overview article aiming at increasing the knowledge and awareness of people especially of health authorities and government officials.

  18. The use of animals as a surveillance tool for monitoring environmental health hazards, human health hazards and bioterrorism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neo, Jacqueline Pei Shan; Tan, Boon Huan

    2017-05-01

    This review discusses the utilization of wild or domestic animals as surveillance tools for monitoring naturally occurring environmental and human health hazards. Besides providing early warning to natural hazards, animals can also provide early warning to societal hazards like bioterrorism. Animals are ideal surveillance tools to humans because they share the same environment as humans and spend more time outdoors than humans, increasing their exposure risk. Furthermore, the biologically compressed lifespans of some animals may allow them to develop clinical signs more rapidly after exposure to specific pathogens. Animals are an excellent channel for monitoring novel and known pathogens with outbreak potential given that more than 60 % of emerging infectious diseases in humans originate as zoonoses. This review attempts to highlight animal illnesses, deaths, biomarkers or sentinel events, to remind human and veterinary public health programs that animal health can be used to discover, monitor or predict environmental health hazards, human health hazards, or bioterrorism. Lastly, we hope that this review will encourage the implementation of animals as a surveillance tool by clinicians, veterinarians, ecosystem health professionals, researchers and governments. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  19. Testing a symptom-based surveillance system at high-profile gatherings as a preparatory measure for bioterrorism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Osaka, K; Takahashi, H; Ohyama, T

    2002-12-01

    We tested symptom-based surveillance during the G8 conference in 2000 as a means of detecting outbreaks, including bio-terrorism attacks, promptly. Five categories of symptoms (skin and haemorrhagic, respiratory, gastrointestinal, neurological and unexplained) were adopted for the case definition of the surveillance. The surveillance began I week before the conference, and continued until 1 week after the conference ended. We could not detect any outbreaks during this surveillance. Compared to the existing diagnosis-based surveillance system, symptom-based surveillance has the advantages of timeliness and simplicity. However, poor specificity and difficulties in determining epidemic threshold were important limitations of this system. To increase the specificity of surveillance, it is essential to incorporate rapid laboratory diagnoses into the system.

  20. Predicting Response to Reassurances and Uncertainties in Bioterrorism Communications for Urban Populations in New York and California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vaughan, Elaine; Tinker, Tim L.; Truman, Benedict I.; Edelson, Paul; Morse, Stephen S.

    2015-01-01

    Recent national plans for recovery from bioterrorism acts perpetrated in densely populated urban areas acknowledge the formidable technical and social challenges of consequence management. Effective risk and crisis communication is one priority to strengthen the U.S.’s response and resilience. However, several notable risk events since September 11, 2001, have revealed vulnerabilities in risk/crisis communication strategies and infrastructure of agencies responsible for protecting civilian populations. During recovery from a significant biocontamination event, 2 goals are essential: (1) effective communication of changing risk circumstances and uncertainties related to cleanup, restoration, and reoccupancy; and (2) adequate responsiveness to emerging information needs and priorities of diverse populations in high-threat, vulnerable locations. This telephone survey study explored predictors of public reactions to uncertainty communications and reassurances from leaders related to the remediation stage of an urban-based bioterrorism incident. African American and Hispanic adults (N = 320) were randomly sampled from 2 ethnically and socioeconomically diverse geographic areas in New York and California assessed as high threat, high vulnerability for terrorism and other public health emergencies. Results suggest that considerable heterogeneity exists in risk perspectives and information needs within certain sociodemographic groups; that success of risk/crisis communication during recovery is likely to be uneven; that common assumptions about public responsiveness to particular risk communications need further consideration; and that communication effectiveness depends partly on preexisting values and risk perceptions and prior trust in leaders. Needed improvements in communication strategies are possible with recognition of where individuals start as a reference point for reasoning about risk information, and comprehension of how this influences subsequent

  1. Communicating the risks of bioterrorism and other emergencies in a diverse society: a case study of special populations in North Dakota.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGough, Marty; Frank, Loreeta Leer; Tipton, Stacia; Tinker, Tim L; Vaughan, Elaine

    2005-01-01

    In the event that terrorists use air, water, or food to deliver destructive agents to civilian populations, some groups and populations may be disproportionately at risk and have unique communications needs. Bioterrorism represents an even greater national public health threat if the nation's preparedness and readiness plans do not address the needs and perspectives of, for example, low-income residents, racially and ethnically diverse communities, and other "special populations". The objective of this study was to develop communications strategies to reach special populations in North Dakota before, during, and after a bioterrorism attack or other crisis. To achieve the study objectives, the investigators used telephone interviews and telephone focus groups with organizations that represented special populations. Areas of inquiry included attitudes and concerns about crises, sources of information used and those identified as most credible, methods to reach people during a crisis event, and awareness of and attitudes about the agencies and organizations that affect risk communications.

  2. Effectiveness of E-learning Compared to Classroom Learning in the Diagnostic Approach to Bioterrorism and Chemical Terrorism for Emergency Physicians

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mustafa Alavi-Moghaddam

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Background and purpose: Emergency physicians play an important role in the immediate diagnosis of bioterrorism activities. The present study was conducted with the purpose of comparing the effectiveness of e-learning and classroom learning in approach to bioterrorism and chemical terrorism for emergency physicians.Methods: This was a semi-empirical study, which was conducted via testing knowledge before and after the educational intervention in the field of bioterrorism and chemical terrorism on the emergency physicians in Tehran. The external validity of the questionnaire was confirmed by two academic experts in order to determine the ability to detect bioterrorist and chemical terrorist diseases. In this study, education was done in both virtual and classroom forms. The education regarded 6 bioterrorist diseases in group A (anthrax, plague, viral hemorrhagic fever, tularemia, smallpox, and 5 chemical terrorist diseases (nerve gas, mustard, lewisite, phosgene, chlorine.Results: 160 doctors participated in this study. 96 people (60% were men and 64 people (40% were women. The average age of the participants was 36.2±5.5 years. In e-learning method, the pre-test scores average was (30.6%, while the post-test scores average was (81.6% (p=0.001. In classroom learning method, the pre-test scores average was (41.9%, while the post-test scores average was (72.9%, which the pre-test and post-test scores average differences in both cases are significant (p<0.001. In e-learning method, the difference was (51%, and in the classroom method it was (31%, which these two represent a 20% difference between methods. From statistical point of view, this difference indicates that the e-learning method being more effective (p=0.02.Conclusions: Based on the study results, it seems that in comparison to the classroom learning, e-learning method is more effective in helping emergency physicians to diagnose bioterrorism or chemical terrorism factors.Keywords: E

  3. History of Bioterrorism: Botulism

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  9. Simultaneous Detection of CDC Category "A" DNA and RNA Bioterrorism Agents by Use of Multiplex PCR & RT-PCR Enzyme Hybridization Assays

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kelly J. Henrickson

    2009-10-01

    Full Text Available Assays to simultaneously detect multiple potential agents of bioterrorism are limited. Two multiplex PCR and RT-PCR enzyme hybridization assays (mPCR-EHA, mRT-PCR-EHA were developed to simultaneously detect many of the CDC category “A” bioterrorism agents. The “Bio T” DNA assay was developed to detect: Variola major (VM, Bacillus anthracis (BA, Yersinia pestis (YP, Francisella tularensis (FT and Varicella zoster virus (VZV. The “Bio T” RNA assay (mRT-PCR-EHA was developed to detect: Ebola virus (Ebola, Lassa fever virus (Lassa, Rift Valley fever (RVF, Hantavirus Sin Nombre species (HSN and dengue virus (serotypes 1-4. Sensitivity and specificity of the 2 assays were tested by using genomic DNA, recombinant plasmid positive controls, RNA transcripts controls, surrogate (spiked clinical samples and common respiratory pathogens. The analytical sensitivity (limit of detection (LOD of the DNA asssay for genomic DNA was 1×100~1×102 copies/mL for BA, FT and YP. The LOD for VZV whole organism was 1×10-2 TCID50/mL. The LOD for recombinant controls ranged from 1×102~1×103copies/mL for BA, FT, YP and VM. The RNA assay demonstrated LOD for RNA transcript controls of 1×104~1×106 copies/mL without extraction and 1×105~1×106 copies/mL with extraction for Ebola, RVF, Lassa and HSN. The LOD for dengue whole organisms was ~1×10-4 dilution for dengue 1 and 2, 1×104 LD50/mL and 1×102 LD50/mL for dengue 3 and 4. The LOD without extraction for recombinant plasmid DNA controls was ~1×103 copies/mL (1.5 input copies/reaction for Ebola, RVF, Lassa and HSN. No cross-reactivity of primers and probes used in both assays was detected with common respiratory pathogens or between targeted analytes. Clinical sensitivity was estimated using 264 surrogate clinical samples tested with the BioT DNA assay and 549 samples tested with the BioT RNA assay. The clinical specificity is 99.6% and 99.8% for BioT DNA assay and BioT RNA assay, respectively. The

  10. The association between self-perceived proficiency of personal protective equipment and objective performance: An observational study during a bioterrorism simulation drill.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fogel, Itay; David, Osant; Balik, Chaya H; Eisenkraft, Arik; Poles, Lion; Shental, Omri; Kassirer, Michael; Brosh-Nissimov, Tal

    2017-11-01

    The recent Ebola virus disease outbreak emphasized the potential misuse of personal protective equipment (PPE) by health care workers (HCWs) during such an event. We aimed to compare self-perceived proficiency of PPE use and objective performance, and identify predictors of low compliance and PPE misuse. An observational study combined with subjective questionnaires were carried out during a bioterror simulation drill. Forty-two observers evaluated performance under PPE. Mistakes were recorded and graded using a structured observational format and were correlated with the subjective questionnaires and with demographic parameters. One hundred seventy-eight HCWs from community clinics and hospitals were included. The mean self-perceived proficiency was high (6.1 out of 7), mean level of comfort was moderate (4.0 out of 7), and mean objective performance was intermediate (9.5 out of 13). There was no correlation between comfort and objective performance scores. Self-perceived proficiency was in correlation with donning and continuous performance with PPE but not with doffing. Clinic personnel performed better than personnel in hospitals (40.3% vs 67.8% with 3 or more mistakes, respectively; P = .001). Demographic characteristics had no correlation with objective or self-perceived performance. Self-perceived proficiency is a poor predictor of appropriate PPE use. The results suggest poor awareness of the possibility of PPE misuse. Copyright © 2017 Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology, Inc. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. Ebola virus: bioterrorism for humans

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pramodkumar Pyarelal Gupta

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Ebola virus disease is a severe, often fatal, zoonotic infection caused by a virus of the Filoviridae family (genus Ebolavirus. Ebola virus (EBOV spreads by human to human transmission through contacts with body fluids from infected patients. Initial stages of EBOV are non-specific which makes the differential diagnosis broad. Here in this review article we focused on to show the details of EBOV, from its first case right up to the possible targets to cure this lethal disease. In this study we have shown the statistical survey, epidemiology, disease ontology, different genes coding for different proteins in EBOV and future aspects of it.

  12. [Viral biosafety, biosecurity, and bioterrorism].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garin, D

    2010-02-01

    Intentional release of infectious agents has always been considered as a possible weapon. Today this risk has expanded from use for wartime mass destruction to small-scale terrorist acts. Viruses, some of tropical origin, constitute a special biological hazard for several reasons: great infectious potential, adaptability to the host, difficulty for diagnosis in the hospital, and absence of specific treatment for the main agents involved. Handling of the dangerous biological agents requires special biocontainment laboratories equipped and classified according to increasing risk up to level 4. This article discusses the modalities of classification.

  13. A Program Against Bacterial Bioterrorism

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kemp, Michael; Dargis, Rimtas; Andresen, Keld

    2012-01-01

    fever, tularemia, trench fever, brucellosis, and melioidosis. The implementation of an antibioterrorism program in a clinical diagnostic setting improved the diagnostic possibilities for patients in Denmark and provided new epidemiologic information. It also introduced a number of diagnostic assays...

  14. Detecting Bioterrorism: Is Chemistry Enough?

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Omberg, Kristin M. [Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)

    2014-03-13

    This slide shows how most bioaerosol detection systems work. There is a lot of concern in the biothreat community, and in the federal government, about a large-scale aerosolized attack. Because of that, we’ve implemented environmental monitoring programs that use aerosol collectors to continuously monitor for the presence of threat agents in the air. Air samples are usually analyzed using PCR, which is one of the most effective analytical techniques we have for identifying DNA. Experiments and modeling have shown these systems are effective, and can warn public health of an impending crisis in time to mount an effective response.

  15. New England Bioterrorism Preparedness Workshop

    Science.gov (United States)

    2002-04-04

    Hypoxia • GI – Fever – Nausea/vomiting – Diarrhea (+/-bloody) • Rash and fever – Vesicular – Petechial • Neurologic – cranial nerve palsies, HA...plague) • variola major (smallpox) • Francisella tularensis (tularemia) • Viral hemorrhagic fever Agents of Concern: CDC Category B • Coxiella...burnetti (Q fever ) • Brucella species (brucellosis) • Burkholderia mallei (glanders) • ricin toxin from Ricinus communis (castor beans) • epsilon toxin of

  16. Identification of the factors that govern the ability of therapeutic antibodies to provide postchallenge protection against botulinum toxin: a model for assessing postchallenge efficacy of medical countermeasures against agents of bioterrorism and biological warfare.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Al-Saleem, Fetweh H; Nasser, Zidoon; Olson, Rebecca M; Cao, Linsen; Simpson, Lance L

    2011-08-01

    Therapeutic antibodies are one of the major classes of medical countermeasures that can provide protection against potential bioweapons such as botulinum toxin. Although a broad array of antibodies are being evaluated for their ability to neutralize the toxin, there is little information that defines the circumstances under which these antibodies can be used. In the present study, an effort was made to quantify the temporal factors that govern therapeutic antibody use in a postchallenge scenario. Experiments were done involving inhalation administration of toxin to mice, intravenous administration to mice, and direct application to murine phrenic nerve-hemidiaphragm preparations. As part of this study, several pharmacokinetic characteristics of botulinum toxin and neutralizing antibodies were measured. The core observation that emerged from the work was that the window of opportunity within which postchallenge administration of antibodies exerted a beneficial effect increased as the challenge dose of toxin decreased. The critical factor in establishing the window of opportunity was the amount of time needed for fractional redistribution of a neuroparalytic quantum of toxin from the extraneuronal space to the intraneuronal space. This redistribution event was a dose-dependent phenomenon. It is likely that the approach used to identify the factors that govern postchallenge efficacy of antibodies against botulinum toxin can be used to assess the factors that govern postchallenge efficacy of medical countermeasures against any agent of bioterrorism or biological warfare.

  17. [Bio-terrorism, bio-defense, bioethics].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kottow, Miguel

    2003-01-01

    The terrorist attacks launched on September 11, 2001, ignited fear of further aggression with biological weapons, leading to a discourse and allocation of resources for both defensive and dissuasive/ offensive use in order to counteract such threats. Many such measures involved the investigation and production of biological agents, and the public health field has been called upon to participate in these strategic efforts. Participation by health programs is in moral contradiction with military tactics and should be limited to protecting the health of the purportedly threatened population, in itself a difficult task due to the numerous imponderable factors. The additional resources being made available to public health are largely conditioned on their strategic military application, leaving traditional public health care in its chronic state of insufficient funding and non-egalitarian allocation.

  18. Bioterrorism Preparedness for Infectious Disease Proposal

    Science.gov (United States)

    2006-01-01

    simulation practicum. Sessions were attended by General Officers from the US, India, Malaysia , Vietnam, Australia, Cambodia, Laos, Singapore...continuously stressed to all staff. Clinical and laboratory staff are trained in protection of human subjects, OSHA regulations, universal precautions...Southeast Asia bordering Laos and Cambodia to the east, the Gulf of Thailand and Malaysia to the south, and the Andaman Sea and Myanmar to the west. The

  19. Assessing the Biological Weapons and Bioterrorism Threat

    Science.gov (United States)

    2005-12-01

    Senate testimony, Dr. Craig Venter suggested that “outbreaks and spread of avian and other fl u virus strains . . . could potentially kill hundreds of...May 23, 2005. 36. Dr. Craig Venter, Testimony to Hearing of the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, “21st Century...International Studies. 241. Robert M. Cook- Deegan , “Issues in Biosecurity and Biosafety,” Science, Vol. 308, No. 5730, June 24, 2005, pp. 1867-1868

  20. Protecting HVAC systems from bio-terrorism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arterburn, Tom

    2003-01-01

    The FBI, in the wake of the September 11 attacks, issued an advisory to state and local law enforcement authorities and the public asking to remain especially alert to any unusual activities around ventilation systems. It noted that while the Bureau possessed no specific threats regarding the release of toxic chemicals into air handling systems, building owners and managers should be well-aware of the potential for contamination of such systems. This article presents recommendations of air-handling experts and associations for operators to consider.

  1. Bioterrorism Preparedness for Infectious Disease (BTPID) Proposal

    Science.gov (United States)

    2007-01-01

    ranging from eczema vaccinatum, to myocarditis, to accinial encephalitis, resulting in fatal complications and ubstantial morbidity in some...1893, when it was known locally as ‘boohoo fever’, a name arising from the emotional distress that usually accompanies the disease. The first

  2. Forensic microbiology and bioterrorism risk (Part II

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Nasso

    2007-04-01

    Full Text Available The letters containing anthrax, sent in 2001 in USA, showed that pathogens and toxins can be effectively used for terrorist purposes. A new subfield of forensic science, called “microbial forensics”, has been developed. It is a new scientific discipline dedicated to collect and analyze microbiological evidence from a scene of crime. In addition to collecting and analyzing traditional forensic evidences, the microbial forensic investigation will attempt to determine the identity of the causal agent, as so as epidemiologic investigation, but with higher-resolution characterization. The tools for a successful attribution include genetically based-assays to determine the exact strain of isolate, aiming the individualization of the source of the pathogen used in a biological weapon. Following the 2001 anthrax attacks, genotyping of B. anthracis was done on 8 variable number tandem repeats loci (VNTR polymorphisms, with multilocus variable number tandem repeats (MLVA method. In recent years some research groups have increased the VNTR markers number to 25 loci, while other groups have identified single nucleotide repeat (SNR polymorphisms, which display very high mutation rates. SNR marker system allows the distinguishing of isolates with extremely low levels of genetic diversity within the same MLVA genotype.

  3. Comparing electronic news media reports of potential bioterrorism-related incidents involving unknown white powder to reports received by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Federal Bureau of Investigation: U.S.A., 2009-2011.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fajardo, Geroncio C; Posid, Joseph; Papagiotas, Stephen; Lowe, Luis

    2015-01-01

    There have been periodic electronic news media reports of potential bioterrorism-related incidents involving unknown substances (often referred to as "white powder") since the 2001 intentional dissemination of Bacillus anthracis through the U.S. Postal System. This study reviewed the number of unknown "white powder" incidents reported online by the electronic news media and compared them with unknown "white powder" incidents reported to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) during a 2-year period from June 1, 2009 and May 31, 2011. Results identified 297 electronic news media reports, 538 CDC reports, and 384 FBI reports of unknown "white powder." This study showed different unknown "white powder" incidents captured by each of the three sources. However, the authors could not determine the public health implications of this discordance. Published 2014. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.

  4. Bioterrorism Countermeasure Development: Issues in Patents and Homeland Security

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Schacht, Wendy H; Thomas, John R

    2006-01-01

    ... potential biological threats. These bills proposed reforms to current policies and practices associated with intellectual property, particularly patents, and the marketing of pharmaceuticals and related products...

  5. Biosecurity: Addressing the Threats of Bioterrorism and Infectious Diseases

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-03-22

    weakened the Inca and Aztec Empire and led to a leadership crisis that eventually contributed significantly to the Spanish conquest. See John AI berth...vii 1. INTRODUCTION Since the end of the Cold War and the demise of the Soviet empire , certain experts optimistically proclaimed the triumph of...for millennia, have been responsible for the deaths of millions and the collapse of a few ancient empires , 17 the human species has always managed to

  6. Agricultural Bioterrorism: A Federal Strategy to Meet the Threat

    Science.gov (United States)

    2002-01-01

    10,000—the price of a beer fermenter, a protein-based culture, a gas mask, and a plastic lab coat.30 Compounding the problem of ease of...deliberate food contamination by terrorists. In 1996, FSIS implemented the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point ( HACCP ) regulatory system. This...America. FSIS is expanding the HACCP program by undertaking a comprehensive farm- to-table approach to improve product safety at each step in the

  7. Bioterrorism Preparedness in Public Health: Knowledge Needs for Robust Transformations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ipe, Minu

    2007-01-01

    The typical response of organizations dealing with external uncertainty is to develop strategies to adapt to the situation and focus on regaining a stable state. A crucial element of responding successfully to external uncertainties is to identify changes in knowledge needs within core organizational processes. This paper discusses the changing…

  8. Countering bioterrorism: the role of science and technology

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Panel on Biological Issues, Committee on Science and Technology for Countering Terrorism, National Research Council

    2002-01-01

    .... The traditional public health response-surveillance (intelligence), prevention, detection, response, recovery, and attribution-is the paradigm for the national response not only to all forms of terrorism but also to emerging infectious diseases...

  9. CHLORINE INACTIVATION OF CATEGORY "A" BIO-TERRORISM AGENTS

    Science.gov (United States)

    This poster presents information on the inactivation of select bioterrorist agents. Information will be presented on chlorine disinfection of vegetative cells of Brucella suis, Brucella melitensis, Burkholderia mallei, Burkholderia pseudomallei, Francisella tularensis and endos...

  10. In the Event of Bioterrorism: Protecting Families from Deadly Diseases

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... to-person transmission can occur from contact with drainage from infected lymph nodes or by breathing in ... Antibiotics may be prescribed as a preventive (prophylactic) measure in these cases. Although plague has not been ...

  11. [Dimensional analysis of the concept of biosafety due to bioterrorism].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bernard, Laurence; Shaha, Maya

    2014-03-01

    In recent years with the strengthening of the discourse surrounding the biological risk of bioterrorist nature, the concept of biosafety emerged gradually. A dimensional analysis was used to contextualize the concept. Initially, biosafety was essentially a technical term related to the risks of contamination in laboratories or food industry and then be used to protect biodiversity against the spread of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) into the environment. Now, it is increasingly used in reference to the prevention and infections control, even though its use remains marginal. However, biosecurity may be defined as the security of life and therefore affect the safety devices participating in the government of bodies and power over life. A more critical approach including social and political dimensions within a Foucauldian perspective is needed to expand the scope of the biosecurity concept up to biological hazards constructs.

  12. The Thermal Stabilization of Vaccines Against Agents of Bioterrorism

    Science.gov (United States)

    2005-09-01

    intramuscular administration of an adenovirusbased vaccine encoding humanized protective antigen. Hum Gene Ther 14(17): 1673-1682. 7. Abrami L, Lindsay M...1-106) against valley fever was synthesized and purified by scientists at the Southern Arizona Veterans Administrations Medical Center. The reverse...storage stability, more like the original constructs. 60 The chimeric valley fever protein was encapsulated into nanoparticles in an effort to improve

  13. Bioterrorism Countermeasure Development: Issues in Patents and Homeland Security

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Schacht, Wendy H; Thomas, John R

    2006-01-01

    ...; S. 975, the Project Bioshield II Act; and S. 1873, the Biodefense and Pandemic Vaccine and Drug Development Act, would have generated additional incentives for the creation of new products and processes by the private sector to counteract...

  14. Forensic microbiology and the bioterrorism risk (Part I

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Nasso

    2007-02-01

    Full Text Available The letters containing anthrax, sent in 2001 in USA, showed that pathogens and toxins can be effectively used for terrorist purposes. A new subfield of forensic science, called “microbial forensics”, has been developed. It is a new scientific discipline dedicated to collect and analyze microbiological evidence from a scene of crime. In addition to collecting and analyzing traditional forensic evidences, the microbial forensic investigation will attempt to determine the identity of the causal agent, as so as epidemiologic investigation, but with higher-resolution characterization. The tools for a successful attribution include genetically based-assays to determine the exact strain of isolate, aiming the individualization of the source of the pathogen used in a biological weapon. Following the 2001 anthrax attacks, genotyping of B. anthracis was done on 8 variable number tandem repeats loci (VNTR polymorphisms, with multilocus variable number tandem repeats (MLVA method. In recent years some research groups have increased the VNTR markers number to 25 loci, while other groups have identified single nucleotide repeat (SNR polymorphisms, which display very high mutation rates. SNR marker system allows the distinguishing of isolates with extremely low levels of genetic diversity within the same MLVA genotype.

  15. U.S. Strategy for Bioterrorism Emergency Medical Preparedness and Response

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Lugo, Angel

    2003-01-01

    ... diseases and mass casualty dangers. The 2002 National Strategy for Homeland Security includes numerous emergency preparedness and response initiatives as part of the overall homeland security strategy...

  16. Bio-Terrorism: A Limited Threat Against the U.S. Homeland

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Chiri, Don

    2002-01-01

    .... With the amount of media attention given to the issue, the casual observer cannot help but have a significant concern that he or she is likely to be killed or injured in a terrorist attack by a biological agent...

  17. 76 FR 61227 - Agricultural Bioterrorism Protection Act of 2002; Biennial Review and Republication of the Select...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-10-03

    ... representing the Federal life sciences, public health, law enforcement, security, and intelligence communities...-mouth disease virus and rinderpest virus due to the particular dangers posed by these two viruses. Foot... products or ingestion of contaminated milk, artificial insemination, and inhalation of infectious aerosols...

  18. 75 FR 50730 - Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2002: Biennial Review...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-08-17

    .... Comments may be e-mailed to: [email protected] . FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Robbin Weyant, Director...., MS A-46, Atlanta, Georgia 30333. Telephone: (404) 718-2000. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On July 21... regulations (42 CFR part 73) to implement a tiering and/or stratification schema along with any corresponding...

  19. Institute for Advanced Pharmaceutical Sciences: Molecular Targets and Drug Screens to Combat Bioterrorism

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-12-01

    reaction volume with a 1.00 cm cuvette, and then calculating the rate of reaction (NADH/min) using the Beer –Lambert equation (AU=e·l· ACHTUNGTRENNUNG...10) Michel, K. H.; Boeck, L. D.; Hoehn, M. M.; Jones, N. D.; Chaney, M. O. The discovery, fermentation , isolation, and structure of antibiotic A...Antibiotic A-33853 was produced by aerobic fermentation from a new Streptomyces sp. that was isolated from an Illinois soil sample. Antibiotic A

  20. Initiating informatics and GIS support for a field investigation of Bioterrorism: The New Jersey anthrax experience

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Skinner Ric

    2003-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The investigation of potential exposure to anthrax spores in a Trenton, New Jersey, mail-processing facility required rapid assessment of informatics needs and adaptation of existing informatics tools to new physical and information-processing environments. Because the affected building and its computers were closed down, data to list potentially exposed persons and map building floor plans were unavailable from the primary source. Results Controlling the effects of anthrax contamination required identification and follow-up of potentially exposed persons. Risk of exposure had to be estimated from the geographic relationship between work history and environmental sample sites within the contaminated facility. To assist in establishing geographic relationships, floor plan maps of the postal facility were constructed in ArcView Geographic Information System (GIS software and linked to a database of personnel and visitors using Epi Info and Epi Map 2000. A repository for maintaining the latest versions of various documents was set up using Web page hyperlinks. Conclusions During public health emergencies, such as bioterrorist attacks and disease epidemics, computerized information systems for data management, analysis, and communication may be needed within hours of beginning the investigation. Available sources of data and output requirements of the system may be changed frequently during the course of the investigation. Integrating data from a variety of sources may require entering or importing data from a variety of digital and paper formats. Spatial representation of data is particularly valuable for assessing environmental exposure. Written documents, guidelines, and memos important to the epidemic were frequently revised. In this investigation, a database was operational on the second day and the GIS component during the second week of the investigation.

  1. Bichat guidelines for the clinical management of smallpox and bioterrorism-related smallpox.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bossi, Philippe; Tegnell, Anders; Baka, Agoritsa; Van Loock, Frank; Hendriks, J; Werner, Albrecht; Maidhof, Heinrich; Gouvras, Georgios

    2004-12-15

    Smallpox is a viral infection caused by the variola virus. It was declared eradicated worldwide by the Word Health Organization in 1980 following a smallpox eradication campaign. Smallpox is seen as one of the viruses most likely to be used as a biological weapon. The variola virus exists legitimately in only two laboratories in the world. Any new case of smallpox would have to be the result of human accidental or deliberate release. The aerosol infectivity, high mortality, and stability of the variola virus make it a potential and dangerous threat in biological warfare. Early detection and diagnosis are important to limit the spread of the disease. Patients with smallpox must be isolated and managed, if possible, in a negative-pressure room until death or until all scabs have been shed. There is no established antiviral treatment for smallpox. The most effective prevention is vaccination before exposure.

  2. 75 FR 44724 - Agricultural Bioterrorism Protection Act of 2002; Biennial Review and Republication of the Select...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-29

    ... statutory mandate, PPQ and VS each convene separate interagency working groups in order to review the lists... responsibility for implementing the provisions of the Act within the Department of Agriculture (USDA). Veterinary Services (VS) select agents and toxins, listed in 9 CFR 121.3, are those that have been determined to have...

  3. Negative impact of laws regarding biosecurity and bioterrorism on real diseases

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wurtz, N.; Grobusch, M. P.; Raoult, D.

    2014-01-01

    Research on highly pathogenic microorganisms in biosafety level 3 and 4 laboratories is very important for human public health, as it provides opportunities for the development of vaccines and novel therapeutics as well as diagnostic methods to prevent epidemics. However, in recent years, after the

  4. Bioterrorism and Biocrimes: The Illicit Use of Biological Agents Since 1900

    Science.gov (United States)

    2001-02-01

    Initially, his physicians thought he might have contracted an unusual tropical disease during a July 1995, trip to Peru , perhaps an unusual form of... anemia , and blood in his urine.383 Around October 4 or 5, he was flown to Moscow for treatment of what was by then thought to be a kidney infection

  5. 77 FR 61055 - Agricultural Bioterrorism Protection Act of 2002; Biennial Review and Republication of the Select...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-10-05

    ... be modified genetically to become harmful are not included on the select agent list because of this... oryzae has been modified for use as a biological weapon in the past, it has been retained on the list of... disease virus is used by vaccine manufacturers as the challenge organism to verify the potency of...

  6. Bioterrorismo, biodefensa, bioética Bio-terrorism, bio-defense, bioethics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Miguel Kottow

    2003-02-01

    Full Text Available A raíz de los ataques terroristas del 11 de Septiembre de 2001, ha aumentado el temor social frente a posibles agresiones con armas biológicas. Ello ha desencadenado un discurso y una movilización de recursos para el uso tanto defensivo como disuasivo y ofensivo, para contrarrestar estas amenazas. Muchas de estas medidas involucran, a su vez, la investigación y producción de elementos biológicos, y la salud pública ha sido convocada para participar en estos esfuerzos estratégicos. La participación de programas sanitarios se contradice moralmente con tácticas militares y debiera limitarse a la protección sanitaria de la población presuntamente amenazada, tarea ya difícil dados los diversos imponderables que se presentan. Los recursos adicionales que se están poniendo a disposición de salud pública van en gran medida condicionados a su aplicación estratégico-militar, dejando las tareas tradicionales de la medicina poblacional en las falencias e inequidades que crónicamente la aquejan.The terrorist attacks launched on September 11, 2001, ignited fear of further aggression with biological weapons, leading to a discourse and allocation of resources for both defensive and dissuasive/ offensive use in order to counteract such threats. Many such measures involved the investigation and production of biological agents, and the public health field has been called upon to participate in these strategic efforts. Participation by health programs is in moral contradiction with military tactics and should be limited to protecting the health of the purportedly threatened population, in itself a difficult task due to the numerous imponderable factors. The additional resources being made available to public health are largely conditioned on their strategic military application, leaving traditional public health care in its chronic state of insufficient funding and non-egalitarian allocation.

  7. Distributed micro-releases of bioterror pathogens : threat characterizations and epidemiology from uncertain patient observables.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wolf, Michael M. (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL); Marzouk, Youssef M.; Adams, Brian M.; Devine, Karen Dragon; Ray, Jaideep; Najm, Habib N.

    2008-10-01

    Terrorist attacks using an aerosolized pathogen preparation have gained credibility as a national security concern since the anthrax attacks of 2001. The ability to characterize the parameters of such attacks, i.e., to estimate the number of people infected, the time of infection, the average dose received, and the rate of disease spread in contemporary American society (for contagious diseases), is important when planning a medical response. For non-contagious diseases, we address the characterization problem by formulating a Bayesian inverse problem predicated on a short time-series of diagnosed patients exhibiting symptoms. To keep the approach relevant for response planning, we limit ourselves to 3.5 days of data. In computational tests performed for anthrax, we usually find these observation windows sufficient, especially if the outbreak model employed in the inverse problem is accurate. For contagious diseases, we formulated a Bayesian inversion technique to infer both pathogenic transmissibility and the social network from outbreak observations, ensuring that the two determinants of spreading are identified separately. We tested this technique on data collected from a 1967 smallpox epidemic in Abakaliki, Nigeria. We inferred, probabilistically, different transmissibilities in the structured Abakaliki population, the social network, and the chain of transmission. Finally, we developed an individual-based epidemic model to realistically simulate the spread of a rare (or eradicated) disease in a modern society. This model incorporates the mixing patterns observed in an (American) urban setting and accepts, as model input, pathogenic transmissibilities estimated from historical outbreaks that may have occurred in socio-economic environments with little resemblance to contemporary society. Techniques were also developed to simulate disease spread on static and sampled network reductions of the dynamic social networks originally in the individual-based model, yielding faster, though approximate, network-based epidemic models. These reduced-order models are useful in scenario analysis for medical response planning, as well as in computationally intensive inverse problems.

  8. Bioterrorism in Canada: An Economic Assessment of Prevention and Postattack Response

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ronald St John

    2001-01-01

    Full Text Available The present paper calculates the human and economic consequences of a bioterrorist attack on Canadian soil using aerosolized Bacillus anthracis and Clostridium botulinum. The study assumed that 100,000 people in a Canadian suburban neighbourhood were exposed over a 2 h period to an infectious dose of one of the agents. Using an epidemic curve based on the epidemiology and management of anthrax and botulinum poisoning, the costs of intervention and treatment after an attack were compared with the costs of preparedness before a bioterrorist attack. The results show that an investment in planning and preparedness to manage the consequences of an attack can reduce morbidity, mortality and economic costs. The sooner that an intervention program is instituted, the more significant are the health and economic benefits. The greatest benefits were realized when postattack intervention was initiated before day 3 after the event. The economic impact of a bioterrorist attack in Canada could range from $6.4 billion/100,000 exposed to B anthracis to $8.6 billion/100,000 exposed in an attack using C botulinum. Without the benefit of an effective consequence management program, predicted deaths totalled 32,875 from anthrax and 30,000 from botulinum toxin. Rapid implementation of a postattack prophylaxis program that includes the stockpiling of antibiotics, vaccines and antitoxins; training of first responders in the diagnosis, handling and treatment of pathogens; and the general enhancement of Canada's response capability would reduce both human and economic losses.

  9. The Bioterrorism Threat by Non-State Actors: Hype or Horror?

    Science.gov (United States)

    2006-12-01

    at Holy Cross Hospital in Fort Lauderdale, FL, thinks he treated one of the 9/11 hijackers, Ahmed Ibrahim A. Haznawi, for cutaneous anthrax. In...of Kyushu, he was the fourth son of a poor family of mat weavers.128 He was afflicted with infantile glaucoma causing blindness in one eye and

  10. Viral bioterrorism: Learning the lesson of Ebola virus in West Africa 2013-2015.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cenciarelli, Orlando; Gabbarini, Valentina; Pietropaoli, Stefano; Malizia, Andrea; Tamburrini, Annalaura; Ludovici, Gian Marco; Carestia, Mariachiara; Di Giovanni, Daniele; Sassolini, Alessandro; Palombi, Leonardo; Bellecci, Carlo; Gaudio, Pasquale

    2015-12-02

    Among the potential biological agents suitable as a weapon, Ebola virus represents a major concern. Classified by the CDC as a category A biological agent, Ebola virus causes severe hemorrhagic fever, characterized by high case-fatality rate; to date, no vaccine or approved therapy is available. The EVD epidemic, which broke out in West Africa since the late 2013, has got the issue of the possible use of Ebola virus as biological warfare agent (BWA) to come to the fore once again. In fact, due to its high case-fatality rate, population currently associates this pathogen to a real and tangible threat. Therefore, its use as biological agent by terrorist groups with offensive purpose could have serious repercussions from a psychosocial point of view as well as on closely sanitary level. In this paper, after an initial study of the main characteristics of Ebola virus, its potential as a BWA was evaluated. Furthermore, given the spread of the epidemic in West Africa in 2014 and 2015, the potential dissemination of the virus from an urban setting was evaluated. Finally, it was considered the actual possibility to use this agent as BWA in different scenarios, and the potential effects on one or more nation's stability. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. Planning for Bioterrorism. Behavioral & Mental Health Responses to Weapons of Mass Destruction & Mass Disruption

    Science.gov (United States)

    2000-07-16

    through their franchise , responsibility for war and the support of war rest on the people. Sherman’s opinion was by no means universally shared, as one...Only in the private after action reports did the ugly questions of transportation, food distribution, and military logistics enter the experience. In...weak concentration of sari gas on multiple subway trains as they converged on downtown Tokyo. Now we are talking about a terrorist group, using a

  12. The role of zoonotic and parasitic agent in bioterrorism the need for ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    As a result of new world era of terrorism in 21st century; terrorist have employed different types of weapons to kill and maim people in soft targets. The risk posed by biological agents as a weapon needs evaluation both historical and technological for a better understanding. From historical and technological point of view ...

  13. A tale of two studies; ethics, bioterrorism, and the censorship of science.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Selgelid, Michael J

    2007-01-01

    Some scientific research should not be published. The risks to national security and public health override the social benefits of disseminating scientific results openly. Unfortunately, scientists themselves are not in a position to know which studies to withhold from public view, as the National Research Council has proposed. Yet neither can government alone be trusted to balance the competing interests at stake.

  14. Public perception and risk communication in regard to bioterrorism against animals and plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pearson, G S

    2006-04-01

    This paper examines the total international prohibition on the use of disease to attack humans, animals and plants, noting that in the past several countries had developed programmes for attacks on animals and plants as well as humans. Current activities undertaken by intergovernmental organisations - the World Health Organization (WHO), Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) and World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE)--to counter the threat of attacks on humans, animals and plants are examined. Effective countermeasures to deliberate attacks need to be developed in harmony with existing measures to control natural or accidental outbreaks of disease. Finally the paper assesses the risk and the public perception of it, and considers what risk communication is needed and to whom. Clear mandates are needed for the FAO and OIE to be prepared to deal with outbreaks of disease, and with contamination of the food supply chain, whether accidental or intentional.

  15. Bioterror Preparedness-Educational Programming for Military, Public Health and Civilian Medical Personnel

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Hurrell, Jr, George; West, Gordon

    2006-01-01

    .... We are comparing live meetings presented in a didactic format vs active learning format, web based education in a didactic vs active learning format, PDA based format, and printed monograph based format...

  16. Global Survey of Research and Capabilities in Genetically Engineered Organisms That Could be Used in Biological Warfare or Bioterrorism

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-12-01

    that allow producing GEOs without need for access of threat micro - organisms, making some of the Select Agents Rules regarding possession of...Hospital de Bellvitge, Universidad de Barcelona • Unidad de Medicina Tropical, Servicio de Enfermedades Infecciosas, Hospital Ramon y Cajal, Madrid

  17. Testing the Effectiveness of the North Shore - LIJ Health System’s Bioterrorism Response Program to Identified Surveillance Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    2007-03-01

    GASTROENTERITIS, NONINFCT Gastroenteritis GI 127 HELMINTHIASES, OTHER INTE Helminth infection GI 127.7 HELMINTHIASIS , INTESTINAL Helminth infection GI 127.8... HELMINTHIASIS , MIXED INTE Helminth infection GI 127.9 INTESTINAL HELMINTHIASIS Helminth infection GI 128 HELMINTHIASIS , OTHER & UN Helminth infection...GI 128.8 HELMINTHIASIS INFECTION N Helminth infection GI 128.9 HELMINTHIASIS INFECTION N Helminth infection GI 129 INTESTINAL PARASITISM NOS Helminth

  18. Guerra biológica, bioterrorismo e saúde pública Biological warfare, bioterrorism and public health

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luiz Jacintho da Silva

    2001-12-01

    Full Text Available O uso de agentes biológicos como arma não é novidade para a humanidade. Durante séculos, até a atualidade, a guerra biológica tem sido objeto de muita pesquisa e especulação, mas de pouca ação. O medo de efeitos contrários e dúvidas sobre sua eficiência como armas devem ter limitado seu uso. Recentemente, se verificou uma nova forma de terrorismo, empregando agentes infecciosos, devagar e sem muito alarde, até as ocorrências recentes com o Bacillus anthracis nos Estados Unidos. A varíola é possivelmente o mais devastador desses agentes. Menos de 25 anos passados desde sua erradicação, a saúde pública tem que lidar com a possibilidade de sua re-introdução. O cenário da re-introdução da varíola no Brasil é discutido.Biological agents as weapons are not new to mankind. For centuries and into the present, biological warfare has been the subject of much research and speculation, but little action. Their limited use has probably been due to fear of unexpected counter-effects and doubts about their efficiency as weapons. Recently a new form of terrorism employing infectious agents has emerged slowly and without much fanfare, until the recent events with Bacillus anthracis in the United States. Smallpox is potentially the most devastating of these agents. Less than 25 years after the eradication of smallpox, the public health field is now forced to deal with the possibility of its re-introduction. The author discusses the scenario of smallpox re-introduction into Brazil.

  19. High-level specification of a proposed information architecture for support of a bioterrorism early-warning system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berkowitz, Murray R

    2013-01-01

    Current information systems for use in detecting bioterrorist attacks lack a consistent, overarching information architecture. An overview of the use of biological agents as weapons during a bioterrorist attack is presented. Proposed are the design, development, and implementation of a medical informatics system to mine pertinent databases, retrieve relevant data, invoke appropriate biostatistical and epidemiological software packages, and automatically analyze these data. The top-level information architecture is presented. Systems requirements and functional specifications for this level are presented. Finally, future studies are identified.

  20. Biocidal and Sporicidal Efficacy of Pathoster® 0.35% and Pathoster® 0.50% Against Bacterial Agents in Potential Bioterrorism Use

    Science.gov (United States)

    Candeliere, Antonio; Donatiello, Adelia; Pagano, Stefania; Iatarola, Michela; Tolve, Francesco; Antonino, Leonardo; Fasanella, Antonio

    2016-01-01

    The use of products that can neutralize or significantly reduce the microbial load and that are not harmful to human health and the environment represents a milestone in the fight against the spread of infectious diseases. Peracetic acid, besides being an excellent sterilizing and sporicidal agent, is harmless to humans and the environment when it is used in a common dosage. However, the high costs and loss of efficacy of the product very quickly after its reconstitution limit its use. We evaluated the efficacy and stability of 2 commercial products, based on stabilized peracetic acid (Pathoster® 0.35% and Pathoster® 0.50%) used against spores of Bacillus anthracis and spores of Bacillus cereus and vegetative forms of Yersinia pestis, Burkholderia mallei, Burkholderia pseudomallei, Francisella tularensis, Brucella abortus, and Brucella melitensis. The efficacy tests were based on the direct contact of the products with a standard suspension of the bacteria. The stability of the products was defined as the period of time during which the biocidal and sporicidal properties remained unchanged. The limit of effectiveness was the period after which the product was unable to exert a complete sterilization after a contact of 5 minutes with at least 1 of the 8 bacteria used in this work. Both formulations showed good efficacy against the microorganisms used in the study, confirming the utility of peracetic acid as a sterilizing product. After the reconstitution, Pathoster® 0.35% was stable until 16±1 days, while Pathoster® 0.50% was stable until 24±1 days. The formulations used in this study showed good performance and a significant stability of peracetic acid. PMID:27482880

  1. Essential veterinary education in emerging infections, modes of introduction of exotic animals, zoonotic diseases, bioterrorism, implications for human and animal health and disease manifestation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chomel, B B; Marano, N

    2009-08-01

    A fundamental role of the veterinary profession is the protection of human health through wholesome food and control of diseases of animal origin, especially zoonoses. Therefore, training of veterinary students worldwide needs to face the new challenges posed by emerging infections, both from wildlife and domestic animals, as well as risks from bio/agroterrorism. New courses emphasising recognition, response, recovery and prevention must be developed to respond to natural or intentionally induced emerging diseases and zoonoses. Training programmes in applied epidemiology, zoonoses and foreign animal diseases are crucial for the development of a strong workforce to deal with microbial threats. Students should learn the reporting pathways for reportable diseases in their countries or states. Knowledge of the principles of ecology and ecosystems should be acquired during pre-veterinary studies. Elective classes on wildlife diseases, emphasising wildlife zoonotic diseases, should be offered during the veterinary curriculum, as well as a course on risk communication, since veterinarians are frequently in the position of having to convey complex information under adverse circumstances.

  2. Technical Report for DE-FG02-03ER46029 Sugar-Coated PPEs, Novel Nanomaterials and Sensing Modules for Disease and Bioterrorism Related Threats

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Uwe Bunz

    2003-08-27

    The detection and sensing of biological warfare agents (Ricin, Anthrax toxin), of disease agents (cholera, botulinum and tetanus toxins, influenza virus etc) and of biologically active species is important for national security and disease control. A premiere goal would be the simple colorimetric or fluorimetric detection of such toxins by a dipstick test. It would be desirable to sense 5,000-10,000 toxin molecules, i.e. 10-100 fg of a toxin contained 1-5 mL of sample. Fluorescent conjugated polymers should be particularly interesting in this regard, because they can carry multiple identical and/or different recognition units. Such an approach is particularly valuable for the detection of lectin toxins, because these bind to oligomeric carbohydrate displays. Lectins bind multivalently to sugars, i.e. several covalently connected sugar moieties have to be exposed to the lectin at the same time to obtain binding. The requirement of multivalency of the lectin-sugar interactions should allow a very sensitive detection of lectins with sugar coated conjugated polymers in an agglutination type assay, where the fluorescence of the PPEs disappears upon binding to the lectins. High molecular weights of the used PPEs would mean high sensitivity. Herein we present our progress towards that goal up to date.

