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viernes, 23 de enero de 2015

The hidden face of academic researches on classified highly pathogenic microorganisms

Highly pathogenic microorganisms and toxins are manipulated in academic laboratories for fundamental research purposes, diagnostics, drugs and vaccines development. Obviously, these infectious pathogens represent a potential risk for human and/or animal health and their accidental or intentional release (biosafety and biosecurity, respectively) is a major concern of governments. In the past decade, several incidents have occurred in laboratories and reported by media causing fear and raising a sense of suspicion against biologists. Some scientists have been ordered by US government to leave their laboratory for long periods of time following the occurrence of an incident involving infectious pathogens; in other cases laboratories have been shut down and universities have been forced to pay fines and incur a long-term ban on funding after gross negligence of biosafety/biosecurity procedures. Measures of criminal sanctions have also been taken to minimize the risk that such incidents can reoccur.
Devaux CA. The hidden face of academic researches on classified highly pathogenic microorganisms. Infect Genet Evol. 2015 Jan;29:26-34. doi: 10.1016/j.meegid.2014.10.028. Epub 2014 Nov 7.
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