(CIDRAP News) – With tougher security requirements set to take effect next April, few state public health laboratories plan to maintain stocks of certain pathogens considered most tempting to bioterrorists, according to the Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL) and officials with state labs.
In the wake of a newspaper investigation that questioned the value of the federal BioWatch program for detecting dangerous airborne pathogens, some public health officials familiar with the program acknowledge that it's far from perfect, but they say it's not time to scrap it.
(CIDRAP News) US government laboratories had 395 incidents that involved the potential release of select agents between 2003 and 2009, though only seven related infections were reported, according to a new National Research Council (NRC) report.
(CIDRAP News) A federal advisory committee is recommending that 11 bacterial species and viruses on the current "select agent" list, including anthrax and Ebola virus, be singled out for special safeguards and that another 19 agents be dropped from the list entirely.
(CIDRAP News) A report from the National Research Council (NRC) calls for some changes in a US Army immunization program for lab researchers who work with dangerous pathogens, saying the vaccines need to be made more accessible to civilian scientists.
(CIDRAP News) The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has awarded a contract to a San Francisco company to further the development of a new broad-spectrum antibiotic for treating plague, tularemia, and various resistant infections.