  3. Sugar-Coated PPE's, Novel Nanomaterial's and Sensing Modules for Disease and Bioterrorism Related Threats

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bunz, Uwe [Georgia Inst. of Technology, Atlanta, GA (United States)

    2003-11-21

    The detection and sensing of biological warfare agents (ricin, anthrax toxin), of disease agents (cholera, botulinum, and tetnus toxins, influenza virus, etc.) and of biologically active species important for national security and disease control.

  4. Smallpox-Related Knowledge and Beliefs among Recent College Graduates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bungum, Timothy; Day, Charlene

    2006-01-01

    Recent world events have increased concern and preparations for possible bioterror events. Despite worldwide efforts to limit access to bio-weapons, smallpox is still considered a potential bioterror threat. Americans' understanding of smallpox could prevent panic and enhance the willingness of citizens to receive vaccinations. Objective: The…

  5. Ensuring Biologics Advanced Development and Manufacturing Capability for the United States Government: A Summary of Key Findings and Conclusions

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-10-06

    CRISP Computer Retrieval Information on Scientific Projects DARPA Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency DCA Demand Capacity Assessment DHS...2007. 8. BARDA, HHS. Personal interview. 20 September 2007. 9. Bravata DM . Reducing mortality from anthrax bioterrorism: strategies for stockpiling...Projects ( CRISP ). Novel smallpox vaccine derived from VV/VAR Immunome. EPIVAX, INC. 17. Congressional Research Services (CRS) RL32917: Bioterrorism

  6. Viral Vectors for Use in the Development of Biodefense Vaccines

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Lee, John S; Hadjipanayis, Angela G; Parker, Michael D

    2005-01-01

    ... agents of bioterrorism or biowarfare. The use of viruses, for example adenovirus, vaccinia virus, and Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus, as vaccine-vectors has enabled researchers to develop effective means for countering the threat of bioterrorism and biowarfare. An overview of the different viral vectors and the threats they counter will be discussed.

  7. Veterinary College Virologist To Discuss Small Pox

    OpenAIRE

    Douglas, Jeffrey S.

    2003-01-01

    The words "small pox" have become almost synonymous with the word "bio-terrorism" in our post 9/11 world. Once thought eradicated, it is now viewed as the number one threat among a host of bio-terror agents that might be deployed against America and an immunization program is underway.

  8. Separated by a Common Language: Awareness of term usage differences between languages and disciplines in biopreparedness

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Andersson, M.; Tomuzia, K.; Löfström, Ch.; Appel, B.; Bano, L.; Keremidis, H.; Knutsson, R.; Leijon, M.; Ekströmer Lövgren, S.; Medici, D.; Menrath, A.; Rotterdam, van B.; Wisselink, H.J.; Barker, G.C.

    2013-01-01

    Preparedness for bioterrorism is based on communication between people in organizations who are educated and trained in several disciplines, including law enforcement, health, and science. Various backgrounds, cultures, and vocabularies generate difficulties in understanding and interpretating terms

  9. One Family's Struggles with Pertussis (Whooping Cough)

    Medline Plus

    Full Text Available ... vaccinate posters buttons and banners videos someone you love flu overview nasal spray flu caccine CDC surveillance ... pediatric hepatitis report infection protection bioterrorism five second rule germs handwashing why handwashing is important handwashing cartoon ...

  10. One Family's Struggle with Chickenpox

    Medline Plus

    Full Text Available ... vaccinate posters buttons and banners videos someone you love flu overview nasal spray flu caccine CDC surveillance ... pediatric hepatitis report infection protection bioterrorism five second rule germs handwashing why handwashing is important handwashing cartoon ...

  11. One Family's Struggles with Rotavirus

    Medline Plus

    Full Text Available ... vaccinate posters buttons and banners videos someone you love flu overview nasal spray flu caccine CDC surveillance ... pediatric hepatitis report infection protection bioterrorism five second rule germs handwashing why handwashing is important handwashing cartoon ...

  12. One Family's Struggles with HPV (Human Papillomavirus)

    Medline Plus

    Full Text Available ... vaccinate posters buttons and banners videos someone you love flu overview nasal spray flu caccine CDC surveillance ... pediatric hepatitis report infection protection bioterrorism five second rule germs handwashing why handwashing is important handwashing cartoon ...

  13. One Family's Struggles with Hepatitis B

    Medline Plus

    Full Text Available ... kids infect kids labs links & resources milk thistle pediatric hepatitis report someone you know has hbv/hcv ... morrow scholarship links & resources listservs need more help? pediatric hepatitis report infection protection bioterrorism five second rule ...

  14. One Family's Struggles with Pertussis (Whooping Cough)

    Medline Plus

    Full Text Available ... kids infect kids labs links & resources milk thistle pediatric hepatitis report someone you know has hbv/hcv ... morrow scholarship links & resources listservs need more help? pediatric hepatitis report infection protection bioterrorism five second rule ...

  15. One Family's Struggle with Chickenpox

    Medline Plus

    Full Text Available ... kids infect kids labs links & resources milk thistle pediatric hepatitis report someone you know has hbv/hcv ... morrow scholarship links & resources listservs need more help? pediatric hepatitis report infection protection bioterrorism five second rule ...

  16. One Family's Struggles with Rotavirus

    Medline Plus

    Full Text Available ... kids infect kids labs links & resources milk thistle pediatric hepatitis report someone you know has hbv/hcv ... morrow scholarship links & resources listservs need more help? pediatric hepatitis report infection protection bioterrorism five second rule ...

  17. One Family's Struggles with HPV (Human Papillomavirus)

    Medline Plus

    Full Text Available ... kids infect kids labs links & resources milk thistle pediatric hepatitis report someone you know has hbv/hcv ... morrow scholarship links & resources listservs need more help? pediatric hepatitis report infection protection bioterrorism five second rule ...

  18. Planning for Biotarrorism. Behavioral & Mental Health Responses to Weapons of Mass Destruction & Mass Disruption

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Ursano, Robert

    2000-01-01

    .... Community and individual responses to potential bioterrorist events were described. Future approaches to the management and treatment of behavioral and mental health issues following exposure to biological agents and bioterrorism were discussed...

  19. One Family's Struggle with Chickenpox

    Medline Plus

    Full Text Available ... find a doctor find health information helpful articles antibiotics colds fevers injection tips sports travel in health travel tips janis morrow scholarship links & resources listservs need more help? pediatric hepatitis report infection protection bioterrorism five second ...

  20. One Family's Struggles with Pertussis (Whooping Cough)

    Medline Plus

    Full Text Available ... find a doctor find health information helpful articles antibiotics colds fevers injection tips sports travel in health travel tips janis morrow scholarship links & resources listservs need more help? pediatric hepatitis report infection protection bioterrorism five second ...

  1. One Family's Struggles with Rotavirus

    Medline Plus

    Full Text Available ... find a doctor find health information helpful articles antibiotics colds fevers injection tips sports travel in health travel tips janis morrow scholarship links & resources listservs need more help? pediatric hepatitis report infection protection bioterrorism five second ...

  2. One Family's Struggles with HPV (Human Papillomavirus)

    Medline Plus

    Full Text Available ... find a doctor find health information helpful articles antibiotics colds fevers injection tips sports travel in health travel tips janis morrow scholarship links & resources listservs need more help? pediatric hepatitis report infection protection bioterrorism five second ...

  3. One Family's Struggles with Hepatitis B

    Medline Plus

    Full Text Available ... find a doctor find health information helpful articles antibiotics colds fevers injection tips sports travel in health travel tips janis morrow scholarship links & resources listservs need more help? pediatric hepatitis report infection protection bioterrorism five second ...

  4. Tornadoes

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... How to Guides to Protect Your Property or Business from High Winds (PDF) American Red Cross (link) Related Active Shooter Avalanche Bioterrorism Chemical Emergencies Cybersecurity Drought Earthquakes Emergency Alerts Explosions Extreme Heat Floods ...

  5. Prophylaxis after Exposure to Coxiella burnetii

    Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Podcasts

    In this podcast, Dr. David Swerdlow discusses prophylaxis after exposure to Coxiella burnetii. It is important to know who should be treated and how they should be treated after an intentional release with possible bioterrorism agents, including Coxiella burnetii.

  6. One Family's Struggle with Chickenpox

    Medline Plus

    Full Text Available ... kids labs links & resources milk thistle pediatric hepatitis report someone you know has hbv/hcv herpes overview ... links & resources listservs need more help? pediatric hepatitis report infection protection bioterrorism five second rule germs handwashing ...

  7. One Family's Struggles with Hepatitis B

    Medline Plus

    Full Text Available ... kids labs links & resources milk thistle pediatric hepatitis report someone you know has hbv/hcv herpes overview ... links & resources listservs need more help? pediatric hepatitis report infection protection bioterrorism five second rule germs handwashing ...

  8. One Family's Struggles with Rotavirus

    Medline Plus

    Full Text Available ... kids labs links & resources milk thistle pediatric hepatitis report someone you know has hbv/hcv herpes overview ... links & resources listservs need more help? pediatric hepatitis report infection protection bioterrorism five second rule germs handwashing ...

  9. One Family's Struggles with Pertussis (Whooping Cough)

    Medline Plus

    Full Text Available ... kids labs links & resources milk thistle pediatric hepatitis report someone you know has hbv/hcv herpes overview ... links & resources listservs need more help? pediatric hepatitis report infection protection bioterrorism five second rule germs handwashing ...

  10. One Family's Struggles with HPV (Human Papillomavirus)

    Medline Plus

    Full Text Available ... kids labs links & resources milk thistle pediatric hepatitis report someone you know has hbv/hcv herpes overview ... links & resources listservs need more help? pediatric hepatitis report infection protection bioterrorism five second rule germs handwashing ...

  11. Ofloxacin

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... plague (serious infections that may be spread on purpose as part of a bioterror attack) in people ... to your pharmacist or contact your local garbage/recycling department to learn about take-back programs in ...

  12. Multikilovolt Coherent X-Ray Generation for Protein Analysis and Biological Threat Reduction

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Rhodes, Charles

    2003-01-01

    Efforts to trump bioterrorism can be sharply advanced by the development of new modalities for the rapid measurement and quantitative classification of protein structural and regulatory information. This report (1...

  13. One Family's Struggles with Hepatitis B

    Medline Plus

    Full Text Available ... kids estate planning find a doctor find health information helpful articles antibiotics colds fevers injection tips sports travel in health travel tips janis morrow scholarship links & resources listservs need more help? pediatric hepatitis report infection protection bioterrorism ...

  14. One Family's Struggles with HPV (Human Papillomavirus)

    Medline Plus

    Full Text Available ... kids estate planning find a doctor find health information helpful articles antibiotics colds fevers injection tips sports travel in health travel tips janis morrow scholarship links & resources listservs need more help? pediatric hepatitis report infection protection bioterrorism ...

  15. One Family's Struggles with Rotavirus

    Medline Plus

    Full Text Available ... kids estate planning find a doctor find health information helpful articles antibiotics colds fevers injection tips sports travel in health travel tips janis morrow scholarship links & resources listservs need more help? pediatric hepatitis report infection protection bioterrorism ...

  16. One Family's Struggles with Pertussis (Whooping Cough)

    Medline Plus

    Full Text Available ... kids estate planning find a doctor find health information helpful articles antibiotics colds fevers injection tips sports travel in health travel tips janis morrow scholarship links & resources listservs need more help? pediatric hepatitis report infection protection bioterrorism ...

  17. One Family's Struggle with Chickenpox

    Medline Plus

    Full Text Available ... kids estate planning find a doctor find health information helpful articles antibiotics colds fevers injection tips sports travel in health travel tips janis morrow scholarship links & resources listservs need more help? pediatric hepatitis report infection protection bioterrorism ...

  18. Final Documentation: Incident Management And Probabilities Courses of action Tool (IMPACT).

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Edwards, Donna M.; Ray, Jaideep; Tucker, Mark D.; Whetzel, Jonathan; Cauthen, Katherine Regina

    2018-03-01

    This report pulls together the documentation produced for the IMPACT tool, a software-based decision support tool that provides situational awareness, incident characterization, and guidance on public health and environmental response strategies for an unfolding bio-terrorism incident.

  19. Use of DNA Microarrays to Identify Diagnostic Signature Transcriptional Profiles for Host Responses to Infectious Agents

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Ellner, J. J; Connell, N. D; Gallagher, G; Raveche, E

    2005-01-01

    Infections by agents of bioterrorism, especially bacterial agents such as Bacillus anthracis and Yersinia pestis present their initial symptoms in a way that does not reveal their identity or permit rapid diagnosis...

  20. BioWatch: Case for Change of Traditional Leadership to Improve Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-09-01

    in New Jersey, a nurse in New York City, and an elderly widow in rural Connecticut—also caught anthrax. The nurse and the widow died.26 The...36 Daniel M. Sosin, “Syndromic Surveillance: The Case for Skillful Investment,” Biosecurity and Bioterrorism: Biodefense...Report no. 35, October 2000. Sosin, Daniel M. “Syndromic Surveillance: The Case for Skillful Investment.” Biosecurity and Bioterrorism: Biodefense

  1. Medical Reserve Corps Volunteers’ Ability and Willingness to Report to Work for the Department of Health During Catastrophic Disasters

    Science.gov (United States)

    2007-03-01

    Nurses as Volunteers in a Bioterrorism Event." Biosecurity and Bioterrorism 2, no. 2 (2004): 112-117. Gursky, E., T. Inglesby, and T. O’Toole...responsible for training, housing and equipping them. Significant reforms and research emerged from this conflict and include development of a nurse corps... nursing volunteers as Voluntary Aid Detachment nurses to assist in military hospitals at home and overseas. During the 1917 Halifax munitions ship

  2. Terrorism: a public health threat with a trauma system response.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jacobs, Lenworth M; Burns, Karyl J; Gross, Ronald I

    2003-12-01

    The threat of mass casualties and widespread infectious disease caused by terrorism is now a challenge for our government and public health system. Funds have been granted to the states by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Health Resources and Services Administration to establish bioterrorism preparedness and response capabilities. Hartford Hospital has been designated as a Center of Excellence for Bioterrorism Preparedness by the Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Public Health. The Center of Excellence has implemented strategies to prepare for a possible bioterrorist attack. A unique model that combines epidemiology and traumatology is being used to guide the preparedness activities. Although the focus of the grant from the Connecticut Department of Public Health is bioterrorism, the application of the model can apply to preparation for all terrorist events. Implementation of strategies indicates that bioterrorism preparedness is well underway. Similar initiatives should be achievable by other trauma systems throughout the country. A Center of Excellence for Bioterrorism Preparedness in Connecticut is successfully modifying a trauma system to meet the challenge of a new public health threat, terrorism.

  3. DHS HS-STEM Final Report.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Russell, Anna Christine [Sandia National Laboratories (SNL-CA), Livermore, CA (United States)

    2014-09-01

    Throughout my HS-STEM internship, I worked on two different projects with a systems analysis group at Sandia National Laboratories in Livermore, California (SNLCA). The first, and primary, project entailed building a conceptual model of health surveillance detection of a bioterror attack. The second project was much smaller in scope and looked at cost tradeoffs between volumetric and surface decontamination after the release of anthrax in a city. Both projects helped me to understand the challenges of planning for a bioterror attack and the importance of preparedness in the public health sector.

  4. The Smallpox Threat: The School Nurse's Role

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, Mary E.; Didion, Judy

    2003-01-01

    Today, with the threat of bioterrorism and war, there is a new dimension to the traditional role of the school nurse. The smallpox threat to public health will invoke the school nurse's role as an educator, liaison, and consultant in the community. This article discusses smallpox, the vaccination process, adverse effects, and postvaccination care.…

  5. Prophylaxis after Exposure to Coxiella burnetii

    Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Podcasts

    2008-10-02

    In this podcast, Dr. David Swerdlow discusses prophylaxis after exposure to Coxiella burnetii. It is important to know who should be treated and how they should be treated after an intentional release with possible bioterrorism agents, including Coxiella burnetii.  Created: 10/2/2008 by Emerging Infectious Diseases.   Date Released: 10/2/2008.

  6. Abrin toxicity and bioavailability after temperature and pH treatment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abrin, one of most potent toxins known to man, is derived from the rosary pea (jequirity pea), Abrus precatorius. Due to its potential use as a bioterror weapon, the efficacy of standard food processing methods must be evaluated for its effectiveness against abrin. The temperature and pH stability o...

  7. BIOLOGICAL TERRORISM: THE NOTION, ESSENCE AND MAIN AREAS OF COUNTER

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julia Sarankina

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available The article issued theoretical and practice problems of combating terrorism in current conditions, in particular, analyzes the concept of bio-terrorism as a form of terrorism, we investigate its nature, characteristics, and also referred to the major directions of countering.

  8. Pieces of Civic Intelligence: Towards a Capacities Framework

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schuler, Douglas

    2014-01-01

    Civic intelligence is the capacity of collectivities--from small informal groups to humanity as a whole--to equitably and effectively address important shared problems such as poverty, bioterrorism, and natural disasters. It's an abstract concept that can be expressed in policy, art, demonstrations, or conversation. In this article, civic…

  9. Journal of Special Operations Medicine, Volume 3, Edition 4

    Science.gov (United States)

    2003-01-01

    caterpillar dermatitis, phytophoto- dermatitis, varicella , and other vesicular conditions, including in a military or bioterrorism setting, blis- tering...Dorothy, remember he was always inspired to help others. “After our son graduated from high school in 1965, he went on a missionary trip to Mexico with

  10. Toward a Common Standard: The Role of Law Enforcement at WMD Incidents

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-09-01

    installations, hospital laboratories and industrial plants throughout the city that employ radioactive materials in their work.15 The NYPD’s many other...27 Jeff Ryan and Jan Glarum, Biosecurity and Bioterrorism: Containing and Preventing Biological...each man receives during any particular job. The specially coded badges undergo laboratory analysis after each incident so that policemen threatened

  11. Issues and Trends in Higher Education Health

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tietjen-Smith, Tara

    2016-01-01

    Public speculation about bioterrorism and the increasing obesity epidemic are examples of current public health issues that continue to be illuminated in the spotlight. Major public health threats continue to drive the health job market and impact higher education health curricula (e.g., public health, health promotion, community health). Also,…

  12. Hooked on Science: How an Ohio Teacher is Training Students to Be Linked in to Forensics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Technology & Learning, 2008

    2008-01-01

    This article features Ohio teacher Carol Fleck's use of videoconferencing in teaching Contemporary BioScience and Genetics. Fleck, who says her initial vision for the class was "science without classroom walls," covers such topics as emerging diseases, bioterrorism, and forensic science. Collaboration between schools is a key part of the…

  13. Centrifugal microfluidic platform for ultrasensitive detection of Botulinum Toxin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Botulinum neurotoxin – a global public health threat and category A bioterrorism agent - is the most toxic substance known and one of the most challenging toxins to detect due to its lethality at extremely low concentrations. Hence the live-mouse bioassay because of its superior sensitivity, remains...

  14. Rapid DNA vaccination against Burkholderia pseudomallei flagellin by tattoo or intranasal application

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lankelma, Jacqueline M.; Wagemakers, Alex; Birnie, Emma; Haak, Bastiaan W.; Trentelman, Jos J. A.; Weehuizen, Tassili A. F.; Ersöz, Jasmin; Roelofs, Joris J. T. H.; Hovius, Joppe W.; Wiersinga, W. Joost; Bins, Adriaan D.

    2017-01-01

    Melioidosis is a severe infectious disease with a high mortality that is endemic in South-East Asia and Northern Australia. The causative pathogen, Burkholderia pseudomallei, is listed as potential bioterror weapon due to its high virulence and potential for easy dissemination. Currently, there is

  15. NOVA[R] Spring 2002 Teacher's Guide.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Armstrong, Peter; Ransick, Kristi; Rosene, Dale; Sammons, James

    The guide presents lesson plans from "NOVA" which targets middle school and junior high school students and meet the National Science Education Standards. Lessons include: (1) "Neanderthals on Trial"; (2) "Fireworks"; (3) "Secrets, Lies and Atomic Spies"; (4) "Bioterror"; (5) "The Missing…

  16. Harmonization of European Laboratory Response networks by implementing CWA 15793: Use of a gap analysis and an "insider" exercise as tools

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sundqvist, B.; Allard Bengtsson, U.; Wisselink, H.J.; Peeters, B.P.H.; Rotterdam, van B.; Kampert, E.; Bereczky, S.; Olsson, N.G.J.; Szekely Björndal, A.; Zini, S.; Allix, S.; Knutsson, R.

    2013-01-01

    Laboratory response networks (LRNs) have been established for security reasons in several countries including the Netherlands, France, and Sweden. LRNs function in these countries as a preparedness measure for a coordinated diagnostic response capability in case of a bioterrorism incident or other

  17. Effect of fat in ground beef on the growth and virulence plasmid (pYV) stability in Yersinia pestis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knowledge of the behavior of Yersinia pestis in food may be useful in the event Y. pestis is used in a bioterrorism attack on the food supply. However, there are no reports on the growth of plasmid-bearing (pYV) virulent Y. pestis in food. The growth of a conditionally virulent pYV-bearing Yersini...

  18. Tale of the Harmattan: environmental rights discourse in Ojaide's ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    In Nigeria, much of the oil politics and environmental rights-based poetry is anchored on the traumatic experiences of the people of the Niger Delta area. Since the discovery and exploration of oil in this area in 1956, the people have been subjected to acts of bioterrorism through the destruction of their aquatic and terrestrial ...

  19. Clinical infectious disease

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Schlossberg, David

    2008-01-01

    ..., the injection drug user, and the neonate), travel-related infections, nosocomial infections, infections related to surgery and trauma, and bioterrorism. Informative algorithms, tables, and high-quality color photographs supplement many of the chapters. Moreover, the size of this book places it between the available encyclopedic tomes and the small pocket guide...

  20. Health care policy and politics A to Z

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Rovner, Julie

    2009-01-01

    ... /  Assignment (Medicare) /  Association Health Plans (AHPs) /  B Balance billing (Medicare) /  Baseline /  Beneficiary /  Bioterrorism /  Blue Cross/Blue Shield...

  1. Genome-wide DNA microarray analysis of Francisella tularensis strains demonstrates extensive genetic conservation within the species but identifies regions that are unique to the highly virulent F. tularensis subsp. tularensis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Broekhuijsen, M.P.; Larsson, P.; Johansson, A.; Byström, M.; Eriksson, U.; Larsson, E.; Prior, R.G.; Sjöstedt, A.; Titball, R.W.; Forsman, M.

    2003-01-01

    Francisella tularensis is a potent pathogen and a possible bioterrorism agent. Little is known, however, to explain the molecular basis for its virulence and the distinct differences in virulence found between the four recognized subspecies, F. tularensis subsp. tularensis, F. tularensis subsp.

  2. Radiation Protection in the Application of Active Detection Technologies

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-07-01

    BECKER, S.M. (2004). “Emergency communication and information issues in terrorism events involving radioactive materials,” Biosecur Bioterror. 2(3...National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements. Considerations Regarding the Unintended Radiation Exposure of the Embryo, Fetus or Nursing

  3. Status and Challenges of Filovirus Vaccines

    Science.gov (United States)

    2007-03-01

    implementation of general barrier- nursing proce- ures appears to bring a halt to these outbreaks. However, here is still considerable concern about these...Virusol 1995;40(3):113–5. [46] Leffel EK, Reed DS. Marburg and Ebola viruses as aerosol threats. Biosecurity Bioterrorism: Biodefense Strat Pract Sci

  4. Biosurveillance: Efforts to Develop a National Biosurveillance Capability Need a National Strategy and a Designated Leader

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-06-01

    Medicine and the Center for Biosecurity —related to public health, disease detection, bioterrorism, biodefense, and emergency management. We also reviewed...public health workers.19 CDC officials said that states and communities nationwide report needing more public health nurses , informaticians...we met with experts from research organizations that study biodefense issues, including the University of Pittsburgh Center for Biosecurity , the

  5. Effects of Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Response on Hospital Focusing on Ancillary and Support Services: Policy Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    2007-02-12

    trauma centers are required to have immediate availability of trauma surgeons, anesthesiologists, physician specialists, nurses , and resuscitation...has emphasized alternative delivery settings, such as outpatient treatments, home health care, and the use of nursing homes. Managed care...hospitals should do to prepare for an influenza pandemic. Biosecurity and Bioterrorism: Biodefense Strategy, Practice, and Science, 4(4), 397-402

  6. Aeromedical Evacuation: Validating Civil Reserve Air Fleet

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-02-25

    flight nurses and three medical technicians) is added for AE missions. The aeromedical evacuation crew (AEC) may be pared and tailored as required in... Biosecurity and Bioterrorism: Biodefense Strategy, Practice and Science, Volume 5, Number 4, 2007: 319-325. 34 IAT.R 0554 General Accounting Office

  7. Usefulness of data from primary care for real-time surveillance of diseases.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nielen, M.M.J.; Schellevis, F.G.; Verheij, R.A.

    2006-01-01

    Background: The increased threat of bioterrorism and the outbreaks of new infectious diseases require rapid identification of clusters of illness. The increased availability of electronic data in health care makes real-time surveillance of diseases possible. Therefore, we investigated the

  8. A monoclonal-monoclonal antibody based capture elisa for abrin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abrin, one of the most highly potent toxins in the world, is derived from the plant, Abrus precatorius. Because of its high toxicity, it poses potential bioterror risks. Therefore, a need exists for new reagents and technologies that would be able to rapidly detect abrin contamination as well as lea...

  9. Irritant gases

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Meulenbelt, J

    Acute inhalation injury can result from the use of household cleaning agents (e.g. chlorine, ammonia), industrial or combustion gases (e.g. sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides) or bioterrorism. The severity of the injury is to a great extent determined by the circumstances of exposure. If exposure was

  10. Revolutions in Science and Technology: Future Threats to US National Security

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-04-01

    to Iran, the Stuxnet virus is known to have affected computers in Indonesia, India, Australia, Malaysia , Pakistan, the United Kingdom, and the United...Bioterrorism: Biodefense Strategy, Practice, and Science , Vol. 4, No.3, 2006. "’ Julie E. Fischer, Stewardship or Censorship : Balancing Biosecurity

  11. The anthrax letters: a medical detective story

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Cole, Leonard A

    2003-01-01

    .... Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Cole, Leonard A., 1933The anthrax letters : a medical detective story / Leonard A. Cole. p. cm. Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN 0-309-08881-X - ISBN 0-309-52584-5 (PDF) 1. Bioterrorism- United States. 2. Anthrax- United States. 3. Postal service- United States. 4. Victims of...

  12. Treatment of Anthrax Disease Frequently Asked Questions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Judd, Kathleen S.; Young, Joan E.; Lesperance, Ann M.; Malone, John D.

    2010-05-14

    This document provides a summary of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on the treatment of anthrax disease caused by a wide-area release of Bacillus anthracis spores as an act bioterrorism. These FAQs are intended to provide the public health and medical community, as well as others, with guidance and communications to support the response and long-term recovery from an anthrax event.

  13. Logistics modelling: improving resource management and public information strategies in Florida.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walsh, Daniel M; Van Groningen, Chuck; Craig, Brian

    2011-10-01

    One of the most time-sensitive and logistically-challenging emergency response operations today is to provide mass prophylaxis to every man, woman and child in a community within 48 hours of a bioterrorism attack. To meet this challenge, federal, state and local public health departments in the USA have joined forces to develop, test and execute large-scale bioterrorism response plans. This preparedness and response effort is funded through the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Cities Readiness Initiative, a programme dedicated to providing oral antibiotics to an entire population within 48 hours of a weaponised inhalation anthrax attack. This paper will demonstrate how the State of Florida used a logistics modelling tool to improve its CRI mass prophylaxis plans. Special focus will be on how logistics modelling strengthened Florida's resource management policies and validated its public information strategies.

  14. Rapid and high-throughput detection of highly pathogenic bacteria by Ibis PLEX-ID technology.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniela Jacob

    Full Text Available In this manuscript, we describe the identification of highly pathogenic bacteria using an assay coupling biothreat group-specific PCR with electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (PCR/ESI-MS run on an Ibis PLEX-ID high-throughput platform. The biothreat cluster assay identifies most of the potential bioterrorism-relevant microorganisms including Bacillus anthracis, Francisella tularensis, Yersinia pestis, Burkholderia mallei and pseudomallei, Brucella species, and Coxiella burnetii. DNA from 45 different reference materials with different formulations and different concentrations were chosen and sent to a service screening laboratory that uses the PCR/ESI-MS platform to provide a microbial identification service. The standard reference materials were produced out of a repository built up in the framework of the EU funded project "Establishment of Quality Assurances for Detection of Highly Pathogenic Bacteria of Potential Bioterrorism Risk" (EQADeBa. All samples were correctly identified at least to the genus level.

  15. Effect of gamma irradiation on Burkholderia thailandensis (Burkholderia pseudomallei surrogate) survival under combinations of pH and NaCl

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yoon, Yohan; Kim, Jae-Hun; Byun, Myung-Woo; Choi, Kyoung-Hee; Lee, Ju-Woon

    2010-01-01

    This study evaluated the effect of gamma irradiation on Burkholderia thailandensis (Burkholderia pseudomallei surrogate; potential bioterrorism agent) survival under different levels of NaCl and pH. B. thailandensis in Luria Bertani broth supplemented with NaCl (0-3%), and pH-adjusted to 4-7 was treated with gamma irradiation (0-0.5 kGy). Surviving cell counts of bacteria were then enumerated on tryptic soy agar. Data for the cell counts were also used to calculate D 10 values (the dose required to reduce 1 log CFU/mL of B. thailandensis). Cell counts of B. thailandensis were decreased (P 10 values ranged from 0.04 to 0.07 kGy, regardless of NaCl and pH level. These results indicate that low doses of gamma irradiation should be a useful treatment in decreasing the potential bioterrorism bacteria, which may possibly infect humans through foods.

  16. Toxins as biological weapons for terror-characteristics, challenges and medical countermeasures: a mini-review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berger, Tamar; Eisenkraft, Arik; Bar-Haim, Erez; Kassirer, Michael; Aran, Adi Avniel; Fogel, Itay

    2016-01-01

    Toxins are hazardous biochemical compounds derived from bacteria, fungi, or plants. Some have mechanisms of action and physical properties that make them amenable for use as potential warfare agents. Currently, some toxins are classified as potential biological weapons, although they have several differences from classic living bio-terror pathogens and some similarities to manmade chemical warfare agents. This review focuses on category A and B bio-terror toxins recognized by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Botulinum neurotoxin, staphylococcal enterotoxin B, Clostridium perfringens epsilon toxin, and ricin. Their derivation, pathogenesis, mechanism of action, associated clinical signs and symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment are discussed in detail. Given their expected covert use, the primary diagnostic challenge in toxin exposure is the early detection of morbidity clusters, apart from background morbidity, after a relatively short incubation period. For this reason, it is important that clinicians be familiar with the clinical manifestations of toxins and the appropriate methods of management and countermeasures.

  17. The Evaluation of Post-Exposure Prophylaxis Models for Use in the Event of an Aerosolized Anthrax Attack

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-09-01

    OF ABSTRACT Unclassified 20. LIMITATION OF ABSTRACT UU NSN 7540–01-280-5500 Standard Form 298 (Rev. 2–89) Prescribed by ANSI Std. 239–18 i...Roadmapping—Risk-Based Methodological Options (Livermore, CA: Sandia National Laboratories , 2008). 7 Committee on Methodological Improvements to the...through the Shelf-Life Extension Program,” Biosecurity and Bioterrorism 7, no. 1 (2009): 101–107. 13 Victor W. Sidel, Hillel W. Cohen, and Robert M

  18. L1R, A27L, A33R and B5R vaccinia virus genes expressed by fowlpox recombinants as putative novel orthopoxvirus vaccines

    OpenAIRE

    Pacchioni, Sole Maria; Bissa, Massimiliano; Zanotto, Carlo; Morghen, Carlo De Giuli; Illiano, Elena; Radaelli, Antonia

    2013-01-01

    Background The traditional smallpox vaccine, administered by scarification, was discontinued in the general population from 1980, because of the absence of new smallpox cases. However, the development of an effective prophylactic vaccine against smallpox is still necessary, to protect from the threat of deliberate release of the variola virus for bioterrorism and from new zoonotic infections, and to improve the safety of the traditional vaccine. Preventive vaccination still remains the most e...

  19. Effects of Estradiol on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Symptoms

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-03-01

    Directed By: T. John Wu, Ph.D. Associate Professor, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a complex...Preventing post-traumatic stress disorder after mass exposure to violence . Biosecur Bioterror 2005;3:154-63; discussion 64-5. 16. Baker DG...John Wu* Affiliations: *Program in Neuroscience and § Program in Molecular and Cellular Biology, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology Uniformed

  20. Biological and chemical weapons of mass destruction: updated clinical therapeutic countermeasures since 2003.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pettineo, Christopher; Aitchison, Robert; Leikin, Scott M; Vogel, Stephen N; Leikin, Jerrold B

    2009-01-01

    The objective of this article is to provide updated treatment options for bioterrorism agents. This updated synopsis includes recent clinical cases and treatment recommendations that have arisen in the last 5 years. The decontamination, treatment, and disposition of these biologic and chemical agents are presented alphabetically by agent type: biologic, chemical, and radiologic/nuclear. The information provided outlines only new treatment options since 2003.

  1. Agroterrorism: Threats and Preparedness

    Science.gov (United States)

    2007-03-12

    fungi . People more generally associate bioterrorism with outbreaks of human illness (e.g., anthrax or smallpox), rather than diseases affecting animals...world production was 42% for corn, 35% for soybeans, and 12% for wheat . Of global exports, the U.S. accounted for 65% for corn, 40% for soybeans...and 32% for wheat . If export markets were to decline following an agroterrorism event, U.S. markets could be severely disrupted since 21% of U.S

  2. Bioethics and Medical Issues in Literature

    OpenAIRE

    Stripling, Mahala Yates

    2013-01-01

    Many of the bioethical and medical issues challenging society today have been anticipated and addressed in literature ranging from Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, Albert Camus’s The Plague, to Margaret Edson's Wit. The ten works of fiction explored in this book stimulate lively dialogue on topics like bioterrorism, cloning, organ transplants, obesity and heart disease, sexually transmitted diseases, and civil and human rights. This interdisciplinary and multicultural approach introducing literat...

  3. State and Local Policy Considerations for Implementing the National Response Plan

    Science.gov (United States)

    2005-03-01

    currently compensated for training from USDA grant funding. Also, training may result in credit as Continuing Education . (5) Although the NAHERC program...College, University of London, Novel Marker Vaccine Delivery System, found on-line at www.rvc.ac.uk/Services/ Commercialisation /AvailableTechnologies...and Bioterrorism: Biodefense Strategy, Practice, and Science, Volume 2, Number 2, 2004, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., page 98. 41 (e) Education programs

  4. Characterization of a Francisella tularensis-Caenorhabditis elegans Pathosystem for the Evaluation of Therapeutic Compounds

    OpenAIRE

    Jayamani, Elamparithi; Tharmalingam, Nagendran; Rajamuthiah, Rajmohan; Coleman, Jeffrey J.; Kim, Wooseong; Okoli, Ikechukwu; Hernandez, Ana M.; Lee, Kiho; Nau, Gerard J.; Ausubel, Frederick M.; Mylonakis, Eleftherios

    2017-01-01

    Francisella tularensis is a highly infectious Gram-negative intracellular pathogen that causes tularemia. Because of its potential as a bioterrorism agent, there is a need for new therapeutic agents. We therefore developed a whole-animal Caenorhabditis elegans-F. tularensis pathosystem for high-throughput screening to identify and characterize potential therapeutic compounds. We found that the C. elegans p38 mitogen-activate protein (MAP) kinase cascade is involved in the immune response to F...

  5. Synthesis of ester prodrugs of 9-(S)-[3-hydroxy-2-(phosphonomethoxy)propyl]-2,6-diaminopurine (HPMPDAP) as anti-poxvirus agents

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Krečmerová, Marcela; Holý, Antonín; Andrei, G.; Pomeisl, Karel; Tichý, Tomáš; Břehová, Petra; Masojídková, Milena; Dračínský, Martin; Pohl, Radek; Laflamme, G.; Naesens, L.; Hui, H.; Cihlař, T.; Neyts, J.; De Clercq, E.; Balzarini, J.; Snoeck, R.

    2010-01-01

    Roč. 53, č. 19 (2010), s. 6825-6837 ISSN 0022-2623 R&D Projects: GA MŠk 1M0508; GA MŠk(CZ) ME10040 Grant - others:NIH(US) 1UC1 AI062540-01 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z40550506 Keywords : phosphonates * prodrugs * poxvirus * herpes virus * bioterrorism Subject RIV: CC - Organic Chemistry Impact factor: 5.207, year: 2010

  6. Disaster management: using Internet-based technology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dimitruk, Paul

    2007-01-01

    Disasters impose operational challenges and substantial financial burdens on hospitals. Internet-based disaster management technology can help. This technology should: Capture, analyze, and track relevant data. Be available 24/7. Guide decision makers in setting up an incident command center and monitor the completion of jobs by ICC role. Provide assistance in areas that hospitals are not used to dealing with, e.g., chemical or bio-terror agents.

  7. Development of a Computational Assay for the Estrogen Receptor

    Science.gov (United States)

    2006-07-01

    Research in Undergraduate Computational Chemistry across New York and New England" at the Executive Summit, Delivering Technology Leadership for Life...Sciences: Research Advances for Drug Discovery and Bioterrorism. A Life Sciences Executive Summit co-sponsored by SGI, the Delaware Biotechnology...Bharath, J.; Jain, S.; Pham, H. B.; Boonyasiriwat, C.; Nguyen, N.; Andersen, E.; Kim, Y.; Choc , S.; Choi, J.; Cheatham, T. E.; Facelli, J. C. J. Chemical

  8. Preparedness for the Evaluation and Management of Mass Casualty Incidents Involving Anticholinesterase Compounds: A Survey of Emergency Department Directors in the 12 Largest Cities in the United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-11-01

    and the resulting survey was piloted among a group of 24 physicians, nurses , and governmental officials. It was submitted to an institu- tional...appropriate antidotes. ch emical attack with nerve agents could be devastat- g. As physicians, nurses , and allied health profession- , it is our professional...state and local medical countermeasure stockpile investments through the Shelf-Life Extension Program. Biosecur Bioterror. 2009; 7(1): 101-107. 86

  9. Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-01-01

    includes doctors, nurses , psychologists and family outreach professionals, military leadership as well as civilian providers and organizations who...health care system, which includes doctors, nurses , psychologists and family outreach professionals, military leadership as well as civilian...Solve the latest Mind-Body Problem? Biosecurity and Bioterrorism: Biode- fense Strategy, Practice, and Science, 5(2): 155–63, 2007. Galea, S, Brewin, C.R

  10. How Should Air Force Expeditionary Medical Capabilities Be Expressed

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-01-01

    Biosecurity and Bioterrorism: Biodefense Strategy, Practice, and Sci- ence, Vol. 4, 2006, pp. 135–146; Sarah A. Lister, Hurricane Katrina: The Public...setting this might mean releasing the patient to a nursing home. In a domestic civilian disaster setting, it may mean releasing the patient to some...described below. The Mobile Aeromedical Staging Facility (MASF) is a 15-person, communications-capable UTC that provides supportive/resuscita- tive nursing

  11. War and Medicine in a Culture of Peace. 2. Synopsis of Biological Weapons

    OpenAIRE

    Pierard, Gérald

    2001-01-01

    Biological warfare has a long history. Despite the 1972 international convention and several attempts at biological weapon eradication, some countries and non governmental groups still retain some of these agents. According to their potential use, they belong to bioterrorism or to massive destruction weapons. Any biological warfare put the civilian medical and paramedical assets at the frontline and at high risk for being rapidly contaminated. The prompt recognition of a bioterrorist attack a...

  12. In Vitro and In Vivo Activity of Omadacycline Against Two Biothreat Pathogens: Bacillus Anthracis and Yersinia Pestis

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-02-27

    visually at 18-24 hours (B. anthracis) or 42-48 hours (Y. pestis) and also by absorbance at 600 nm (SpectroMax M2, Molecular Devices). Thirty...certain uncomplicated infections; warns about disabling side effects that can occur together. May 12, 2016. Accessed August 29, 2016. Flamm RK, Rhomberg... odontology in the management of bioterrorism. In Evidence-Based Forensic Dentistry. Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013. pp. 149-152. Rotz LD

  13. Crystal Structure of the Receptor-Binding Domain of Botulinum Neurotoxin Type HA, Also Known as Type FA or H

    OpenAIRE

    Yao, Guorui; Lam, Kwok-ho; Perry, Kay; Weisemann, Jasmin; Rummel, Andreas; Jin, Rongsheng

    2017-01-01

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs), which have been exploited as cosmetics and muscle-disorder treatment medicines for decades, are well known for their extreme neurotoxicity to humans. They pose a potential bioterrorism threat because they cause botulism, a flaccid muscular paralysis-associated disease that requires immediate antitoxin treatment and intensive care over a long period of time. In addition to the existing seven established BoNT serotypes (BoNT/A–G), a new mosaic toxin type termed Bo...

  14. Crystal structure of the receptor-binding domain of botulinum neurotoxin type HA, also known as type FA or H

    OpenAIRE

    Yao, G; Lam, KH; Perry, K; Weisemann, J; Rummel, A; Jin, R

    2017-01-01

    © 2017 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs), which have been exploited as cosmetics and muscle-disorder treatment medicines for decades, are well known for their extreme neurotoxicity to humans. They pose a potential bioterrorism threat because they cause botulism, a flaccid muscular paralysis-associated disease that requires immediate antitoxin treatment and intensive care over a long period of time. In addition to the existing seven established Bo...

  15. National Strategy for Countering Biological Threats: Diplomacy and International Programs

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-03-18

    Regulations provide a framework for im- proving disease surveillance and reporting worldwide. In this regard, I continue to be concerned that Indonesia is not...State’s Biosecurity Engagement Program ( BEP ) is working to reduce the threat of bioterrorism through coop- erative activities to prevent terrorist...public and animal health worldwide. Since 2006, the BEP program has matured into a $37-million-a- year effort, focused on regions and countries where

  16. Knowledge and Attitude of Iranian Red Crescent Society Volunteers in Dealing with Bioterrorist attacks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Seyed Ali Bahreini Moghadam

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Introduction: Bioterrorism is a worldwide problem and has been the focus of attention during recent decades. There is no precise information on the knowledge, attitude, and preparedness of Iranian Red Crescent volunteers in dealing with bioterrorism. Therefore, the present study aimed to evaluate the above-mentioned parameters in Mahabad Red Crescent Society volunteers. Methods: In this prospective cross-sectional study, the knowledge of 120 volunteers was evaluated and rated as poor, moderate, and good. In addition, attitude of the volunteers and preparedness of Mahabad Red Crescent Society was rated as inappropriate and appropriate using a questionnaire. Results: The mean age of volunteers was 32.0 ± 8.2 years (62.5% male. 2 (1.7% volunteers had good knowledge while 94 (78.3% had no knowledge regarding bioterrorist attack management. Only 1 (0.8%  volunteer had appropriate attitude and 6 (5.0% stated their preparedness for being sent out to the crisis zone. 116 volunteers (96.7% indicated that Mahabad Red Crescent Society has an inappropriate level of preparedness to encounter bioterrorist attacks. Conclusion: The findings of the present study showed poor knowledge and inappropriate attitude of Mahabad Red Crescent Society volunteers in encountering probable bioterrorist attacks. Furthermore, the Red Crescent Society of this town had an inappropriate level of preparedness in the field of bioterrorism from the viewpoint of the studied volunteers.

  17. Terrorism preparedness: Web-based resource management and the TOPOFF 3 exercise.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jacobs, Lenworth M; Burns, Karyl J

    2006-03-01

    The bombings of London on July 7, 2005 highlight the need for continued vigilance and readiness to respond to terrorist attacks. Trauma centers need to be at the core of preparedness activities. The State of Connecticut has taken a lead in preparedness and was selected as a site for the US Department of Homeland Security's Top Officials Three Exercise (TOPOFF 3), the largest and most extensive antiterrorism drill ever conducted. All 32 acute care hospitals in Connecticut took part in the drill. The simulated attacks were designed to test all aspects of emergency preparedness including the ability of hospitals to treat large numbers of victims and effectively monitor and implement mechanisms for surge capacity. In Connecticut, TOPOFF 3 tested the Bioterrorism Preparedness Web Application that was designed to be the primary communication and resource management tool during a terrorist event or public health emergency. This paper describes: 1) the impetus for the State of Connecticut Department of Public Health's Bioterrorism Preparedness Web Application; 2) the strategies used to ensure its readiness and appropriate utilization during a public health emergency; and 3) its use for communication and resource management by the Department of Public Health and the acute care hospitals during TOPOFF 3. The Bioterrorism Preparedness Web Application was successfully implemented and used during TOPOFF 3 to assess surge capacity and other resources. Careful development and implementation of the Web application, or any communication system, as well as training and regular practice are required to ensure effective use during a public health emergency.

  18. Unraveling the structure of the variola topoisomerase IB-DNA complex: a possible new twist on smallpox therapy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Osheroff, Neil

    2006-10-01

    Smallpox is a serious and highly contagious disease that is caused by the variola virus. It is one of the most severe infectious human diseases known, with mortality rates as high as 30%. A successful worldwide vaccination program led to the eradication of smallpox in 1980. However, the high transmission rate of variola virus, coupled with the deadly nature of smallpox, makes this virus a potentially devastating weapon for bioterrorism. Currently, there is no specific treatment for smallpox. However, a recent article on the structure of a variola topoisomerase IB-DNA complex provides an intriguing starting point for the rational design of drugs with potential activity against smallpox.

  19. Globalization and disease: in an unequal world, unequal health!

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Buss Paulo Marchiori

    2002-01-01

    Full Text Available In this paper, originally presented at an event held by the National Institutes of Health (NIH in the United States, the author analyzes the repercussions of globalization on various health aspects: the spread of infectious and parasitic diseases, bioterrorism, and new behavioral patterns in health, among others. He goes on to examine the positive and negative effects of international agreements on health, particularly in the trade area, including the TRIPS Agreement on medicines in the area of public health. The paper concludes that the resumption of cooperation among nations is the best way to achieve world progress in public health.

  20. Designing an effective microbial forensics program for law enforcement and national security purposes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murch, Randall S

    2014-06-01

    Forensic capabilities that provide lead information, and investigative, intelligence, prosecution and policy decision support can be invaluable for responding to and resolving bioterrorism events. Attributing biological attacks through scientific and other resources and processes is an important goal, for which science can be instrumental. Some even believe that having effective microbial forensics capabilities along with others can even deter adversaries from using biological weapons. For those nations that do not have such or wish to integrate or upgrade capabilities, thoughtful analysis and consideration of certain design principles will increase the likelihood that success will be attained.

