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Strengthening bioterrorism prevention: global biological materials management.

Salerno, Reynolds M; Hickok, Lauren T.
Biosecur Bioterror; 5(2): 107-16, 2007 Jun.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | Jul 2007 | ID: mdl-17608597
Resumo: The anthrax attacks of 2001 demonstrated that bioterrorism poses a significant threat to U.S. national security. This threat is increasing as a result of the rapid expansion in scale and technical capabilities of the global biotechnology industry, which is broadening the availability of materials, technologies, and expertise needed to produce a biological weapon and is lowering the barriers to biological weapons terrorism and proliferation. At the same time, there has been a rise of sophisticated yet loosely networked transnational terrorist groups that have shown an interest in bioterrorism. The United States must confront this convergence. Although the U.S. government pursues many different biodefense programs to bolster its ability to detect and respond to a bioterrorist attack, these efforts must be augmented with preventive measures to meet today's international challenges. U.S. Homeland Security Presidential Directive 10 of April 2004 defines "Prevention and Protection" as one of the four essential pillars of the U.S. response to the bioterrorist threat. However, while bioscience and policy experts have proposed a variety of preventive initiatives, the creation of such programs has been slow and limited. Global biological materials management, which would focus on identifying and protecting those biological materials at the greatest risk of being used maliciously, is one potential solution. Such an approach would augment current U.S. biodefense efforts, provide the international community an effective means of mitigating the global threat of bioterrorism, and strengthen the international community's battle against emerging infectious disease.