  1. Protective Immunity against Tularemia Provided by an Adenovirus-Vectored Vaccine Expressing Tul4 of Francisella tularensis

    OpenAIRE

    Kaur, Ravinder; Chen, Shan; Arévalo, Maria T.; Xu, Qingfu; Chen, Yanping; Zeng, Mingtao

    2012-01-01

    Francisella tularensis, a category A bioterrorism agent, is a highly infectious organism that is passed on via skin contact and inhalation routes. A live attenuated vaccine strain (LVS) has been developed, but it has not been licensed for public use by the FDA due to safety concerns. Thus, there exists a need for a safer and improved vaccine. In this study, we have constructed a replication-incompetent adenovirus, Ad/opt-Tul4, carrying a codon-optimized gene for expression of a membrane prote...

  2. Animal Botulism Outcomes in the AniBioThreat Project

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Woudstra, Cédric; Tevell Åberg, Annica; Skarin, Hanna

    2013-01-01

    and botulinum neurotoxins are considered potential weapons for bioterrorism and have been included in the Australia Group List of Biological Agents. In 2010 the European Commission (DG Justice, Freedom and Security) funded a 3-year project named AniBioThreat to improve the EU's capacity to counter animal...... new genetic information to better understand the diversity of these Clostridia and develop detection methods targeting both highly specific genetic markers of these Clostridia and the neurotoxins they are able to produce. Several European institutes participating in the AniBioThreat project...

  3. Fibre optic system for biochemical and microbiological sensing

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Penwill, L A; Slater, J H; Hayes, N W; Tremlett, C J

    2007-01-01

    This poster will discuss state-of-the-art fibre optic sensors based on evanescent wave technology emphasising chemophotonic sensors for biochemical reactions and microbe detection. Devices based on antibody specificity and unique DNA sequences will be described. The development of simple sensor devices with disposable single use sensor probes will be illustrated with a view to providing cost effective field based or point of care analysis of major themes such as hospital acquired infections or bioterrorism events. This presentation will discuss the nature and detection thresholds required, the optical detection techniques investigated, results of sensor trials and the potential for wider commercial application

  4. The impact of globalization on vaccine development and availability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Milstien, Julie B; Kaddar, Miloud; Kieny, Marie Paule

    2006-01-01

    Globalization is likely to affect many aspects of public health, one of which is vaccine-preventable communicable diseases. Important forces include increased funding initiatives supporting immunization at the global level; regulatory harmonization; widespread intellectual property rights provisions through the World Trade Organization agreements; the emergence of developing-country manufacturers as major players in vaccine supply; and the appearance of new communicable disease threats, including those potentially linked to bioterrorism. All of these forces can affect, either positively and negatively, the development and availability of vaccines. Harnessing these will be a challenge for policymakers and immunization stakeholders.

  5. Virtual Glovebox (VGX) Aids Astronauts in Pre-Flight Training

    Science.gov (United States)

    2003-01-01

    NASA's Virtual Glovebox (VGX) was developed to allow astronauts on Earth to train for complex biology research tasks in space. The astronauts may reach into the virtual environment, naturally manipulating specimens, tools, equipment, and accessories in a simulated microgravity environment as they would do in space. Such virtual reality technology also provides engineers and space operations staff with rapid prototyping, planning, and human performance modeling capabilities. Other Earth based applications being explored for this technology include biomedical procedural training and training for disarming bio-terrorism weapons.

  6. Expression of an immunogenic Ebola immune complex in Nicotiana benthamiana

    OpenAIRE

    Bhoo, Seong Hee; Lai, Huafang; Ma, Julian; Arntzen, Charles J.; Chen, Qiang; Mason, Hugh S.

    2011-01-01

    Filoviruses (Ebola and Marburg viruses) cause severe and often fatal hemorrhagic fever in humans and non-human primates. The US Centers for Disease Control identify Ebola and Marburg viruses as “category A” pathogens (defined as posing a risk to national security as bioterrorism agents), which has lead to a search for vaccines that could prevent the disease. Because the use of such vaccines would be in the service of public health, the cost of production is an important component of their dev...

  7. Biosurveillance Using Clinical Diagnoses and Social Media Indicators in Military Populations

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Corley, Courtney D. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Volkova, Svitlana [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Rounds, Jeremiah [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Charles-Smith, Lauren E. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Harrison, Joshua J. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Mendoza, Joshua A. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Han, Keith S. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)

    2017-02-23

    U.S. military influenza surveillance uses electronic reporting of clinical diagnoses to monitor health of military personnel and detect naturally occurring and bioterrorism-related epidemics. While accurate, these systems lack in timeliness. More recently, researchers have used novel data sources to detect influenza in real time and capture nontraditional populations. With data-mining techniques, military social media users are identified and influenza-related discourse is integrated along with medical data into a comprehensive disease model. By leveraging heterogeneous data streams and developing dashboard biosurveillance analytics, the researchers hope to increase the speed at which outbreaks are detected and provide accurate disease forecasting among military personnel.

  8. Infectious diseases in cinema: virus hunters and killer microbes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pappas, Georgios; Seitaridis, Savvas; Akritidis, Nikolaos; Tsianos, Epaminondas

    2003-10-01

    The world of infectious diseases has been rarely presented in the cinema with accuracy. Apart from random biographies of scientists and retellings of stories about great epidemics from the past, most films focus on the dangers presented by outbreaks of unknown agents that originate from acts of bioterrorism, from laboratory accidents, or even from space. We review these films and underline the possible effect that they have on the public's perception of infection--a perception that, when misguided, could prove to be problematic in times of epidemics.

  9. A Look into Anthrax as a Biological Weapon, from the Past to Today

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Babak Shiravand

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available Introduction: Biological attack a phenomenon which has seriously started in the 20th- century and is expanding every day. Plague agent is one of factors listed as a biological weapon by the disarmament convention. Therefore, the risk of biological or bioterrorism applications is probable and serious. The purpose of this study was to update health professionals' information on plague and bioterrorism aspect of this disease. Methods: This article is a literature review written based on search on articles from library and internet resources (1990- 2016. Results: More than 2,000 species of bacteria have been identified in three main groups of bacillus (rod-shaped, cocci (round and oval, and spiral. But only about 100 of them are known as pathogens and Less than 10 species are used as biological agents for military application and one of them is plague agent. Yersinia pestis is a Gram negative, rod-shaped, anaerobic, member of the enterobacteriaceae family, and if be painted by Colors Wright, Giemsa or Leeson will be seen bipolar under a microscope. Conclusion: Nowadays, in spite of the progresses made in science and technology, human knowledge is relatively incapable to anticipate the time and place of biological attacks. Therefore, being prepared and ready for its unavoidable occurrence is necessary. So, regarding the importance and necessity of readiness, officials and experts have to make an effort and plan against these hazards.

  10. Probabilistic risk analysis and terrorism risk.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ezell, Barry Charles; Bennett, Steven P; von Winterfeldt, Detlof; Sokolowski, John; Collins, Andrew J

    2010-04-01

    Since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and the subsequent establishment of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), considerable efforts have been made to estimate the risks of terrorism and the cost effectiveness of security policies to reduce these risks. DHS, industry, and the academic risk analysis communities have all invested heavily in the development of tools and approaches that can assist decisionmakers in effectively allocating limited resources across the vast array of potential investments that could mitigate risks from terrorism and other threats to the homeland. Decisionmakers demand models, analyses, and decision support that are useful for this task and based on the state of the art. Since terrorism risk analysis is new, no single method is likely to meet this challenge. In this article we explore a number of existing and potential approaches for terrorism risk analysis, focusing particularly on recent discussions regarding the applicability of probabilistic and decision analytic approaches to bioterrorism risks and the Bioterrorism Risk Assessment methodology used by the DHS and criticized by the National Academies and others.

  11. Survival of Bacillus anthracis spores in fruit juices and wine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leishman, Oriana N; Johnson, Miranda J; Labuza, Theodore P; Diez-Gonzalez, Francisco

    2010-09-01

    Foods have been identified as a potential target for bioterrorism due to their essential nature and global distribution. Foods produced in bulk have the potential to have large batches of product intentionally contaminated, which could affect hundreds or thousands of individuals. Bacillus anthracis spores are one potential bioterrorism agent that may survive pasteurization and remain viable throughout the shelf life of fruit juices and cause disease if consumed. This project examined B. anthracis spore survival in orange, apple, and grape juices, as well as wine. Samples of beverages were inoculated with spores of two nonpathogenic B. anthracis strains at approximately 10(6) CFU/ml, and the spore count was determined periodically during storage for 30 days at 4°C. After this time, the counts of survival spores never declined more than 1 log CFU/ml in any of the beverage types. These results indicate that spores can survive, with little to no loss in viability, for at least a month in fruit juices and wine.

  12. Diagnosing smallpox: would you know it if you saw it?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woods, Ryan; McCarthy, Tara; Barry, M Anita; Mahon, Barbara

    2004-01-01

    The intentional release of anthrax in the United States in 2001 and other recent acts of terrorism have highlighted the possibility of intentional release of smallpox by terrorists. Little is known about physicians' ability to diagnose smallpox, especially in the critical first days, when the potential for rapid control of transmission is greatest. During December 2002 and January 2003, primary care and emergency physicians at a large urban academic medical center were surveyed regarding the diagnosis and management of patients who present with vesicular rash illness. In addition to demographic and training-related questions, the questionnaire included items about perceived comfort in diagnosing and evaluating rashes, knowledge of the key differential diagnostic characteristics of chickenpox and smallpox, and the diagnostic interpretation of color photographs of patients with smallpox or chickenpox. Responses were summarized as a perceived comfort score, a differential diagnosis score, and a picture score. Of 266 eligible physicians, 178 (67%) responded. Of these, 95% thought clinicians need more education about bioterrorism; only 17% reported comfort in diagnosing smallpox. Although most physicians recognized pictures of smallpox and chickenpox, only 36% correctly answered 3 of 4 questions regarding differential diagnosis, an important aspect of identifying cases early. Those who were comfortable diagnosing rash illnesses had higher differential diagnosis scores. Strategies for bioterrorism-related training could take advantage of physicians' awareness of their own knowledge deficits.

  13. Human anthrax as a re-emerging disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doganay, Mehmet; Demiraslan, Hayati

    2015-01-01

    Anthrax is primarily a disease of herbivores and the etiological agent is B. anthracis which is a gram-positive, aerobic, spore-forming, and rod shaped bacterium. Bacillus anthracis spores are highly resistant to heat, pressure, ultraviolet and ionizing radiation, chemical agents and disinfectants. For these reasons, B. anthracis spores are an attractive choice as biological agents for the use of bioweapon and/or bioterrorism. Soil is the main reservoir for the infectious agent. The disease most commonly affects wild and domestic mammals. Human are secondarily infected by contact with infected animals and contaminated animal products or directly expose to B. anthracis spores. Anthrax occurs worldwide. This infection is still endemic or hyperendemic in both animals and humans in some part of areas of the world; particularly in Middle East, West Africa, Central Asia, some part of India, South America. However, some countries are claiming free of anthrax, and anthrax has become a re-emerging disease in western countries with the intentional outbreak. Currently, anthrax is classified according to its setting as (1) naturally occurring anthrax, (2) bioterrorism-related anthrax. Vast majority of human anthrax are occurring as naturally occurring anthrax in the world. It is also a threaten disease for western countries. The aim of this paper is to review the relevant patents, short historical perspective, microbiological and epidemiological features, clinical presentations and treatment.

  14. Effect of gamma irradiation on Burkholderia thailandensis (Burkholderia pseudomallei surrogate) survival under combinations of pH and NaCl

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yoon, Yohan; Kim, Jae-Hun; Byun, Myung-Woo [Team for Radiation Food Science and Biotechnology, Advanced Radiation Technology Institute, Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute, Jeongeup, Jeollabuk 580-185 (Korea, Republic of); Choi, Kyoung-Hee [Department of Oral Microbiology, College of Dentistry, Wonkwang University, Iksan, Jeollabuk 570-749 (Korea, Republic of); Lee, Ju-Woon, E-mail: sjwlee@kaeri.re.k [Team for Radiation Food Science and Biotechnology, Advanced Radiation Technology Institute, Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute, Jeongeup, Jeollabuk 580-185 (Korea, Republic of)

    2010-04-15

    This study evaluated the effect of gamma irradiation on Burkholderia thailandensis (Burkholderia pseudomallei surrogate; potential bioterrorism agent) survival under different levels of NaCl and pH. B. thailandensis in Luria Bertani broth supplemented with NaCl (0-3%), and pH-adjusted to 4-7 was treated with gamma irradiation (0-0.5 kGy). Surviving cell counts of bacteria were then enumerated on tryptic soy agar. Data for the cell counts were also used to calculate D{sub 10} values (the dose required to reduce 1 log CFU/mL of B. thailandensis). Cell counts of B. thailandensis were decreased (P<0.05) as irradiation dose increased, and no differences (P>=0.05) in cell counts of the bacteria were observed among different levels of NaCl and pH. D{sub 10} values ranged from 0.04 to 0.07 kGy, regardless of NaCl and pH level. These results indicate that low doses of gamma irradiation should be a useful treatment in decreasing the potential bioterrorism bacteria, which may possibly infect humans through foods.

  15. Potential biodefense model applications for portable chlorine dioxide gas production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stubblefield, Jeannie M; Newsome, Anthony L

    2015-01-01

    Development of decontamination methods and strategies to address potential infectious disease outbreaks and bioterrorism events are pertinent to this nation's biodefense strategies and general biosecurity. Chlorine dioxide (ClO2) gas has a history of use as a decontamination agent in response to an act of bioterrorism. However, the more widespread use of ClO2 gas to meet current and unforeseen decontamination needs has been hampered because the gas is too unstable for shipment and must be prepared at the application site. Newer technology allows for easy, onsite gas generation without the need for dedicated equipment, electricity, water, or personnel with advanced training. In a laboratory model system, 2 unique applications (personal protective equipment [PPE] and animal skin) were investigated in the context of potential development of decontamination protocols. Such protocols could serve to reduce human exposure to bacteria in a decontamination response effort. Chlorine dioxide gas was capable of reducing (2-7 logs of vegetative and spore-forming bacteria), and in some instances eliminating, culturable bacteria from difficult to clean areas on PPE facepieces. The gas was effective in eliminating naturally occurring bacteria on animal skin and also on skin inoculated with Bacillus spores. The culturable bacteria, including Bacillus spores, were eliminated in a time- and dose-dependent manner. Results of these studies suggested portable, easily used ClO2 gas generation systems have excellent potential for protocol development to contribute to biodefense strategies and decontamination responses to infectious disease outbreaks or other biothreat events.

  16. Effect of gamma irradiation on Burkholderia thailandensis ( Burkholderia pseudomallei surrogate) survival under combinations of pH and NaCl

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoon, Yohan; Kim, Jae-Hun; Byun, Myung-Woo; Choi, Kyoung-Hee; Lee, Ju-Woon

    2010-04-01

    This study evaluated the effect of gamma irradiation on Burkholderia thailandensis ( Burkholderia pseudomallei surrogate; potential bioterrorism agent) survival under different levels of NaCl and pH. B. thailandensis in Luria Bertani broth supplemented with NaCl (0-3%), and pH-adjusted to 4-7 was treated with gamma irradiation (0-0.5 kGy). Surviving cell counts of bacteria were then enumerated on tryptic soy agar. Data for the cell counts were also used to calculate D10 values (the dose required to reduce 1 log CFU/mL of B. thailandensis). Cell counts of B. thailandensis were decreased ( P<0.05) as irradiation dose increased, and no differences ( P≥0.05) in cell counts of the bacteria were observed among different levels of NaCl and pH. D10 values ranged from 0.04 to 0.07 kGy, regardless of NaCl and pH level. These results indicate that low doses of gamma irradiation should be a useful treatment in decreasing the potential bioterrorism bacteria, which may possibly infect humans through foods.

  17. Harmonization of European laboratory response networks by implementing CWA 15793: use of a gap analysis and an "insider" exercise as tools.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sundqvist, Bo; Bengtsson, Ulrika Allard; Wisselink, Henk J; Peeters, Ben P H; van Rotterdam, Bart; Kampert, Evelien; Bereczky, Sándor; Johan Olsson, N G; Szekely Björndal, Asa; Zini, Sylvie; Allix, Sébastien; Knutsson, Rickard

    2013-09-01

    Laboratory response networks (LRNs) have been established for security reasons in several countries including the Netherlands, France, and Sweden. LRNs function in these countries as a preparedness measure for a coordinated diagnostic response capability in case of a bioterrorism incident or other biocrimes. Generally, these LRNs are organized on a national level. The EU project AniBioThreat has identified the need for an integrated European LRN to strengthen preparedness against animal bioterrorism. One task of the AniBioThreat project is to suggest a plan to implement laboratory biorisk management CWA 15793:2011 (CWA 15793), a management system built on the principle of continual improvement through the Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) cycle. The implementation of CWA 15793 can facilitate trust and credibility in a future European LRN and is an assurance that the work done at the laboratories is performed in a structured way with continuous improvements. As a first step, a gap analysis was performed to establish the current compliance status of biosafety and laboratory biosecurity management with CWA 15793 in 5 AniBioThreat partner institutes in France (ANSES), the Netherlands (CVI and RIVM), and Sweden (SMI and SVA). All 5 partners are national and/or international laboratory reference institutes in the field of public or animal health and possess high-containment laboratories and animal facilities. The gap analysis showed that the participating institutes already have robust biorisk management programs in place, but several gaps were identified that need to be addressed. Despite differences between the participating institutes in their compliance status, these variations are not significant. Biorisk management exercises also have been identified as a useful tool to control compliance status and thereby implementation of CWA 15793. An exercise concerning an insider threat and loss of a biological agent was performed at SVA in the AniBioThreat project to evaluate

  18. Gerald L. Epstein, PhD: director, center for science, technology, and security policy, American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Interview by Madeline Drexler.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Epstein, Gerald L

    2009-12-01

    Over his entire career, Gerald Epstein has toiled at the nexus of science, technology, and security. From 2003 to 2009, he was Senior Fellow for Science and Security at the Center for Strategic and International Studies Homeland Security Program, where he worked on reducing biological weapons threats, improving national preparedness, and easing potential tensions between the scientific research and national security communities. Epstein came to CSIS from the Institute for Defense Analyses. From 1996 to 2001, he served in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. And from 1983 to 1989, and again from 1991 until its demise in 1995, Epstein worked at the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment, where he directed a study on the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, alongside research on other global security topics. A recognized expert in biological risk reduction, Epstein was actually trained as a physicist, having received SB degrees in physics and electrical engineering from MIT, and a PhD in physics from the University of California at Berkeley. How, then, did he come to study the evolving threat from bioterrorism? "What compelled me about bioterrorism was that it was a stellar example of a topic that would lead to a train wreck between the scientific community and the security community unless they figured out how to work together," he said. "The distance between a laboratory and a very large consequence event is a lot shorter in biology than in any other field. I got into bioterrorism to help make sure that the security community doesn't get so scared of the science that it shuts it down, and that the science community isn't so oblivious of security concerns that it pays no attention to them." Epstein spoke on November 6, 2009, with contributing writer Madeline Drexler, author of Emerging Epidemics: The Menace of New Infections (Penguin, 2009), an updated version of an earlier volume. Drexler holds a visiting appointment at the

  19. Comparative Pathology of Smallpox and Monkeypox in Man and Macaques

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cann, J. A.; Jahrling, P. B.; Hensley, L. E.; Wahl-Jensen, V.

    2012-01-01

    Summary In the three decades since the eradication of smallpox and cessation of routine vaccination, the collective memory of the devastating epidemics caused by this orthopoxvirus has waned, and the human population has become increasingly susceptible to a disease that remains high on the list of possible bioterrorism agents. Research using surrogate orthopoxviruses in their natural hosts, as well as limited variola virus research in animal models, continues worldwide; however, interpretation of findings is often limited by our relative lack of knowledge about the naturally occurring disease. For modern comparative pathologists, many of whom have no first-hand knowledge of naturally occurring smallpox, this work provides a contemporary review of this historical disease, as well as discussion of how it compares with human monkeypox and the corresponding diseases in macaques. PMID:22884034

  20. Types of fraud in meat and meat products: a review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Espinoza T.

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Affects the food control. The globalization, increased imports and exports and free trade agreements have led to greater sharing and access to food worldwide; along with it, the problems associated with fraud such as adulteration, substitution, intentionality, and counterfeiting have been increased. Therefore, there are various tasks associated with food fraud, which in most reviews published only new identification techniques have been discussed. However, a discussion about the types of fraud and its impact on society, bioterrorism and religion, has been little commented. This review focuses primarily on describing the types of fraud that has as objective to obtain economic benefit or cause terrorism. Also, latest techniques available for detecting meat adulteration are mentioned.

  1. Enhanced photocatalytic disinfection of indoor air

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Vohra, Amit; Goswami, D.Y.; Deshpande, D.A.; Block, S.S. [Solar Energy and Energy Conversion Laboratory, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611 (United States)

    2006-04-18

    A silver ion doped TiO{sub 2} based photocatalyst, with improved destruction of airborne microbes, has been developed. The performance of the silver ion doped photocatalyst is demonstrated using a catalyst coated filter in a recirculating air experimental facility. Bacillus cereus, Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, Aspergillus niger, and MS2 Bacteriophage have been used as indexes to demonstrate the high disinfection efficiency of the enhanced photocatalysis process. The microbial destruction performance of the enhanced photocatalyst is found to be an order of magnitude higher than that of a conventional TiO{sub 2} photocatalyst. The process of enhanced photocatalysis can thus be used effectively against high concentrations of airborne microorganisms, making it an attractive option as a defense against bio-terrorism. (author)

  2. Misconceptions about Ebola virus disease among lay people in Guinea: Lessons for community education.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kpanake, Lonzozou; Gossou, Komlantsè; Sorum, Paul Clay; Mullet, Etienne

    2016-05-01

    To characterize the perception of Ebola virus disease (EVD) in Guinea, we administered, from November 2014 to February 2015, a questionnaire to a convenience sample of 200 lay people in Conakry and a group of 8 physicians. We found widespread misconceptions among lay people, including that praying to God can protect against EVD, that traditional healers are more competent than physicians in treating EVD, that people get infected through physical proximity without contact, that the Ebola epidemic is the result of Western bioterrorism experiments, that Western medical staff disseminated the virus, and that the purpose of quarantine measures is to hasten the death of Ebola patients. Major educational interventions, sensitive to local cultural beliefs, are needed to overcome the misconceptions about Ebola in Guinea.

  3. Botulinum Neurotoxin Detection Methods for Public Health Response and Surveillance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nagarajan Thirunavukkarasu

    2018-06-01

    Full Text Available Botulism outbreak due to consumption of food contaminated with botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs is a public health emergency. The threat of bioterrorism through deliberate distribution in food sources and/or aerosolization of BoNTs raises global public health and security concerns due to the potential for high mortality and morbidity. Rapid and reliable detection methods are necessary to support clinical diagnosis and surveillance for identifying the source of contamination, performing epidemiological analysis of the outbreak, preventing and responding to botulism outbreaks. This review considers the applicability of various BoNT detection methods and examines their fitness-for-purpose in safeguarding the public health and security goals.

  4. Countermeasures and vaccination against terrorism using smallpox: pre-event and post-event smallpox vaccination and its contraindications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sato, Hajime

    2011-09-01

    Smallpox, when used as a biological weapon, presents a serious threat to civilian populations. Core components of the public health management of a terrorism attack using smallpox are: vaccination (ring vaccination and mass vaccination), adverse event monitoring, confirmed and suspected smallpox case management, contact management, identifying, tracing, monitoring contacts, and quarantine. Above all, pre-event and post-event vaccination is an indispensable part of the strategies. Since smallpox patients are most infectious from onset of the rash through the first 7-10 days of the rash, vaccination should be administered promptly within a limited time frame. However, vaccination can accompany complications, such as postvaccinial encephalitis, progressive vaccinia, eczema vaccinatum, and generalized vaccinia. Therefore, vaccination is not recommended for certain groups. Public health professionals, as well as physicians and government officials, should also be well equipped with all information necessary for appropriate and effective smallpox management in the face of such a bioterrorism attack.

  5. Plague Vaccines: Status and Future.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Wei

    2016-01-01

    Three major plague pandemics caused by the gram-negative bacterium Yersinia pestis have killed nearly 200 million people in human history. Due to its extreme virulence and the ease of its transmission, Y. pestis has been used purposefully for biowarfare in the past. Currently, plague epidemics are still breaking out sporadically in most of parts of the world, including the United States. Approximately 2000 cases of plague are reported each year to the World Health Organization. However, the potential use of the bacteria in modern times as an agent of bioterrorism and the emergence of a Y. pestis strain resistant to eight antibiotics bring out severe public health concerns. Therefore, prophylactic vaccination against this disease holds the brightest prospect for its long-term prevention. Here, we summarize the progress of the current vaccine development for counteracting plague.

  6. Engineering Values Into Genetic Engineering: A Proposed Analytic Framework for Scientific Social Responsibility.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sankar, Pamela L; Cho, Mildred K

    2015-01-01

    Recent experiments have been used to "edit" genomes of various plant, animal and other species, including humans, with unprecedented precision. Furthermore, editing the Cas9 endonuclease gene with a gene encoding the desired guide RNA into an organism, adjacent to an altered gene, could create a "gene drive" that could spread a trait through an entire population of organisms. These experiments represent advances along a spectrum of technological abilities that genetic engineers have been working on since the advent of recombinant DNA techniques. The scientific and bioethics communities have built substantial literatures about the ethical and policy implications of genetic engineering, especially in the age of bioterrorism. However, recent CRISPr/Cas experiments have triggered a rehashing of previous policy discussions, suggesting that the scientific community requires guidance on how to think about social responsibility. We propose a framework to enable analysis of social responsibility, using two examples of genetic engineering experiments.

  7. Biosafety and biosecurity measures: management of biosafety level 3 facilities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zaki, Adel N

    2010-11-01

    With the increasing biological threat from emerging infectious diseases and bioterrorism, it has become essential for governments around the globe to increase awareness and preparedness for identifying and containing those agents. This article introduces the basic concepts of laboratory management, laboratory biosafety and laboratory biosecurity. Assessment criteria for laboratories' biorisk should include both biosafety and biosecurity measures. The assessment requires setting specific goals and selecting management approaches. In order to implement technologies at the laboratory working level, a management team should be created whose role is to implement biorisk policies, rules and regulations appropriate for that facility. Rules and regulations required by government authorities are presented, with special emphasis on methods for air control, and liquid and solid waste management. Management and biorisk measures and appropriate physical facilities must keep pace, ensuring efficient facilities that protect workers, the environment, the product (research, diagnostic and/or vaccine) and the biological pathogen. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  8. The European network of Biosafety-Level-4 laboratories: enhancing European preparedness for new health threats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nisii, C; Castilletti, C; Di Caro, A; Capobianchi, M R; Brown, D; Lloyd, G; Gunther, S; Lundkvist, A; Pletschette, M; Ippolito, G

    2009-08-01

    Emerging and re-emerging infections and possible bioterrorism acts will continue to challenge both the medical community and civilian populations worldwide, urging health authorities to respond rapidly and effectively. Established in 2005, the European Community (EC)-funded European Network of Biosafety-Level-4 laboratories (Euronet-P4), which brings together the laboratories in Porton Down, London, Hamburg, Marburg, Solna, Lyon and Rome, seeks to increase international collaboration in the areas of high containment laboratory biosafety and viral diagnostic capability, to strengthen Europe's capacity to respond to an infectious disease emergency, and to offer assistance to countries not equipped with such costly facilities. Network partners have agreed on a common strategy to fill the gaps identified in the field of risk group-4 agents' laboratory diagnosis, namely the lack of standardization and of reference samples. The network has received a further 3-year funding, to offer assistance to external laboratories, and to start the planning of field activities.

  9. Coxiella burnetii: host and bacterial responses to infection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Waag, David M

    2007-10-16

    Designation as a Category B biothreat agent has propelled Coxiella burnetii from a relatively obscure, underappreciated, "niche" microorganism on the periphery of bacteriology, to one of possibly great consequence if actually used in acts of bioterrorism. Advances in the study of this microorganism proceeded slowly, primarily because of the difficulty in studying this obligate intracellular pathogen that must be manipulated under biosafety level-3 conditions. The dogged determination of past and current C. burnetii researchers and the application of modern immunological and molecular techniques have more clearly defined the host and bacterial response to infection. This review is intended to provide a basic introduction to C. burnetii and Q fever, while emphasizing immunomodulatory properties, both positive and negative, of Q fever vaccines and C. burnetii infections.

  10. Mass Spectrometric Detection of Botulinum Neurotoxin by Measuring its Activity in Serum and Milk

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kalb, Suzanne R.; Pirkle, James L.; Barr, John R.

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) are bacterial protein toxins which are considered likely agents for bioterrorism due to their extreme toxicity and high availability. A new mass spectrometry based assay called Endopep MS detects and defines the toxin serotype in clinical and food matrices via toxin activity upon a peptide substrate which mimics the toxin's natural target. Furthermore, the subtype of the toxin is differentiated by employing mass spectrometry based proteomic techniques on the same sample. The Endopep-MS assay selectively detects active BoNT and defines the serotype faster and with sensitivity greater than the mouse bioassay. One 96-well plate can be analyzed in under 7 h. On higher level or "hot" samples, the subtype can then be differentiated in less than 2 h with no need for DNA.

  11. Mother Nature versus human nature: public compliance with evacuation and quarantine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manuell, Mary-Elise; Cukor, Jeffrey

    2011-04-01

    Effectively controlling the spread of contagious illnesses has become a critical focus of disaster planning. It is likely that quarantine will be a key part of the overall public health strategy utilised during a pandemic, an act of bioterrorism or other emergencies involving contagious agents. While the United States lacks recent experience of large-scale quarantines, it has considerable accumulated experience of large-scale evacuations. Risk perception, life circumstance, work-related issues, and the opinions of influential family, friends and credible public spokespersons all play a role in determining compliance with an evacuation order. Although the comparison is not reported elsewhere to our knowledge, this review of the principal factors affecting compliance with evacuations demonstrates many similarities with those likely to occur during a quarantine. Accurate identification and understanding of barriers to compliance allows for improved planning to protect the public more effectively. © 2011 The Author(s). Disasters © Overseas Development Institute, 2011.

  12. Challenges and opportunities in developing and marketing vaccines for OIE List A and emerging animal diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gay, C G; Salt, J; Balaski, C

    2003-01-01

    Veterinary pharmaceutical products generated 14.5 billion U.S. Dollars (USD) in worldwide sales in 2000, with biological products contributing 16.2 percent or 2.3 billion USD. The leading biological products were foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) vaccines, with 284 million USD in sales, representing 26.4 percent of the entire livestock biological business. Despite the potential opportunities for the biologicals industry, non-vaccination policies and undefined control and eradication strategies have deterred the private sector from significant investments in the research and development of vaccines against List A diseases. The primary research focus remains vaccines for infectious diseases that have an impact on current domestic herd health management systems. Changing the vaccine paradigm, investing in new technologies, and creating the future by integrating into key alliances with producers and regulatory authorities will be paramount in protecting our poultry and livestock industries against highly infectious diseases and potential acts of bioterrorism.

  13. Efficiency of Airborne Sample Analysis Platform (ASAP Bioaerosol Sampler for Pathogen Detection

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anurag eSharma

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available The threat of bioterrorism and pandemics has highlighted the urgency for rapid and reliable bioaerosol detection in different environments. Safeguarding against such threats requires continuous sampling of the ambient air for pathogen detection. In this study we investigated the efficacy of the Airborne Sample Analysis Platform (ASAP 2800 bioaerosol sampler to collect representative samples of air and identify specific viruses suspended as bioaerosols. To test this concept, we aerosolized an innocuous replication-defective bovine adenovirus serotype 3 (BAdV3 in a controlled laboratory environment. The ASAP efficiently trapped the surrogate virus at 5×10E3 plaque-forming units (p.f.u. [2×10E5 genome copy equivalent] concentrations or more resulting in the successful detection of the virus using quantitative PCR. These results support the further development of ASAP for bioaerosol pathogen detection.

  14. Ebola virus vaccines: an overview of current approaches

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marzi, Andrea; Feldmann, Heinz

    2016-01-01

    Ebola hemorrhagic fever is one of the most fatal viral diseases worldwide affecting humans and nonhuman primates. Although infections only occur frequently in Central Africa, the virus has the potential to spread globally and is classified as a category A pathogen that could be misused as a bioterrorism agent. As of today there is no vaccine or treatment licensed to counteract Ebola virus infections. DNA, subunit and several viral vector approaches, replicating and non-replicating, have been tested as potential vaccine platforms and their protective efficacy has been evaluated in nonhuman primate models for Ebola virus infections, which closely resemble disease progression in humans. Though these vaccine platforms seem to confer protection through different mechanisms, several of them are efficacious against lethal disease in nonhuman primates attesting that vaccination against Ebola virus infections is feasible. PMID:24575870

  15. Vaccination and the TAP-independent antigen processing pathways.

    Science.gov (United States)

    López, Daniel; Lorente, Elena; Barriga, Alejandro; Johnstone, Carolina; Mir, Carmen

    2013-09-01

    The cytotoxic CD8(+) T lymphocyte-mediated cellular response is important for the elimination of virus-infected cells and requires the prior recognition of short viral peptide antigens previously translocated to the endoplasmic reticulum by the transporter associated with antigen processing (TAP). However, individuals with nonfunctional TAP complexes or infected cells with TAP molecules blocked by specific viral proteins, such as the cowpoxvirus, a component of the first source of early empirical vaccination against smallpox, are still able to present several HLA class I ligands generated by the TAP-independent antigen processing pathways to specific cytotoxic CD8(+) T lymphocytes. Currently, bioterrorism and emerging infectious diseases have renewed interest in poxviruses. Recent works that have identified HLA class I ligands and epitopes in virus-infected TAP-deficient cells have implications for the study of both the effectiveness of early empirical vaccination and the analysis of HLA class I antigen processing in TAP-deficient subjects.

  16. Rapid high resolution genotyping of Francisella tularensis by whole genome sequence comparison of annotated genes ("MLST+".

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Markus H Antwerpen

    Full Text Available The zoonotic disease tularemia is caused by the bacterium Francisella tularensis. This pathogen is considered as a category A select agent with potential to be misused in bioterrorism. Molecular typing based on DNA-sequence like canSNP-typing or MLVA has become the accepted standard for this organism. Due to the organism's highly clonal nature, the current typing methods have reached their limit of discrimination for classifying closely related subpopulations within the subspecies F. tularensis ssp. holarctica. We introduce a new gene-by-gene approach, MLST+, based on whole genome data of 15 sequenced F. tularensis ssp. holarctica strains and apply this approach to investigate an epidemic of lethal tularemia among non-human primates in two animal facilities in Germany. Due to the high resolution of MLST+ we are able to demonstrate that three independent clones of this highly infectious pathogen were responsible for these spatially and temporally restricted outbreaks.

  17. Smallpox: clinical highlights and considerations for vaccination.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mahoney M

    2003-01-01

    Full Text Available Smallpox virus has gained considerable attention as a potential bioterrorism agent. Recommendations for smallpox (vaccinia vaccination presume a low risk for use of smallpox as a terrorist biological agent and vaccination is currently recommended for selected groups of individuals such as health care workers, public health authorities, and emergency/rescue workers, among others. Information about adverse reactions to the smallpox vaccine is based upon studies completed during the 1950s and 1960s. The prevalence of various diseases has changed over the last four decades and new disease entities have been described during this period. The smallpox vaccination may be contra-indicated in many of these conditions. This has made pre-screening of potential vaccines necessary. It is believed that at present, the risks of vaccine-associated complications far outweigh the potential benefits of vaccination in the general population.

  18. Synthetic biology: a utilitarian perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Kevin

    2013-10-01

    I examine the positive and negative features of synthetic biology ('SynBio') from a utilitarian ethical perspective. The potential beneficial outcomes from SynBio in the context of medicine are substantial; however it is not presently possible to predict precise outcomes due to the nascent state of the field. Potential negative outcomes from SynBio also exist, including iatrogenesis and bioterrorism; however it is not yet possible to quantify these risks. I argue that the application of a 'precautionary' approach to SynBio is ethically fraught, as is the notion that SynBio-associated knowledge ought to be restricted. I conclude that utilitarians ought to support a broadly laissez-faire stance in respect of SynBio. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  19. Applications and Nanotoxicity of Carbon Nanotubes and Graphene in Biomedicine

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Caitlin Fisher

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Owing to their unique mechanical, electrical, optical, and thermal properties, carbon nanostructures including carbon nanotubes and graphenes show great promise for advancing the fields of biology and medicine. Many reports have demonstrated the promise of these carbon nanostructures and their hybrid structures (composites with polymers, ceramics, and metal nanoparticles, etc. for a variety of biomedical areas ranging from biosensing, drug delivery, and diagnostics, to cancer treatment, tissue engineering, and bioterrorism prevention. However, the issue of the safety and toxicity of these carbon nanostructures, which is vital to their use as diagnostic and therapeutic tools in biomedical fields, has not been completely resolved. This paper aims to provide a summary of the features of carbon nanotube and graphene-based materials and current research progress in biomedical applications. We also highlight the current opinions within the scientific community on the toxicity and safety of these carbon structures.

  20. Biophysics and the Challenges of Emerging Threats

    CERN Document Server

    Puglisi, Joseph D

    2009-01-01

    This volume is a collection of articles from the proceedings of the International School of Structural Biology and Magnetic Resonance 8th Course: Biophysics and the Challenges of Emerging Threats. This NATO Advance Study Institute (ASI) was held in Erice at the Ettore Majorana Foundation and Centre for Scientific Culture on 19 through 30 June 2007. The ASI brought together a diverse group of experts who bridged the fields of virology and biology, biophysics, chemistry and physics. Prominent lecturers and students from around the world representant a total of 24 countries participated in the NATO ASI organized by Professors Joseph Puglisi (Stanford University, USA) and Alexander Arseniev (Moscow, RU). The central hypothesis underlying this ASI was that interdisciplinary research, merging principles of physics, chemistry and biology, can drive new discovery in detecting and fighting bioterrorism agents, lead to cleaner environments, and help propel development in NATO partner countries. The ASI merged the relat...

  1. Risk assessment as rhetorical practice: The ironic mathematics behind terrorism, banking, and public policy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Danisch, Robert

    2013-02-01

    The twin problems of possible terrorist attacks and a global economic recession have been, and continue to be, critical components of contemporary political culture. At the center of both problems is the assessment of future risk. To calculate the probability that a loan will default or to estimate the likelihood of an act of bioterrorism crippling an American city is to engage in the quantitative science of risk assessment. The process of risk assessment is an attempt to rationalize the uncertainty and contingency of the future. In this essay, I read risk assessments made by the Department of Homeland Security and by major banks during the recent financial collapse as examples of rhetorical practice. As such, I show the rhetorical form and function of risk assessments in order to determine the effect that they have on contemporary political culture.

  2. Natural histories of infectious disease: ecological vision in twentieth-century biomedical science.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, Warwick

    2004-01-01

    During the twentieth century, disease ecology emerged as a distinct disciplinary network within infectious diseases research. The key figures were Theobald Smith, F. Macfarlane Burnet, René Dubos, and Frank Fenner. They all drew on Darwinian evolutionism to fashion an integrative (but rarely holistic) understanding of disease processes, distinguishing themselves from reductionist "chemists" and mere "microbe hunters." They sought a more complex, biologically informed epidemiology. Their emphasis on competition and mutualism in the animated environment differed from the physical determinism that prevailed in much medical geography and environmental health research. Disease ecology derived in part from studies of the interaction of organisms - micro and macro - in tropical medicine, veterinary pathology, and immunology. It developed in postcolonial settler societies. Once a minority interest, disease ecology has attracted more attention since the 1980s for its explanations of disease emergence, antibiotic resistance, bioterrorism, and the health impacts of climate change.

  3. Non-Human Primate Models of Orthopoxvirus Infections

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anne Schmitt

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Smallpox, one of the most destructive diseases, has been successfully eradicated through a worldwide vaccination campaign. Since immunization programs have been stopped, the number of people with vaccinia virus induced immunity is declining. This leads to an increase in orthopoxvirus (OPXV infections in humans, as well as in animals. Additionally, potential abuse of Variola virus (VARV, the causative agent of smallpox, or monkeypox virus, as agents of bioterrorism, has renewed interest in development of antiviral therapeutics and of safer vaccines. Due to its high risk potential, research with VARV is restricted to two laboratories worldwide. Therefore, numerous animal models of other OPXV infections have been developed in the last decades. Non-human primates are especially suitable due to their close relationship to humans. This article provides a review about on non-human primate models of orthopoxvirus infections.

  4. Children exposed to war/terrorism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shaw, Jon A

    2003-12-01

    This paper reviews the prevalence of psychological morbidities in children who have been exposed to war-related traumas or terrorism as well as the diversity of war-related casualties and their associated psychological responses. The psychological responses to war-related stressors are categorized as (1) little or no reaction, (2) acute emotional and behavioral effects, and (3) long-term effects. Specific categories of war-related casualties discussed include refugee status, traumatic bereavement, effects of parental absence, and child soldiers. Psychological responses associated with terrorism and bioterrorism are presented. Lastly, mediators of the psychological response to war-related stressors are discussed, to include exposure effects, gender effects, parental, family and social factors, and child-specific factors. Children exposed to war-related stressors experience a spectrum of psychological morbidities including posttraumatic stress symptomatology, mood disorders, externalizing and disruptive behaviors, and somatic symptoms determined by exposure dose effect. Specific questions for future research are identified.

  5. Pathomics: Final Report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Turteltaub, K W; Ascher, M; Langlois, R; Fodor, I; Kercher, J; Laughlin, K M; Nelson, D; Colston, W; Milanovich, F P

    2006-12-08

    Pathomics is a research project to explore the feasibility for developing biosignatures for early infectious disease detection in humans, particularly those that represent a threat from bioterrorism. Our goal is to use a science-based approach to better understand the underlying molecular basis of disease and to find sensitive, robust, and specific combinations of biological molecules (biosignatures) in the host that will indicate the presence of developing infection prior to overt symptoms (pre-syndromic). The ultimate goal is develop a national surveillance system for monitoring for the release and managing the consequences of a biothreat agent or an emerging disease. Developing the science for a more comprehensive understanding of the molecular basis of infectious disease and the development of biosignature-based diagnostics could help detect both emerging and engineered treats to humans.

  6. BOG: R-package for Bacterium and virus analysis of Orthologous Groups

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jincheol Park

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available BOG (Bacterium and virus analysis of Orthologous Groups is a package for identifying groups of differentially regulated genes in the light of gene functions for various virus and bacteria genomes. It is designed to identify Clusters of Orthologous Groups (COGs that are enriched among genes that have gone through significant changes under different conditions. This would contribute to the detection of pathogens, an important scientific research area of relevance in uncovering bioterrorism, among others. Particular statistical analyses include hypergeometric, Mann–Whitney rank sum, and gene set enrichment. Results from the analyses are organized and presented in tabular and graphical forms for ease of understanding and dissemination of results. BOG is implemented as an R-package, which is available from CRAN or can be downloaded from http://www.stat.osu.edu/~statgen/SOFTWARE/BOG/.

  7. A hamster model for Marburg virus infection accurately recapitulates Marburg hemorrhagic fever.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marzi, Andrea; Banadyga, Logan; Haddock, Elaine; Thomas, Tina; Shen, Kui; Horne, Eva J; Scott, Dana P; Feldmann, Heinz; Ebihara, Hideki

    2016-12-15

    Marburg virus (MARV), a close relative of Ebola virus, is the causative agent of a severe human disease known as Marburg hemorrhagic fever (MHF). No licensed vaccine or therapeutic exists to treat MHF, and MARV is therefore classified as a Tier 1 select agent and a category A bioterrorism agent. In order to develop countermeasures against this severe disease, animal models that accurately recapitulate human disease are required. Here we describe the development of a novel, uniformly lethal Syrian golden hamster model of MHF using a hamster-adapted MARV variant Angola. Remarkably, this model displayed almost all of the clinical features of MHF seen in humans and non-human primates, including coagulation abnormalities, hemorrhagic manifestations, petechial rash, and a severely dysregulated immune response. This MHF hamster model represents a powerful tool for further dissecting MARV pathogenesis and accelerating the development of effective medical countermeasures against human MHF.

  8. NATO Advanced Study Institute on Biophysics and Structure to Counter Threats and Challenges

    CERN Document Server

    Margaris, Manolia

    2013-01-01

    This ASI brought together a diverse group of experts who span virology, biology, biophysics, chemistry, physics and engineering.  Prominent lecturers representing world renowned scientists from nine (9) different countries, and students from around the world representing eighteen (18) countries, participated in the ASI organized by Professors Joseph Puglisi (Stanford University, USA) and Alexander Arseniev (Moscow, RU).   The central hypothesis underlying this ASI was that interdisciplinary research, merging principles of physics, chemistry and biology, can drive new discovery in detecting and fighting chemical and bioterrorism agents, lead to cleaner environments and improved energy sources, and help propel development in NATO partner countries.  At the end of the ASI students had an appreciation of how to apply each technique to their own particular research problem and to demonstrate that multifaceted approaches and new technologies are needed to solve the biological challenges of our time.  The course...

  9. Alleged B. anthracis exposure claims in a workers' compensation setting.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jewell, Gregory; Dunning, Kari; Lockey, James E

    2006-01-01

    Workers' compensation insurance in some states may not provide coverage for medical evaluation costs of workplace exposures related to potential bioterrorism acts if there is no diagnosed illness or disease. Personal insurance also may not provide coverage for these exposures occurring at the workplace. Governmental entities, insurers, and employers need to consider how to address such situations and the associated costs. The objective of this study was to examine characteristics of workers and total costs associated with workers' compensation claims alleging potential exposure to the bioterrorism organism B. anthracis. We examined 192 claims referred for review to the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation (OBWC) from October 10, 2001, through December 20, 2004. Although some cases came from out-of-state areas where B. anthracis exposure was known to exist, no Ohio claim was associated with true B. anthracis exposure or B. anthracis-related illness. Of the 155 eligible claims, 126 included medical costs averaging dollar 219 and ranging from dollar 24 to dollar 3,126. There was no difference in mean cost for government and non-government employees (p = 0.202 Wilcoxon). The number of claims and associated medical costs for evaluation and treatment of potential workplace exposure to B. anthracis were relatively small. These results can be attributed to several factors, including no documented B. anthracis exposures and disease in Ohio and prompt transmission of recommended diagnostic and prophylactic treatment protocols to physicians. How employers, insurers, and jurisdictions address payment for evaluation and treatment of potential or documented exposures resulting from a potential terrorism-related event should be addressed proactively.

  10. Synthetic biology and biosecurity: challenging the "myths".

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jefferson, Catherine; Lentzos, Filippa; Marris, Claire

    2014-01-01

    Synthetic biology, a field that aims to "make biology easier to engineer," is routinely described as leading to an increase in the "dual-use" threat, i.e., the potential for the same scientific research to be "used" for peaceful purposes or "misused" for warfare or terrorism. Fears have been expressed that the "de-skilling" of biology, combined with online access to the genomic DNA sequences of pathogenic organisms and the reduction in price for DNA synthesis, will make biology increasingly accessible to people operating outside well-equipped professional research laboratories, including people with malevolent intentions. The emergence of do-it-yourself (DIY) biology communities and of the student iGEM competition has come to epitomize this supposed trend toward greater ease of access and the associated potential threat from rogue actors. In this article, we identify five "myths" that permeate discussions about synthetic biology and biosecurity, and argue that they embody misleading assumptions about both synthetic biology and bioterrorism. We demonstrate how these myths are challenged by more realistic understandings of the scientific research currently being conducted in both professional and DIY laboratories, and by an analysis of historical cases of bioterrorism. We show that the importance of tacit knowledge is commonly overlooked in the dominant narrative: the focus is on access to biological materials and digital information, rather than on human practices and institutional dimensions. As a result, public discourse on synthetic biology and biosecurity tends to portray speculative scenarios about the future as realities in the present or the near future, when this is not warranted. We suggest that these "myths" play an important role in defining synthetic biology as a "promissory" field of research and as an "emerging technology" in need of governance.

  11. Synthetic biology and biosecurity: challenging the ‘myths’

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Catherine eJefferson

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Synthetic biology, a field that aims to ‘make biology easier to engineer’, is routinely described as leading to an increase in the ‘dual use’ threat, i.e. the potential for the same piece of scientific research to be ‘used’ for peaceful purposes or ‘misused’ for warfare or terrorism. Fears have been expressed that the ‘de-skilling’ of biology, combined with online access to the genomic DNA sequences of pathogenic organisms and the reduction in price for DNA synthesis, will make biology increasingly accessible to people operating outside well-equipped professional research laboratories, including people with malevolent intentions. The emergence of DIY biology communities and of the student iGEM competition has come to epitomize this supposed trend towards greater ease of access and the associated potential threat from rogue actors. In this article, we identify 5 ‘myths’ that permeate discussions about synthetic biology and biosecurity, and argue that they embody misleading assumptions about both synthetic biology and bioterrorism. We demonstrate how these myths are challenged by more realistic understandings of the scientific research currently being conducted in both professional and DIY laboratories, and by an analysis of historical cases of bioterrorism. We show that the importance of tacit knowledge is commonly overlooked in the dominant narrative: the focus is on access to biological materials and digital information, rather than on human practices and institutional dimensions. As a result, public discourse on synthetic biology and biosecurity tends to portray speculative scenarios about the future as realities in the present or the near future, when this is not warranted. We suggest that these ‘myths’ play an important role in defining synthetic biology as a ‘promissory’ field of research and as an ‘emerging technology’ in need of governance.

  12. Synthetic Biology and Biosecurity: Challenging the “Myths”

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jefferson, Catherine; Lentzos, Filippa; Marris, Claire

    2014-01-01

    Synthetic biology, a field that aims to “make biology easier to engineer,” is routinely described as leading to an increase in the “dual-use” threat, i.e., the potential for the same scientific research to be “used” for peaceful purposes or “misused” for warfare or terrorism. Fears have been expressed that the “de-skilling” of biology, combined with online access to the genomic DNA sequences of pathogenic organisms and the reduction in price for DNA synthesis, will make biology increasingly accessible to people operating outside well-equipped professional research laboratories, including people with malevolent intentions. The emergence of do-it-yourself (DIY) biology communities and of the student iGEM competition has come to epitomize this supposed trend toward greater ease of access and the associated potential threat from rogue actors. In this article, we identify five “myths” that permeate discussions about synthetic biology and biosecurity, and argue that they embody misleading assumptions about both synthetic biology and bioterrorism. We demonstrate how these myths are challenged by more realistic understandings of the scientific research currently being conducted in both professional and DIY laboratories, and by an analysis of historical cases of bioterrorism. We show that the importance of tacit knowledge is commonly overlooked in the dominant narrative: the focus is on access to biological materials and digital information, rather than on human practices and institutional dimensions. As a result, public discourse on synthetic biology and biosecurity tends to portray speculative scenarios about the future as realities in the present or the near future, when this is not warranted. We suggest that these “myths” play an important role in defining synthetic biology as a “promissory” field of research and as an “emerging technology” in need of governance. PMID:25191649

  13. Historical evolution of human anthrax from occupational disease to potentially global threat as bioweapon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    D'Amelio, Enrico; Gentile, Bernardina; Lista, Florigio; D'Amelio, Raffaele

    2015-12-01

    Anthrax is caused by Bacillus anthracis, which can naturally infect livestock, wildlife and occupationally exposed humans. However, for its resistance due to spore formation, ease of dissemination, persistence in the environment and high virulence, B. anthracis has been considered the most serious bioterrorism agent for a long time. During the last century anthrax evolved from limited natural disease to potentially global threat if used as bioweapon. Several factors may mitigate the consequences of an anthrax attack, including 1. the capability to promptly recognize and manage the illness and its public health consequences; 2. the limitation of secondary contamination risk through an appropriate decontamination; and 3. the evolution of genotyping methods (for microbes characterization at high resolution level) that can influence the course and/or focus of investigations, impacting the response of the government to an attack. A PubMed search has been done using the key words “bioterrorism anthrax”. Over one thousand papers have been screened and the most significant examined to present a comprehensive literature review in order to discuss the current knowledge and strategies in preparedness for a possible deliberate release of B. anthracis spores and to indicate the most current and complete documents in which to deepen. The comprehensive analysis of the two most relevant unnatural anthrax release events, Sverdlovsk in the former Soviet Union (1979) and the contaminated letters in the USA (2001), shows that inhalational anthrax may easily and cheaply be spread resulting in serious consequences. The damage caused by an anthrax attack can be limited if public health organization, first responders, researchers and investigators will be able to promptly manage anthrax cases and use new technologies for decontamination methods and in forensic microbiology.

  14. U.S.-Mexico cross-border workforce training needs: survey implementation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosales, Cecilia B; Nuno, Tomas; Dieke, Ada; Galvez, Francisco Navarro; Dutton, Ronald J; Guerrero, Robert; Dulin, Paul; Jiménez, Elisa Aguilar; Granillo, Brenda; de Zapien, Jill Guernsey

    2011-01-01

    Since the tragic events experienced on September 11, 2001, and other recent events such as the hurricane devastation in the southeastern parts of the country and the emergent H1N1 season, the need for a competent public health workforce has become vitally important for securing and protecting the greater population. The primary objective of the study was to assess the training needs of the U.S. Mexico border states public health workforce. The Arizona Center for Public Health Preparedness of the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health at The University of Arizona implemented a border-wide needs assessment. The online survey was designed to assess and prioritize core public health competencies as well as bioterrorism, infectious disease, and border/binational training needs. Approximately 80% of the respondents were employed by agencies that serve both rural and urban communities. Respondents listed 23 different functional roles that best describe their positions. Approximately 35% of the respondents were primarily employed by state health departments, twenty-seven percent (30%) of the survey participants reported working at the local level, and 19% indicated they worked in other government settings (e.g. community health centers and other non-governmental organizations). Of the 163 survey participants, a minority reported that they felt they were well prepared in the Core Bioterrorism competencies. The sections on Border Competency, Surveillance/Epidemiology, Communications/Media Relations and Cultural Responsiveness, did not generate a rating of 70% or greater on the importance level of survey participants. The study provided the opportunity to examine the issues of public health emergency preparedness within the framework of the border as a region addressing both unique needs and context. The most salient findings highlight the need to enhance the border competency skills of individuals whose roles include a special focus on emergency preparedness and

  15. Development of a bead-based Luminex assay using lipopolysaccharide specific monoclonal antibodies to detect biological threats from Brucella species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silbereisen, Angelika; Tamborrini, Marco; Wittwer, Matthias; Schürch, Nadia; Pluschke, Gerd

    2015-10-05

    Brucella, a Gram-negative bacterium, is classified as a potential bioterrorism agent mainly due to the low dose needed to cause infection and the ability to transmit the bacteria via aerosols. Goats/sheep, cattle, pigs, dogs, sheep and rodents are infected by B. melitensis, B. abortus, B. suis, B. canis, B. ovis and B. neotomae, respectively, the six classical Brucella species. Most human cases are caused by B. melitensis and B. abortus. Our aim was to specifically detect Brucellae with 'smooth' lipopolysaccharide (LPS) using a highly sensitive monoclonal antibody (mAb) based immunological assay. To complement molecular detection systems for potential bioterror agents, as required by international biodefense regulations, sets of mAbs were generated by B cell hybridoma technology and used to develop immunological assays. The combination of mAbs most suitable for an antigen capture assay format was identified and an immunoassay using the Luminex xMAP technology was developed. MAbs specific for the LPS O-antigen of Brucella spp. were generated by immunising mice with inactivated B. melitensis or B. abortus cells. Most mAbs recognised both B. melitensis and B. abortus and antigen binding was not impeded by inactivation of the bacterial cells by γ irradiation, formalin or heat treatment, a step required to analyse the samples immunologically under biosafety level two conditions. The Luminex assay recognised all tested Brucella species with 'smooth' LPS with detection limits of 2×10(2) to 8×10(4) cells per mL, depending on the species tested. Milk samples spiked with Brucella spp. cells were identified successfully using the Luminex assay. In addition, the bead-based immunoassay was integrated into a multiplex format, allowing for simultaneous, rapid and specific detection of Brucella spp., Bacillus anthracis, Francisella tularensis and Yersinia pestis within a single sample. Overall, the robust Luminex assay should allow detection of Brucella spp. in both natural

  16. Missouri K-12 school disaster and biological event preparedness and seasonal influenza vaccination among school nurses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rebmann, Terri; Elliott, Michael B; Artman, Deborah; VanNatta, Matthew; Wakefield, Mary

    2015-10-01

    School preparedness for bioevents, such as emerging infectious diseases, bioterrorism, and pandemics, is imperative, but historically has been low. The Missouri Association of School Nurses members were sent an online survey during the 2013-2014 school year to assess current bioevent readiness. There were 15 and 35 indicators of school disaster and bioevent preparedness, respectively. Multivariate linear regressions were conducted to delineate factors associated with higher school disaster and bioevent preparedness scores. In total, 133 school nurses participated, with a 33.6% response rate. On average, schools had fewer than half of the disaster or bioevent indicators. Disaster and bioevent preparedness scores ranged from 1-12.5 (mean, 6.0) and 5-25 (mean, 13.8), respectively. The least frequently reported plan components included bioterrorism-specific psychological needs addressed (1.5%, n = 2), having a foodservice biosecurity plan (8.3%, n = 11), and having a liberal sick leave policy for bioevents (22.6%, n = 30). Determinants of better bioevent preparedness include perception that the school is well prepared for a pandemic (P = .001) or natural disaster (P nurse being on the disaster planning committee (P = .001), and school being a closed point of dispensing (P < .05). Schools are underprepared for biological events and are not on track to meet state and national biological preparedness goals. Copyright © 2015 Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology, Inc. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Temporal variability of the bioaerosol background at a subway station: concentration level, size distribution, and diversity of airborne bacteria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dybwad, Marius; Skogan, Gunnar; Blatny, Janet Martha

    2014-01-01

    Naturally occurring bioaerosol environments may present a challenge to biological detection-identification-monitoring (BIODIM) systems aiming at rapid and reliable warning of bioterrorism incidents. One way to improve the operational performance of BIODIM systems is to increase our understanding of relevant bioaerosol backgrounds. Subway stations are enclosed public environments which may be regarded as potential bioterrorism targets. This study provides novel information concerning the temporal variability of the concentration level, size distribution, and diversity of airborne bacteria in a Norwegian subway station. Three different air samplers were used during a 72-h sampling campaign in February 2011. The results suggested that the airborne bacterial environment was stable between days and seasons, while the intraday variability was found to be substantial, although often following a consistent diurnal pattern. The bacterial levels ranged from not detected to 10(3) CFU m(-3) and generally showed increased levels during the daytime compared to the nighttime levels, as well as during rush hours compared to non-rush hours. The airborne bacterial levels showed rapid temporal variation (up to 270-fold) on some occasions, both consistent and inconsistent with the diurnal profile. Airborne bacterium-containing particles were distributed between different sizes for particles of >1.1 μm, although ∼50% were between 1.1 and 3.3 μm. Anthropogenic activities (mainly passengers) were demonstrated as major sources of airborne bacteria and predominantly contributed 1.1- to 3.3-μm bacterium-containing particles. Our findings contribute to the development of realistic testing and evaluation schemes for BIODIM equipment by providing information that may be used to simulate operational bioaerosol backgrounds during controlled aerosol chamber-based challenge tests with biological threat agents.

  18. Temporal Variability of the Bioaerosol Background at a Subway Station: Concentration Level, Size Distribution, and Diversity of Airborne Bacteria

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dybwad, Marius; Skogan, Gunnar

    2014-01-01

    Naturally occurring bioaerosol environments may present a challenge to biological detection-identification-monitoring (BIODIM) systems aiming at rapid and reliable warning of bioterrorism incidents. One way to improve the operational performance of BIODIM systems is to increase our understanding of relevant bioaerosol backgrounds. Subway stations are enclosed public environments which may be regarded as potential bioterrorism targets. This study provides novel information concerning the temporal variability of the concentration level, size distribution, and diversity of airborne bacteria in a Norwegian subway station. Three different air samplers were used during a 72-h sampling campaign in February 2011. The results suggested that the airborne bacterial environment was stable between days and seasons, while the intraday variability was found to be substantial, although often following a consistent diurnal pattern. The bacterial levels ranged from not detected to 103 CFU m−3 and generally showed increased levels during the daytime compared to the nighttime levels, as well as during rush hours compared to non-rush hours. The airborne bacterial levels showed rapid temporal variation (up to 270-fold) on some occasions, both consistent and inconsistent with the diurnal profile. Airborne bacterium-containing particles were distributed between different sizes for particles of >1.1 μm, although ∼50% were between 1.1 and 3.3 μm. Anthropogenic activities (mainly passengers) were demonstrated as major sources of airborne bacteria and predominantly contributed 1.1- to 3.3-μm bacterium-containing particles. Our findings contribute to the development of realistic testing and evaluation schemes for BIODIM equipment by providing information that may be used to simulate operational bioaerosol backgrounds during controlled aerosol chamber-based challenge tests with biological threat agents. PMID:24162566

  19. The acquisition of dangerous biological materials: Technical facts sheets to assist risk assessments of 46 potential BW agents

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Aceto, Donato Gonzalo [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States); Astuto-Gribble, Lisa M. [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States); Gaudioso, Jennifer M. [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)

    2007-11-01

    Numerous terrorist organizations have openly expressed interest in producing and deploying biological weapons. However, a limiting factor for many terrorists has been the acquisition of dangerous biological agents, as evidenced by the very few successful instances of biological weapons use compared to the number of documented hoaxes. Biological agents vary greatly in their ability to cause loss of life and economic damage. Some agents, if released properly, can kill many people and cause an extensive number of secondary infections; other agents will sicken only a small number of people for a short period of time. Consequently, several biological agents can potentially be used to perpetrate a bioterrorism attack but few are likely capable of causing a high consequence event. It is crucial, from a US national security perspective, to more deeply understand the likelihood that terrorist organizations can acquire the range of these agents. Few studies have attempted to comprehensively compile the technical information directly relevant to the acquisition of dangerous bacteria, viruses and toxins. In this report, technical fact sheets were assembled for 46 potentially dangerous biological agents. Much of the information was taken from various research sources which could ultimately and significantly expedite and improve bioterrorism threat assessments. By systematically examining a number of specific agent characteristics included in these fact sheets, it may be possible to detect, target, and implement measures to thwart future terrorist acquisition attempts. In addition, the information in these fact sheets may be used as a tool to help laboratories gain a rudimentary understanding of how attractive a method laboratory theft is relative to other potential acquisition modes.

  20. The bioscience revolution & the biological weapons threat: levers & interventions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martin Greg

    2009-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract In December 2008, the US Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation and Terrorism, released a report, World At Risk. The Report points to the fact that, not only is the use of a weapon of mass destruction in a terrorist attack before the end of 2013, more likely than not, but also to the fact that terrorists are more likely to be able to obtain and use biological weapons than nuclear. This paper examines the recommendations of the report in the context of the historic and geopolitical changes, in particular globalization. The authors highlight the "dual-use" dilemma, as described in the report, as the paradoxical use of technology developed for the benefit of mankind being used for sinister purposes. The mitigation of such a threat lies in broad stakeholder involvement and cooperation, including non-state actors, governments and the bio-tech industry itself. The importance of vigilance measures within the life science community is emphasized and, the authors propose, could include a web-based didactic course in bioterrorism and weapons of mass destruction identification. The site could outline safety protocols, have detailed disaster management tutorials, and could be specifically tailored for different subsets of industry and health professionals. The paper concludes with an endorsement of a multi-pronged approach including strong international guidelines and intelligence cooperation and preparatory measures such as the wide-spread use of detection systems as well as diagnostic decision support systems for bioterrorism detection at the local level.

  1. Future Public Policy and Ethical Issues Facing the Agricultural and Microbial Genomics Sectors of the Biotechnology Industry: A Roundtable Discussion

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Diane E. Hoffmann

    2003-09-12

    On September 12, 2003, the University of Maryland School of Law's Intellectual Property and Law & Health Care Programs jointly sponsored and convened a roundtable discussion on the future public policy and ethical issues that will likely face the agricultural and microbial genomics sectors of the biotechnology industry. As this industry has developed over the last two decades, societal concerns have moved from what were often local issues, e.g., the safety of laboratories where scientists conducted recombinant DNA research on transgenic microbes, animals and crops, to more global issues. These newer issues include intellectual property, international trade, risks of genetically engineered foods and microbes, bioterrorism, and marketing and labeling of new products sold worldwide. The fast paced nature of the biotechnology industry and its new developments often mean that legislators, regulators and society, in general, must play ''catch up'' in their efforts to understand the issues, the risks, and even the benefits, that may result from the industry's new ways of conducting research, new products, and novel methods of product marketing and distribution. The goal of the roundtable was to develop a short list of the most significant public policy and ethical issues that will emerge as a result of advances in these sectors of the biotechnology industry over the next five to six years. More concretely, by ''most significant'' the conveners meant the types of issues that would come to the attention of members of Congress or state legislators during this time frame and for which they would be better prepared if they had well researched and timely background information. A concomitant goal was to provide a set of focused issues for academic debate and scholarship so that policy makers, industry leaders and regulators would have the intellectual resources they need to better understand the issues and concerns at stake. The

  2. Ruolo ed organizzazione della microbiologia clinica di domani

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Giorgio Mucignat

    2006-12-01

    Full Text Available Infectious diseases continue to represent an important preventive and clinical problem especially in the light of the emergence of new pathogens, of the return of infrequent pathogens and of the increased risk of infective pathologies associated with migratory flow. Another critical point is represented by the possible insurgence of infections due to agents used in bioterrorism. More than ever it is indispensable for our country to define a network of structures able to give an organized response to these relevant problems both in terms of prevention and assistance. It is therefore important to define a protocol for clinical microbiology on a national basis that responds to different levels of activity. Keeping in mind that the fundamental objectives of microbiology are: - diagnosis of infective diseases - determination of resistance to antimicrobic drugs as a valid instrument to allow the clinician to proceed with specific treatment - control of infection spreading in the sanitary structures (hospital infections - to develop front line defence in new infections and bioterrorism, in collaboration with the department of prevention - to be a reference centre for specific training The principals on which one must base the reorganization are essentially three: 1. to configurate the microbiology service on the basis of real needs of the local population 2. to give qualitatively optimal results in real time 3. supporting “good clinical practice” to assure adequate patient results and acceptable costs for the regionale sanitary system (SSR The organization of microbiology should therefore foresee a microbiology department, structured on a provincial basis or a vast area including a structured centralized complex with peripheral structures (even simplified. This must integrate actively with the department of prevention in regard to the dynamics of infectious diseases in the territory and with the Division of Infectious Diseases (where this exists

  3. Live Attenuated Tularemia Vaccines for Protection Against Respiratory Challenge With Virulent F. tularensis subsp. tularensis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jia, Qingmei; Horwitz, Marcus A.

    2018-01-01

    Francisella tularensis is the causative agent of tularemia and a Tier I bioterrorism agent. In the 1900s, several vaccines were developed against tularemia including the killed “Foshay” vaccine, subunit vaccines comprising F. tularensis protein(s) or lipoproteins(s) in an adjuvant formulation, and the F. tularensis Live Vaccine Strain (LVS); none were licensed in the U.S.A. or European Union. The LVS vaccine retains toxicity in humans and animals—especially mice—but has demonstrated efficacy in humans, and thus serves as the current gold standard for vaccine efficacy studies. The U.S.A. 2001 anthrax bioterrorism attack spawned renewed interest in vaccines against potential biowarfare agents including F. tularensis. Since live attenuated—but not killed or subunit—vaccines have shown promising efficacy and since vaccine efficacy against respiratory challenge with less virulent subspecies holarctica or F. novicida, or against non-respiratory challenge with virulent subsp. tularensis (Type A) does not reliably predict vaccine efficacy against respiratory challenge with virulent subsp. tularensis, the route of transmission and species of greatest concern in a bioterrorist attack, in this review, we focus on live attenuated tularemia vaccine candidates tested against respiratory challenge with virulent Type A strains, including homologous vaccines derived from mutants of subsp. holarctica, F. novicida, and subsp. tularensis, and heterologous vaccines developed using viral or bacterial vectors to express F. tularensis immunoprotective antigens. We compare the virulence and efficacy of these vaccine candidates with that of LVS and discuss factors that can significantly impact the development and evaluation of live attenuated tularemia vaccines. Several vaccines meet what we would consider the minimum criteria for vaccines to go forward into clinical development—safety greater than LVS and efficacy at least as great as LVS, and of these, several meet the

  4. Large Scale Immune Profiling of Infected Humans and Goats Reveals Differential Recognition of Brucella melitensis Antigens

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liang, Li; Leng, Diana; Burk, Chad; Nakajima-Sasaki, Rie; Kayala, Matthew A.; Atluri, Vidya L.; Pablo, Jozelyn; Unal, Berkay; Ficht, Thomas A.; Gotuzzo, Eduardo; Saito, Mayuko; Morrow, W. John W.; Liang, Xiaowu; Baldi, Pierre; Gilman, Robert H.; Vinetz, Joseph M.; Tsolis, Renée M.; Felgner, Philip L.

    2010-01-01

    Brucellosis is a widespread zoonotic disease that is also a potential agent of bioterrorism. Current serological assays to diagnose human brucellosis in clinical settings are based on detection of agglutinating anti-LPS antibodies. To better understand the universe of antibody responses that develop after B. melitensis infection, a protein microarray was fabricated containing 1,406 predicted B. melitensis proteins. The array was probed with sera from experimentally infected goats and naturally infected humans from an endemic region in Peru. The assay identified 18 antigens differentially recognized by infected and non-infected goats, and 13 serodiagnostic antigens that differentiate human patients proven to have acute brucellosis from syndromically similar patients. There were 31 cross-reactive antigens in healthy goats and 20 cross-reactive antigens in healthy humans. Only two of the serodiagnostic antigens and eight of the cross-reactive antigens overlap between humans and goats. Based on these results, a nitrocellulose line blot containing the human serodiagnostic antigens was fabricated and applied in a simple assay that validated the accuracy of the protein microarray results in the diagnosis of humans. These data demonstrate that an experimentally infected natural reservoir host produces a fundamentally different immune response than a naturally infected accidental human host. PMID:20454614

  5. Progression of pathogenic events in cynomolgus macaques infected with variola virus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Victoria Wahl-Jensen

    Full Text Available Smallpox, caused by variola virus (VARV, is a devastating human disease that affected millions worldwide until the virus was eradicated in the 1970 s. Subsequent cessation of vaccination has resulted in an immunologically naive human population that would be at risk should VARV be used as an agent of bioterrorism. The development of antivirals and improved vaccines to counter this threat would be facilitated by the development of animal models using authentic VARV. Towards this end, cynomolgus macaques were identified as adequate hosts for VARV, developing ordinary or hemorrhagic smallpox in a dose-dependent fashion. To further refine this model, we performed a serial sampling study on macaques exposed to doses of VARV strain Harper calibrated to induce ordinary or hemorrhagic disease. Several key differences were noted between these models. In the ordinary smallpox model, lymphoid and myeloid hyperplasias were consistently found whereas lymphocytolysis and hematopoietic necrosis developed in hemorrhagic smallpox. Viral antigen accumulation, as assessed immunohistochemically, was mild and transient in the ordinary smallpox model. In contrast, in the hemorrhagic model antigen distribution was widespread and included tissues and cells not involved in the ordinary model. Hemorrhagic smallpox developed only in the presence of secondary bacterial infections - an observation also commonly noted in historical reports of human smallpox. Together, our results support the macaque model as an excellent surrogate for human smallpox in terms of disease onset, acute disease course, and gross and histopathological lesions.

  6. The immunology of smallpox vaccines

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kennedy, Richard B; Ovsyannikova, Inna G; Jacobson, Robert M; Poland, Gregory A

    2010-01-01

    In spite of the eradication of smallpox over 30 years ago; orthopox viruses such as smallpox and monkeypox remain serious public health threats both through the possibility of bioterrorism and the intentional release of smallpox and through natural outbreaks of emerging infectious diseases such as monkeypox. The eradication effort was largely made possible by the availability of an effective vaccine based on the immunologically cross-protective vaccinia virus. Although the concept of vaccination dates back to the late 1800s with Edward Jenner, it is only in the past decade that modern immunologic tools have been applied toward deciphering poxvirus immunity. Smallpox vaccines containing vaccinia virus elicit strong humoral and cellular immune responses that confer cross-protective immunity against variola virus for decades after immunization. Recent studies have focused on: establishing the longevity of poxvirus-specific immunity, defining key immune epitopes targeted by T and B cells, developing subunit-based vaccines, and developing genotypic and phenotypic immune response profiles that predict either vaccine response or adverse events following immunization. PMID:19524427

  7. Comparative Proteomics of Human Monkeypox and Vaccinia Intracellular Mature and Extracellular Enveloped Virions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Manes, Nathan P.; Estep, Ryan D.; Mottaz, Heather M.; Moore, Ronald J.; Clauss, Therese RW; Monroe, Matthew E.; Du, Xiuxia; Adkins, Joshua N.; Wong, Scott; Smith, Richard D.

    2008-03-07

    Orthopoxviruses are the largest and most complex of the animal viruses. In response to the recent emergence of monkeypox in Africa and the threat of smallpox bioterrorism, virulent (monkeypox virus) and benign (vaccinia virus) orthopoxviruses were proteomically compared with the goal of identifying proteins required for pathogenesis. Orthopoxviruses were grown in HeLa cells to two different viral forms (intracellular mature virus and extracellular enveloped virus), purified by sucrose gradient ultracentrifugation, denatured using RapiGest™ surfactant, and digested with trypsin. Unfractionated samples and strong cation exchange HPLC fractions were analyzed by reversed-phase LC-MS/MS, and analyses of the MS/MS spectra using SEQUEST® and X! Tandem resulted in the identification of hundreds of monkeypox, vaccinia, and copurified host proteins. The unfractionated samples were additionally analyzed by LC-MS on an LTQ-Orbitrap™, and the accurate mass and elution time tag approach was used to perform quantitative comparisons. Possible pathophysiological roles of differentially expressed orthopoxvirus genes are discussed.

  8. Crystal Structures of the SpoIID Lytic Transglycosylases Essential for Bacterial Sporulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nocadello, Salvatore; Minasov, George; Shuvalova, Ludmilla S; Dubrovska, Ievgeniia; Sabini, Elisabetta; Anderson, Wayne F

    2016-07-15

    Bacterial spores are the most resistant form of life known on Earth and represent a serious problem for (i) bioterrorism attack, (ii) horizontal transmission of microbial pathogens in the community, and (iii) persistence in patients and in a nosocomial environment. Stage II sporulation protein D (SpoIID) is a lytic transglycosylase (LT) essential for sporulation. The LT superfamily is a potential drug target because it is active in essential bacterial processes involving the peptidoglycan, which is unique to bacteria. However, the absence of structural information for the sporulation-specific LT enzymes has hindered mechanistic understanding of SpoIID. Here, we report the first crystal structures with and without ligands of the SpoIID family from two community relevant spore-forming pathogens, Bacillus anthracis and Clostridium difficile. The structures allow us to visualize the overall architecture, characterize the substrate recognition model, identify critical residues, and provide the structural basis for catalysis by this new family of enzymes. © 2016 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  9. Telehealth and the global health network in the 21st century. From homecare to public health informatics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kun, L G

    2001-03-01

    The Information Era we live in has created new challenges and opportunities. This age of information highways has an economic price, which has not been properly evaluated. Detailed studies are needed to prove the cost and medical effectiveness of these technologies as well as its effects in the quality of life. Our society's future may depend on it. People are living longer, discoveries in genetics and in information technology are not only helping produce newer drugs faster but also providing the opportunity to exploit new areas such as disease prevention. These technologies provide a variety of opportunities to address public health challenges such as universal access for the uneducated, counter-bioterrorism, telemedicine, distance education, and home care. These opportunities present new challenges such as: surveillance, privacy/confidentiality/security of personal information which will affect all of our lives. No strategy has been presented publicly (yet) addressing (neither) the benefits (n)or the pitfalls of such technologies. From an economic point of view it is an imperative necessity to understand the importance of the Information Technology Infrastructure (ITI) and what it is. The investments in creating and maintaining this ITI will not come from a single application area such as healthcare, but rather from a combination of sources such as electronic commerce, banking, financial, manufacturing, entertainment, travelling, weather forecasting, pharmaceuticals, education, defence and many other 'industries' or application areas.

  10. Bio-organic materials in the atmosphere and snow: measurement and characterization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ariya, P A; Kos, G; Mortazavi, R; Hudson, E D; Kanthasamy, V; Eltouny, N; Sun, J; Wilde, C

    2014-01-01

    Bio-organic chemicals are ubiquitous in the Earth's atmosphere and at air-snow interfaces, as well as in aerosols and in clouds. It has been known for centuries that airborne biological matter plays various roles in the transmission of disease in humans and in ecosystems. The implication of chemical compounds of biological origins in cloud condensation and in ice nucleation processes has also been studied during the last few decades, and implications have been suggested in the reduction of visibility, in the influence on oxidative potential of the atmosphere and transformation of compounds in the atmosphere, in the formation of haze, change of snow-ice albedo, in agricultural processes, and bio-hazards and bio-terrorism. In this review we critically examine existing observation data on bio-organic compounds in the atmosphere and in snow. We also review both conventional and cutting-edge analytical techniques and methods for measurement and characterisation of bio-organic compounds and specifically for microbial communities, in the atmosphere and snow. We also explore the link between biological compounds and nucleation processes. Due to increased interest in decreasing emissions of carbon-containing compounds, we also briefly review (in an Appendix) methods and techniques that are currently deployed for bio-organic remediation.

  11. Emergency response planning in hospitals, United States: 2003-2004.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niska, Richard W; Burt, Catharine W

    2007-08-20

    This study presents baseline data to determine which hospital characteristics are associated with preparedness for terrorism and natural disaster in the areas of emergency response planning and availability of equipment and specialized care units. Information from the Bioterrorism and Mass Casualty Preparedness Supplements to the 2003 and 2004 National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Surveys was used to provide national estimates of variations in hospital emergency response plans and resources by residency and medical school affiliation, hospital size, ownership, metropolitan statistical area status, and Joint Commission accreditation. Of 874 sampled hospitals with emergency or outpatient departments, 739 responded for an 84.6 percent response rate. Estimates are presented with 95 percent confidence intervals. About 92 percent of hospitals had revised their emergency response plans since September 11, 2001, but only about 63 percent had addressed natural disasters and biological, chemical, radiological, and explosive terrorism in those plans. Only about 9 percent of hospitals had provided for all 10 of the response plan components studied. Hospitals had a mean of about 14 personal protective suits, 21 critical care beds, 12 mechanical ventilators, 7 negative pressure isolation rooms, and 2 decontamination showers each. Hospital bed capacity was the factor most consistently associated with emergency response planning and availability of resources.

  12. Francisella philomiragia Adenitis and Pulmonary Nodules in a Child with Chronic Granulomatous Disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Timothy Mailman

    2005-01-01

    Full Text Available Francisella philomiragia is a rare and opportunistic pathogen capable of producing invasive infection in patients with compromised neutrophil function and in patients that have survived a near-drowning. A case of F philomiragia adenitis and lung nodules, refractory to cephalosporin therapy, is reported in a 10-year-old boy with chronic granulomatous disease following a facial abrasion from a saltwater crab. To the authors' knowledge, this is the first Canadian clinical isolate to be reported. Genus and species identification was confirmed via 16S ribosomal RNA sequence analysis. A literature review revealed three groups at risk of F philomiragia infection: young patients with chronic granulomatous disease; adults with hematogenous malignancy; and near-drowning patients. Pneumonia, fever without an apparent source and sepsis are the main clinical presentations. Invasive procedures may be required to isolate this organism and ensure appropriate antimicrobial therapy. Limited awareness of F philomiragia has led to delayed identification, patient death and misidentification as Francisella tularensis - a biosafety level three pathogen and potential bioterrorism agent.

  13. Knowledge communication: a key to successful crisis management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johansson, Anders; Härenstam, Malin

    2013-09-01

    A winning concept of crisis management can be summarized in 2 words: knowledge communication. If decision makers, communicators, experts, and the public understand what the crisis is about and share their knowledge, the process of handling it will be optimized. Effective crisis communication implies the necessity of an unhindered but purposeful exchange of information within and between authorities, organizations, media, involved individuals, and groups before, during, and after a crisis. This article focuses on the importance of the before, or prevention, part of a crisis since it holds a rich possibility to enhance the chances for successful crisis management of a bioterrorism incident. An extended perspective on crisis communication efficiently links to a more thorough understanding of risk perception with various stakeholders and the public, which also will be helpful for situational awareness. Furthermore, the grounded baseline for the dialogue type of crisis communication suitable in modern society and to modern social media is achieved by linking to those risk communication efforts that are made. The link between risk and crisis should be afforded more attention since, especially in biosecurity, there would be no crisis without risk negligence and poor or malfunctioning preventive efforts.

  14. Bio-Techniques in Electrochemical Transducers: an Overview

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    VIKAS

    2007-08-01

    Full Text Available Novelty in fabrication & designing of biosensors are being carried out at a high rate as these devices become increasingly popular in fields like environmental monitoring, bioterrorism, food analyses and most importantly in the area of health care and diagnostics. This rapidly expanding field has an annual growth rate of 65%, with major impetus from the health-care industry (30% of the world’s total analytical market supported with other analytical areas of food & environmental monitoring including defense needs. This context aims to highlight trends in practice for electrochemical biosensor design and construction. The availability and application of a vast range of polymers and copolymers associated with new sensing techniques have led to remarkable innovation in the design and construction of biosensors, significant improvements in sensor function and the emergence of new types of biosensor. Nevertheless, in vivo applications remain limited by functional deterioration due to surface fouling by biological components. However, use of new material and novelty in fabrication, raising hopes that the problems related to decreased functional of the bioanalytical layer be solved in time.

  15. Science meets public service in Washington, D.C.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vasavada, Ashwin R.

    Same planet, different worlds—that's how many scientists see the relationship between science and government. Yet science and technology have become so infused into society that those worlds are colliding. Today, a number of national issues share a strong connection to science, from stem cells to climate change and energy to bioterrorism. For scientists who can adapt to the culture of politics, working in the collision zone can be an exciting and rewarding way to spend a year or even a career.This past year, I was one of 35 scientists in Washington serving as Congressional Science and Technology Fellows, sponsored by a number of scientific societies, including AGU. The Fellows vary widely in age and carry resumes listing Ph.D.s in not only physics, biology, and chemistry but also in Earth science, food safety, psychology, and veterinary medicine. With a group like that, weekly lunches and happy hours become the kind of broadening experience that one rarely gets in focused academic departments. And then there's the politics.

  16. Evaluation of the Universal Viral Transport system for long-term storage of virus specimens for microbial forensics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hosokawa-Muto, Junji; Fujinami, Yoshihito; Mizuno, Natsuko

    2015-08-01

    Forensic microbial specimens, including bacteria and viruses, are collected at biocrime and bioterrorism scenes. Although it is preferable that the pathogens in these samples are alive and kept in a steady state, the samples may be stored for prolonged periods before analysis. Therefore, it is important to understand the effects of storage conditions on the pathogens contained within such samples. To evaluate the capacity to preserve viable virus and the viral genome, influenza virus was added to the transport medium of the Universal Viral Transport system and stored for over 3 months at various temperatures, after which virus titrations and quantitative analysis of the influenza hemagglutinin gene were performed. Although viable viruses became undetectable 29 days after the medium was stored at room temperature, viruses in the medium stored at 4°C were viable even after 99 days. A quantitative PCR analysis indicated that the hemagglutinin gene was maintained for 99 days at both 4°C and room temperature. Therefore, long-term storage at 4°C has little effect on viable virus and viral genes, so the Universal Viral Transport system can be useful for microbial forensics. This study provides important information for the handling of forensic virus specimens. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd and Faculty of Forensic and Legal Medicine. All rights reserved.

  17. Ebolavirus Vaccines: Progress in the Fight Against Ebola Virus Disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Xiao-Xin; Yao, Hang-Ping; Wu, Nan-Ping; Gao, Hai-Nv; Wu, Hai-Bo; Jin, Chang-Zhong; Lu, Xiang-Yun; Xie, Tian-Shen; Li, Lan-Juan

    2015-01-01

    Ebolaviruses are highly infectious pathogens that cause lethal Ebola virus disease (EVD) in humans and non-human primates (NHPs). Due to their high pathogenicity and transmissibility, as well as the potential to be misused as a bioterrorism agent, ebolaviruses would threaten the health of global populations if not controlled. In this review, we describe the origin and structure of ebolaviruses and the development of vaccines from the beginning of the 1980s, including conventional ebolavirus vaccines, DNA vaccines, Ebola virus-like particles (VLPs), vaccinia virus-based vaccines, Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus (VEEV)-like replicon particles, Kunjin virus-based vaccine, recombinant Zaire Ebolavirusx2206;VP30, recombinant cytomegalovirus (CMV)-based vaccines, recombinant rabies virus (RABV)-based vaccines, recombinant paramyxovirus-based vaccines, adenovirus-based vaccines and vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV)-based vaccines. No licensed vaccine or specific treatment is currently available to counteract ebolavirus infection, although DNA plasmids and several viral vector approaches have been evaluated as promising vaccine platforms. These vaccine candidates have been confirmed to be successful in protecting NHPs against lethal infection. Moreover, these vaccine candidates were successfully advanced to clinical trials. The present review provides an update of the current research on Ebola vaccines, with the aim of providing an overview on current prospects in the fight against EVD. © 2015 The Author(s) Published by S. Karger AG, Basel.

  18. Influenza type A virus: an outstandingly protean pathogen and a potent modular weapon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shoham, Dany

    2013-05-01

    A remarkable debate recently arose on a global scale, about bioethics, biohazard, bioweaponry and bioterrorism issues related to scientific research concerning the induced transition of the highly lethal H5N1 avian flu virus from a non-pandemic to a tentatively pandemic strain, which might fall into malevolent hands. Appreciable ecogenetic complexity marks the main attributes of influenza type A viruses, namely infectivity, virulence, antigenicity, transmissibility, host range, endemicity, and epidemicity. They all shape, conjunctively, the outstanding protean nature of this pathogen, hence the modularity of the latter as a potent weapon. The present analysis inquires into those attributes, so as to profile and gauge threat, usability, impact and coping, particularly that the dimension of genetic engineering of this virus largely amplifies its potential. Within that context, various human interventions and misuses, including human experimental infections, undesirable vaccinations, as well as unauthorized and unskillful operations, led to bad corollaries and are also discussed in the present study. Altogether, a variety of interrelated properties underlying the complicatedness of and menaces posed by influenza A virus as a grave medical challenge, a dually explorable pathogen, and a modular biological warfare agent, are thereby illuminated, alongside with their scientific, strategic and practical implications.

  19. Bioethics, bioweapons and the microbiologist.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anaya-Velázquez, Fernando

    2002-01-01

    The analysis of behavior of man in the field of biology is carried out through bioethics, considered the science of the survival. In the microbiology, there are numerous discoveries related with pathogenic microorganisms, including those that can be used as weapons in a biological war or in an attack considered bioterrorism. The scientist involved in microbiology can participate with his knowledge in the development and improvement of bioweapons, however from the point of view of bioethics it is not acceptable that he works in an investigation related with these topics, because the defense research can evolve in offensive one. The war is an antisurvival activity, therefore it is not acceptable. In the same way, the biological weapons composed with virus, fungi or alive bacteria, or with toxins from them, neither they are morally accepted. After the terrorist attacks with anthrax in the United States in 2001, the world scientific community in the field of microbiology should show against the use of the microorganisms like bioweapons, at the time of promoting the idea that the responsible use for the microorganisms is a moral imperative for all microbiologists around the world, since the biological weapons are a threat for the human life.

  20. FEASIBILITY STUDY FOR POTASSIUM IODIDE (KI) DISTRIBUTION IN NEW YORK CITY

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    MOSS, STEVEN

    2005-01-01

    The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH), Bureau of Environmental Science and Engineering, Office of Radiological Health (ORH) [as the primary local technical consultant in the event of a radiological or nuclear incident within the boundaries of New York City] requested the assistance of Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) with the development of a Feasibility Study for Potassium Iodide (KI) distribution in the unlikely event of a significant release of radioactive iodine in or near New York City. Brookhaven National Laboratory had previously provided support for New York City with the development of the radiological/nuclear portions of its All Hazards Emergency Response Plans. The work is funded by Medical and Health Research Association (MHRA) of New York City, Inc., under a work grant by the Federal Centers for Disease Control (CDC) for Public Health Preparedness and Response for Bioterrorism. This report is part of the result of that effort. The conclusions of this report are that: (1) There is no credible radiological scenario that would prompt the need for large segments of the general population of New York City to take KI as a result of a projected plume exposure to radioiodine reaching even the lowest threshold of 5 rem to the thyroid; and (2) KI should be stockpiled in amounts and locations sufficient for use by first responders/emergency responders in response to any localized release of radioiodine

  1. The airborne metagenome in an indoor urban environment.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Susannah G Tringe

    Full Text Available The indoor atmosphere is an ecological unit that impacts on public health. To investigate the composition of organisms in this space, we applied culture-independent approaches to microbes harvested from the air of two densely populated urban buildings, from which we analyzed 80 megabases genomic DNA sequence and 6000 16S rDNA clones. The air microbiota is primarily bacteria, including potential opportunistic pathogens commonly isolated from human-inhabited environments such as hospitals, but none of the data contain matches to virulent pathogens or bioterror agents. Comparison of air samples with each other and nearby environments suggested that the indoor air microbes are not random transients from surrounding outdoor environments, but rather originate from indoor niches. Sequence annotation by gene function revealed specific adaptive capabilities enriched in the air environment, including genes potentially involved in resistance to desiccation and oxidative damage. This baseline index of air microbiota will be valuable for improving designs of surveillance for natural or man-made release of virulent pathogens.

  2. Pathogen identification using peptide nanotube biosensors and impedance AFM

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maccuspie, Robert I.

    Pathogen identification at highly sensitive levels is crucial to meet urgent needs in fighting the spread of disease or detecting bioterrorism events. Toward that end, a new method for biosensing utilizing fluorescent antibody nanotubes is proposed. Fundamental studies on the self-assembly of these peptide nanotubes are performed, as are applications of aligning these nanotubes on surfaces. As biosensors, these nanotubes incorporate recognition units with antibodies at their ends and fluorescent signaling units at their sidewalls. When viral pathogens were mixed with these antibody nanotubes in solution, the nanotubes rapidly aggregated around the viruses. The size of the aggregates increased as the concentration of viruses increased, as detected by flow cytometry on the order of attomolar concentrations by changes in fluorescence and light scattering intensities. This enabled determination of the concentrations of viruses at trace levels (102 to 106 pfu/mL) within 30 minutes from the receipt of samples to the final quantitative data analysis, as demonstrated on Adenovirus, Herpes Simplex Virus, Influenza, and Vaccinia virus. As another separate approach, impedance AFM is used to study the electrical properties of individual viruses and nanoparticles used as model systems. The design, development, and implementation of the impedance AFM for an Asylum Research platform is described, as well as its application towards studying the impedance of individual nanoparticles as a model system for understanding the fundamental science of how the life cycle of a virus affects its electrical properties. In combination, these approaches fill a pressing need to quantify viruses both rapidly and sensitively.

  3. Fingerprinting food: current technologies for the detection of food adulteration and contamination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ellis, David I; Brewster, Victoria L; Dunn, Warwick B; Allwood, J William; Golovanov, Alexander P; Goodacre, Royston

    2012-09-07

    Major food adulteration and contamination events seem to occur with some regularity, such as the widely publicised adulteration of milk products with melamine and the recent microbial contamination of vegetables across Europe for example. With globalisation and rapid distribution systems, these can have international impacts with far-reaching and sometimes lethal consequences. These events, though potentially global in the modern era, are in fact far from contemporary, and deliberate adulteration of food products is probably as old as the food processing and production systems themselves. This review first introduces some background into these practices, both historically and contemporary, before introducing a range of the technologies currently available for the detection of food adulteration and contamination. These methods include the vibrational spectroscopies: near-infrared, mid-infrared, Raman; NMR spectroscopy, as well as a range of mass spectrometry (MS) techniques, amongst others. This subject area is particularly relevant at this time, as it not only concerns the continuous engagement with food adulterers, but also more recent issues such as food security, bioterrorism and climate change. It is hoped that this introductory overview acts as a springboard for researchers in science, technology, engineering, and industry, in this era of systems-level thinking and interdisciplinary approaches to new and contemporary problems.

  4. Biological warfare agents

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Duraipandian Thavaselvam

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available The recent bioterrorist attacks using anthrax spores have emphasized the need to detect and decontaminate critical facilities in the shortest possible time. There has been a remarkable progress in the detection, protection and decontamination of biological warfare agents as many instrumentation platforms and detection methodologies are developed and commissioned. Even then the threat of biological warfare agents and their use in bioterrorist attacks still remain a leading cause of global concern. Furthermore in the past decade there have been threats due to the emerging new diseases and also the re-emergence of old diseases and development of antimicrobial resistance and spread to new geographical regions. The preparedness against these agents need complete knowledge about the disease, better research and training facilities, diagnostic facilities and improved public health system. This review on the biological warfare agents will provide information on the biological warfare agents, their mode of transmission and spread and also the detection systems available to detect them. In addition the current information on the availability of commercially available and developing technologies against biological warfare agents has also been discussed. The risk that arise due to the use of these agents in warfare or bioterrorism related scenario can be mitigated with the availability of improved detection technologies.

  5. Biological warfare agents

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thavaselvam, Duraipandian; Vijayaraghavan, Rajagopalan

    2010-01-01

    The recent bioterrorist attacks using anthrax spores have emphasized the need to detect and decontaminate critical facilities in the shortest possible time. There has been a remarkable progress in the detection, protection and decontamination of biological warfare agents as many instrumentation platforms and detection methodologies are developed and commissioned. Even then the threat of biological warfare agents and their use in bioterrorist attacks still remain a leading cause of global concern. Furthermore in the past decade there have been threats due to the emerging new diseases and also the re-emergence of old diseases and development of antimicrobial resistance and spread to new geographical regions. The preparedness against these agents need complete knowledge about the disease, better research and training facilities, diagnostic facilities and improved public health system. This review on the biological warfare agents will provide information on the biological warfare agents, their mode of transmission and spread and also the detection systems available to detect them. In addition the current information on the availability of commercially available and developing technologies against biological warfare agents has also been discussed. The risk that arise due to the use of these agents in warfare or bioterrorism related scenario can be mitigated with the availability of improved detection technologies. PMID:21829313

  6. Use of Monoclonal Antibodies in the Sensitive Detection and Neutralization of Botulinum Neurotoxin Serotype B

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luisa W. Cheng

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNT are some of nature’s most potent toxins. Due to potential food contamination, and bioterrorism concerns, the development of detection reagents, therapeutics and countermeasures are of urgent interest. Recently, we have developed a sensitive electrochemiluminescent (ECL immunoassay for BoNT/B, using monoclonal antibodies (mAbs MCS6-27 and anti-BoNT/B rabbit polyclonal antibodies as the capture and detector. The ECL assay detected as little as 1 pg/mL BoNT/B in the buffer matrix, surpassing the detection sensitivities of the gold standard mouse bioassays. The ECL assay also allowed detection of BoNT/B in sera matrices of up to 100% sera with negligible matrix effects. This highly-sensitive assay allowed the determination of the biological half-lives of BoNT/B holotoxin in vivo. We further tested the toxin neutralization potential of our monoclonal antibodies using the mouse systemic and oral intoxication models. A combination of mAbs protected mice in both pre- and post-exposure models to lethal doses of BoNT/B. MAbs were capable of increasing survival of animals when administered even 10 h post-intoxication in an oral model, suggesting a likely time for BoNT/B complexes to reach the blood stream. More sensitive detection assays and treatments against BoNT intoxication will greatly enhance efforts to combat botulism.

  7. Plague: A Millenary Infectious Disease Reemerging in the XXI Century.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grácio, A J Dos Santos; Grácio, Maria Amélia A

    2017-01-01

    Plague, in the Middle Ages known as Black Death, continues to occur at permanent foci in many countries, in Africa, Asia, South America, and even the USA. During the last years outbreaks were reported from at least 3 geographical areas, in all cases after tens of years without reported cases. The recent human plague outbreaks in Libya and Algeria suggest that climatic and other environmental changes in Northern Africa may be favourable for Y. pestis epidemiologic cycle. If so, other Northern Africa countries with plague foci also may be at risk for outbreaks in the near future. It is important to remember that the danger of plague reoccurrence is not limited to the known natural foci, for example, those of Algeria, Angola, and Madagascar. In a general context, it is important that governments know the dangerous impact that this disease may have and that the health and medical community be familiar with the epidemiology, symptoms, treatment, and control of plague, so an appropriated and timely response can be delivered should the worst case happen. Plague can be used as a potential agent of bioterrorism. We have concluded that plague is without a doubt a reemerging infectious disease.

  8. Discrimination of Bacillus anthracis Spores by Direct in-situ Analysis of Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption/Ionization Time-Of-Flight Mass Spectrometry

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jeong, Youngsu; Lee, Jonghee; Kim, Seongsoo

    2013-01-01

    The rapid and accurate identification of biological agents is a critical step in the case of bio-terror and biological warfare attacks. Recently, matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry has been widely used for the identification of microorganisms. In this study, we describe a method for the rapid and accurate discrimination of Bacillus anthracis spores using MALDI-TOF MS. Our direct in-situ analysis of MALDI-TOF MS does not involve subsequent high-resolution mass analyses and sample preparation steps. This method allowed the detection of species-specific biomarkers from each Bacillus spores. Especially, B. anthracis spores had specific biomarker peaks at 2503, 3089, 3376, 6684, 6698, 6753, and 6840 m/z. Cluster and PCA analyses of the mass spectra of Bacillus spores revealed distinctively separated clusters and within-groups similarity. Therefore, we believe that this method is effective in the real-time identification of biological warfare agents such as B. anthracis as well as other microorganisms in the field

  9. Whole-Genome Sequencing in Microbial Forensic Analysis of Gamma-Irradiated Microbial Materials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Broomall, Stacey M; Ait Ichou, Mohamed; Krepps, Michael D; Johnsky, Lauren A; Karavis, Mark A; Hubbard, Kyle S; Insalaco, Joseph M; Betters, Janet L; Redmond, Brady W; Rivers, Bryan A; Liem, Alvin T; Hill, Jessica M; Fochler, Edward T; Roth, Pierce A; Rosenzweig, C Nicole; Skowronski, Evan W; Gibbons, Henry S

    2016-01-15

    Effective microbial forensic analysis of materials used in a potential biological attack requires robust methods of morphological and genetic characterization of the attack materials in order to enable the attribution of the materials to potential sources and to exclude other potential sources. The genetic homogeneity and potential intersample variability of many of the category A to C bioterrorism agents offer a particular challenge to the generation of attributive signatures, potentially requiring whole-genome or proteomic approaches to be utilized. Currently, irradiation of mail is standard practice at several government facilities judged to be at particularly high risk. Thus, initial forensic signatures would need to be recovered from inactivated (nonviable) material. In the study described in this report, we determined the effects of high-dose gamma irradiation on forensic markers of bacterial biothreat agent surrogate organisms with a particular emphasis on the suitability of genomic DNA (gDNA) recovered from such sources as a template for whole-genome analysis. While irradiation of spores and vegetative cells affected the retention of Gram and spore stains and sheared gDNA into small fragments, we found that irradiated material could be utilized to generate accurate whole-genome sequence data on the Illumina and Roche 454 sequencing platforms. Copyright © 2016, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

  10. Terrorism and mental health in the rural Midwest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hawley, Suzanne R; Ablah, Elizabeth; Hawley, Gary C; Cook, David J; Orr, Shirley A; Molgaard, Craig A

    2006-01-01

    Since the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001, the amount of terrorism preparedness training has increased substantially. However, gaps continue to exist in training for the mental health casualties that result from such events. Responders must be aware of the mental health effects of terrorism and how to prepare for and buffer these effects. However, the degree to which responders possess or value this knowledge has not been studied. Multi-disciplinary terrorism preparedness training for healthcare professionals was conducted in Kansas in 2003. In order to assess knowledge and attitudes related to mental health preparedness training, post-test surveys were provided to 314 respondents 10 months after completion of the training. Respondents returned 197 completed surveys for an analysis response rate of 63%. In general, the results indicated that respondents have knowledge of and value the importance of mental health preparedness issues. The respondents who reported greater knowledge or value of mental health preparedness also indicated significantly higher ability levels in nationally recognized bioterrorism competencies (p mental health components to be incorporated into terrorism preparedness training. Further studies to determine the most effective mental health preparedness training content and instruction modalities are needed.

  11. Results of a Saxitoxin Proficiency Test Including Characterization of Reference Material and Stability Studies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kirsi Harju

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available A saxitoxin (STX proficiency test (PT was organized as part of the Establishment of Quality Assurance for the Detection of Biological Toxins of Potential Bioterrorism Risk (EQuATox project. The aim of this PT was to provide an evaluation of existing methods and the European laboratories’ capabilities for the analysis of STX and some of its analogues in real samples. Homogenized mussel material and algal cell materials containing paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP toxins were produced as reference sample matrices. The reference material was characterized using various analytical methods. Acidified algal extract samples at two concentration levels were prepared from a bulk culture of PSP toxins producing dinoflagellate Alexandrium ostenfeldii. The homogeneity and stability of the prepared PT samples were studied and found to be fit-for-purpose. Thereafter, eight STX PT samples were sent to ten participating laboratories from eight countries. The PT offered the participating laboratories the possibility to assess their performance regarding the qualitative and quantitative detection of PSP toxins. Various techniques such as official Association of Official Analytical Chemists (AOAC methods, immunoassays, and liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry were used for sample analyses.

  12. Optimization of Sample Preparation for the Identification and Quantification of Saxitoxin in Proficiency Test Mussel Sample using Liquid Chromatography-Tandem Mass Spectrometry

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kirsi Harju

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Saxitoxin (STX and some selected paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP analogues in mussel samples were identified and quantified with liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS. Sample extraction and purification methods of mussel sample were optimized for LC-MS/MS analysis. The developed method was applied to the analysis of the homogenized mussel samples in the proficiency test (PT within the EQuATox project (Establishment of Quality Assurance for the Detection of Biological Toxins of Potential Bioterrorism Risk. Ten laboratories from eight countries participated in the STX PT. Identification of PSP toxins in naturally contaminated mussel samples was performed by comparison of product ion spectra and retention times with those of reference standards. The quantitative results were obtained with LC-MS/MS by spiking reference standards in toxic mussel extracts. The results were within the z-score of ±1 when compared to the results measured with the official AOAC (Association of Official Analytical Chemists method 2005.06, pre-column oxidation high-performance liquid chromatography with fluorescence detection (HPLC-FLD.

  13. Veterinary education in Africa: current and future perspectives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swan, G E; Kriek, N P J

    2009-03-01

    Veterinary education commenced in South Africa in 1920 at the Onderstepoort Veterinary Institute in South Africa in association with the Transvaal University College, now the University of Pretoria. Sir Arnold Theiler, Director of Veterinary Research and Education, was the first Dean. Today there are 46 veterinary training institutions in Africa of which 21 are in sub-Saharan Africa. Veterinary services are indispensable to the sustained health and wellbeing of animals and humans, and agricultural economies of countries worldwide. Veterinary education, postgraduate training, and research, and adequate numbers of veterinarians, are essential to satisfy the millennium development goals, the objectives of NEPAD and the African Union, and the agreements regulating international trade. The relevance of the veterinary profession internationally is currently subject to profound scrutiny. Its contributions are assessed against major environmental, demographic, political, disease, technological and economic needs. The scope of veterinary training in future will have to emphasise veterinary public health, food safety, emerging diseases, international trade, bioterrorism, and biomedical research, within the context of a one-health system focusing on the interface between wildlife, domesticated animals, humans, and their environment. Within the context of time available, it would mean reducing the time allocated to training in the field of companion animals. A brief history and scope of veterinary education; current international trends in veterinary education and provisioning; and some perspectives on future veterinary training and initiatives applicable to Africa are provided.

  14. Abrin Toxicity and Bioavailability after Temperature and pH Treatment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christina C. Tam

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Abrin, one of most potent toxins known to man, is derived from the rosary pea (jequirity pea, Abrus precatorius and is a potential bioterror weapon. The temperature and pH stability of abrin was evaluated with an in vitro cell free translation (CFT assay, a Vero cell culture cytotoxicity assay, and an in vivo mouse bioassay. pH treatment of abrin had no detrimental effect on its stability and toxicity as seen either in vitro or in vivo. Abrin exposure to increasing temperatures did not completely abrogate protein translation. In both the cell culture cytotoxicity model and the mouse bioassay, abrin’s toxic effects were completely abrogated if the toxin was exposed to temperatures of 74 °C or higher. In the cell culture model, 63 °C-treated abrin had a 30% reduction in cytotoxicity which was validated in the in vivo mouse bioassay with all mice dying but with a slight time-to-death delay as compared to the non-treated abrin control. Since temperature inactivation did not affect abrin’s ability to inhibit protein synthesis (A-chain, we hypothesize that high temperature treatment affected abrin’s ability to bind to cellular receptors (affecting B-chain. Our results confirm the absolute need to validate in vitro cytotoxicity assays with in vivo mouse bioassays.

  15. Collaborative vaccine development: partnering pays.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramachandra, Rangappa

    2008-01-01

    Vaccine development, supported by infusions of public and private venture capital, is re-entering a golden age as one of the fastest growing sectors in the life-sciences industry. Demand is driven by great unmet need in underdeveloped countries, increased resistance to current treatments, bioterrorism, and for prevention indications in travelers, pediatric, and adult diseases. Production systems are becoming less reliant on processes such as egg-based manufacturing, while new processes can help to optimize vaccines. Expeditious development hinges on efficient study conduct, which is greatly enhanced through research partnerships with specialized contract research organizations (CROs) that are licensed and knowledgeable in the intricacies of immunology and with the technologic and scientific foundation to support changing timelines and strategies inherent to vaccine development. The CRO often brings a more objective assessment for probability of success and may offer alternative development pathways. Vaccine developers are afforded more flexibility and are free to focus on innovation and internal core competencies. Functions readily outsourced to a competent partner include animal model development, safety and efficacy studies, immunotoxicity and immunogenicity, dose response studies, and stability and potency testing. These functions capitalize on the CRO partner's regulatory and scientific talent and expertise, and reduce infrastructure expenses for the vaccine developer. Successful partnerships result in development efficiencies, elimination or reduced redundancies, and improved time to market. Keys to success include honest communications, transparency, and flexibility.

  16. Manipulation of host factors optimizes the pathogenesis of western equine encephalitis virus infections in mice for antiviral drug development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blakely, Pennelope K.; Delekta, Phillip C.; Miller, David J.; Irani, David N.

    2014-01-01

    While alphaviruses spread naturally via mosquito vectors, some can also be transmitted as aerosols making them potential bioterrorism agents. One such pathogen, western equine encephalitis virus (WEEV), causes fatal human encephalitis via multiple routes of infection and thus presumably via multiple mechanisms. Although WEEV also produces acute encephalitis in non-human primates, a small animal model that recapitulates features of human disease would be useful for both pathogenesis studies and to evaluate candidate antiviral therapies. We have optimized conditions to infect mice with a low passage isolate of WEEV, thereby allowing detailed investigation of virus tropism, replication, neuroinvasion, and neurovirulence. We find that host factors strongly influence disease outcome, and in particular that age, gender and genetic background all have significant effects on disease susceptibility independent of virus tropism or replication within the central nervous system. Our data show that experimental variables can be adjusted in mice to recapitulate disease features known to occur in both non-human primates and humans, thus aiding further study of WEEV pathogenesis and providing a realistic therapeutic window for antiviral drug delivery. PMID:25361697

  17. Implementation of a data fusion algorithm for RODS, a real-time outbreak and disease surveillance system.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Brown, Douglas (Sandia National Laboratories, Livermore, CA); Gray, Genetha Anne (Sandia National Laboratories, Livermore, CA)

    2005-10-01

    Due to the nature of many infectious agents, such as anthrax, symptoms may either take several days to manifest or resemble those of less serious illnesses leading to misdiagnosis. Thus, bioterrorism attacks that include the release of such agents are particularly dangerous and potentially deadly. For this reason, a system is needed for the quick and correct identification of disease outbreaks. The Real-time Outbreak Disease Surveillance System (RODS), initially developed by Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh, was created to meet this need. The RODS software implements different classifiers for pertinent health surveillance data in order to determine whether or not an outbreak has occurred. In an effort to improve the capability of RODS at detecting outbreaks, we incorporate a data fusion method. Data fusion is used to improve the results of a single classification by combining the output of multiple classifiers. This paper documents the first stages of the development of a data fusion system that can combine the output of the classifiers included in RODS.

  18. Worldwide risks of animal diseases: introduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pearson, J E

    2006-01-01

    Animal diseases impact food supplies, trade and commerce, and human health and well-being in every part of the world. Outbreaks draw the attention of those in agriculture, regulatory agencies, and government, as well as the general public. This was demonstrated by the 2000-2001 foot and mouth disease (FMD) outbreaks that occurred in Europe, South America, Asia and Africa and by the recent increased occurrence of emerging diseases transmitted from animals to humans. Examples of these emerging zoonotic diseases are highly pathogenic avian influenza, bovine spongiform encephalopathy, West Nile virus and severe acute respiratory syndrome. There is also the risk of well-known and preventable zoonotic diseases, such as rabies, brucellosis, leishmaniasis, and echinococcosis/hydatidosis, in certain countries; these diseases have a high morbidity with the potential for a very high mortality. Animal agriculturalists should have a global disease awareness of disease risks and develop plans of action to deal with them; in order to better respond to these diseases, they should develop the skills and competencies in politics, media interactions, and community engagement. This issue of Veterinaria Italiana presents information on the risk of animal diseases; their impact on animals and humans at the international, national, industry, and societal levels; and the responses to them. In addition, specific information is provided on national and international disease monitoring, surveillance and reporting, the risk of spread of disease by bioterrorism and on import risk analysis.

  19. Francisella tularensis type A Strains Cause the Rapid Encystment of Acanthamoeba castellanii and Survive in Amoebal Cysts for Three Weeks post Infection

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    El-Etr, S H; Margolis, J; Monack, D; Robison, R; Cohen, M; Moore, E; Rasley, A

    2009-07-28

    Francisella tularensis, the causative agent of the zoonotic disease tularemia, has recently gained increased attention due to the emergence of tularemia in geographical areas where the disease has been previously unknown, and the organism's potential as a bioterrorism agent. Although F. tularensis has an extremely broad host range, the bacterial reservoir in nature has not been conclusively identified. In this study, the ability of virulent F. tularensis strains to survive and replicate in the amoeba Acanthamoeba castellanii was explored. We observe that A. castellanii trophozoites rapidly encyst in response to F. tularensis infection and that this rapid encystment phenotype (REP) is caused by factor(s) secreted by amoebae and/or F. tularensis into the co-culture media. Further, our results indicate that in contrast to LVS, virulent strains of F. tularensis can survive in A. castellanii cysts for at least 3 weeks post infection and that induction of rapid amoeba encystment is essential for survival. In addition, our data indicate that pathogenic F. tularensis strains block lysosomal fusion in A. castellanii. Taken together, these data suggest that the interactions between F. tularensis strains and amoeba may play a role in the environmental persistence of F. tularensis.

  20. In vitro evaluation of the effect of linezolid and levofloxacin on Bacillus anthracis toxin production, spore formation and cell growth.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Head, Breanne M; Alfa, Michelle; Sitar, Daniel S; Rubinstein, Ethan; Meyers, Adrienne F A

    2017-02-01

    Owing to its ability to form spores and toxins, Bacillus anthracis is considered a bioterror agent. Although current therapeutic strategies can be effective, treatment does not prevent sporulation and toxin production. To quantify the combined effect of a protein synthesis inhibitor and a bactericidal agent on B. anthracis toxin production, sporulation and cell growth. Susceptibility and synergy titrations were conducted on B. anthracis Sterne and 03-0191 strains using linezolid and levofloxacin. The effect of antibiotic exposure on cell viability was evaluated using a continuous medium replacement model. In vitro static models were used to study the effect of linezolid and levofloxacin on sporulation and toxin production. Spores were quantified using the heat shock method. Toxin was quantified via commercial ELISA. Synergy titrations indicated that the combination was synergistic or indifferent; however, in all models antagonism was observed. In the spore model, linezolid resulted in the lowest sporulation rates, while combination therapy resulted in the highest. In the toxin model, linezolid prevented toxin production altogether. This study advances our understanding of the effects of combination therapy on B. anthracis infection. Used alone, linezolid therapy abolishes toxin production and reduces sporulation. These results suggest that studies using a step-wise approach using linezolid initially to stop sporulation and toxin production followed by levofloxacin to rapidly kill vegetative B. anthracis can be recommended. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  1. Facile and rapid DNA extraction and purification from food matrices using IFAST (immiscible filtration assisted by surface tension).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strotman, Lindsay N; Lin, Guangyun; Berry, Scott M; Johnson, Eric A; Beebe, David J

    2012-09-07

    Extraction and purification of DNA is a prerequisite to detection and analytical techniques. While DNA sample preparation methods have improved over the last few decades, current methods are still time consuming and labor intensive. Here we demonstrate a technology termed IFAST (Immiscible Filtration Assisted by Surface Tension), that relies on immiscible phase filtration to reduce the time and effort required to purify DNA. IFAST replaces the multiple wash and centrifugation steps required by traditional DNA sample preparation methods with a single step. To operate, DNA from lysed cells is bound to paramagnetic particles (PMPs) and drawn through an immiscible fluid phase barrier (i.e. oil) by an external handheld magnet. Purified DNA is then eluted from the PMPs. Here, detection of Clostridium botulinum type A (BoNT/A) in food matrices (milk, orange juice), a bioterrorism concern, was used as a model system to establish IFAST's utility in detection assays. Data validated that the DNA purified by IFAST was functional as a qPCR template to amplify the bont/A gene. The sensitivity limit of IFAST was comparable to the commercially available Invitrogen ChargeSwitch® method. Notably, pathogen detection via IFAST required only 8.5 μL of sample and was accomplished in five-fold less time. The simplicity, rapidity and portability of IFAST offer significant advantages when compared to existing DNA sample preparation methods.

  2. Capripoxviruses: an emerging worldwide threat to sheep, goats and cattle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Babiuk, S; Bowden, T R; Boyle, D B; Wallace, D B; Kitching, R P

    2008-09-01

    Capripoxviruses are the cause of sheeppox, goatpox and lumpy skin disease (LSD) of cattle. These diseases are of great economic significance to farmers in regions in which they are endemic and are a major constraint to international trade in livestock and their products. Although the distribution of capripoxviruses is considerably reduced from what it was even 50 years ago, they are now expanding their territory, with recent outbreaks of sheeppox or goatpox in Vietnam, Mongolia and Greece, and outbreaks of LSD in Ethiopia, Egypt and Israel. Increased legal and illegal trade in live animals provides the potential for further spread, with, for instance, the possibility of LSD becoming firmly established in Asia. This review briefly summarizes what is known about capripoxviruses, including their impact on livestock production, their geographic range, host-specificity, clinical disease, transmission and genomics, and considers current developments in diagnostic tests and vaccines. Capripoxviruses have the potential to become emerging disease threats because of global climate change and changes in patterns of trade in animals and animal products. They also could be used as economic bioterrorism agents.

  3. Stem cell therapy: From bench to bedside

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tamarat, R.; Lataillade, J. J.; Bey, E.; Gourmelon, P.; Benderitter, M.

    2012-01-01

    Several countries have increased efforts to develop medical countermeasures to protect against radiation toxicity due to acts of bio-terrorism as well as cancer treatment. Both acute radiation injuries and delayed effects such as cutaneous effects and impaired wound repair depend, to some extent, on angiogenesis deficiency. Vascular damage influences levels of nutrients, oxygen available to skin tissue and epithelial cell viability. Consequently, the evolution of radiation lesions often becomes uncontrolled and surgery is the final option-amputation leading to a disability. Therefore, the development of strategies designed to promote healing of radiation injuries is a major therapeutic challenge. Adult mesenchymal stem cell therapy has been combined with surgery in some cases and not in others and successfully applied in patients with accidental radiation injuries. Although research in the field of radiation skin injury management has made substantial progress in the past 10 y, several strategies are still needed in order to enhance the beneficial effect of stem cell therapy and to counteract the deleterious effect of an irradiated tissue environment. This review summarises the current and evolving advances concerning basic and translational research based on stem cell therapy for the management of radiological burns. (authors)

  4. Smallpox and smallpox vaccine: ocular and systemic risks and ethical uncertainties.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chous, A Paul; Hom, Gregory G

    2003-09-01

    The threat of bioterrorism and use of biological weapons has drawn renewed attention to smallpox, and smallpox vaccinations have been resumed in the United States. Both smallpox and smallpox vaccine carry risk of potentially debilitating or fatal adverse effects. The optometrist must be familiar with the signs and symptoms of smallpox disease and complications of smallpox vaccine for proper management and preservation of vision. The literature on the ocular and systemic effects of smallpox and smallpox vaccination is reviewed to provide the practicing optometrist with an overview of the issues involved in case management. Recent guidelines have placed additional ocular-related contraindications to receiving the smallpox vaccine. Risk factors for complications arising from smallpox vaccination are discussed. A discussion of the ethical implications is also presented. Knowledge of the signs and symptoms of smallpox infection, and of adverse effects caused by smallpox vaccination, can provide the necessary background to help eye care providers make appropriate diagnoses and referrals. Understanding ethical and legal/Constitutional questions surrounding the risk of outbreak and various vaccination containment strategies will help optometrists make informed decisions as health care professionals, patient advocates, and concerned citizens, as well as weigh the risks and benefits of vaccination, if it is offered to them.

  5. Health protection: communicable disease, public health and infection control educational programmes--a case study from the UK.

    Science.gov (United States)

    El-Ansari, W; Privett, S

    2005-04-01

    The health protection (HP) landscape is changing. Issues related to infectious diseases in the context of global health are receiving the attention of world leaders and policy makers. In the UK, the national health policies resonate with such transformations, presenting a range of opportunities and challenges. The opportunities include the formation of a new national organisation dedicated to protecting the people's health and reducing the impact of infectious disease, the Health Protection Agency. The opportunities also include the opening of non-medical specialists's pathways in public health. The challenges represent the limited number of centres offering infection control education; the hospital focus and bias of the courses; new, resurgent and emerging infections; globalisation and travel; bacterial resistance; vaccine safety and coverage; bioterrorism; global response capacity; and visa restrictions. Within this context, this paper presents a case study of a HP educational programme at a British university in the south of England. It outlines the course design and philosophy, participants, recruitment, aims, descriptions and learning outcomes. A range of teething problems associated with the initiation and running of such programmes is considered. These include aspects related to the university, features associated with the modules, characteristics of the students, and other interconnected larger scale international issues. Some suggestions for the way forward are presented. Collectively, attention to the suggested measures can ensure that the processes that teaching programmes embrace to refine their content and delivery will equip tomorrow's professionals with the requisite HP knowledge and skills.

  6. Comparison: Flu prescription sales data from a retail pharmacy in the US with Google Flu trends and US ILINet (CDC) data as flu activity indicator.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patwardhan, Avinash; Bilkovski, Robert

    2012-01-01

    The potential threat of bioterrorism along with the emergence of new or existing drug resistant strains of influenza virus, added to expanded global travel, have increased vulnerability to epidemics or pandemics and their aftermath. The same factors have also precipitated urgency for having better, faster, sensitive, and reliable syndromic surveillance systems. Prescription sales data can provide surrogate information about the development of infectious diseases and therefore serve as a useful tool in syndromic surveillance. This study compared prescription sales data from a large drug retailing pharmacy chain in the United States with Google Flu trends surveillance system data as a flu activity indicator. It was found that the two were highly correlated. The correlation coefficient (Pearson 'r') for five years' aggregate data (2007-2011) was 0.92 (95% CI, 0.90-0.94). The correlation coefficients for each of the five years between 2007 and 2011 were 0.85, 0.92, 0.91, 0.88, and 0.87 respectively. Additionally, prescription sales data from the same large drug retailing pharmacy chain in the United States were also compared with US Outpatient Influenza-like Illness Surveillance Network (ILINet) data for 2007 by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The correlation coefficient (Pearson 'r') was 0.97 (95% CI, 0.95-0.98).

  7. [Biosafety and biosecurity in the medical laboratory. Update and trends].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ionescu, G; Neguţ, M; Combiescu, A A

    2007-01-01

    Biosafety includes the protective measures against the risks of contamination with pathogen germs in the laboratories that handle pathogens, or stock or manipulate potentially contaminated products, or perform microbiological tests for medical or scientific research purposes, as well as the means of protecting the environment and the human collectivities against hazard contaminations that have as starting point these laboratories. Besides, lately, a new notion emerged, that of biosecurity, which refers to the sum of measures designed to protect workers, environment and population against the loss, theft, use and release in the environment of pathogenic biological agents. The work overviews the present concerns for the regulation of these two notions and the way in which a system for the management of the biological risks in a laboratory that handles pathogens should be documented and implemented. The need for the continuous professional training of the staff and for the establishment of individual and collective responsibilities for preventing biosafety incidents and trespassing biosecurity rules are as well emphasized. The main biosafety measures are pointed out and a series of considerations regarding biosafety and bioterrorism in correlation with the medical laboratory are as well mentioned.

  8. WMD Nonproliferation: Biosecurity in the Age of Terrorism

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Phillips, C. J.; Chesser, R. K.

    2007-01-01

    The international community has cooperated in arenas where diplomacy, treaties and conventions, and international bodies such as the IAEA and UN Security Council can have successful roles controlling WMD proliferation. This especially is the case for nuclear and chemical weapons. In our view, the potential use of biological agents and toxins presents a distinctive challenge not necessarily amenable to standard solutions and legal controls. Commercial biotechnology, basic biological research, and public and animal health are intertwined and of global significance. Advancements in these civilian activities have legitimate value, but also can serve the needs of state-sponsored defensive and offensive biological weapons programs. More important, technical and scientific advances and development of public bioinformatics databases also simplifies an otherwise complex world for trans-national terrorists. In our paper we will draw upon our personal international experiences, including in the former Soviet Union and Iraq, to explain our concept of 'shared risk' within the scientific community. Personal engagement, meaningful collaboration, adherence to uniform ethics and standards, and common scientific goals on an international scale are the best hedge against bio-terrorism. The global scientific community already is based upon shared principles that cross both cultural and political boundaries and thus are pre-adapted to play a major role in preventing the use of biology as a terrorist weapon.(author)

  9. Public health emergencies in urban India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bhabani Prasad Acharya

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Public health emergencies in urban India can be caused by natural or man-made disasters. Occurrence of a public health emergency adds to the already stretched health system. This paper looks into the public health emergency conditions in urban India, and our preparedness to tackle them. To address this composite threat to nation’s health and development, a concerted public health response is needed, that can ensure efficient delivery in emergency situations Public health emergency is an occurrence or eminent threat of an illness or health condition caused by bio-terrorism, epidemic or pandemic disease, or novel and highly fatal infectious agent or biological toxin, that possess a substantial risk of a significant number of human facilities or incidents or permanent or long–term disability (1. It is a condition that requires the government to declare a state of public health emergency. The declaration of a state of public health emergency permits the government to suspend state regulations,and change the functions of state agencies (2. Term “Urban” refers to perplexing variety of environments.  Health circumstances of small cities and town differ in many ways from larger cities and metros. Within cities, change in lifestyle of residents is observed. The urban system is often present with full array of health providers ranging from traditional healer, street drug seller to highly –trained surgeons (3.

  10. Comparison of Two Suspension Arrays for Simultaneous Detection of Five Biothreat Bacterial in Powder Samples

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yu Yang

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available We have developed novel Bio-Plex assays for simultaneous detection of Bacillus anthracis, Yersinia pestis, Brucella spp., Francisella tularensis, and Burkholderia pseudomallei. Universal primers were used to amplify highly conserved region located within the 16S rRNA amplicon, followed by hybridized to pathogen-specific probes for identification of these five organisms. The other assay is based on multiplex PCR to simultaneously amplify five species-specific pathogen identification-targeted regions unique to individual pathogen. Both of the two arrays are validated to be flexible and sensitive for simultaneous detection of bioterrorism bacteria. However, universal primer PCR-based array could not identify Bacillus anthracis, Yersinia pestis, and Brucella spp. at the species level because of the high conservation of 16S rDNA of the same genus. The two suspension arrays can be utilized to detect Bacillus anthracis sterne spore and Yersinia pestis EV76 from mimic “write powder” samples, they also proved that the suspension array system will be valuable tools for diagnosis of bacterial biothreat agents in environmental samples.

  11. Using BOX-PCR to exclude a clonal outbreak of melioidosis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ward Linda

    2007-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Although melioidosis in endemic regions is usually caused by a diverse range of Burkholderia pseudomallei strains, clonal outbreaks from contaminated potable water have been described. Furthermore B. pseudomallei is classified as a CDC Group B bioterrorism agent. Ribotyping, pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE and multilocus sequence typing (MLST have been used to identify genetically related B. pseudomallei isolates, but they are time consuming and technically challenging for many laboratories. Methods We have adapted repetitive sequence typing using a BOX A1R primer for typing B. pseudomallei and compared BOX-PCR fingerprinting results on a wide range of well-characterized B. pseudomallei isolates with MLST and PFGE performed on the same isolates. Results BOX-PCR typing compared favourably with MLST and PFGE performed on the same isolates, both discriminating between the majority of multilocus sequence types and showing relatedness between epidemiologically linked isolates from various outbreak clusters. Conclusion Our results suggest that BOX-PCR can be used to exclude a clonal outbreak of melioidosis within 10 hours of receiving the bacterial strains.

  12. Data mining: childhood injury control and beyond.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tepas, Joseph J

    2009-08-01

    Data mining is defined as the automatic extraction of useful, often previously unknown information from large databases or data sets. It has become a major part of modern life and is extensively used in industry, banking, government, and health care delivery. The process requires a data collection system that integrates input from multiple sources containing critical elements that define outcomes of interest. Appropriately designed data mining processes identify and adjust for confounding variables. The statistical modeling used to manipulate accumulated data may involve any number of techniques. As predicted results are periodically analyzed against those observed, the model is consistently refined to optimize precision and accuracy. Whether applying integrated sources of clinical data to inferential probabilistic prediction of risk of ventilator-associated pneumonia or population surveillance for signs of bioterrorism, it is essential that modern health care providers have at least a rudimentary understanding of what the concept means, how it basically works, and what it means to current and future health care.

  13. Case definition for Ebola and Marburg haemorrhagic fevers: a complex challenge for epidemiologists and clinicians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pittalis, Silvia; Fusco, Francesco Maria; Lanini, Simone; Nisii, Carla; Puro, Vincenzo; Lauria, Francesco Nicola; Ippolito, Giuseppe

    2009-10-01

    Viral haemorrhagic fevers (VHFs) represent a challenge for public health because of their epidemic potential, and their possible use as bioterrorism agents poses particular concern. In 1999 the World Health Organization (WHO) proposed a case definition for VHFs, subsequently adopted by other international institutions with the aim of early detection of initial cases/outbreaks in western countries. We applied this case definition to reports of Ebola and Marburg virus infections to estimate its sensitivity to detect cases of the disease. We analyzed clinical descriptions of 795 reported cases of Ebola haemorrhagic fever: only 58.5% of patients met the proposed case definition. A similar figure was obtained reviewing 169 cases of Marburg diseases, of which only 64.5% were in accordance with the case definition. In conclusion, the WHO case definition for hemorrhagic fevers is too specific and has poor sensitivity both for case finding during Ebola or Marburg outbreaks, and for early detection of suspected cases in western countries. It can lead to a hazardous number of false negatives and its use should be discouraged for early detection of cases.

  14. Proteomic and systems biology analysis of the monocyte response to Coxiella burnetii infection.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matt Shipman

    Full Text Available Coxiella burnetii is an obligate intracellular bacterial pathogen and the causative agent of Q fever. Chronic Q fever can produce debilitating fatigue and C. burnetii is considered a significant bioterror threat. C. burnetii occupies the monocyte phagolysosome and although prior work has explained features of the host-pathogen interaction, many aspects are still poorly understood. We have conducted a proteomic investigation of human Monomac I cells infected with the Nine Mile Phase II strain of C. burnetii and used the results as a framework for a systems biology model of the host response. Our principal methodology was multiplex differential 2D gel electrophoresis using ZDyes, a new generation of covalently linked fluorescent protein detection dyes under development at Montana State University. The 2D gel analysis facilitated the detection of changes in posttranslational modifications on intact proteins in response to infection. The systems model created from our data a framework for the design of experiments to seek a deeper understanding of the host-pathogen interactions.

  15. Ebolavirus and Haemorrhagic Syndrome

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gerald A. Matua

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available The Ebola virus is a highly virulent, single-stranded ribonucleic acid virus which affects both humans and apes and has fast become one of the world’s most feared pathogens. The virus induces acute fever and death, with haemorrhagic syndrome occurring in up to 90% of patients. The known species within the genus Ebolavirus are Bundibugyo, Sudan, Zaïre, Reston and Taï Forest. Although endemic in Africa, Ebola has caused worldwide anxiety due to media hype and concerns about its international spread, including through bioterrorism. The high fatality rate is attributed to unavailability of a standard treatment regimen or vaccine. The disease is frightening since it is characterised by rapid immune suppression and systemic inflammatory response, causing multi-organ and system failure, shock and often death. Currently, disease management is largely supportive, with containment efforts geared towards mitigating the spread of the virus. This review describes the classification, morphology, infective process, natural ecology, transmission, epidemic patterns, diagnosis, clinical features and immunology of Ebola, including management and epidemic containment strategies.

  16. Rapid identification and typing of Yersinia pestis and other Yersinia species by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight (MALDI-TOF) mass spectrometry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ayyadurai, Saravanan; Flaudrops, Christophe; Raoult, Didier; Drancourt, Michel

    2010-11-12

    Accurate identification is necessary to discriminate harmless environmental Yersinia species from the food-borne pathogens Yersinia enterocolitica and Yersinia pseudotuberculosis and from the group A bioterrorism plague agent Yersinia pestis. In order to circumvent the limitations of current phenotypic and PCR-based identification methods, we aimed to assess the usefulness of matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight (MALDI-TOF) protein profiling for accurate and rapid identification of Yersinia species. As a first step, we built a database of 39 different Yersinia strains representing 12 different Yersinia species, including 13 Y. pestis isolates representative of the Antiqua, Medievalis and Orientalis biotypes. The organisms were deposited on the MALDI-TOF plate after appropriate ethanol-based inactivation, and a protein profile was obtained within 6 minutes for each of the Yersinia species. When compared with a 3,025-profile database, every Yersinia species yielded a unique protein profile and was unambiguously identified. In the second step of analysis, environmental and clinical isolates of Y. pestis (n = 2) and Y. enterocolitica (n = 11) were compared to the database and correctly identified. In particular, Y. pestis was unambiguously identified at the species level, and MALDI-TOF was able to successfully differentiate the three biotypes. These data indicate that MALDI-TOF can be used as a rapid and accurate first-line method for the identification of Yersinia isolates.

  17. Comparative efficacies of candidate antibiotics against Yersinia pestis in an in vitro pharmacodynamic model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Louie, Arnold; Vanscoy, Brian; Liu, Weiguo; Kulawy, Robert; Brown, David; Heine, Henry S; Drusano, George L

    2011-06-01

    Yersinia pestis, the bacterium that causes plague, is a potential agent of bioterrorism. Streptomycin is the "gold standard" for the treatment of plague infections in humans, but the drug is not available in many countries, and resistance to this antibiotic occurs naturally and has been generated in the laboratory. Other antibiotics have been shown to be active against Y. pestis in vitro and in vivo. However, the relative efficacies of clinically prescribed regimens of these antibiotics with streptomycin and with each other for the killing of Yersinia pestis are unknown. The efficacies of simulated pharmacokinetic profiles for human 10-day clinical regimens of ampicillin, meropenem, moxifloxacin, ciprofloxacin, and gentamicin were compared with the gold standard, streptomycin, for killing of Yersinia pestis in an in vitro pharmacodynamic model. Resistance amplification with therapy was also assessed. Streptomycin killed the microbe in one trial but failed due to resistance amplification in the second trial. In two trials, the other antibiotics consistently reduced the bacterial densities within the pharmacodynamic systems from 10⁸ CFU/ml to undetectable levels (pestis and deserve further evaluation.

  18. Structural insights into RipC, a putative citrate lyase β subunit from a Yersinia pestis virulence operon

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Torres, Rodrigo; Chim, Nicholas; Sankaran, Banumathi; Pujol, Céline; Bliska, James B.; Goulding, Celia W.

    2011-01-01

    Comparison of the 2.45 Å resolution crystal structure of homotrimeric RipC, a putative citrate lyase β subunit from Y. pestis, with structural homologs reveals conserved RipC residues that are implicated in CoA binding. Yersinia pestis remains a threat, with outbreaks of plague occurring in rural areas and its emergence as a weapon of bioterrorism; thus, an improved understanding of its various pathogenicity pathways is warranted. The rip (required for intracellular proliferation) virulence operon is required for Y. pestis survival in interferon-γ-treated macrophages and has been implicated in lowering macrophage-produced nitric oxide levels. RipC, one of three gene products from the rip operon, is annotated as a citrate lyase β subunit. Furthermore, the Y. pestis genome lacks genes that encode citrate lyase α and γ subunits, suggesting a unique functional role of RipC in the Y. pestisrip-mediated survival pathway. Here, the 2.45 Å resolution crystal structure of RipC revealed a homotrimer in which each monomer consists of a (β/α) 8 TIM-barrel fold. Furthermore, the trimeric state was confirmed in solution by size-exclusion chromatography. Through sequence and structure comparisons with homologous proteins, it is proposed that RipC is a putative CoA- or CoA-derivative binding protein

  19. Recommended Immunological Strategies to Screen for Botulinum Neurotoxin-Containing Samples

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stéphanie Simon

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs cause the life-threatening neurological illness botulism in humans and animals and are divided into seven serotypes (BoNT/A–G, of which serotypes A, B, E, and F cause the disease in humans. BoNTs are classified as “category A” bioterrorism threat agents and are relevant in the context of the Biological Weapons Convention. An international proficiency test (PT was conducted to evaluate detection, quantification and discrimination capabilities of 23 expert laboratories from the health, food and security areas. Here we describe three immunological strategies that proved to be successful for the detection and quantification of BoNT/A, B, and E considering the restricted sample volume (1 mL distributed. To analyze the samples qualitatively and quantitatively, the first strategy was based on sensitive immunoenzymatic and immunochromatographic assays for fast qualitative and quantitative analyses. In the second approach, a bead-based suspension array was used for screening followed by conventional ELISA for quantification. In the third approach, an ELISA plate format assay was used for serotype specific immunodetection of BoNT-cleaved substrates, detecting the activity of the light chain, rather than the toxin protein. The results provide guidance for further steps in quality assurance and highlight problems to address in the future.

  20. Recommended Immunological Strategies to Screen for Botulinum Neurotoxin-Containing Samples.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simon, Stéphanie; Fiebig, Uwe; Liu, Yvonne; Tierney, Rob; Dano, Julie; Worbs, Sylvia; Endermann, Tanja; Nevers, Marie-Claire; Volland, Hervé; Sesardic, Dorothea; Dorner, Martin B

    2015-11-26

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) cause the life-threatening neurological illness botulism in humans and animals and are divided into seven serotypes (BoNT/A-G), of which serotypes A, B, E, and F cause the disease in humans. BoNTs are classified as "category A" bioterrorism threat agents and are relevant in the context of the Biological Weapons Convention. An international proficiency test (PT) was conducted to evaluate detection, quantification and discrimination capabilities of 23 expert laboratories from the health, food and security areas. Here we describe three immunological strategies that proved to be successful for the detection and quantification of BoNT/A, B, and E considering the restricted sample volume (1 mL) distributed. To analyze the samples qualitatively and quantitatively, the first strategy was based on sensitive immunoenzymatic and immunochromatographic assays for fast qualitative and quantitative analyses. In the second approach, a bead-based suspension array was used for screening followed by conventional ELISA for quantification. In the third approach, an ELISA plate format assay was used for serotype specific immunodetection of BoNT-cleaved substrates, detecting the activity of the light chain, rather than the toxin protein. The results provide guidance for further steps in quality assurance and highlight problems to address in the future.

  1. In vitro susceptibilities of Brucella melitensis isolates to eleven antibiotics

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    Loukaides Feidias

    2006-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Brucellosis is an endemic disease present in many countries worldwide, but it is rare in Europe and North America. Nevertheless brucella is included in the bacteria potentially used for bioterrorism. The aim of this study was the investigation of the antibiotic susceptibility profile of brucella isolates from areas of the eastern Mediterranean where it has been endemic. Methods The susceptibilities of 74 Brucella melitensis isolates derived from clinical samples (57 and animal products (17 were tested in vitro. The strains originate from Crete (59, Cyprus (10, and Syria (5. MICs of tetracycline, rifampicin, streptomycin, gentamicin, norfloxacin, ciprofloxacin, levofloxacin, trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole, ampicillin, amoxicillin/clavulanic acid, and erythromycin were detected by E-test method. The NCCLS criteria for slow growing bacteria were considered to interpret the results. Results All the isolates were susceptible to tetracycline, streptomycin, gentamicin, ciprofloxacin, norfloxacin, and levofloxacin. Two isolates presented reduced susceptibility to rifampicin (MIC value: 1.5 mg/l and eight to SXT (MIC values: 0.75–1.5 mg/l. Erythromycin had the highest (4 mg/l MIC90value and both norfloxacin and erythromycin the highest (1.5 mg/l MIC50 value. Conclusion Brucella isolates remain susceptible in vitro to most antibiotics used for treatment of brucellosis. The establishment of a standardized antibiotic susceptibility method for Brucella spp would be useful for resistance determination in these bacteria and possible evaluation of bioterorism risks.

  2. Bio-diversity: an effective safety net against environmental pollution

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Swaminathan, M.S.

    2003-01-01

    Biodiversity is the feedstock for the biotechnology industry. Hence, the conservation, enhancement and sustainable and equitable use of biodiversity should be accorded high priority in all national environment protection programmes. Lichens serve as useful indicators of environmental health. Similarly, several blue green algae help to sequester salt from water. There is need for the more widespread use of such biomonitoring and bioremediation agents. Bioprospecting research designed to identify novel metabolites must be rooted in the principle of equity in sharing benefits with the holders of traditional knowledge. There is need for greater vigil against alien invasive species, since with growing world trade in food grains and other agricultural commodities, there is an increasing possibility of introducing new pests, weeds and harmful micro-organisms. Finally, biological scientists should place emphasis on their ethical responsibility for the consequences of their research, since otherwise bioterrorism could become a major threat to human security. - The age of biological diversity serves as an impetus for the future of biotechnology

  3. N-linked glycosylation of SV2 is required for binding and uptake of botulinum neurotoxin A

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yao, Guorui; Zhang, Sicai; Mahrhold, Stefan; Lam, Kwok-ho; Stern, Daniel; Bagramyan, Karine; Perry, Kay; Kalkum, Markus; Rummel, Andreas; Dong, Min; Jin, Rongsheng

    2016-01-01

    Botulinum neurotoxin serotype A1 (BoNT/A1) is one of the most dangerous potential bioterrorism agents, and exerts its action by invading motoneurons. It is also a licensed drug widely used for medical and cosmetic applications. Here we report a 2.0 Å resolution crystal structure of BoNT/A1 receptor-binding domain in complex with its neuronal receptor, the glycosylated human SV2C. We find that the neuronal tropism of BoNT/A1 requires recognition of both the peptide moiety and an N-linked glycan on SV2. This N-glycan—conserved in all SV2 isoforms across vertebrates—is essential for BoNT/A1 binding to neurons and its potent neurotoxicity. The glycan-binding interface on SV2 is targeted by a human BoNT/A1-neutralizing antibody currently licensed as an anti-botulism drug. Our studies reveal a new paradigm of host-pathogen interactions, in which pathogens exploit conserved host post-translational modifications to achieve highly specific receptor binding while also tolerating genetic changes across multiple isoforms of receptors. PMID:27294781

  4. On the translocation of botulinum and tetanus neurotoxins across the membrane of acidic intracellular compartments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pirazzini, Marco; Azarnia Tehran, Domenico; Leka, Oneda; Zanetti, Giulia; Rossetto, Ornella; Montecucco, Cesare

    2016-03-01

    Tetanus and botulinum neurotoxins are produced by anaerobic bacteria of the genus Clostridium and are the most poisonous toxins known, with 50% mouse lethal dose comprised within the range of 0.1-few nanograms per Kg, depending on the individual toxin. Botulinum neurotoxins are similarly toxic to humans and can therefore be considered for potential use in bioterrorism. At the same time, their neurospecificity and reversibility of action make them excellent therapeutics for a growing and heterogeneous number of human diseases that are characterized by a hyperactivity of peripheral nerve terminals. The complete crystallographic structure is available for some botulinum toxins, and reveals that they consist of four domains functionally related to the four steps of their mechanism of neuron intoxication: 1) binding to specific receptors of the presynaptic membrane; 2) internalization via endocytic vesicles; 3) translocation across the membrane of endocytic vesicles into the neuronal cytosol; 4) catalytic activity of the enzymatic moiety directed towards the SNARE proteins. Despite the many advances in understanding the structure-mechanism relationship of tetanus and botulinum neurotoxins, the molecular events involved in the translocation step have been only partially elucidated. Here we will review recent advances that have provided relevant insights on the process and discuss possible models that can be experimentally tested. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Pore-Forming Toxins edited by Mauro Dalla Serra and Franco Gambale. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  5. Neutralization of botulinum neurotoxin by a human monoclonal antibody specific for the catalytic light chain.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sharad P Adekar

    2008-08-01

    Full Text Available Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNT are a family of category A select bioterror agents and the most potent biological toxins known. Cloned antibody therapeutics hold considerable promise as BoNT therapeutics, but the therapeutic utility of antibodies that bind the BoNT light chain domain (LC, a metalloprotease that functions in the cytosol of cholinergic neurons, has not been thoroughly explored.We used an optimized hybridoma method to clone a fully human antibody specific for the LC of serotype A BoNT (BoNT/A. The 4LCA antibody demonstrated potent in vivo neutralization when administered alone and collaborated with an antibody specific for the HC. In Neuro-2a neuroblastoma cells, the 4LCA antibody prevented the cleavage of the BoNT/A proteolytic target, SNAP-25. Unlike an antibody specific for the HC, the 4LCA antibody did not block entry of BoNT/A into cultured cells. Instead, it was taken up into synaptic vesicles along with BoNT/A. The 4LCA antibody also directly inhibited BoNT/A catalytic activity in vitro.An antibody specific for the BoNT/A LC can potently inhibit BoNT/A in vivo and in vitro, using mechanisms not previously associated with BoNT-neutralizing antibodies. Antibodies specific for BoNT LC may be valuable components of an antibody antidote for BoNT exposure.

  6. The potential of plants as a system for the development and production of human biologics [version 1; referees: 3 approved

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qiang Chen

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available The growing promise of plant-made biologics is highlighted by the success story of ZMapp™ as a potentially life-saving drug during the Ebola outbreak of 2014-2016. Current plant expression platforms offer features beyond the traditional advantages of low cost, high scalability, increased safety, and eukaryotic protein modification. Novel transient expression vectors have been developed that allow the production of vaccines and therapeutics at unprecedented speed to control potential pandemics or bioterrorism attacks. Plant-host engineering provides a method for producing proteins with unique and uniform mammalian post-translational modifications, providing opportunities to develop biologics with increased efficacy relative to their mammalian cell-produced counterparts. Recent demonstrations that plant-made proteins can function as biocontrol agents of foodborne pathogens further exemplify the potential utility of plant-based protein production. However, resolving the technical and regulatory challenges of commercial-scale production, garnering acceptance from large pharmaceutical companies, and obtaining U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval for several major classes of biologics are essential steps to fulfilling the untapped potential of this technology.

  7. Development of a high-speed real-time PCR system for rapid and precise nucleotide recognition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Terazono, Hideyuki; Takei, Hiroyuki; Hattori, Akihiro; Yasuda, Kenji

    2010-04-01

    Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is a common method used to create copies of a specific target region of a DNA sequence and to produce large quantities of DNA. A few DNA molecules, which act as templates, are rapidly amplified by PCR into many billions of copies. PCR is a key technology in genome-based biological analysis, revolutionizing many life science fields such as medical diagnostics, food safety monitoring, and countermeasures against bioterrorism. Thus, many applications have been developed with the thermal cycling. For these PCR applications, one of the most important key factors is reduction in the data acquisition time. To reduce the acquisition time, it is necessary to decrease the temperature transition time between the high and low ends as much as possible. We have developed a novel rapid real-time PCR system based on rapid exchange of media maintained at different temperatures. This system consists of two thermal reservoirs and a reaction chamber for PCR observation. The temperature transition was achieved within 0.3 sec, and good thermal stability was achieved during thermal cycling with rapid exchange of circulating media. This system allows rigorous optimization of the temperatures required for each stage of the PCR processes. Resulting amplicons were confirmed by electrophoresis. Using the system, rapid DNA amplification was accomplished within 3.5 min, including initial heating and complete 50 PCR cycles. It clearly shows that the device could allow us faster temperature switching than the conventional conduction-based heating systems based on Peltier heating/cooling.

  8. Navigating the storm: report and recommendations from the Atlantic Storm exercise.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Bradley T; Inglesby, Thomas V; Brimmer, Esther; Borio, Luciana; Franco, Crystal; Gronvall, Gigi Kwik; Kramer, Bradley; Maldin, Beth; Nuzzo, Jennifer B; Schuler, Ari; Stern, Scott; Henderson, Donald A; Larsen, Randall J; Hamilton, Daniel S; O'Toole, Tara

    2005-01-01

    Atlantic Storm was a tabletop exercise simulating a series of bioterrorism attacks on the transatlantic community. The exercise occurred on January 14, 2005, in Washington, DC, and was organized and convened by the Center for Biosecurity of UPMC, the Center for Transatlantic Relations of Johns Hopkins University, and the Transatlantic Biosecurity Network. Atlantic Storm portrayed a summit meeting of presidents, prime ministers, and other international leaders from both sides of the Atlantic Ocean in which they responded to a campaign of bioterrorist attacks in several countries. The summit principals, who were all current or former senior government leaders, were challenged to address issues such as attaining situational awareness in the wake of a bioattack, coping with scarcity of critical medical resources such as vaccine, deciding how to manage the movement of people across borders, and communicating with their publics. Atlantic Storm illustrated that much might be done in advance to minimize the illness and death, as well as the social, economic, and political disruption, that could be caused by an international epidemic, be it natural or the result of a bioterrorist attack. These lessons are especially timely given the growing concerns over the possibility of an avian influenza pandemic that would require an international response. However, international leaders cannot create the necessary response systems in the midst of a crisis. Medical, public health, and diplomatic response systems and critical medical resources (e.g., medicines and vaccines) must be in place before a bioattack occurs or a pandemic emerges.

  9. An electrochemical lipopolysaccharide sensor based on an immobilized Toll-Like Receptor-4.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mayall, R M; Renaud-Young, M; Chan, N W C; Birss, V I

    2017-01-15

    Infections affect millions of people each year and yet methods to ascertain their cause can take more than 24h to be effective. This delay between the presentation with symptoms and the ability to make an informed decision about treatment can have adverse consequences, including death in severe cases. Additionally, pathogen identification is a concern for public safety amid the growing threat of bioterrorism. Developing a detection system based on the immune system offers the advantage of broad specificity, while still remaining pertinent to human health. In this work, human Toll-Like Receptor-4 (TLR-4), a protein responsible for detecting lipopolysaccharide (LPS) of Gram-negative bacteria, was immobilized on both a large area and micro gold electrode via the tethering interaction of a modified Self-Assembled Monolayer (mSAM). In response to varying concentrations of its target, the protein-electrode combination showed a logarithmically proportional increased resistance to charge transfer from a solution-based redox probe, due to the formation of TLR-4 protein dimers. It also demonstrated excellent sensitivity to trace levels of Gram-negative bacteria, while remaining insensitive to both Gram-positive and viral challenges. Further characterization of our mSAM revealed that maintaining the appropriate receptor orientation on the electrode surface, mimicking TLR-4's role in a cellular context, was essential in producing a responsive sensor. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  10. Progress and novel strategies in vaccine development and treatment of anthrax.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chitlaru, Theodor; Altboum, Zeev; Reuveny, Shaul; Shafferman, Avigdor

    2011-01-01

    The lethal anthrax disease is caused by spores of the gram-positive Bacillus anthracis, a member of the cereus group of bacilli. Although the disease is very rare in the Western world, development of anthrax countermeasures gains increasing attention due to the potential use of B. anthracis spores as a bio-terror weapon. Protective antigen (PA), the non-toxic subunit of the bacterial secreted exotoxin, fulfills the role of recognizing a specific receptor and mediating the entry of the toxin into the host target cells. PA elicits a protective immune response and represents the basis for all current anthrax vaccines. Anti-PA neutralizing antibodies are useful correlates for protection and for vaccine efficacy evaluation. Post exposure anti-toxemic and anti-bacteremic prophylactic treatment of anthrax requires prolonged antibiotic administration. Shorter efficient postexposure treatments may require active or passive immunization, in addition to antibiotics. Although anthrax is acknowledged as a toxinogenic disease, additional factors, other than the bacterial toxin, may be involved in the virulence of B. anthracis and may be needed for the long-lasting protection conferred by PA immunization. The search for such novel factors is the focus of several high throughput genomic and proteomic studies that are already leading to identification of novel targets for therapeutics, for vaccine candidates, as well as biomarkers for detection and diagnosis. © 2010 John Wiley & Sons A/S.

  11. The Airborne Metagenome in an Indoor Urban Environment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tringe, Susannah; Zhang, Tao; Liu, Xuguo; Yu, Yiting; Lee, Wah Heng; Yap, Jennifer; Yao, Fei; Suan, Sim Tiow; Ing, Seah Keng; Haynes, Matthew; Rohwer, Forest; Wei, Chia Lin; Tan, Patrick; Bristow, James; Rubin, Edward M.; Ruan, Yijun

    2008-02-12

    The indoor atmosphere is an ecological unit that impacts on public health. To investigate the composition of organisms in this space, we applied culture-independent approaches to microbes harvested from the air of two densely populated urban buildings, from which we analyzed 80 megabases genomic DNA sequence and 6000 16S rDNA clones. The air microbiota is primarily bacteria, including potential opportunistic pathogens commonly isolated from human-inhabited environments such as hospitals, but none of the data contain matches to virulent pathogens or bioterror agents. Comparison of air samples with each other and nearby environments suggested that the indoor air microbes are not random transients from surrounding outdoor environments, but rather originate from indoor niches. Sequence annotation by gene function revealed specific adaptive capabilities enriched in the air environment, including genes potentially involved in resistance to desiccation and oxidative damage. This baseline index of air microbiota will be valuable for improving designs of surveillance for natural or man-made release of virulent pathogens.

  12. [Globalization and infectious diseases].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mirski, Tomasz; Bartoszcze, Michał; Bielawska-Drózd, Agata

    2011-01-01

    Globalization is a phenomenon characteristic of present times. It can be considered in various aspects: economic, environmental changes, demographic changes, as well as the development of new technologies. All these aspects of globalization have a definite influence on the emergence and spread of infectious diseases. Economic aspects ofglobalization are mainly the trade development, including food trade, which has an impact on the spread of food-borne diseases. The environmental changes caused by intensive development of industry, as a result of globalization, which in turn affects human health. The demographic changes are mainly people migration between countries and rural and urban areas, which essentially favors the global spread of many infectious diseases. While technological advances prevents the spread of infections, for example through better access to information, it may also increase the risk, for example through to create opportunities to travel into more world regions, including the endemic regions for various diseases. The phenomenon ofglobalization is also closely associated with the threat of terrorism, including bioterrorism. It forces the governments of many countries to develop effective programs to protect and fight against this threat.

  13. High-throughput screening of a diversity collection using biodefense category A and B priority pathogens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barrow, Esther W; Clinkenbeard, Patricia A; Duncan-Decocq, Rebecca A; Perteet, Rachel F; Hill, Kimberly D; Bourne, Philip C; Valderas, Michelle W; Bourne, Christina R; Clarkson, Nicole L; Clinkenbeard, Kenneth D; Barrow, William W

    2012-08-01

    One of the objectives of the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) Biodefense Program is to identify or develop broad-spectrum antimicrobials for use against bioterrorism pathogens and emerging infectious agents. As a part of that program, our institution has screened the 10 000-compound MyriaScreen Diversity Collection of high-purity druglike compounds against three NIAID category A and one category B priority pathogens in an effort to identify potential compound classes for further drug development. The effective use of a Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute-based high-throughput screening (HTS) 96-well-based format allowed for the identification of 49 compounds that had in vitro activity against all four pathogens with minimum inhibitory concentration values of ≤16 µg/mL. Adaptation of the HTS process was necessary to conduct the work in higher-level containment, in this case, biosafety level 3. Examination of chemical scaffolds shared by some of the 49 compounds and assessment of available chemical databases indicates that several may represent broad-spectrum antimicrobials whose activity is based on novel mechanisms of action.

  14. An Epidemiological Model of Rift Valley Fever with Spatial Dynamics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tianchan Niu

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available As a category A agent in the Center for Disease Control bioterrorism list, Rift Valley fever (RVF is considered a major threat to the United States (USA. Should the pathogen be intentionally or unintentionally introduced to the continental USA, there is tremendous potential for economic damages due to loss of livestock, trade restrictions, and subsequent food supply chain disruptions. We have incorporated the effects of space into a mathematical model of RVF in order to study the dynamics of the pathogen spread as affected by the movement of humans, livestock, and mosquitoes. The model accounts for the horizontal transmission of Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV between two mosquito and one livestock species, and mother-to-offspring transmission of virus in one of the mosquito species. Space effects are introduced by dividing geographic space into smaller patches and considering the patch-to-patch movement of species. For each patch, a system of ordinary differential equations models fractions of populations susceptible to, incubating, infectious with, or immune to RVFV. The main contribution of this work is a methodology for analyzing the likelihood of pathogen establishment should an introduction occur into an area devoid of RVF. Examples are provided for general and specific cases to illustrate the methodology.

  15. Comparison: Flu prescription sales data from a retail pharmacy in the US with Google Flu trends and US ILINet (CDC data as flu activity indicator.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Avinash Patwardhan

    Full Text Available The potential threat of bioterrorism along with the emergence of new or existing drug resistant strains of influenza virus, added to expanded global travel, have increased vulnerability to epidemics or pandemics and their aftermath. The same factors have also precipitated urgency for having better, faster, sensitive, and reliable syndromic surveillance systems. Prescription sales data can provide surrogate information about the development of infectious diseases and therefore serve as a useful tool in syndromic surveillance. This study compared prescription sales data from a large drug retailing pharmacy chain in the United States with Google Flu trends surveillance system data as a flu activity indicator. It was found that the two were highly correlated. The correlation coefficient (Pearson 'r' for five years' aggregate data (2007-2011 was 0.92 (95% CI, 0.90-0.94. The correlation coefficients for each of the five years between 2007 and 2011 were 0.85, 0.92, 0.91, 0.88, and 0.87 respectively. Additionally, prescription sales data from the same large drug retailing pharmacy chain in the United States were also compared with US Outpatient Influenza-like Illness Surveillance Network (ILINet data for 2007 by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC. The correlation coefficient (Pearson 'r' was 0.97 (95% CI, 0.95-0.98.

  16. Evaluation of a model training program for respiratory-protection preparedness at local health departments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alfano-Sobsey, Edie; Kennedy, Bobby; Beck, Frank; Combs, Brian; Kady, Wendy; Ramsey, Steven; Stockweather, Allison; Service, Will

    2006-04-01

    Respiratory-protection programs have had limited application in local health departments and have mostly focused on protecting employees against exposure to tuberculosis (TB). The need to provide the public health workforce with effective respiratory protection has, however, been underscored by recent concerns about emerging infectious diseases, bioterrorism attacks, drug-resistant microbes, and environmental exposures to microbial allergens (as in recent hurricane flood waters). Furthermore, OSHA has revoked the TB standard traditionally followed by local health departments, replacing it with a more stringent regulation. The additional OSHA requirements may place increased burdens on health departments with limited resources and time. For these reasons, the North Carolina Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response and industrial hygienists of the Public Health Regional Surveillance Teams have developed a training program to facilitate implementation of respiratory protection programs at local health departments. To date, more than 1,400 North Carolina health department employees have been properly fit-tested for respirator use and have received training in all aspects of respiratory protection. This article gives an overview of the development and evaluation of the program. The training approach presented here can serve as a model that other health departments and organizations can use in implementing similar respiratory-protection programs.

  17. Plague: A Millenary Infectious Disease Reemerging in the XXI Century

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    A. J. dos Santos Grácio

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Plague, in the Middle Ages known as Black Death, continues to occur at permanent foci in many countries, in Africa, Asia, South America, and even the USA. During the last years outbreaks were reported from at least 3 geographical areas, in all cases after tens of years without reported cases. The recent human plague outbreaks in Libya and Algeria suggest that climatic and other environmental changes in Northern Africa may be favourable for Y. pestis epidemiologic cycle. If so, other Northern Africa countries with plague foci also may be at risk for outbreaks in the near future. It is important to remember that the danger of plague reoccurrence is not limited to the known natural foci, for example, those of Algeria, Angola, and Madagascar. In a general context, it is important that governments know the dangerous impact that this disease may have and that the health and medical community be familiar with the epidemiology, symptoms, treatment, and control of plague, so an appropriated and timely response can be delivered should the worst case happen. Plague can be used as a potential agent of bioterrorism. We have concluded that plague is without a doubt a reemerging infectious disease.

  18. Francisella tularensis: No Evidence for Transovarial Transmission in the Tularemia Tick Vectors Dermacentor reticulatus and Ixodes ricinus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Genchi, Marco; Prati, Paola; Vicari, Nadia; Manfredini, Andrea; Sacchi, Luciano; Clementi, Emanuela; Bandi, Claudio; Epis, Sara; Fabbi, Massimo

    2015-01-01

    Background Tularemia is a zoonosis caused by the Francisella tularensis, a highly infectious Gram-negative coccobacillus. Due to easy dissemination, multiple routes of infection, high environmental contamination and morbidity and mortality rates, Francisella is considered a potential bioterrorism threat and classified as a category A select agent by the CDC. Tick bites are among the most prevalent modes of transmission, and ticks have been indicated as a possible reservoir, although their reservoir competence has yet to be defined. Tick-borne transmission of F. tularensis was recognized in 1923, and transstadial transmission has been demonstrated in several tick species. Studies on transovarial transmission, however, have reported conflicting results. Objective The aim of this study was to evaluate the role of ticks as reservoirs for Francisella, assessing the transovarial transmission of F. tularensis subsp. holarctica in ticks, using experimentally-infected females of Dermacentor reticulatus and Ixodes ricinus. Results Transmission electron microscopy and fluorescence in situ hybridization showed F. tularensis within oocytes. However, cultures and bioassays of eggs and larvae were negative; in addition, microscopy techniques revealed bacterial degeneration/death in the oocytes. Conclusions These results suggest that bacterial death might occur in oocytes, preventing the transovarial transmission of Francisella. We can speculate that Francisella does not have a defined reservoir, but that rather various biological niches (e.g. ticks, rodents), that allow the bacterium to persist in the environment. Our results, suggesting that ticks are not competent for the bacterium vertical transmission, are congruent with this view. PMID:26244842

  19. Organs of BALB/c mice can be injured in course of tularemia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pavlis, Oto; Kusakova, Eva; Novotny, Ladislav; Pohanka, Miroslav

    2014-12-01

    Francisella tularensis is a biological agent exploitable for bioterrorism and biological warfare purposes due to serious pathogenic progression and easy dissemination. Despite intensive research in the past, some adverse consequences remain unclear. One consequence of this pathogen is oxidative stress. The aim of this study was to undertake ex vivo assays for monitoring the disease in mice and increase our knowledge of the oxidative stress induced by tularemia. The mouse BALB/c model was chosen and the animals were infected by a dose 10(4) CFU of F. tularensis. After five days, the animals were euthanized. Blood immediately processed in plasma, spleen and liver were sampled from the cadavers. Oxidative stress markers, cytokines and histopathological were undertaken. There was a significant link between oxidative stress and tularemia. Particularly elevated levels of malondialdehyde and decreased levels of low molecular weight antioxidants were found in the liver and spleen of tularemia-infected animals. The histopathological findings correlated well with the oxidative stress markers. The liver and spleen were proven to be significantly at risk from the disease and an association between stress and neutrophils in the affected organs was found. The histopathology excluded risk to other organs such as the kidney and or heart. Oxidative stress plays a significant role in tularemia infection in mice and this was confirmed by the histology.

  20. Francisella tularensis: No Evidence for Transovarial Transmission in the Tularemia Tick Vectors Dermacentor reticulatus and Ixodes ricinus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marco Genchi

    Full Text Available Tularemia is a zoonosis caused by the Francisella tularensis, a highly infectious Gram-negative coccobacillus. Due to easy dissemination, multiple routes of infection, high environmental contamination and morbidity and mortality rates, Francisella is considered a potential bioterrorism threat and classified as a category A select agent by the CDC. Tick bites are among the most prevalent modes of transmission, and ticks have been indicated as a possible reservoir, although their reservoir competence has yet to be defined. Tick-borne transmission of F. tularensis was recognized in 1923, and transstadial transmission has been demonstrated in several tick species. Studies on transovarial transmission, however, have reported conflicting results.The aim of this study was to evaluate the role of ticks as reservoirs for Francisella, assessing the transovarial transmission of F. tularensis subsp. holarctica in ticks, using experimentally-infected females of Dermacentor reticulatus and Ixodes ricinus.Transmission electron microscopy and fluorescence in situ hybridization showed F. tularensis within oocytes. However, cultures and bioassays of eggs and larvae were negative; in addition, microscopy techniques revealed bacterial degeneration/death in the oocytes.These results suggest that bacterial death might occur in oocytes, preventing the transovarial transmission of Francisella. We can speculate that Francisella does not have a defined reservoir, but that rather various biological niches (e.g. ticks, rodents, that allow the bacterium to persist in the environment. Our results, suggesting that ticks are not competent for the bacterium vertical transmission, are congruent with this view.

  1. Developing models for patient flow and daily surge capacity research.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asplin, Brent R; Flottemesch, Thomas J; Gordon, Bradley D

    2006-11-01

    Between 1993 and 2003, visits to U.S. emergency departments (EDs) increased by 26%, to a total of 114 million visits annually. At the same time, the number of U.S. EDs decreased by more than 400, and almost 200,000 inpatient hospital beds were taken out of service. In this context, the adequacy of daily surge capacity within the system is clearly an important issue. However, the research agenda on surge capacity thus far has focused primarily on large-scale disasters, such as pandemic influenza or a serious bioterrorism event. The concept of daily surge capacity and its relationship to the broader research agenda on patient flow is a relatively new area of investigation. In this article, the authors begin by describing the overlap between the research agendas on daily surge capacity and patient flow. Next, they propose two models that have potential applications for both daily surge capacity and hospitalwide patient-flow research. Finally, they identify potential research questions that are based on applications of the proposed research models.

  2. Ethical models underpinning responses to threats to public health: a comparison of approaches to communicable disease control in Europe.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gainotti, Sabina; Moran, Nicola; Petrini, Carlo; Shickle, Darren

    2008-11-01

    Increases in international travel and migratory flows have enabled infectious diseases to emerge and spread more rapidly than ever before. Hence, it is increasingly easy for local infectious diseases to become global infectious diseases (GIDs). National governments must be able to react quickly and effectively to GIDs, whether naturally occurring or intentionally instigated by bioterrorism. According to the World Health Organisation, global partnerships are necessary to gather the most up-to-date information and to mobilize resources to tackle GIDs when necessary. Communicable disease control also depends upon national public health laws and policies. The containment of an infectious disease typically involves detection, notification, quarantine and isolation of actual or suspected cases; the protection and monitoring of those not infected; and possibly even treatment. Some measures are clearly contentious and raise conflicts between individual and societal interests. In Europe national policies against infectious diseases are very heterogeneous. Some countries have a more communitarian approach to public health ethics, in which the interests of individual and society are more closely intertwined and interdependent, while others take a more liberal approach and give priority to individual freedoms in communicable disease control. This paper provides an overview of the different policies around communicable disease control that exist across a select number of countries across Europe. It then proposes ethical arguments to be considered in the making of public health laws, mostly concerning their effectiveness for public health protection.

  3. A graphene oxide based fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) biosensor for ultrasensitive detection of botulinum neurotoxin A (BoNT/A) enzymatic activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shi, Jingyu; Guo, Jiubiao; Bai, Gongxun; Chan, Chunyu; Liu, Xuan; Ye, Weiwei; Hao, Jianhua; Chen, Sheng; Yang, Mo

    2015-03-15

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) are among the most potent toxic bacterial proteins for humans, which make them potential agents for bioterrorism. Therefore, an ultrasensitive detection of BoNTs and their active states is in great need as field-deployable systems for anti-terrorism applications. We report the construction of a novel graphene oxide (GO)-peptide based fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) biosensor for ultrasensitive detection of the BoNT serotype A light chain (BoNT-LcA) protease activity. A green fluorescence protein (GFP) modified SNAP-25 peptide substrate (SNAP-25-GFP) was optimally designed and synthesized with the centralized recognition/cleavage sites. This FRET platform was constructed by covalent immobilization of peptide substrate on GO with BSA passivation which have advantages of low non-specific adsorption and high stability in protein abundant solution. BoNT-LcA can specifically cleave SNAP-25-GFP substrate covalently immobilized on GO to release the fragment with GFP. Based on fluorescence signal recovery measurement, the target BoNT-LcA was detected sensitively and selectively with the linear detection range from 1fg/mL to 1pg/mL. The limit of detection (LOD) for BoNT-LcA is around 1fg/mL. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. Genetically Engineered Virulent Phage Banks in the Detection and Control of Emergent Pathogenic Bacteria

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blois, Hélène; Iris, François

    2010-01-01

    Natural outbreaks of multidrug-resistant microorganisms can cause widespread devastation, and several can be used or engineered as agents of bioterrorism. From a biosecurity standpoint, the capacity to detect and then efficiently control, within hours, the spread and the potential pathological effects of an emergent outbreak, for which there may be no effective antibiotics or vaccines, become key challenges that must be met. We turned to phage engineering as a potentially highly flexible and effective means to both detect and eradicate threats originating from emergent (uncharacterized) bacterial strains. To this end, we developed technologies allowing us to (1) concurrently modify multiple regions within the coding sequence of a gene while conserving intact the remainder of the gene, (2) reversibly interrupt the lytic cycle of an obligate virulent phage (T4) within its host, (3) carry out efficient insertion, by homologous recombination, of any number of engineered genes into the deactivated genomes of a T4 wild-type phage population, and (4) reactivate the lytic cycle, leading to the production of engineered infective virulent recombinant progeny. This allows the production of very large, genetically engineered lytic phage banks containing, in an E. coli host, a very wide spectrum of variants for any chosen phage-associated function, including phage host-range. Screening of such a bank should allow the rapid isolation of recombinant T4 particles capable of detecting (ie, diagnosing), infecting, and destroying hosts belonging to gram-negative bacterial species far removed from the original E. coli host. PMID:20569057

  5. Abrin Toxicity and Bioavailability after Temperature and pH Treatment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tam, Christina C; Henderson, Thomas D; Stanker, Larry H; He, Xiaohua; Cheng, Luisa W

    2017-10-13

    Abrin, one of most potent toxins known to man, is derived from the rosary pea (jequirity pea), Abrus precatorius and is a potential bioterror weapon. The temperature and pH stability of abrin was evaluated with an in vitro cell free translation (CFT) assay, a Vero cell culture cytotoxicity assay, and an in vivo mouse bioassay. pH treatment of abrin had no detrimental effect on its stability and toxicity as seen either in vitro or in vivo. Abrin exposure to increasing temperatures did not completely abrogate protein translation. In both the cell culture cytotoxicity model and the mouse bioassay, abrin's toxic effects were completely abrogated if the toxin was exposed to temperatures of 74 °C or higher. In the cell culture model, 63 °C-treated abrin had a 30% reduction in cytotoxicity which was validated in the in vivo mouse bioassay with all mice dying but with a slight time-to-death delay as compared to the non-treated abrin control. Since temperature inactivation did not affect abrin's ability to inhibit protein synthesis (A-chain), we hypothesize that high temperature treatment affected abrin's ability to bind to cellular receptors (affecting B-chain). Our results confirm the absolute need to validate in vitro cytotoxicity assays with in vivo mouse bioassays.

  6. Non-Replicating Adenovirus-Vectored Anthrax Vaccine

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Van Kampen, K. R.; Zhang, J.; Jex, E.; Tang, D. C.

    2007-01-01

    As bioterrorism is emerging as a national threat, it is urgent to develop a new generation of anthrax vaccines that can be rapidly produced and mass administered in an emergency setting. We have demonstrated that protective immunity against anthrax spores could be elicited in mice by intranasal administration of a non-replicating human adenovirus serotype 5 (Ad5)-derived vector encoding Bacillus anthracis protective antigen (PA) in a single-dose regimen. The potency of an Ad5 vector encoding PA was remarkably enhanced by codon optimization of the PA gene to match the tRNA pool found in human cells. This nasal vaccine can be mass-administered by non-medical personnel during a bioterrorist attack. In addition, replication-competent adenovirus (RCA)-free Ad5-vectored anthrax vaccines can be mass produced in PER.C6 cells in serum-free wave bioreactors and purified by column chromatography to meet a surge in demand. The non-replicating nature of this new generation of anthrax vaccine ensures an excellent safety profile for vaccines and the environment.(author)

  7. Epidemic typhus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bechah, Yassina; Capo, Christian; Mege, Jean-Louis; Raoult, Didier

    2008-07-01

    Epidemic typhus is transmitted to human beings by the body louse Pediculus humanus corporis. The disease is still considered a major threat by public-health authorities, despite the efficacy of antibiotics, because poor sanitary conditions are conducive to louse proliferation. Until recently, Rickettsia prowazekii, the causal agent, was thought to be confined to human beings and their body lice. Since 1975, R prowazekii infection in human beings has been related to contact with the flying squirrel Glaucomys volans in the USA. Moreover, Brill-Zinsser disease, a relapsed form of epidemic typhus that appears as sporadic cases many years after the initial infection, is unrelated to louse infestation. Stress or a waning immune system are likely to reactivate this earlier persistent infection, which could be the source of new epidemics when conditions facilitate louse infestation. Finally, R prowazekii is a potential category B bioterrorism agent, because it is stable in dried louse faeces and can be transmitted through aerosols. An increased understanding of the pathogenesis of epidemic typhus may be useful for protection against this bacterial threat.

  8. SARS and population health technology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eysenbach, Gunther

    2003-01-01

    The recent global outbreak of SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) provides an opportunity to study the use and impact of public health informatics and population health technology to detect and fight a global epidemic. Population health technology is the umbrella term for technology applications that have a population focus and the potential to improve public health. This includes the Internet, but also other technologies such as wireless devices, mobile phones, smart appliances, or smart homes. In the context of an outbreak or bioterrorism attack, such technologies may help to gather intelligence and detect diseases early, and communicate and exchange information electronically worldwide. Some of the technologies brought forward during the SARS epidemic may have been primarily motivated by marketing efforts, or were more directed towards reassuring people that "something is being done," ie, fighting an "epidemic of fear." To understand "fear epidemiology" is important because early warning systems monitoring data from a large number of people may not be able to discriminate between a biological epidemic and an epidemic of fear. The need for critical evaluation of all of these technologies is stressed.

  9. Public awareness and disaster risk reduction: just-in-time networks and learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ardalan, Ali; Linkov, Faina; Shubnikov, Eugene; LaPorte, Ronald E

    2008-01-01

    Improving public awareness through education has been recognized widely as a basis for reducing the risk of disasters. Some of the first disaster just-in-time (JIT) education modules were built within 3-6 days after the south Asia tsunami, Hurricane Katrina, and the Bam, Pakistan, and Indonesia earthquakes through a Supercourse. Web monitoring showed that visitors represented a wide spectrum of disciplines and educational levels from 120 developed and developing countries. Building disaster networks using an educational strategy seizes the opportunity of increased public interest to teach and find national and global expertise in hazard and risk information. To be effective, an expert network and a template for the delivery of JIT education must be prepared before an event occurs, focusing on developing core materials that could be customized rapidly, and then be based on the information received from a recent disaster. The recyclable process of the materials would help to improve the quality of the teaching, and decrease the time required for preparation. The core materials can be prepared for disasters resulting from events such as earthquakes, hurricanes, tsunamis, floods, and bioterrorism.

  10. Ebolavirus Vaccines: Progress in the Fight Against Ebola Virus Disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiao-Xin Wu

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Ebolaviruses are highly infectious pathogens that cause lethal Ebola virus disease (EVD in humans and non-human primates (NHPs. Due to their high pathogenicity and transmissibility, as well as the potential to be misused as a bioterrorism agent, ebolaviruses would threaten the health of global populations if not controlled. In this review, we describe the origin and structure of ebolaviruses and the development of vaccines from the beginning of the 1980s, including conventional ebolavirus vaccines, DNA vaccines, Ebola virus-like particles (VLPs, vaccinia virus-based vaccines, Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus (VEEV-like replicon particles, Kunjin virus-based vaccine, recombinant Zaire Ebolavirus∆VP30, recombinant cytomegalovirus (CMV-based vaccines, recombinant rabies virus (RABV-based vaccines, recombinant paramyxovirus-based vaccines, adenovirus-based vaccines and vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV-based vaccines. No licensed vaccine or specific treatment is currently available to counteract ebolavirus infection, although DNA plasmids and several viral vector approaches have been evaluated as promising vaccine platforms. These vaccine candidates have been confirmed to be successful in protecting NHPs against lethal infection. Moreover, these vaccine candidates were successfully advanced to clinical trials. The present review provides an update of the current research on Ebola vaccines, with the aim of providing an overview on current prospects in the fight against EVD.

  11. Synthetic biology between challenges and risks: suggestions for a model of governance and a regulatory framework, based on fundamental rights.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colussi, Ilaria Anna

    2013-01-01

    This paper deals with the emerging synthetic biology, its challenges and risks, and tries to design a model for the governance and regulation of the field. The model is called of "prudent vigilance" (inspired by the report about synthetic biology, drafted by the U.S. Presidential Commission on Bioethics, 2010), and it entails (a) an ongoing and periodically revised process of assessment and management of all the risks and concerns, and (b) the adoption of policies - taken through "hard law" and "soft law" sources - that are based on the principle of proportionality (among benefits and risks), on a reasonable balancing between different interests and rights at stake, and are oriented by a constitutional frame, which is represented by the protection of fundamental human rights emerging in the field of synthetic biology (right to life, right to health, dignity, freedom of scientific research, right to environment). After the theoretical explanation of the model, its operability is "checked", by considering its application with reference to only one specific risk brought up by synthetic biology - biosecurity risk, i.e. the risk of bioterrorism.

  12. Development of Self-Remediating Packaging for Safe and Secure Transport of Infectious Substances.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Guilinger, Terry Rae; Gaudioso, Jennifer M; Aceto, Donato Gonzalo; Lowe, Kathleen M.; Tucker, Mark D; Salerno, Reynolds Mathewson; Souza, Caroline Ann

    2006-11-01

    As George W. Bush recognized in November 2001, "Infectious diseases make no distinctions among people and recognize no borders." By their very nature, infectious diseases of natural or intentional (bioterrorist) origins are capable of threatening regional health systems and economies. The best mechanism for minimizing the spread and impact of infectious disease is rapid disease detection and diagnosis. For rapid diagnosis to occur, infectious substances (IS) must be transported very quickly to appropriate laboratories, sometimes located across the world. Shipment of IS is problematic since many carriers, concerned about leaking packages, refuse to ship this material. The current packaging does not have any ability to neutralize or kill leaking IS. The technology described here was developed by Sandia National Laboratories to provide a fail-safe packaging system for shipment of IS that will increase the likelihood that critical material can be shipped to appropriate laboratories following a bioterrorism event or the outbreak of an infectious disease. This safe and secure packaging method contains a novel decontaminating material that will kill or neutralize any leaking infectious organisms; this feature will decrease the risk associated with shipping IS, making transport more efficient. 3 DRAFT4

  13. Secretome of obligate intracellular Rickettsia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gillespie, Joseph J.; Kaur, Simran J.; Rahman, M. Sayeedur; Rennoll-Bankert, Kristen; Sears, Khandra T.; Beier-Sexton, Magda; Azad, Abdu F.

    2014-01-01

    The genus Rickettsia (Alphaproteobacteria, Rickettsiales, Rickettsiaceae) is comprised of obligate intracellular parasites, with virulent species of interest both as causes of emerging infectious diseases and for their potential deployment as bioterrorism agents. Currently, there are no effective commercially available vaccines, with treatment limited primarily to tetracycline antibiotics, although others (e.g. josamycin, ciprofloxacin, chloramphenicol, and azithromycin) are also effective. Much of the recent research geared toward understanding mechanisms underlying rickettsial pathogenicity has centered on characterization of secreted proteins that directly engage eukaryotic cells. Herein, we review all aspects of the Rickettsia secretome, including six secretion systems, 19 characterized secretory proteins, and potential moonlighting proteins identified on surfaces of multiple Rickettsia species. Employing bioinformatics and phylogenomics, we present novel structural and functional insight on each secretion system. Unexpectedly, our investigation revealed that the majority of characterized secretory proteins have not been assigned to their cognate secretion pathways. Furthermore, for most secretion pathways, the requisite signal sequences mediating translocation are poorly understood. As a blueprint for all known routes of protein translocation into host cells, this resource will assist research aimed at uniting characterized secreted proteins with their apposite secretion pathways. Furthermore, our work will help in the identification of novel secreted proteins involved in rickettsial ‘life on the inside’. PMID:25168200

  14. Global health security and the International Health Regulations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Oliva Otavio

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Global nuclear proliferation, bioterrorism, and emerging infections have challenged national capacities to achieve and maintain global security. Over the last century, emerging infectious disease threats resulted in the development of the preliminary versions of the International Health Regulations (IHR of the World Health Organization (WHO. The current HR(2005 contain major differences compared to earlier versions, including: substantial shifts from containment at the border to containment at the source of the event; shifts from a rather small disease list (smallpox, plague, cholera, and yellow fever required to be reported, to all public health threats; and shifts from preset measures to tailored responses with more flexibility to deal with the local situations on the ground. The new IHR(2005 call for accountability. They also call for strengthened national capacity for surveillance and control; prevention, alert, and response to international public health emergencies beyond the traditional short list of required reporting; global partnership and collaboration; and human rights, obligations, accountability, and procedures of monitoring. Under these evolved regulations, as well as other measures, such as the Revolving Fund for vaccine procurement of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO, global health security could be maintained in the response to urban yellow fever in Paraguay in 2008 and the influenza (H1N1 pandemic of 2009-2010.

  15. FEASIBILITY STUDY FOR POTASSIUM IODIDE (KI) DISTRIBUTION IN NEW YORK CITY.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    MOSS, STEVEN

    2005-04-29

    The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH), Bureau of Environmental Science and Engineering, Office of Radiological Health (ORH) [as the primary local technical consultant in the event of a radiological or nuclear incident within the boundaries of New York City] requested the assistance of Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) with the development of a Feasibility Study for Potassium Iodide (KI) distribution in the unlikely event of a significant release of radioactive iodine in or near New York City. Brookhaven National Laboratory had previously provided support for New York City with the development of the radiological/nuclear portions of its All Hazards Emergency Response Plans. The work is funded by Medical and Health Research Association (MHRA) of New York City, Inc., under a work grant by the Federal Centers for Disease Control (CDC) for Public Health Preparedness and Response for Bioterrorism. This report is part of the result of that effort. The conclusions of this report are that: (1) There is no credible radiological scenario that would prompt the need for large segments of the general population of New York City to take KI as a result of a projected plume exposure to radioiodine reaching even the lowest threshold of 5 rem to the thyroid; and (2) KI should be stockpiled in amounts and locations sufficient for use by first responders/emergency responders in response to any localized release of radioiodine.

  16. The pharmaceuticalisation of security: Molecular biomedicine, antiviral stockpiles, and global health security.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elbe, Stefan

    2014-12-01

    Pharmaceuticals are now critical to the security of populations. Antivirals, antibiotics, next-generation vaccines, and antitoxins are just some of the new 'medical countermeasures' that governments are stockpiling in order to defend their populations against the threat of pandemics and bioterrorism. How has security policy come to be so deeply imbricated with pharmaceutical logics and solutions? This article captures, maps, and analyses the 'pharmaceuticalisation' of security. Through an in-depth analysis of the prominent antiviral medication Tamiflu , it shows that this pharmaceutical turn in security policy is intimately bound up with the rise of a molecular vision of life promulgated by the biomedical sciences. Caught in the crosshairs of powerful commercial, political, and regulatory pressures, governments are embracing a molecular biomedicine promising to secure populations pharmaceutically in the twenty-first century. If that is true, then the established disciplinary view of health as a predominantly secondary matter of 'low' international politics is mistaken. On the contrary, the social forces of health and biomedicine are powerful enough to influence the core practices of international politics - even those of security. For a discipline long accustomed to studying macrolevel processes and systemic structures, it is in the end also our knowledge of the minute morass of molecules that shapes international relations.

  17. Development of an ELISA microarray assay for the sensitive and simultaneous detection of ten biodefense toxins.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jenko, Kathryn; Zhang, Yanfeng; Kostenko, Yulia; Fan, Yongfeng; Garcia-Rodriguez, Consuelo; Lou, Jianlong; Marks, James D.; Varnum, Susan M.

    2014-10-21

    Plant and microbial toxins are considered bioterrorism threat agents because of their extreme toxicity and/or ease of availability. Additionally, some of these toxins are increasingly responsible for accidental food poisonings. The current study utilized an ELISA-based protein antibody microarray for the multiplexed detection of ten biothreat toxins, botulinum neurotoxins (BoNT) A, B, C, D, E, F, ricin, shiga toxins 1 and 2 (Stx), and staphylococcus enterotoxin B (SEB), in buffer and complex biological matrices. The multiplexed assay displayed a sensitivity of 1.3 pg/mL (BoNT/A, BoNT/B, SEB, Stx-1 and Stx-2), 3.3 pg/mL (BoNT/C, BoNT/E, BoNT/F) and 8.2 pg/mL (BoNT/D, ricin). All assays demonstrated high accuracy (75-120 percent recovery) and reproducibility (most coefficients of variation < 20%). Quantification curves for the ten toxins were also evaluated in clinical samples (serum, plasma, nasal fluid, saliva, stool, and urine) and environmental samples (apple juice, milk and baby food) with overall minimal matrix effects. The multiplex assays were highly specific, with little crossreactivity observed between the selected toxin antibodies. The results demonstrate a multiplex microarray that improves current immunoassay sensitivity for biological warfare agents in buffer, clinical, and environmental samples.

  18. GIDEON: a comprehensive Web-based resource for geographic medicine

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Berger Stephen A

    2005-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract GIDEON (Global Infectious Diseases and Epidemiology Network is a web-based computer program designed for decision support and informatics in the field of Geographic Medicine. The first of four interactive modules generates a ranked differential diagnosis based on patient signs, symptoms, exposure history and country of disease acquisition. Additional options include syndromic disease surveillance capability and simulation of bioterrorism scenarios. The second module accesses detailed and current information regarding the status of 338 individual diseases in each of 220 countries. Over 50,000 disease images, maps and user-designed graphs may be downloaded for use in teaching and preparation of written materials. The third module is a comprehensive source on the use of 328 anti-infective drugs and vaccines, including a listing of over 9,500 international trade names. The fourth module can be used to characterize or identify any bacterium or yeast, based on laboratory phenotype. GIDEON is an up-to-date and comprehensive resource for Geographic Medicine.

  19. Understanding Virulence in the Brucellae and Francisellae: Towards Efficacious Treatments for Two Potential Biothreat Agents

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rasley, A; Parsons, D A; El-Etr, S; Roux, C; Tsolis, R

    2009-12-30

    Francisella tularensis, Yersinia pestis and Brucellae species are highly infectious pathogens classified as select agents by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) with the potential for use in bioterrorism attacks. These organisms are known to be facultative intracellular pathogens that preferentially infect human monocytes. As such, understanding how the host responds to infection with these organisms is paramount in detecting and combating human disease. We have compared the ability of fully virulent strains of each pathogen and their non-pathogenic near neighbors to enter and survive inside the human monocytic cell line THP-1 and have quantified the cellular response to infection with the goal of identifying both unique and common host response patterns. We expanded the scope of these studies to include experiments with pathogenic and non-pathogenic strains of Y. pestis, the causative agent of plague. Nonpathogenic strains of each organism were impaired in their ability to survive intracellularly compared with their pathogenic counterparts. Furthermore, infection of THP-1 cells with pathogenic strains of Y. pestis and F. tularensis resulted in marked increases in the secretion of the inflammatory chemokines IL-8, RANTES, and MIP-1{beta}. In contrast, B. melitensis infection failed to elicit any significant increases in a panel of cytokines tested. These differences may underscore distinct strategies in pathogenic mechanisms employed by these pathogens.

  20. Successful topical respiratory tract immunization of primates against Ebola virus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bukreyev, Alexander; Rollin, Pierre E; Tate, Mallory K; Yang, Lijuan; Zaki, Sherif R; Shieh, Wun-Ju; Murphy, Brian R; Collins, Peter L; Sanchez, Anthony

    2007-06-01

    Ebola virus causes outbreaks of severe viral hemorrhagic fever with high mortality in humans. The virus is highly contagious and can be transmitted by contact and by the aerosol route. These features make Ebola virus a potential weapon for bioterrorism and biological warfare. Therefore, a vaccine that induces both systemic and local immune responses in the respiratory tract would be highly beneficial. We evaluated a common pediatric respiratory pathogen, human parainfluenza virus type 3 (HPIV3), as a vaccine vector against Ebola virus. HPIV3 recombinants expressing the Ebola virus (Zaire species) surface glycoprotein (GP) alone or in combination with the nucleocapsid protein NP or with the cytokine adjuvant granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor were administered by the respiratory route to rhesus monkeys--in which HPIV3 infection is mild and asymptomatic--and were evaluated for immunogenicity and protective efficacy against a highly lethal intraperitoneal challenge with Ebola virus. A single immunization with any construct expressing GP was moderately immunogenic against Ebola virus and protected 88% of the animals against severe hemorrhagic fever and death caused by Ebola virus. Two doses were highly immunogenic, and all of the animals survived challenge and were free of signs of disease and of detectable Ebola virus challenge virus. These data illustrate the feasibility of immunization via the respiratory tract against the hemorrhagic fever caused by Ebola virus. To our knowledge, this is the first study in which topical immunization through respiratory tract achieved prevention of a viral hemorrhagic fever infection in a primate model.

  1. Ebolavirus and Haemorrhagic Syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matua, Gerald A; Van der Wal, Dirk M; Locsin, Rozzano C

    2015-05-01

    The Ebola virus is a highly virulent, single-stranded ribonucleic acid virus which affects both humans and apes and has fast become one of the world's most feared pathogens. The virus induces acute fever and death, with haemorrhagic syndrome occurring in up to 90% of patients. The known species within the genus Ebolavirus are Bundibugyo, Sudan, Zaïre, Reston and Taï Forest. Although endemic in Africa, Ebola has caused worldwide anxiety due to media hype and concerns about its international spread, including through bioterrorism. The high fatality rate is attributed to unavailability of a standard treatment regimen or vaccine. The disease is frightening since it is characterised by rapid immune suppression and systemic inflammatory response, causing multi-organ and system failure, shock and often death. Currently, disease management is largely supportive, with containment efforts geared towards mitigating the spread of the virus. This review describes the classification, morphology, infective process, natural ecology, transmission, epidemic patterns, diagnosis, clinical features and immunology of Ebola, including management and epidemic containment strategies.

  2. WMD Nonproliferation: Biosecurity in the Age of Terrorism

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Phillips, C J [Department of Biological Sciences, Texas Tech University, Lubbock (United States); Chesser, R K [Center for Environmental Radiation Studies and Department of Biology, Texas Tech University, Lubbock (United States)

    2007-07-01

    The international community has cooperated in arenas where diplomacy, treaties and conventions, and international bodies such as the IAEA and UN Security Council can have successful roles controlling WMD proliferation. This especially is the case for nuclear and chemical weapons. In our view, the potential use of biological agents and toxins presents a distinctive challenge not necessarily amenable to standard solutions and legal controls. Commercial biotechnology, basic biological research, and public and animal health are intertwined and of global significance. Advancements in these civilian activities have legitimate value, but also can serve the needs of state-sponsored defensive and offensive biological weapons programs. More important, technical and scientific advances and development of public bioinformatics databases also simplifies an otherwise complex world for trans-national terrorists. In our paper we will draw upon our personal international experiences, including in the former Soviet Union and Iraq, to explain our concept of 'shared risk' within the scientific community. Personal engagement, meaningful collaboration, adherence to uniform ethics and standards, and common scientific goals on an international scale are the best hedge against bio-terrorism. The global scientific community already is based upon shared principles that cross both cultural and political boundaries and thus are pre-adapted to play a major role in preventing the use of biology as a terrorist weapon.(author)

  3. Discrimination of Bacillus anthracis Spores by Direct in-situ Analysis of Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption/Ionization Time-Of-Flight Mass Spectrometry

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jeong, Youngsu; Lee, Jonghee; Kim, Seongsoo [Agency for Defense Development, Daejeon (Korea, Republic of)

    2013-09-15

    The rapid and accurate identification of biological agents is a critical step in the case of bio-terror and biological warfare attacks. Recently, matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry has been widely used for the identification of microorganisms. In this study, we describe a method for the rapid and accurate discrimination of Bacillus anthracis spores using MALDI-TOF MS. Our direct in-situ analysis of MALDI-TOF MS does not involve subsequent high-resolution mass analyses and sample preparation steps. This method allowed the detection of species-specific biomarkers from each Bacillus spores. Especially, B. anthracis spores had specific biomarker peaks at 2503, 3089, 3376, 6684, 6698, 6753, and 6840 m/z. Cluster and PCA analyses of the mass spectra of Bacillus spores revealed distinctively separated clusters and within-groups similarity. Therefore, we believe that this method is effective in the real-time identification of biological warfare agents such as B. anthracis as well as other microorganisms in the field.

  4. A review of research on common biological agents and their impact on environment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mashiatullah, A.; Qureshi, R.M.

    2009-01-01

    Biological agents are unique class of microorganisms which can be used to produce the disease in large populations of humans, animals and plants. If used for hostile purposes, any disease-causing microorganism could be considered a weapon. The use of biological agents is not a new concept and history is replete with examples of biological weapon use. Before the twenty century, biological warfare took on three main forms by deliberate poisoning of food and water with infectious material, use of microorganisms or toxins in some form of weapon system, and use of biologically inoculated fabrics. Four kinds of biological warfare agents are bacteria, viruses, rickettsiae, fungi. These are distinguished by being living organisms, that reproduce within their host victims, who then become contagious with a deadly multiplier effect, bacteria, viruses, or fungi or toxin found in nature can be used to kill or injure people. Biological agents may be used for an isolated assassination, as well as to cause incapacitation or death to thousands. These biological agents represent a dangerous military threat because they are alive, and are therefore unpredictable and uncontrollable once released. The act of bioterrorism can range from a simple hoax to the actual use of biological weapons. Biological agents have the potential to make an environment more dangerous over time. If the environment is contaminated, a long-term threat to the population could be created. This paper discusses common biological agents, their mode of action in living organisms and possible impact on the environment. (author)

  5. Converging requirements and emerging challenges to public health diseases surveillance and bio surveillance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rao, V.; Abel, T.

    2009-01-01

    Disease surveillance systems are a critical component of an early warning system for public health agencies to prepare and respond to major public health catastrophes. With a growing emphasis for more robust early indicator and warning systems to track emerging and dangerous diseases of suspicious nature, considerable emphasis is now placed on deployment of more expanded electronic disease surveillance systems. The architectural considerations for bio surveillance information system are based on collection, analysis and dissemination of human, veterinary and agricultural related disease surveillance to broader regional areas likely to be affected in the event of an emerging disease, or due to bioterrorism and better coordinate plans, preparations and response by governmental agencies and multilateral forums. The diseases surveillance systems architectures by intent and design could as well support biological threat monitoring and threat reduction initiatives. As an illustrative sample set, this paper will describe the comparative informatics requirements for a disease surveillance systems developed by CSC for the US Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC) currently operational nationwide, and biological weapons threat assessment developed as part of the Threat Agent Detection and Response (TADR) Network under the US Biological Threat Reduction Program and deployed at Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Georgia, and Azerbaijan.(author)

  6. Label-free virus detection using silicon photonic microring resonators.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McClellan, Melinda S; Domier, Leslie L; Bailey, Ryan C

    2012-01-15

    Viruses represent a continual threat to humans through a number of mechanisms, which include disease, bioterrorism, and destruction of both plant and animal food resources. Many contemporary techniques used for the detection of viruses and viral infections suffer from limitations such as the need for extensive sample preparation or the lengthy window between infection and measurable immune response, for serological methods. In order to develop a method that is fast, cost-effective, and features reduced sample preparation compared to many other virus detection methods, we report the application of silicon photonic microring resonators for the direct, label-free detection of intact viruses in both purified samples as well as in a complex, real-world analytical matrix. As a model system, we demonstrate the quantitative detection of Bean pod mottle virus, a pathogen of great agricultural importance, with a limit of detection of 10 ng/mL. By simply grinding a small amount of leaf sample in buffer with a mortar and pestle, infected leaves can be identified over a healthy control with a total analysis time of less than 45 min. Given the inherent scalability and multiplexing capability of the semiconductor-based technology, we feel that silicon photonic microring resonators are well-positioned as a promising analytical tool for a number of viral detection applications. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. Evaluation of a highly discriminating multiplex multi-locus variable-number of tandem-repeats (MLVA) analysis for Vibrio cholerae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olsen, Jaran S; Aarskaug, Tone; Skogan, Gunnar; Fykse, Else Marie; Ellingsen, Anette Bauer; Blatny, Janet M

    2009-09-01

    Vibrio cholerae is the etiological agent of cholera and may be used in bioterror actions due to the easiness of its dissemination, and the public fear for acquiring the cholera disease. A simple and highly discriminating method for connecting clinical and environmental isolates of V. cholerae is needed in microbial forensics. Twelve different loci containing variable numbers of tandem-repeats (VNTRs) were evaluated in which six loci were polymorphic. Two multiplex reactions containing PCR primers targeting these six VNTRs resulted in successful DNA amplification of 142 various environmental and clinical V. cholerae isolates. The genetic distribution inside the V. cholerae strain collection was used to evaluate the discriminating power (Simpsons Diversity Index=0.99) of this new MLVA analysis, showing that the assay have a potential to differentiate between various strains, but also to identify those isolates which are collected from a common V. cholerae outbreak. This work has established a rapid and highly discriminating MLVA assay useful for track back analyses and/or forensic studies of V. cholerae infections.

  8. [Lessons learnt from the German smallpox outbreaks after World War II].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sasse, Julia; Gelderblom, Hans R

    2015-07-01

    Even though smallpox was declared eradicated by WHO in 1980, it cannot be ruled out that the etiological variola virus could be used as a biological weapon. Undestroyed viruses from biowarfare programmes, virus strains left undetected in a freezer or dangerous recombinant poxvirus constructs could cause dangerous outbreaks in a relatively unprotected population. Despite an abundance of studies performed during the eradication of smallpox, epidemiological data for preparedness planning and outbreak control in modern, industrialized countries are scarce. Full-text hand search for the period from 1945 to 1975 in the main German public health journals. After World War II 12 smallpox outbreaks occurred in Germany. They were studied with the focus on the period of contagiousness, the protective effect of vaccination, booster-effect of revaccination and the place of infection. A total of 95 individuals contracted smallpox, including 10 fatalities. Despite having been previously vaccinated, 81 vaccinated persons came down with smallpox, yet 91% of them developed only mild symptoms. These patients presented a high risk for spreading the infection to contact persons due to misinterpretation of symptoms and the continuing social contacts. Basically, the risk of transmission in the first 2 to 3 days after onset of symptoms was low, thus facilitating antiepidemic measures. The importance of hospital preparedness is emphasized by the fact that most infections occurred in hospitals. The data analyzed provide valuable information for today's outbreak response planning and counter bioterrorism preparedness.

  9. Bio-diversity: an effective safety net against environmental pollution

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Swaminathan, M.S

    2003-12-01

    Biodiversity is the feedstock for the biotechnology industry. Hence, the conservation, enhancement and sustainable and equitable use of biodiversity should be accorded high priority in all national environment protection programmes. Lichens serve as useful indicators of environmental health. Similarly, several blue green algae help to sequester salt from water. There is need for the more widespread use of such biomonitoring and bioremediation agents. Bioprospecting research designed to identify novel metabolites must be rooted in the principle of equity in sharing benefits with the holders of traditional knowledge. There is need for greater vigil against alien invasive species, since with growing world trade in food grains and other agricultural commodities, there is an increasing possibility of introducing new pests, weeds and harmful micro-organisms. Finally, biological scientists should place emphasis on their ethical responsibility for the consequences of their research, since otherwise bioterrorism could become a major threat to human security. - The age of biological diversity serves as an impetus for the future of biotechnology.

  10. [The late media emergency of smallpox vaccine, news coverage of Spanish press (1999-2004)].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martínez-Martínez, Pedro Javier; Tuells, José; Colmenar-Jarillo, Gema

    2015-06-01

    Discussions on the need for smallpox virus preservation in 1999 focused attention on an eradicated disease 20 years ago. Smallpox was replaced as a potential candidate to be used as a bioterrorist weapon because of the international alarm scenario produced after the 11/9 events in USA. The reactivation of a vaccine which remained forgotten was the direct consequence. The initial target groups were the security forces of America. Spain was also among the countries that were interested in acquiring the smallpox vaccine. The aim of this study is to analyze the considerable media coverage of smallpox obtained in our country. Systematic review of published news in the four largest national daily newspapers (ABC, El Mundo, El País and La Vanguardia) for the period 1999-2004 of the Dow Jones Factiva document database. "Smallpox" were used as a key word. From the obtained data, a qualitative and quantitative analysis was done. 416 reviews were analyzed; the newspaper El Mundo was the most interested in these news (158 citations, 37.98%). Most of the news were published in 2003 (152, 36.5%) The year with more news about smallpox (2003) coincides with the purchase of vaccines in Spain. The type of messages in the news was highly changeable over this six-year period. Those related to "politics and diplomacy", "epidemiological risk", "bioterrorism" and "vaccine" were predominant. The alarm raised around the smallpox vaccination was a media phenomenon due to political strategy issues rather than a real public health problem.

  11. A generic open-source software framework supporting scenario simulations in bioterrorist crises.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Falenski, Alexander; Filter, Matthias; Thöns, Christian; Weiser, Armin A; Wigger, Jan-Frederik; Davis, Matthew; Douglas, Judith V; Edlund, Stefan; Hu, Kun; Kaufman, James H; Appel, Bernd; Käsbohrer, Annemarie

    2013-09-01

    Since the 2001 anthrax attack in the United States, awareness of threats originating from bioterrorism has grown. This led internationally to increased research efforts to improve knowledge of and approaches to protecting human and animal populations against the threat from such attacks. A collaborative effort in this context is the extension of the open-source Spatiotemporal Epidemiological Modeler (STEM) simulation and modeling software for agro- or bioterrorist crisis scenarios. STEM, originally designed to enable community-driven public health disease models and simulations, was extended with new features that enable integration of proprietary data as well as visualization of agent spread along supply and production chains. STEM now provides a fully developed open-source software infrastructure supporting critical modeling tasks such as ad hoc model generation, parameter estimation, simulation of scenario evolution, estimation of effects of mitigation or management measures, and documentation. This open-source software resource can be used free of charge. Additionally, STEM provides critical features like built-in worldwide data on administrative boundaries, transportation networks, or environmental conditions (eg, rainfall, temperature, elevation, vegetation). Users can easily combine their own confidential data with built-in public data to create customized models of desired resolution. STEM also supports collaborative and joint efforts in crisis situations by extended import and export functionalities. In this article we demonstrate specifically those new software features implemented to accomplish STEM application in agro- or bioterrorist crisis scenarios.

  12. Immuno-detection of cleaved SNAP-25 from differentiated mouse embryonic stem cells provides a sensitive assay for determination of botulinum A toxin and antitoxin potency.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yadirgi, G; Stickings, P; Rajagopal, S; Liu, Y; Sesardic, D

    2017-12-01

    Botulinum toxin type A is a causative agent of human botulism. Due to high toxicity and ease of production it is classified by the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention as a category A bioterrorism agent. The same serotype, BoNT/A, is also the most widely used in pharmaceutical preparations for treatment of a diverse range of neuromuscular disorders. Traditionally, animals are used to confirm the presence and activity of toxin and to establish neutralizing capabilities of countermeasures in toxin neutralization tests. Cell based assays for BoNT/A have been reported as the most viable alternative to animal models, since they are capable of reflecting all key steps (binding, translocation, internalization and cleavage of intracellular substrate) involved in toxin activity. In this paper we report preliminary development of a simple immunochemical method for specifically detecting BoNT/A cleaved intracellular substrate, SNAP-25, in cell lysates of neurons derived from mouse embryonic stem cells. The assay offers sensitivity of better than 0.1LD50/ml (3fM) which is not matched by other functional assays, including the mouse bioassay, and provides serotype specificity for quantitative detection of BoNT/A and anti-BoNT/A antitoxin. Subject to formal validation, the method described here could potentially be used as a substitute for the mouse bioassay to measure potency and consistency of therapeutic products. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. BSL-3 laboratory practices in the United States: comparison of select agent and non-select agent facilities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richards, Stephanie L; Pompei, Victoria C; Anderson, Alice

    2014-01-01

    New construction of biosafety level 3 (BSL-3) laboratories in the United States has increased in the past decade to facilitate research on potential bioterrorism agents. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention inspect BSL-3 facilities and review commissioning documentation, but no single agency has oversight over all BSL-3 facilities. This article explores the extent to which standard operating procedures in US BSL-3 facilities vary between laboratories with select agent or non-select agent status. Comparisons are made for the following variables: personnel training, decontamination, personal protective equipment (PPE), medical surveillance, security access, laboratory structure and maintenance, funding, and pest management. Facilities working with select agents had more complex training programs and decontamination procedures than non-select agent facilities. Personnel working in select agent laboratories were likely to use powered air purifying respirators, while non-select agent laboratories primarily used N95 respirators. More rigorous medical surveillance was carried out in select agent workers (although not required by the select agent program) and a higher level of restrictive access to laboratories was found. Most select agent and non-select agent laboratories reported adequate structural integrity in facilities; however, differences were observed in personnel perception of funding for repairs. Pest management was carried out by select agent personnel more frequently than non-select agent personnel. Our findings support the need to promote high quality biosafety training and standard operating procedures in both select agent and non-select agent laboratories to improve occupational health and safety.

  14. Sverdlovsk Anthrax Outbreak: An Educational Case Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steele, S. J.; van der Vink, G.

    2002-05-01

    In April and May of 1979 an Anthrax epidemic broke out in the city of Sverdlovsk (now Ekaterinburg) in the former Soviet Union. Sixty-four people were reported to have died from the outbreak, although there is still debate concerning the actual number of victims. While Soviet officials initially attributed this outbreak to contaminated meat, the US Government maintained that the outbreak was due to a leakage from a biological weapons facility. We have created and implemented an undergraduate educational exercise based on the forensic analysis of this event. Students were provided case data of the victims, area satellite images and meteorological data. One goal of the exercise was for students to reconstruct the most probable scenario of events through valid inference based on the limited information and uncertainties associated with the data set. Another goal was to make students sensitive to issues of biological weapons and bioterrorism. The exercise was highly rated by students even before the events of September 11. There is a clear need to educate students, particularly in the sciences, to be aware of the signatures of terrorist activities. Evidence of terrorist activities is more likely to appear from unintended discoveries than from active intelligence gathering. We believe our national security can be enhanced by sensitizing those that monitor the natural environment to the signatures of terrorist activities through the types of educational exercises that we have developed.

  15. Modeling threat assessments of water supply systems using markov latent effects methodology.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Silva, Consuelo Juanita

    2006-12-01

    Recent amendments to the Safe Drinking Water Act emphasize efforts toward safeguarding our nation's water supplies against attack and contamination. Specifically, the Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2002 established requirements for each community water system serving more than 3300 people to conduct an assessment of the vulnerability of its system to a terrorist attack or other intentional acts. Integral to evaluating system vulnerability is the threat assessment, which is the process by which the credibility of a threat is quantified. Unfortunately, full probabilistic assessment is generally not feasible, as there is insufficient experience and/or data to quantify the associated probabilities. For this reason, an alternative approach is proposed based on Markov Latent Effects (MLE) modeling, which provides a framework for quantifying imprecise subjective metrics through possibilistic or fuzzy mathematics. Here, an MLE model for water systems is developed and demonstrated to determine threat assessments for different scenarios identified by the assailant, asset, and means. Scenario assailants include terrorists, insiders, and vandals. Assets include a water treatment plant, water storage tank, node, pipeline, well, and a pump station. Means used in attacks include contamination (onsite chemicals, biological and chemical), explosives and vandalism. Results demonstrated highest threats are vandalism events and least likely events are those performed by a terrorist.

  16. Aggregation-Induced-Emission Materials with Different Electric Charges as an Artificial Tongue: Design, Construction, and Assembly with Various Pathogenic Bacteria for Effective Bacterial Imaging and Discrimination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Guang-Jian; Tian, Sheng-Nan; Li, Cui-Yun; Xing, Guo-Wen; Zhou, Lei

    2017-08-30

    Imaging-based total bacterial count and type identification of bacteria play crucial roles in clinical diagnostics, public health, biological and medical science, and environmental protection. Herein, we designed and synthesized a series of tetraphenylethenes (TPEs) functionalized with one or two aldehyde, carboxylic acid, and quaternary ammonium groups, which were successfully used as fluorescent materials for rapid and efficient staining of eight kinds of representative bacterial species, including pathogenic bacteria Vibrio cholera, Klebsiella pneumoniae, and Listeria monocytogenes and potential bioterrorism agent Yersinia pestis. By comparing the fluorescence intensity changes of the aggregation-induced-emission (AIE) materials before and after bacteria incubation, the sensing mechanisms (electrostatic versus hydrophobic interactions) were simply discussed. Moreover, the designed AIE materials were successfully used as an efficient artificial tongue for bacteria discrimination, and all of the bacteria tested were identified via linear discriminant analysis. Our current work provided a general method for simultaneous broad-spectrum bacterial imaging and species discrimination, which is helpful for bacteria surveillance in many fields.

  17. Terrorism in South Korea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Soon Joo; Choi, Jin Tae; Arnold, Jeffrey

    2003-01-01

    South Korea has experienced > 30 suspected terrorism-related events since 1958, including attacks against South Korean citizens in foreign countries. The most common types of terrorism used have included bombings, shootings, hijackings, and kidnappings. Prior to 1990, North Korea was responsible for almost all terrorism-related events inside of South Korea, including multiple assassination attempts on its presidents, regular kidnappings of South Korean fisherman, and several high-profile bombings. Since 1990, most of the terrorist attacks against South Korean citizens have occurred abroad and have been related to the emerging worldwide pattern of terrorism by international terrorist organizations or deranged individuals. The 1988 Seoul Olympic Games provided a major stimulus for South Korea to develop a national emergency response system for terrorism-related events based on the participation of multiple ministries. The 11 September 2001 World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks and the 2001 United States of America (US) anthrax letter attacks prompted South Korea to organize a new national system of emergency response for terrorism-related events. The system is based on five divisions for the response to specific types of terrorist events, involving conventional terrorism, bioterrorism, chemical terrorism, radiological terrorism, and cyber-terrorism. No terrorism-related events occurred during the 2002 World Cup and Asian Games held in South Korea. The emergency management of terrorism-related events in South Korea is adapting to the changing risk of terrorism in the new century.

  18. Buccal viral DNA as a trigger for brincidofovir therapy in the mousepox model of smallpox.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crump, Ryan; Korom, Maria; Buller, R Mark; Parker, Scott

    2017-03-01

    Orthopoxviruses continue to pose a significant threat to the population as potential agents of bioterrorism. An intentional release of natural or engineered variola virus (VARV) or monkeypox viruses would cause mortality and morbidity in the target population. To address this, antivirals have been developed and evaluated in animal models of smallpox and monkeypox. One such antiviral, brincidofovir (BCV, previously CMX001), has demonstrated high levels of efficacy against orthopoxviruses in animal models and is currently under clinical evaluation for prevention and treatment of diseases caused by cytomegaloviruses and adenoviruses. In this study we use the mousepox model of smallpox to evaluate the relationship between the magnitude of the infectious virus dose and an efficacious BCV therapy outcome when treatment is initiated concomitant with detection of ectromelia virus viral DNA (vDNA) in mouse buccal swabs. We found that vDNA could be detected in buccal swabs of some, but not all infected mice over a range of challenge doses by day 3 or 4 postexposure, when initiation of BCV treatment was efficacious, suggesting that detection of vDNA in buccal swabs could be used as a trigger to initiate BCV treatment of an entire potentially exposed population. However, buccal swabs of some mice did not become positive until 5 days postexposure, when initiation of BCV therapy failed to protect mice that received high doses of virus. And finally, the data suggest that the therapeutic window for efficacious BCV treatment decreases as the virus infectious dose increases. Extrapolating these findings to VARV, the data suggest that treatment should be initiated as soon as possible after exposure and not rely on a diagnostic tool such as the measurement of vDNA in buccal cavity swabs; however, consideration should be given to the fact that the behavior/disease-course of VARV in humans is different from that of ectromelia virus in the mouse. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All

  19. GM-CSF production allows the identification of immunoprevalent antigens recognized by human CD4+ T cells following smallpox vaccination.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Valeria Judkowski

    Full Text Available The threat of bioterrorism with smallpox and the broad use of vaccinia vectors for other vaccines have led to the resurgence in the study of vaccinia immunological memory. The importance of the role of CD4+ T cells in the control of vaccinia infection is well known. However, more CD8+ than CD4+ T cell epitopes recognized by human subjects immunized with vaccinia virus have been reported. This could be, in part, due to the fact that most of the studies that have identified human CD4+ specific protein-derived fragments or peptides have used IFN-γ production to evaluate vaccinia specific T cell responses. Based on these findings, we reasoned that analyzing a large panel of cytokines would permit us to generate a more complete analysis of the CD4 T cell responses. The results presented provide clear evidence that TNF-α is an excellent readout of vaccinia specificity and that other cytokines such as GM-CSF can be used to evaluate the reactivity of CD4+ T cells in response to vaccinia antigens. Furthermore, using these cytokines as readout of vaccinia specificity, we present the identification of novel peptides from immunoprevalent vaccinia proteins recognized by CD4+ T cells derived from smallpox vaccinated human subjects. In conclusion, we describe a "T cell-driven" methodology that can be implemented to determine the specificity of the T cell response upon vaccination or infection. Together, the single pathogen in vitro stimulation, the selection of CD4+ T cells specific to the pathogen by limiting dilution, the evaluation of pathogen specificity by detecting multiple cytokines, and the screening of the clones with synthetic combinatorial libraries, constitutes a novel and valuable approach for the elucidation of human CD4+ T cell specificity in response to large pathogens.

  20. Laboratory-Scale Simulation and Real-Time Tracking of a Microbial Contamination Event and Subsequent Shock-Chlorination in Drinking Water

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael D. Besmer

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Rapid contamination of drinking water in distribution and storage systems can occur due to pressure drop, backflow, cross-connections, accidents, and bio-terrorism. Small volumes of a concentrated contaminant (e.g., wastewater can contaminate large volumes of water in a very short time with potentially severe negative health impacts. The technical limitations of conventional, cultivation-based microbial detection methods neither allow for timely detection of such contaminations, nor for the real-time monitoring of subsequent emergency remediation measures (e.g., shock-chlorination. Here we applied a newly developed continuous, ultra high-frequency flow cytometry approach to track a rapid pollution event and subsequent disinfection of drinking water in an 80-min laboratory scale simulation. We quantified total (TCC and intact (ICC cell concentrations as well as flow cytometric fingerprints in parallel in real-time with two different staining methods. The ingress of wastewater was detectable almost immediately (i.e., after 0.6% volume change, significantly changing TCC, ICC, and the flow cytometric fingerprint. Shock chlorination was rapid and detected in real time, causing membrane damage in the vast majority of bacteria (i.e., drop of ICC from more than 380 cells μl-1 to less than 30 cells μl-1 within 4 min. Both of these effects as well as the final wash-in of fresh tap water followed calculated predictions well. Detailed and highly quantitative tracking of microbial dynamics at very short time scales and for different characteristics (e.g., concentration, membrane integrity is feasible. This opens up multiple possibilities for targeted investigation of a myriad of bacterial short-term dynamics (e.g., disinfection, growth, detachment, operational changes both in laboratory-scale research and full-scale system investigations in practice.

  1. Crystallization of a newly discovered histidine acid phosphatase from Francisella tularensis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Felts, Richard L. [Department of Chemistry, University of Missouri-Columbia, Columbia, Missouri 65211 (United States); Reilly, Thomas J. [Department of Veterinary Pathobiology, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Missouri-Columbia, Columbia, Missouri 65212 (United States); Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Missouri-Columbia, Columbia, Missouri 65212 (United States); Calcutt, Michael J. [Department of Veterinary Pathobiology, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Missouri-Columbia, Columbia, Missouri 65212 (United States); Tanner, John J., E-mail: tannerjj@missouri.edu [Department of Chemistry, University of Missouri-Columbia, Columbia, Missouri 65211 (United States); Department of Biochemistry, University of Missouri-Columbia, Columbia, Missouri 65211 (United States)

    2006-01-01

    A histidine acid phosphatase from the CDC Category A pathogen F. tularensis has been crystallized in space group P4{sub 1}2{sub 1}2, with unit-cell parameters a = 61.96, c = 210.78 Å. A 1.75 Å resolution data set was collected at Advanced Light Source beamline 4.2.2. Francisella tularensis is a highly infectious bacterial pathogen that is considered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to be a potential bioterrorism weapon. Here, the crystallization of a 37.2 kDa phosphatase encoded by the genome of F. tularensis subsp. holarctica live vaccine strain is reported. This enzyme shares 41% amino-acid sequence identity with Legionella pneumophila major acid phosphatase and contains the RHGXRXP motif that is characteristic of the histidine acid phosphatase family. Large diffraction-quality crystals were grown in the presence of Tacsimate, HEPES and PEG 3350. The crystals belong to space group P4{sub 1}2{sub 1}2, with unit-cell parameters a = 61.96, c = 210.78 Å. The asymmetric unit is predicted to contain one protein molecule, with a solvent content of 53%. A 1.75 Å resolution native data set was recorded at beamline 4.2.2 of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Advanced Light Source. Molecular-replacement trials using the human prostatic acid phosphatase structure as the search model (28% amino-acid sequence identity) did not produce a satisfactory solution. Therefore, the structure of F. tularensis histidine acid phosphatase will be determined by multiwavelength anomalous dispersion phasing using a selenomethionyl derivative.

  2. Knowledge-based public health situation awareness

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mirhaji, Parsa; Zhang, Jiajie; Srinivasan, Arunkumar; Richesson, Rachel L.; Smith, Jack W.

    2004-09-01

    There have been numerous efforts to create comprehensive databases from multiple sources to monitor the dynamics of public health and most specifically to detect the potential threats of bioterrorism before widespread dissemination. But there are not many evidences for the assertion that these systems are timely and dependable, or can reliably identify man made from natural incident. One must evaluate the value of so called 'syndromic surveillance systems' along with the costs involved in design, development, implementation and maintenance of such systems and the costs involved in investigation of the inevitable false alarms1. In this article we will introduce a new perspective to the problem domain with a shift in paradigm from 'surveillance' toward 'awareness'. As we conceptualize a rather different approach to tackle the problem, we will introduce a different methodology in application of information science, computer science, cognitive science and human-computer interaction concepts in design and development of so called 'public health situation awareness systems'. We will share some of our design and implementation concepts for the prototype system that is under development in the Center for Biosecurity and Public Health Informatics Research, in the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. The system is based on a knowledgebase containing ontologies with different layers of abstraction, from multiple domains, that provide the context for information integration, knowledge discovery, interactive data mining, information visualization, information sharing and communications. The modular design of the knowledgebase and its knowledge representation formalism enables incremental evolution of the system from a partial system to a comprehensive knowledgebase of 'public health situation awareness' as it acquires new knowledge through interactions with domain experts or automatic discovery of new knowledge.

  3. Phylogenetic inference of Coxiella burnetii by 16S rRNA gene sequencing.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Heather P McLaughlin

    Full Text Available Coxiella burnetii is a human pathogen that causes the serious zoonotic disease Q fever. It is ubiquitous in the environment and due to its wide host range, long-range dispersal potential and classification as a bioterrorism agent, this microorganism is considered an HHS Select Agent. In the event of an outbreak or intentional release, laboratory strain typing methods can contribute to epidemiological investigations, law enforcement investigation and the public health response by providing critical information about the relatedness between C. burnetii isolates collected from different sources. Laboratory cultivation of C. burnetii is both time-consuming and challenging. Availability of strain collections is often limited and while several strain typing methods have been described over the years, a true gold-standard method is still elusive. Building upon epidemiological knowledge from limited, historical strain collections and typing data is essential to more accurately infer C. burnetii phylogeny. Harmonization of auspicious high-resolution laboratory typing techniques is critical to support epidemiological and law enforcement investigation. The single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP -based genotyping approach offers simplicity, rapidity and robustness. Herein, we demonstrate SNPs identified within 16S rRNA gene sequences can differentiate C. burnetii strains. Using this method, 55 isolates were assigned to six groups based on six polymorphisms. These 16S rRNA SNP-based genotyping results were largely congruent with those obtained by analyzing restriction-endonuclease (RE-digested DNA separated by SDS-PAGE and by the high-resolution approach based on SNPs within multispacer sequence typing (MST loci. The SNPs identified within the 16S rRNA gene can be used as targets for the development of additional SNP-based genotyping assays for C. burnetii.

  4. Inhibition of Vaccinia virus entry by a broad spectrum antiviral peptide

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Altmann, S.E.; Jones, J.C.; Schultz-Cherry, S.; Brandt, C.R.

    2009-01-01

    Concerns about the possible use of Variola virus, the causative agent of smallpox, as a weapon for bioterrorism have led to renewed efforts to identify new antivirals against orthopoxviruses. We identified a peptide, EB, which inhibited infection by Vaccinia virus with an EC 50 of 15 μM. A control peptide, EBX, identical in composition to EB but differing in sequence, was inactive (EC 50 > 200 μM), indicating sequence specificity. The inhibition was reversed upon removal of the peptide, and EB treatment had no effect on the physical integrity of virus particles as determined by electron microscopy. Viral adsorption was unaffected by the presence of EB, and the addition of EB post-entry had no effect on viral titers or on early gene expression. The addition of EB post-adsorption resulted in the inhibition of β-galactosidase expression from an early viral promoter with an EC 50 of 45 μM. A significant reduction in virus entry was detected in the presence of the peptide when the number of viral cores released into the cytoplasm was quantified. Electron microscopy indicated that 88% of the virions remained on the surface of cells in the presence of EB, compared to 37% in the control (p < 0.001). EB also blocked fusion-from-within, suggesting that virus infection is inhibited at the fusion step. Analysis of EB derivatives suggested that peptide length may be important for the activity of EB. The EB peptide is, to our knowledge, the first known small molecule inhibitor of Vaccinia virus entry.

  5. Rapid DNA vaccination against Burkholderia pseudomallei flagellin by tattoo or intranasal application.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lankelma, Jacqueline M; Wagemakers, Alex; Birnie, Emma; Haak, Bastiaan W; Trentelman, Jos J A; Weehuizen, Tassili A F; Ersöz, Jasmin; Roelofs, Joris J T H; Hovius, Joppe W; Wiersinga, W Joost; Bins, Adriaan D

    2017-11-17

    Melioidosis is a severe infectious disease with a high mortality that is endemic in South-East Asia and Northern Australia. The causative pathogen, Burkholderia pseudomallei, is listed as potential bioterror weapon due to its high virulence and potential for easy dissemination. Currently, there is no licensed vaccine for prevention of melioidosis. Here, we explore the use of rapid plasmid DNA vaccination against B. pseudomallei flagellin for protection against respiratory challenge. We tested three flagellin DNA vaccines with different subcellular targeting designs. C57BL/6 mice were vaccinated via skin tattoo on day 0, 3 and 6 before intranasal challenge with B. pseudomallei on day 21. Next, the most effective construct was used as single vaccination on day 0 by tattoo or intranasal formulation. Mice were sacrificed 72 hours post-challenge to assess bacterial loads, cytokine responses, inflammation and microscopic lesions. A construct encoding a cellular secretion signal resulted in the most effective protection against melioidosis via tattooing, with a 10-fold reduction in bacterial loads in lungs and distant organs compared to the empty vector. Strikingly, a single intranasal administration of the same vaccine resulted in >1000-fold lower bacterial loads and increased survival. Pro-inflammatory cytokine responses were significantly diminished and strong reductions in markers for distant organ damage were observed. A rapid vaccination scheme using flagellin DNA tattoo provides significant protection against intranasal challenge with B. pseudomallei, markedly improved by a single administration via airway mucosa. Hence intranasal vaccination with flagellin-encoding DNA may be applicable when acute mass vaccination is indicated and warrants further testing.

  6. Silicon nitride grids are compatible with correlative negative staining electron microscopy and tip-enhanced Raman spectroscopy for use in the detection of micro-organisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lausch, V; Hermann, P; Laue, M; Bannert, N

    2014-06-01

    Successive application of negative staining transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and tip-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (TERS) is a new correlative approach that could be used to rapidly and specifically detect and identify single pathogens including bioterrorism-relevant viruses in complex samples. Our objective is to evaluate the TERS-compatibility of commonly used electron microscopy (EM) grids (sample supports), chemicals and negative staining techniques and, if required, to devise appropriate alternatives. While phosphortungstic acid (PTA) is suitable as a heavy metal stain, uranyl acetate, paraformaldehyde in HEPES buffer and alcian blue are unsuitable due to their relatively high Raman scattering. Moreover, the low thermal stability of the carbon-coated pioloform film on copper grids (pioloform grids) negates their utilization. The silicon in the cantilever of the silver-coated atomic force microscope tip used to record TERS spectra suggested that Si-based grids might be employed as alternatives. From all evaluated Si-based TEM grids, the silicon nitride (SiN) grid was found to be best suited, with almost no background Raman signals in the relevant spectral range, a low surface roughness and good particle adhesion properties that could be further improved by glow discharge. Charged SiN grids have excellent particle adhesion properties. The use of these grids in combination with PTA for contrast in the TEM is suitable for subsequent analysis by TERS. The study reports fundamental modifications and optimizations of the negative staining EM method that allows a combination with near-field Raman spectroscopy to acquire a spectroscopic signature from nanoscale biological structures. This should facilitate a more precise diagnosis of single viral particles and other micro-organisms previously localized and visualized in the TEM. © 2014 The Society for Applied Microbiology.

  7. Animal models for Ebola and Marburg virus infections

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakayama, Eri; Saijo, Masayuki

    2013-01-01

    Ebola and Marburg hemorrhagic fevers (EHF and MHF) are caused by the Filoviridae family, Ebolavirus and Marburgvirus (ebolavirus and marburgvirus), respectively. These severe diseases have high mortality rates in humans. Although EHF and MHF are endemic to sub-Saharan Africa. A novel filovirus, Lloviu virus, which is genetically distinct from ebolavirus and marburgvirus, was recently discovered in Spain where filoviral hemorrhagic fever had never been reported. The virulence of this virus has not been determined. Ebolavirus and marburgvirus are classified as biosafety level-4 (BSL-4) pathogens and Category A agents, for which the US government requires preparedness in case of bioterrorism. Therefore, preventive measures against these viral hemorrhagic fevers should be prepared, not only in disease-endemic regions, but also in disease-free countries. Diagnostics, vaccines, and therapeutics need to be developed, and therefore the establishment of animal models for EHF and MHF is invaluable. Several animal models have been developed for EHF and MHF using non-human primates (NHPs) and rodents, which are crucial to understand pathophysiology and to develop diagnostics, vaccines, and therapeutics. Rhesus and cynomolgus macaques are representative models of filovirus infection as they exhibit remarkably similar symptoms to those observed in humans. However, the NHP models have practical and ethical problems that limit their experimental use. Furthermore, there are no inbred and genetically manipulated strains of NHP. Rodent models such as mouse, guinea pig, and hamster, have also been developed. However, these rodent models require adaptation of the virus to produce lethal disease and do not mirror all symptoms of human filovirus infection. This review article provides an outline of the clinical features of EHF and MHF in animals, including humans, and discusses how the animal models have been developed to study pathophysiology, vaccines, and therapeutics. PMID:24046765

  8. Hal Is a Bacillus anthracis Heme Acquisition Protein

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balderas, Miriam A.; Nobles, Christopher L.; Honsa, Erin S.; Alicki, Embriette R.

    2012-01-01

    The metal iron is a limiting nutrient for bacteria during infection. Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax and a potential weapon of bioterrorism, grows rapidly in mammalian hosts, which suggests that it efficiently attains iron during infection. Recent studies have uncovered both heme (isd) and siderophore-mediated (asb) iron transport pathways in this pathogen. Whereas deletion of the asb genes results in reduced virulence, the loss of three surface components from isd had no effect, thereby leaving open the question of what additional factors in B. anthracis are responsible for iron uptake from the most abundant iron source for mammals, heme. Here, we describe the first functional characterization of bas0520, a gene recently implicated in anthrax disease progression. bas0520 encodes a single near-iron transporter (NEAT) domain and several leucine-rich repeats. The NEAT domain binds heme, despite lacking a stabilizing tyrosine common to the NEAT superfamily of hemoproteins. The NEAT domain also binds hemoglobin and can acquire heme from hemoglobin in solution. Finally, deletion of bas0520 resulted in bacilli unable to grow efficiently on heme or hemoglobin as an iron source and yielded the most significant phenotype relative to that for other putative heme uptake systems, a result that suggests that this protein plays a prominent role in the replication of B. anthracis in hematogenous environments. Thus, we have assigned the name of Hal (heme-acquisition leucine-rich repeat protein) to BAS0520. These studies advance our understanding of heme acquisition by this dangerous pathogen and justify efforts to determine the mechanistic function of this novel protein for vaccine or inhibitor development. PMID:22865843

  9. Improving the Care and Treatment of Monkeypox Patients in Low-Resource Settings: Applying Evidence from Contemporary Biomedical and Smallpox Biodefense Research

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mary G. Reynolds

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Monkeypox is a smallpox-like illness that can be accompanied by a range of significant medical complications. To date there are no standard or optimized guidelines for the clinical management of monkeypox (MPX patients, particularly in low-resource settings. Consequently, patients can experience protracted illness and poor outcomes. Improving care necessitates developing a better understanding of the range of clinical manifestations—including complications and sequelae—as well as of features of illness that may be predictive of illness severity and poor outcomes. Experimental and natural infection of non-human primates with monkeypox virus can inform the approach to improving patient care, and may suggest options for pharmaceutical intervention. These studies have traditionally been performed to address the threat of smallpox bioterrorism and were designed with the intent of using MPX as a disease surrogate for smallpox. In many cases this necessitated employing high-dose, inhalational or intravenous challenge to recapitulate the severe manifestations of illness seen with smallpox. Overall, these data—and data from biomedical research involving burns, superficial wounds, herpes, eczema vaccinatum, and so forth—suggest that MPX patients could benefit from clinical support to mitigate the consequences of compromised skin and mucosa. This should include prevention and treatment of secondary bacterial infections (and other complications, ensuring adequate hydration and nutrition, and protecting vulnerable anatomical locations such as the eyes and genitals. A standard of care that considers these factors should be developed and assessed in different settings, using clinical metrics specific for MPX alongside consideration of antiviral therapies.

  10. Towards evidence-based, GIS-driven national spatial health information infrastructure and surveillance services in the United Kingdom

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Boulos Maged

    2004-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract The term "Geographic Information Systems" (GIS has been added to MeSH in 2003, a step reflecting the importance and growing use of GIS in health and healthcare research and practices. GIS have much more to offer than the obvious digital cartography (map functions. From a community health perspective, GIS could potentially act as powerful evidence-based practice tools for early problem detection and solving. When properly used, GIS can: inform and educate (professionals and the public; empower decision-making at all levels; help in planning and tweaking clinically and cost-effective actions, in predicting outcomes before making any financial commitments and ascribing priorities in a climate of finite resources; change practices; and continually monitor and analyse changes, as well as sentinel events. Yet despite all these potentials for GIS, they remain under-utilised in the UK National Health Service (NHS. This paper has the following objectives: (1 to illustrate with practical, real-world scenarios and examples from the literature the different GIS methods and uses to improve community health and healthcare practices, e.g., for improving hospital bed availability, in community health and bioterrorism surveillance services, and in the latest SARS outbreak; (2 to discuss challenges and problems currently hindering the wide-scale adoption of GIS across the NHS; and (3 to identify the most important requirements and ingredients for addressing these challenges, and realising GIS potential within the NHS, guided by related initiatives worldwide. The ultimate goal is to illuminate the road towards implementing a comprehensive national, multi-agency spatio-temporal health information infrastructure functioning proactively in real time. The concepts and principles presented in this paper can be also applied in other countries, and on regional (e.g., European Union and global levels.

  11. Changes of Global Infectious Disease Governance in 2000s: Rise of Global Health Security and Transformation of Infectious Disease Control System in South Korea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choi, Eun Kyung; Lee, Jong-Koo

    2016-12-01

    This paper focus upon the changes of global infectious disease governance in 2000s and the transformation of infectious disease control system in South Korea. Traditionally, infectious disease was globally governed by the quarantine regulated by the international conventions. When an infectious disease outbreak occurred in one country, each country prevented transmission of the disease through the standardized quarantine since the installation of international sanitary convention in 1892. Republic of Korea also organized the infectious disease control system with quarantine and disease report procedure after the establishment of government. Additionally, Korea National Health Institute(KNIH) was founded as research and training institute for infectious disease. However, traditional international health regulation system faced a serious challenge by the appearance of emerging and re-emerging infectious disease in 1990s. As a result, global infectious disease governance was rapidly changed under the demand to global disease surveillance and response. Moreover, global health security frame became important after 2001 bioterror and 2003 SARS outbreak. Consequently, international health regulation was fully revised in 2005, which included not only infectious disease but also public health emergency. The new international health regime was differently characterized in several aspects; reinforcement of global cooperation and surveillance, enlargement of the role of supranational and international agencies, and reorganization of national capacity. KNIH was reorganized with epidemic control and research since late 1990s. However, in 2004 Korea Center for Disease Control and Prevention(KCDC) was established as a disease control institution with combining quarantine and other functions after 2003 SARS outbreak. KCDC unified national function against infectious disease including prevention, protection, response and research, as a national representative in disease control. The

  12. Oral vaccination against plague using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Demeure, Christian E; Derbise, Anne; Carniel, Elisabeth

    2017-04-01

    Yersinia pestis, the agent of plague, is among the deadliest bacterial pathogens affecting humans, and is a potential biological weapon. Because antibiotic resistant strains of Yersinia pestis have been observed or could be engineered for evil use, vaccination against plague might become the only means to reduce mortality. Although plague is re-emerging in many countries, a vaccine with worldwide license is currently lacking. The vaccine strategy described here is based on an oral vaccination with an attenuated strain of Yersinia pseudotuberculosis. Indeed, this species is genetically almost identical to Y. pestis, but has a much lower pathogenicity and a higher genomic stability. Gradual modifications of the wild-type Yersinia pseudotuberculosis strain IP32953 were performed to generate a safe and immunogenic vaccine. Genes coding for three essential virulence factors were deleted from this strain. To increase cross-species immunogenicity, an F1-encapsulated Y. pseudotuberculosis strain was then generated. For this, the Y. pestis caf operon, which encodes F1, was inserted first on a plasmid, and subsequently into the chromosome. The successive steps achieved to reach maximal vaccine potential are described, and how each step affected bacterial virulence and the development of a protective immune response is discussed. The final version of the vaccine, named VTnF1, provides a highly efficient and long-lasting protection against both bubonic and pneumonic plague after a single oral vaccine dose. Since a Y. pestis strain deprived of F1 exist or could be engineered, we also analyzed the protection conferred by the vaccine against such strain and found that it also confers full protection against the two forms of plague. Thus, the properties of VTnF1 makes it one of the most efficient candidate vaccine for mass vaccination in tropical endemic areas as well as for populations exposed to bioterrorism. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Patient and family physician preferences for care and communication in the eventuality of anthrax terrorism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kahan, Ernesto; Fogelman, Yacov; Kitai, Eliezer; Vinker, Shlomo

    2003-08-01

    The threat of bioterrorism consequent to the September 11, 2001 attack in the USA generated suggestions for improved medical response mainly through hospital preparedness. The aim of the present study was to investigate the impact of this period of tension on patients' first choice for care and for receiving relevant information, and on primary care doctors' feelings of responsibility in the eventuality of an anthrax attack. During October 11-31, 2001, 500 patients from 30 clinics throughout Israel were asked to complete a questionnaire on their awareness of the anthrax threat, measures taken to prepare for it, and preferred sources of care and information. Their 30 physicians, and an additional 20, completed a questionnaire on knowledge about anthrax and anthrax-related patient behaviours and clinic visits. The outstanding finding was the low rate (30%) of patients who chose the hospital emergency department as their first choice for care or information if they were worried about an anthrax attack or the media communicated that an attack was in progress. The other two-thirds preferred their family doctor or the health authorities. Most of the physicians (89%) felt it was their responsibility to treat anthrax-infected patients and that they should therefore be supplied with appropriate guidelines. This study suggests that in Israel, a country with a high degree of awareness of civil defence aspects, both patients and primary care doctors believe that family physicians should have a major role in the case of bioterrorist attacks. This must be seriously considered during formulation of relevant health services programmes.

  14. Rapid assessment of agents of biological terrorism: defining the differential diagnosis of inhalational anthrax using electronic communication in a practice-based research network.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Temte, Jonathan L; Anderson, Anna Lisa

    2004-01-01

    Early detection of bioterrorism requires assessment of diagnoses assigned to cases of rare diseases with which clinicians have little experience. In this study, we evaluated the process of defining the differential diagnosis for inhalational anthrax using electronic communication within a practice-based research network (PBRN) and compared the results with those obtained from a nationwide random sample of family physicians with a mailed instrument. We distributed survey instruments by e-mail to 55 physician members of the Wisconsin Research Network (WReN), a regional PBRN. The instruments consisted of 3 case vignettes randomly drawn from a set describing 11 patients with inhalational anthrax, 2 with influenza A, and 1 with Legionella pneumonia. Physicians provided their most likely nonanthrax diagnosis, along with their responses to 4 yes-or-no management questions for each case. Physicians who had not responded at 1 week received a second e-mail with the survey instrument. The comparison group consisted of the nationwide sample of physicians who completed mailed survey instruments. Primary outcome measures were response rate, median response time, and frequencies of diagnostic categories assigned to cases of inhalational anthrax. The PBRN response rate compared favorably with that of the national sample (47.3% vs 37.0%; P = not significant). The median response time for the PBRN was significantly shorter than that for the national sample (2 vs 28 days; P < .001). No significant differences were found between the PBRN and the Midwest subset of the national sample in the frequencies of major diagnostic categories or in case management. Electronic means of creating differential diagnoses for rare infectious diseases of national significance is feasible within PBRNs. Information is much more rapidly acquired and is consistent with that obtained by conventional methods.

  15. The need for high-quality whole-genome sequence databases in microbial forensics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sjödin, Andreas; Broman, Tina; Melefors, Öjar; Andersson, Gunnar; Rasmusson, Birgitta; Knutsson, Rickard; Forsman, Mats

    2013-09-01

    Microbial forensics is an important part of a strengthened capability to respond to biocrime and bioterrorism incidents to aid in the complex task of distinguishing between natural outbreaks and deliberate acts. The goal of a microbial forensic investigation is to identify and criminally prosecute those responsible for a biological attack, and it involves a detailed analysis of the weapon--that is, the pathogen. The recent development of next-generation sequencing (NGS) technologies has greatly increased the resolution that can be achieved in microbial forensic analyses. It is now possible to identify, quickly and in an unbiased manner, previously undetectable genome differences between closely related isolates. This development is particularly relevant for the most deadly bacterial diseases that are caused by bacterial lineages with extremely low levels of genetic diversity. Whole-genome analysis of pathogens is envisaged to be increasingly essential for this purpose. In a microbial forensic context, whole-genome sequence analysis is the ultimate method for strain comparisons as it is informative during identification, characterization, and attribution--all 3 major stages of the investigation--and at all levels of microbial strain identity resolution (ie, it resolves the full spectrum from family to isolate). Given these capabilities, one bottleneck in microbial forensics investigations is the availability of high-quality reference databases of bacterial whole-genome sequences. To be of high quality, databases need to be curated and accurate in terms of sequences, metadata, and genetic diversity coverage. The development of whole-genome sequence databases will be instrumental in successfully tracing pathogens in the future.

  16. A Review of Classical Swine Fever Virus and Routes of Introduction into the United States and the Potential for Virus Establishment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vienna R. Brown

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Classical swine fever (CSF is caused by CSF virus (CSFV which can be the source of substantial morbidity and mortality events in affected swine. The disease can take one of several forms (acute, chronic, or prenatal and depending on the virulence of the inoculating strain may result in a lethal infection irrespective of the form acquired. Because of the disease-free status of the United States and the high cost of a viral incursion, a summary of US vulnerabilities for viral introduction and persistence is provided. The legal importation of live animals as well as animal products, byproducts, and animal feed serve as a potential route of viral introduction. Current import regulations are described as are mitigation strategies that are commonly utilized to prevent pathogens, including CSFV, from entering the US. The illegal movement of suids and their products as well as an event of bioterrorism are both feasible routes of viral introduction but are difficult to restrict or regulate. Ultimately, recommendations are made for data that would be useful in the event of a viral incursion. Population and density mapping for feral swine across the United States would be valuable in the event of a viral introduction or spillover; density data could further contribute to understanding the risk of infection in domestic swine. Additionally, ecological and behavioral studies, including those that evaluate the effects of anthropogenic food sources that support feral swine densities far above the carrying capacity would provide invaluable insight to our understanding of how human interventions affect feral swine populations. Further analyses to determine the sampling strategies necessary to detect low levels of antibody prevalence in feral swine would also be valuable.

  17. Animal models for Ebola and Marburg virus infections

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eri eNakayama

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available Ebola and Marburg hemorrhagic fevers (EHF and MHF are caused by the Filoviridae family, Ebolavirus and Marburgvirus (ebolavirus and marburgvirus, respectively. These severe diseases have high mortality rates in humans. Although EHF and MHF are endemic to sub-Saharan Africa. A novel filovirus, Lloviu virus, which is genetically distinct from ebolavirus and marburgvirus, was recently discovered in Spain where filoviral hemorrhagic fever had never been reported. The virulence of this virus has not been determined. Ebolavirus and marburgvirus are classified as biosafety level-4 (BSL-4 pathogens and Category A agents, for which the US government requires preparedness in case of bioterrorism. Therefore, preventive measures against these viral hemorrhagic fevers should be prepared, not only in disease-endemic regions, but also in disease-free countries. Diagnostics, vaccines, and therapeutics need to be developed, and therefore the establishment of animal models for EHF and MHF is invaluable. Several animal models have been developed for EHF and MHF using nonhuman primates (NHPs and rodents, which are crucial to understand pathophysiology and to develop diagnostics, vaccines, and therapeutics. Rhesus and cynomolgus macaques are representative models of filovirus infection as they exhibit remarkably similar symptoms to those observed in humans. However, the NHP models have practical and ethical problems that limit their experimental use. Furthermore, there are no inbred and genetically manipulated strains of NHP. Rodent models such as mouse, guinea pig, and hamster, have also been developed. However, these rodent models require adaptation of the virus to produce lethal disease and do not mirror all symptoms of human filovirus infection. This review article provides an outline of the clinical features of EHF and MHF in animals, including humans, and discusses how the animal models have been developed to study pathophysiology, vaccines, and therapeutics.

  18. Distributed data processing for public health surveillance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yih Katherine

    2006-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Many systems for routine public health surveillance rely on centralized collection of potentially identifiable, individual, identifiable personal health information (PHI records. Although individual, identifiable patient records are essential for conditions for which there is mandated reporting, such as tuberculosis or sexually transmitted diseases, they are not routinely required for effective syndromic surveillance. Public concern about the routine collection of large quantities of PHI to support non-traditional public health functions may make alternative surveillance methods that do not rely on centralized identifiable PHI databases increasingly desirable. Methods The National Bioterrorism Syndromic Surveillance Demonstration Program (NDP is an example of one alternative model. All PHI in this system is initially processed within the secured infrastructure of the health care provider that collects and holds the data, using uniform software distributed and supported by the NDP. Only highly aggregated count data is transferred to the datacenter for statistical processing and display. Results Detailed, patient level information is readily available to the health care provider to elucidate signals observed in the aggregated data, or for ad hoc queries. We briefly describe the benefits and disadvantages associated with this distributed processing model for routine automated syndromic surveillance. Conclusion For well-defined surveillance requirements, the model can be successfully deployed with very low risk of inadvertent disclosure of PHI – a feature that may make participation in surveillance systems more feasible for organizations and more appealing to the individuals whose PHI they hold. It is possible to design and implement distributed systems to support non-routine public health needs if required.

  19. A multicopy suppressor screening approach as a means to identify antibiotic resistance determinant candidates in Yersinia pestis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Moy Richard L

    2008-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Yersinia pestis is the causative agent of plague and a potential agent of bioterrorism and biowarfare. The plague biothreat and the emergence of multidrug-resistant plague underscore the need to increase our understanding of the intrinsic potential of Y. pestis for developing antimicrobial resistance and to anticipate the mechanisms of resistance that may emerge in Y. pestis. Identification of Y. pestis genes that, when overexpressed, are capable of reducing antibiotic susceptibility is a useful strategy to expose genes that this pathogen may rely upon to evolve antibiotic resistance via a vertical modality. In this study, we explored the use of a multicopy suppressor, Escherichia coli host-based screening approach as a means to expose antibiotic resistance determinant candidates in Y. pestis. Results We constructed a multicopy plasmid-based, Y. pestis genome-wide expression library of nearly 16,000 clones in E. coli and screened the library for suppressors of the antimicrobial activity of ofloxacin, a fluoroquinolone antibiotic. The screen permitted the identification of a transcriptional regulator-encoding gene (robAYp that increased the MIC99 of ofloxacin by 23-fold when overexpressed from a multicopy plasmid in Y. pestis. Additionally, we found that robAYp overexpression in Y. pestis conferred low-level resistance to many other antibiotics and increased organic solvent tolerance. Overexpression of robAYp also upregulated the expression of several efflux pumps in Y. pestis. Conclusion Our study provides proof of principle for the use of multicopy suppressor screening based on the tractable and easy-to-manipulate E. coli host as a means to identify antibiotic resistance determinant candidates of Y. pestis.

  20. Can biowarfare agents be defeated with light?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vatansever, Fatma; Ferraresi, Cleber; de Sousa, Marcelo Victor Pires; Yin, Rui; Rineh, Ardeshir; Sharma, Sulbha K; Hamblin, Michael R

    2013-01-01

    Biological warfare and bioterrorism is an unpleasant fact of 21st century life. Highly infectious and profoundly virulent diseases may be caused in combat personnel or in civilian populations by the appropriate dissemination of viruses, bacteria, spores, fungi, or toxins. Dissemination may be airborne, waterborne, or by contamination of food or surfaces. Countermeasures may be directed toward destroying or neutralizing the agents outside the body before infection has taken place, by destroying the agents once they have entered the body before the disease has fully developed, or by immunizing susceptible populations against the effects. A range of light-based technologies may have a role to play in biodefense countermeasures. Germicidal UV (UVC) is exceptionally active in destroying a wide range of viruses and microbial cells, and recent data suggests that UVC has high selectivity over host mammalian cells and tissues. Two UVA mediated approaches may also have roles to play; one where UVA is combined with titanium dioxide nanoparticles in a process called photocatalysis, and a second where UVA is combined with psoralens (PUVA) to produce “killed but metabolically active” microbial cells that may be particularly suitable for vaccines. Many microbial cells are surprisingly sensitive to blue light alone, and blue light can effectively destroy bacteria, fungi, and Bacillus spores and can treat wound infections. The combination of photosensitizing dyes such as porphyrins or phenothiaziniums and red light is called photodynamic therapy (PDT) or photoinactivation, and this approach cannot only kill bacteria, spores, and fungi, but also inactivate viruses and toxins. Many reports have highlighted the ability of PDT to treat infections and stimulate the host immune system. Finally pulsed (femtosecond) high power lasers have been used to inactivate pathogens with some degree of selectivity. We have pointed to some of the ways light-based technology may be used to defeat

  1. Existing Approaches to Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear (CBRN) Education and Training for Health Professionals: Findings from an Integrative Literature Review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kako, Mayumi; Hammad, Karen; Mitani, Satoko; Arbon, Paul

    2018-04-01

    This review was conducted to explore the literature to determine the availability, content, and evaluation of existing chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) education programs for health professionals. An integrative review of the international literature describing disaster education for CBRN (2004-2016) was conducted. The following relevant databases were searched: Proquest, Pubmed, Science Direct, Scopus, Journals @ OVID, Google Scholar, Medline, and Ichuschi ver. 5 (Japanese database for health professionals). The search terms used were: "disaster," "chemical," "biological," "radiological," "nuclear," "CBRN," "health professional education," and "method." The following Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) terms, "education," "nursing," "continuing," "disasters," "disaster planning," and "bioterrorism," were used wherever possible and appropriate. The retrieved articles were narratively analyzed according to availability, content, and method. The content was thematically analyzed to provide an overview of the core content of the training. The literature search identified 619 potentially relevant articles for this study. Duplicates (n=104) were removed and 87 articles were identified for title review. In total, 67 articles were discarded, yielding 20 articles for all-text review, following 11 studies were retained for analysis, including one Japanese study. All articles published in English were from the USA, apart from the two studies located in Japan and Sweden. The most typical content in the selected literature was CBRN theory (n=11), followed by studies based on incident command (n=8), decontamination (n=7), disaster management (n=7), triage (n=7), personal protective equipment (PPE) use (n = 5), and post-training briefing (n=3). While the CBRN training course requires the participants to gain specific skills and knowledge, proposed training courses should be effectively constructed to include approaches such as scenario-based simulations

  2. Genome-scale reconstruction of the metabolic network in Yersinia pestis, strain 91001

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Navid, A; Almaas, E

    2009-01-13

    The gram-negative bacterium Yersinia pestis, the aetiological agent of bubonic plague, is one the deadliest pathogens known to man. Despite its historical reputation, plague is a modern disease which annually afflicts thousands of people. Public safety considerations greatly limit clinical experimentation on this organism and thus development of theoretical tools to analyze the capabilities of this pathogen is of utmost importance. Here, we report the first genome-scale metabolic model of Yersinia pestis biovar Mediaevalis based both on its recently annotated genome, and physiological and biochemical data from literature. Our model demonstrates excellent agreement with Y. pestis known metabolic needs and capabilities. Since Y. pestis is a meiotrophic organism, we have developed CryptFind, a systematic approach to identify all candidate cryptic genes responsible for known and theoretical meiotrophic phenomena. In addition to uncovering every known cryptic gene for Y. pestis, our analysis of the rhamnose fermentation pathway suggests that betB is the responsible cryptic gene. Despite all of our medical advances, we still do not have a vaccine for bubonic plague. Recent discoveries of antibiotic resistant strains of Yersinia pestis coupled with the threat of plague being used as a bioterrorism weapon compel us to develop new tools for studying the physiology of this deadly pathogen. Using our theoretical model, we can study the cell's phenotypic behavior under different circumstances and identify metabolic weaknesses which may be harnessed for the development of therapeutics. Additionally, the automatic identification of cryptic genes expands the usage of genomic data for pharmaceutical purposes.

  3. The evolution, etiology and eventualities of the global health security regime.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoffman, Steven J

    2010-11-01

    Attention to global health security governance is more important now than ever before. Scientists predict that a possible influenza pandemic could affect 1.5 billion people, cause up to 150 million deaths and leave US$3 trillion in economic damages. A public health emergency in one country is now only hours away from affecting many others. Using regime analysis from political science, the principles, norms, rules and decision-making procedures by which states govern health security are examined in the historical context of their punctuated evolution. This methodology illuminates the catalytic agents of change, distributional consequences and possible future orders that can help to better inform progress in this area. Four periods of global health security governance are identified. The first is characterized by unilateral quarantine regulations (1377-1851), the second by multiple sanitary conferences (1851-92), the third by several international sanitary conventions and international health organizations (1892-1946) and the fourth by the hegemonic leadership of the World Health Organization (1946-????). This final regime, like others before it, is challenged by globalization (e.g. limitations of the new International Health Regulations), changing diplomacy (e.g. proliferation of global health security organizations), new tools (e.g. global health law, human rights and health diplomacy) and shock-activated vulnerabilities (e.g. bioterrorism and avian/swine influenza). This understanding, in turn, allows us to appreciate the impact of this evolving regime on class, race and gender, as well as to consider four possible future configurations of power, including greater authority for the World Health Organization, a concert of powers, developing countries and civil society organizations. This regime analysis allows us to understand the evolution, etiology and eventualities of the global health security regime, which is essential for national and international health

  4. Between Scylla and Charybdis: reconciling competing data management demands in the life sciences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bezuidenhout, Louise M; Morrison, Michael

    2016-05-17

    The widespread sharing of biologicaConcluding Comments: Teaching Responsible Datal and biomedical data is recognised as a key element in facilitating translation of scientific discoveries into novel clinical applications and services. At the same time, twenty-first century states are increasingly concerned that this data could also be used for purposes of bioterrorism. There is thus a tension between the desire to promote the sharing of data, as encapsulated by the Open Data movement, and the desire to prevent this data from 'falling into the wrong hands' as represented by 'dual use' policies. Both frameworks posit a moral duty for life sciences researchers with respect to how they should make their data available. However, Open data and dual use concerns are rarely discussed in concert and their implementation can present scientists with potentially conflicting ethical requirements. Both dual use and Open data policies frame scientific data and data dissemination in particular, though different, ways. As such they contain implicit models for how data is translated. Both approaches are limited by a focus on abstract conceptions of data and data sharing. This works to impede consensus-building between the two ethical frameworks. As an alternative, this paper proposes that an ethics of responsible management of scientific data should be based on a more nuanced understanding of the everyday data practices of life scientists. Responsibility for these 'micromovements' of data must consider the needs and duties of scientists as individuals and as collectively-organised groups. Researchers in the life sciences are faced with conflicting ethical responsibilities to share data as widely as possible, but prevent it being used for bioterrorist purposes. In order to reconcile the responsibilities posed by the Open Data and dual use frameworks, approaches should focus more on the everyday practices of laboratory scientists and less on abstract conceptions of data.

  5. Protective immunity against tularemia provided by an adenovirus-vectored vaccine expressing Tul4 of Francisella tularensis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaur, Ravinder; Chen, Shan; Arévalo, Maria T; Xu, Qingfu; Chen, Yanping; Zeng, Mingtao

    2012-03-01

    Francisella tularensis, a category A bioterrorism agent, is a highly infectious organism that is passed on via skin contact and inhalation routes. A live attenuated vaccine strain (LVS) has been developed, but it has not been licensed for public use by the FDA due to safety concerns. Thus, there exists a need for a safer and improved vaccine. In this study, we have constructed a replication-incompetent adenovirus, Ad/opt-Tul4, carrying a codon-optimized gene for expression of a membrane protein, Tul4, of F. tularensis LVS. Its ability to protect against lethal challenge and its immunogenicity were evaluated in a murine model. An intramuscular injection of a single dose (1 × 10(7) PFU) of Ad/opt-Tul4 elicited a robust Tul4-specific antibody response. Assays suggest a Th1-driven response. A single dose elicited 20% protection against challenge with 100 × 50% lethal dose (LD(50)) F. tularensis LVS; two additional booster shots resulted in 60% protection. In comparison, three doses of 5 μg recombinant Tul4 protein did not elicit significant protection against challenge. Therefore, the Ad/opt-Tul4 vaccine was more effective than the protein vaccine, and protection was dose dependent. Compared to LVS, the protection rate is lower, but an adenovirus-vectored vaccine may be more attractive due to its enhanced safety profile and mucosal route of delivery. Furthermore, simple genetic modification of the vaccine may potentially produce antibodies protective against a fully virulent strain of F. tularensis. Our data support the development and further research of an adenovirus-vectored vaccine against Tul4 of F. tularensis LVS.

  6. MENGAPA BIOSECURITY MENJADI PENTING PADA LABORATORIUM PENYAKIT INFEKSI ?

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    Frans X Suharyanto Halim

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract . Laboratory biosecurity is the protection, control and accountability for valuable biological material ( VBM laboratories, in order to prevent their unauthorized access, loss, theft, misuse, diversion or intentional release. The efforts of biosecurity have capability to anticipate the potential probability of releasing biohazard agent from the laboratory, the risk assessment study in the infectious disease laboratories was an effort to know whether biosecurity measures were applied in the laboratory. The usage of modified checklist questionnaire of biosecurity for collecting data and observation was done to identify potential hazard in the infectious disease laboratories according to the conceptional framework of agent, host and environmental principal. The places of this assessment are in the five regional referral infectious disease laboratories , i.e., Universitas Islam Sumatera Utara (UISU Medan, Universitas Indonesia (UI - Jakarta, Balai Pengembangan Laboratorium Kesehatan (BPLK - Bandung, Universitas Diponegoro (UNDIP - Semarang , Universitas Hasanudin (UNHAS - Makassar, one referral hospital , i.e., Rumah Sakit Umum Daerah (RSUD - Tangerang and one national referral laboratory of Center for Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Research and Development, National Institute of Health Research and Development ( NIHRD, Ministry of Health (MOH, Jakarta. The risk assessment study was done in year 2008-2009. Physical security, personnel management and information security as components of biosecurity were not applied properly in the 7 infectious disease laboratories. Applying biosecurity in the infectious disease laboratories was very important and need to be done completely to anticipate their unauthorized access, loss, theft, misuse, diversion or intentional release.Keywords : biosecurity,   bioterrorism , infectious disease laboratory, and valuable biological materials (VBM

  7. ACAM2000™: The new smallpox vaccine for United States Strategic National Stockpile

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    Aysegul Nalca

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available Aysegul Nalca, Elizabeth E ZumbrunCenter for Aerobiological Sciences, US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID, Fort Detrick, MD, USAAbstract: Smallpox was eradicated more than 30 years ago, but heightened concerns over bioterrorism have brought smallpox and smallpox vaccination back to the forefront. The previously licensed smallpox vaccine in the United States, Dryvax® (Wyeth Laboratories, Inc., was highly effective, but the supply was insufficient to vaccinate the entire current US population. Additionally, Dryvax® had a questionable safety profile since it consisted of a pool of vaccinia virus strains with varying degrees of virulence, and was grown on the skin of calves, an outdated technique that poses an unnecessary risk of contamination. The US government has therefore recently supported development of an improved live vaccinia virus smallpox vaccine. This initiative has resulted in the development of ACAM2000™ (Acambis, Inc.™, a single plaque-purified vaccinia virus derivative of Dryvax®, aseptically propagated in cell culture. Preclinical and clinical trials reported in 2008 demonstrated that ACAM2000™ has comparable immunogenicity to that of Dryvax®, and causes a similar frequency of adverse events. Furthermore, like Dryvax®, ACAM2000™ vaccination has been shown by careful cardiac screening to result in an unexpectedly high rate of myocarditis and pericarditis. ACAM2000™ received US Food and Drug Administration (FDA approval in August 2007, and replaced Dryvax® for all smallpox vaccinations in February 2008. Currently, over 200 million doses of ACAM2000™ have been produced for the US Strategic National Stockpile. This review of ACAM2000™ addresses the production, characterization, clinical trials, and adverse events associated with this new smallpox vaccine.Keywords: smallpox, vaccinia, variola, vaccine, efficacy, safety

  8. Demonstration Exercise of a Validated Sample Collection Method for Powders Suspected of Being Biological Agents in Georgia 2006

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Marsh, B.

    2007-01-01

    August 7, 2006 the state of Georgia conducted a collaborative sampling exercise between the Georgia National Guard 4th Civil Support Team Weapons of Mass Destruction (CST-WMD) and the Georgia Department of Human Resources Division of Public Health demonstrating a recently validated bulk powder sampling method. The exercise was hosted at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) at Glynn County, Georgia and involved the participation of the Georgia Emergency Management Agency (GEMA), Georgia National Guard, Georgia Public Health Laboratories, the Federal Bureau of Investigation Atlanta Office, Georgia Coastal Health District, and the Glynn County Fire Department. The purpose of the exercise was to demonstrate a recently validated national sampling standard developed by the American Standards and Test Measures (ASTM) International; ASTM E2458 S tandard Practice for Bulk Sample Collection and Swab Sample Collection of Visible Powders Suspected of Being Biological Agents from Nonporous Surfaces . The intent of the exercise was not to endorse the sampling method, but to develop a model for exercising new sampling methods in the context of existing standard operating procedures (SOPs) while strengthening operational relationships between response teams and analytical laboratories. The exercise required a sampling team to respond real-time to an incident cross state involving a clandestine bio-terrorism production lab found within a recreational vehicle (RV). Sample targets consisted of non-viable gamma irradiated B. anthracis Sterne spores prepared by Dugway Proving Ground. Various spore concentration levels were collected by the ASTM method, followed by on- and off-scene analysis utilizing the Center for Disease Control (CDC) Laboratory Response Network (LRN) and National Guard Bureau (NGB) CST mobile Analytical Laboratory Suite (ALS) protocols. Analytical results were compared and detailed surveys of participant evaluation comments were examined. I will

  9. Inoculation Policies in Response to Terrorist or WMD Attacks: Additional Factors to Consider

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Leitner, P. M.

    2007-01-01

    When viewed on its own merits, the debate over who should be inoculated during a period of biological emergency is a rather straightforward public policy decision. The classic public policy 'balancing act' decision-making model is defaulted to as issues of fairness, efficiency, cost-effectiveness, adequacy of supply, mission performance, and constituencies are arrayed and adjudicated. This mainstream approach is appropriate as far as it goes but it also exemplifies a series of structural and perceptual weaknesses when applied to wartime or localized terrorism scenarios. In fact, the establishment of a vaccination policy appropriate to a flu pandemic falls squarely within this mainstream debate. Although the notion of a pandemic carries an assumption of a great many fatalities it does not possess the fear quotient, uncertainty, horror, unnaturalness, or inevitability of a bio-terror or biological warfare incident. As a result, the reliability and responsiveness of key personnel responding to a flu pandemic should be less of an issue than it will be in the event of an intentional man-made biological incident. The principal policy weakness in instances an intentional bio-attack stems from a generalized failure, or refusal, to systematically study the behavior of key personnel, first-responders, soldiers, or critical senior leadership during severe crises occurring in their own backyards. In other words, when the 'balloon goes up' how many of your responders and critical personnel will show up for work? This presentation considers many of the 'unaddressed' factors that experience has shown may have a determinative effect upon the efficacy of a response to a biological incident. Lessons are drawn from experiences of US forces station in the former West Germany, US Defense Department Continuity of Operations Programs, Hurricane Katrina, and the 9/11 attacks on the United States. (author)

  10. Crystallization of a newly discovered histidine acid phosphatase from Francisella tularensis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Felts, Richard L.; Reilly, Thomas J.; Calcutt, Michael J.; Tanner, John J.

    2005-01-01

    A histidine acid phosphatase from the CDC Category A pathogen F. tularensis has been crystallized in space group P4 1 2 1 2, with unit-cell parameters a = 61.96, c = 210.78 Å. A 1.75 Å resolution data set was collected at Advanced Light Source beamline 4.2.2. Francisella tularensis is a highly infectious bacterial pathogen that is considered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to be a potential bioterrorism weapon. Here, the crystallization of a 37.2 kDa phosphatase encoded by the genome of F. tularensis subsp. holarctica live vaccine strain is reported. This enzyme shares 41% amino-acid sequence identity with Legionella pneumophila major acid phosphatase and contains the RHGXRXP motif that is characteristic of the histidine acid phosphatase family. Large diffraction-quality crystals were grown in the presence of Tacsimate, HEPES and PEG 3350. The crystals belong to space group P4 1 2 1 2, with unit-cell parameters a = 61.96, c = 210.78 Å. The asymmetric unit is predicted to contain one protein molecule, with a solvent content of 53%. A 1.75 Å resolution native data set was recorded at beamline 4.2.2 of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Advanced Light Source. Molecular-replacement trials using the human prostatic acid phosphatase structure as the search model (28% amino-acid sequence identity) did not produce a satisfactory solution. Therefore, the structure of F. tularensis histidine acid phosphatase will be determined by multiwavelength anomalous dispersion phasing using a selenomethionyl derivative

  11. Cellular entry of ebola virus involves uptake by a macropinocytosis-like mechanism and subsequent trafficking through early and late endosomes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohammad F Saeed

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available Zaire ebolavirus (ZEBOV, a highly pathogenic zoonotic virus, poses serious public health, ecological and potential bioterrorism threats. Currently no specific therapy or vaccine is available. Virus entry is an attractive target for therapeutic intervention. However, current knowledge of the ZEBOV entry mechanism is limited. While it is known that ZEBOV enters cells through endocytosis, which of the cellular endocytic mechanisms used remains unclear. Previous studies have produced differing outcomes, indicating potential involvement of multiple routes but many of these studies were performed using noninfectious surrogate systems such as pseudotyped retroviral particles, which may not accurately recapitulate the entry characteristics of the morphologically distinct wild type virus. Here we used replication-competent infectious ZEBOV as well as morphologically similar virus-like particles in specific infection and entry assays to demonstrate that in HEK293T and Vero cells internalization of ZEBOV is independent of clathrin, caveolae, and dynamin. Instead the uptake mechanism has features of macropinocytosis. The binding of virus to cells appears to directly stimulate fluid phase uptake as well as localized actin polymerization. Inhibition of key regulators of macropinocytosis including Pak1 and CtBP/BARS as well as treatment with the drug EIPA, which affects macropinosome formation, resulted in significant reduction in ZEBOV entry and infection. It is also shown that following internalization, the virus enters the endolysosomal pathway and is trafficked through early and late endosomes, but the exact site of membrane fusion and nucleocapsid penetration in the cytoplasm remains unclear. This study identifies the route for ZEBOV entry and identifies the key cellular factors required for the uptake of this filamentous virus. The findings greatly expand our understanding of the ZEBOV entry mechanism that can be applied to development of new

  12. Multisectoral prioritization of zoonotic diseases in Uganda, 2017: A One Health perspective.

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    Musa Sekamatte

    Full Text Available Zoonotic diseases continue to be a public health burden globally. Uganda is especially vulnerable due to its location, biodiversity, and population. Given these concerns, the Ugandan government in collaboration with the Global Health Security Agenda conducted a One Health Zoonotic Disease Prioritization Workshop to identify zoonotic diseases of greatest national concern to the Ugandan government.The One Health Zoonotic Disease Prioritization tool, a semi-quantitative tool developed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, was used for the prioritization of zoonoses. Workshop participants included voting members and observers representing multiple government and non-governmental sectors. During the workshop, criteria for prioritization were selected, and questions and weights relevant to each criterion were determined. We used a decision tree to provide a ranked list of zoonoses. Participants then established next steps for multisectoral engagement for the prioritized zoonoses. A sensitivity analysis demonstrated how criteria weights impacted disease prioritization.Forty-eight zoonoses were considered during the workshop. Criteria selected to prioritize zoonotic diseases were (1 severity of disease in humans in Uganda, (2 availability of effective control strategies, (3 potential to cause an epidemic or pandemic in humans or animals, (4 social and economic impacts, and (5 bioterrorism potential. Seven zoonotic diseases were identified as priorities for Uganda: anthrax, zoonotic influenza viruses, viral hemorrhagic fevers, brucellosis, African trypanosomiasis, plague, and rabies. Sensitivity analysis did not indicate significant changes in zoonotic disease prioritization based on criteria weights.One Health approaches and multisectoral collaborations are crucial to the surveillance, prevention, and control strategies for zoonotic diseases. Uganda used such an approach to identify zoonoses of national concern. Identifying these

  13. Proteomic analysis of the cyst stage of Entamoeba histolytica.

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    Ibne Karim M Ali

    Full Text Available The category B agent of bioterrorism, Entamoeba histolytica has a two-stage life cycle: an infective cyst stage, and an invasive trophozoite stage. Due to our inability to effectively induce encystation in vitro, our knowledge about the cyst form remains limited. This also hampers our ability to develop cyst-specific diagnostic tools.Three main aims were (i to identify E. histolytica proteins in cyst samples, (ii to enrich our knowledge about the cyst stage, and (iii to identify candidate proteins to develop cyst-specific diagnostic tools.Cysts were purified from the stool of infected individuals using Percoll (gradient purification. A highly sensitive LC-MS/MS mass spectrometer (Orbitrap was used to identify cyst proteins.A total of 417 non-redundant E. histolytica proteins were identified including 195 proteins that were never detected in trophozoite-derived proteomes or expressed sequence tag (EST datasets, consistent with cyst specificity. Cyst-wall specific glycoproteins Jacob, Jessie and chitinase were positively identified. Antibodies produced against Jacob identified cysts in fecal specimens and have potential utility as a diagnostic reagent. Several protein kinases, small GTPase signaling molecules, DNA repair proteins, epigenetic regulators, and surface associated proteins were also identified. Proteins we identified are likely to be among the most abundant in excreted cysts, and therefore show promise as diagnostic targets.The proteome data generated here are a first for naturally-occurring E. histolytica cysts, and they provide important insights into the infectious cyst form. Additionally, numerous unique candidate proteins were identified which will aid the development of new diagnostic tools for identification of E. histolytica cysts.

  14. Changes of Global Infectious Disease Governance in 2000s: Rise of Global Health Security and Transformation of Infectious Disease Control System in South Korea

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    Eun Kyung CHOI

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available This paper focus upon the changes of global infectious disease governance in 2000s and the transformation of infectious disease control system in South Korea. Traditionally, infectious disease was globally governed by the quarantine regulated by the international conventions. When an infectious disease outbreak occurred in one country, each country prevented transmission of the disease through the standardized quarantine since the installation of international sanitary convention in 1892. Republic of Korea also organized the infectious disease control system with quarantine and disease report procedure after the establishment of government. Additionally, Korea National Health Institute(KNIH was founded as research and training institute for infectious disease. However, traditional international health regulation system faced a serious challenge by the appearance of emerging and re-emerging infectious disease in 1990s. As a result, global infectious disease governance was rapidly changed under the demand to global disease surveillance and response. Moreover, global health security frame became important after 2001 bioterror and 2003 SARS outbreak. Consequently, international health regulation was fully revised in 2005, which included not only infectious disease but also public health emergency. The new international health regime was differently characterized in several aspects; reinforcement of global cooperation and surveillance, enlargement of the role of supranational and international agencies, and reorganization of national capacity. KNIH was reorganized with epidemic control and research since late 1990s. However, in 2004 Korea Center for Disease Control and Prevention(KCDC was established as a disease control institution with combining quarantine and other functions after 2003 SARS outbreak. KCDC unified national function against infectious disease including prevention, protection, response and research, as a national representative in

  15. Microorganism Identification Based On MALDI-TOF-MS Fingerprints

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elssner, Thomas; Kostrzewa, Markus; Maier, Thomas; Kruppa, Gary

    Advances in MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry have enabled the ­development of a rapid, accurate and specific method for the identification of bacteria directly from colonies picked from culture plates, which we have named the MALDI Biotyper. The picked colonies are placed on a target plate, a drop of matrix solution is added, and a pattern of protein molecular weights and intensities, "the protein fingerprint" of the bacteria, is produced by the MALDI-TOF mass spectrometer. The obtained protein mass fingerprint representing a molecular signature of the microorganism is then matched against a database containing a library of previously measured protein mass fingerprints, and scores for the match to every library entry are produced. An ID is obtained if a score is returned over a pre-set threshold. The sensitivity of the techniques is such that only approximately 104 bacterial cells are needed, meaning that an overnight culture is sufficient, and the results are obtained in minutes after culture. The improvement in time to result over biochemical methods, and the capability to perform a non-targeted identification of bacteria and spores, potentially makes this method suitable for use in the detect-to-treat timeframe in a bioterrorism event. In the case of white-powder samples, the infectious spore is present in sufficient quantity in the powder so that the MALDI Biotyper result can be obtained directly from the white powder, without the need for culture. While spores produce very different patterns from the vegetative colonies of the corresponding bacteria, this problem is overcome by simply including protein fingerprints of the spores in the library. Results on spores can be returned within minutes, making the method suitable for use in the "detect-to-protect" timeframe.

  16. Science for the common good.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fauci, Anthony

    2002-02-01

    A smile comes easily to the face of Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, as he encounters visitors to his offices at the Institute. He does not, however, allow himself to be distracted from his duties for longer than it takes to nod warmly. The sense of discipline and the determination and preparedness that were instilled in him through a Jesuit course of education are apparent. He is as direct and as clear spoken in person as you've seen him on television, speaking on innumerable occasions over the past two decades about the pathology and treatment of AIDS, and more recently, delineating the public health from the national security issues precipitated by the bioterrorist events of the past year. The three office assistants who occupy his reception area have been particularly taxed in the management of Fauci's schedule since 9/11; as they pause briefly from their work to share photographs of a friend's recent wedding, Fauci is there to admonish them, semi-good-naturally, as government employees, to return to their official duties. He has been meeting with high government officials and has been courted by the media for interviews regularly since the tragedies began. Given his high profile, it is easy to forget that Fauci is, foremost, a clinical immunobiologist and physician. His dedication to science is part of his commitment to public service, also a value instilled in him by the Jesuits. Fortunately for all of us, Fauci was pursuing this combination of interests--within the venue of bioterrorism--in his official capacity at the NIAID well before the general public had awaken to the threat.

  17. Using surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy and electrochemically driven melting to discriminate Yersinia pestis from Y. pseudotuberculosis based on single nucleotide polymorphisms within unpurified polymerase chain reaction amplicons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Papadopoulou, Evanthia; Goodchild, Sarah A; Cleary, David W; Weller, Simon A; Gale, Nittaya; Stubberfield, Michael R; Brown, Tom; Bartlett, Philip N

    2015-02-03

    The development of sensors for the detection of pathogen-specific DNA, including relevant species/strain level discrimination, is critical in molecular diagnostics with major impacts in areas such as bioterrorism and food safety. Herein, we use electrochemically driven denaturation assays monitored by surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) to target single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that distinguish DNA amplicons generated from Yersinia pestis, the causative agent of plague, from the closely related species Y. pseudotuberculosis. Two assays targeting SNPs within the groEL and metH genes of these two species have been successfully designed. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was used to produce Texas Red labeled single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) amplicons of 262 and 251 bases for the groEL and metH targets, respectively. These amplicons were used in an unpurified form to hybridize to immobilized probes then subjected to electrochemically driven melting. In all cases electrochemically driven melting was able to discriminate between fully homologous DNA and that containing SNPs. The metH assay was particularly challenging due to the presence of only a single base mismatch in the middle of the 251 base long PCR amplicon. However, manipulation of assay conditions (conducting the electrochemical experiments at 10 °C) resulted in greater discrimination between the complementary and mismatched DNA. Replicate data were collected and analyzed for each duplex on different days, using different batches of PCR product and different sphere segment void (SSV) substrates. Despite the variability introduced by these differences, the assays are shown to be reliable and robust providing a new platform for strain discrimination using unpurified PCR samples.

  18. Lovastatin protects against experimental plague in mice.

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    Saravanan Ayyadurai

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Plague is an ectoparasite-borne deadly infection caused by Yersinia pestis, a bacterium classified among the group A bioterrorism agents. Thousands of deaths are reported every year in some African countries. Tetracyclines and cotrimoxazole are used in the secondary prophylaxis of plague in the case of potential exposure to Y. pestis, but cotrimoxazole-resistant isolates have been reported. There is a need for additional prophylactic measures. We aimed to study the effectiveness of lovastatin, a cholesterol-lowering drug known to alleviate the symptoms of sepsis, for plague prophylaxis in an experimental model. METHODOLOGY: Lovastatin dissolved in Endolipide was intraperitoneally administered to mice (20 mg/kg every day for 6 days prior to a Y. pestis Orientalis biotype challenge. Non-challenged, lovastatin-treated and challenged, untreated mice were also used as control groups in the study. Body weight, physical behavior and death were recorded both prior to infection and for 10 days post-infection. Samples of the blood, lungs and spleen were collected from dead mice for direct microbiological examination, histopathology and culture. The potential antibiotic effect of lovastatin was tested on blood agar plates. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Lovastatin had no in-vitro antibiotic effect against Y. pestis. The difference in the mortality between control mice (11/15; 73.5% and lovastatin-treated mice (3/15; 20% was significant (P<0.004; Mantel-Haenszel test. Dead mice exhibited Y. pestis septicemia and inflammatory destruction of lung and spleen tissues not seen in lovastatin-treated surviving mice. These data suggest that lovastatin may help prevent the deadly effects of plague. Field observations are warranted to assess the role of lovastatin in the prophylaxis of human plague.

  19. Rapid focused sequencing: a multiplexed assay for simultaneous detection and strain typing of Bacillus anthracis, Francisella tularensis, and Yersinia pestis.

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    Rosemary S Turingan

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The intentional release of Bacillus anthracis in the United States in 2001 has heightened concern about the use of pathogenic microorganisms in bioterrorism attacks. Many of the deadliest bacteria, including the Class A Select Agents Bacillus anthracis, Francisella tularensis, and Yersinia pestis, are highly infectious via the pulmonary route when released in aerosolized form. Hence, rapid, sensitive, and reliable methods for detection of these biothreats and characterization of their potential impact on the exposed population are of critical importance to initiate and support rapid military, public health, and clinical responses. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We have developed microfluidic multiplexed PCR and sequencing assays based on the simultaneous interrogation of three pathogens per assay and ten loci per pathogen. Microfluidic separation of amplified fluorescently labeled fragments generated characteristic electrophoretic signatures for identification of each agent. The three sets of primers allowed significant strain typing and discrimination from non-pathogenic closely-related species and environmental background strains based on amplicon sizes alone. Furthermore, sequencing of the 10 amplicons per pathogen, termed "Rapid Focused Sequencing," allowed an even greater degree of strain discrimination and, in some cases, can be used to determine virulence. Both amplification and sequencing assays were performed in microfluidic biochips developed for fast thermal cycling and requiring 7 µL per reaction. The 30-plex sequencing assay resulted in genotypic resolution of 84 representative strains belonging to each of the three biothreat species. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The microfluidic multiplexed assays allowed identification and strain differentiation of the biothreat agents Bacillus anthracis, Francisella tularensis, and Yersinia pestis and clear discrimination from closely-related species and several environmental

  20. Cethromycin-mediated protection against the plague pathogen Yersinia pestis in a rat model of infection and comparison with levofloxacin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosenzweig, Jason A; Brackman, Sheri M; Kirtley, Michelle L; Sha, Jian; Erova, Tatiana E; Yeager, Linsey A; Peterson, Johnny W; Xu, Ze-Qi; Chopra, Ashok K

    2011-11-01

    The Gram-negative plague bacterium, Yersinia pestis, has historically been regarded as one of the deadliest pathogens known to mankind, having caused three major pandemics. After being transmitted by the bite of an infected flea arthropod vector, Y. pestis can cause three forms of human plague: bubonic, septicemic, and pneumonic, with the latter two having very high mortality rates. With increased threats of bioterrorism, it is likely that a multidrug-resistant Y. pestis strain would be employed, and, as such, conventional antibiotics typically used to treat Y. pestis (e.g., streptomycin, tetracycline, and gentamicin) would be ineffective. In this study, cethromycin (a ketolide antibiotic which inhibits bacterial protein synthesis and is currently in clinical trials for respiratory tract infections) was evaluated for antiplague activity in a rat model of pneumonic infection and compared with levofloxacin, which operates via inhibition of bacterial topoisomerase and DNA gyrase. Following a respiratory challenge of 24 to 30 times the 50% lethal dose of the highly virulent Y. pestis CO92 strain, 70 mg of cethromycin per kg of body weight (orally administered twice daily 24 h postinfection for a period of 7 days) provided complete protection to animals against mortality without any toxic effects. Further, no detectable plague bacilli were cultured from infected animals' blood and spleens following cethromycin treatment. The antibiotic was most effective when administered to rats 24 h postinfection, as the animals succumbed to infection if treatment was further delayed. All cethromycin-treated survivors tolerated 2 subsequent exposures to even higher lethal Y. pestis doses without further antibiotic treatment, which was related, in part, to the development of specific antibodies to the capsular and low-calcium-response V antigens of Y. pestis. These data demonstrate that cethromycin is a potent antiplague drug that can be used to treat pneumonic plague.