Five-year plan devised to fight bioterrorism
By Kim Bo-eun
The National Institute of Health (NIH) has laid out plans to strengthen research for action against bioterrorism, an official said Monday.
NIH officials met with technology experts dealing with bioterrorism to set up a five-year plan on research and development (R&D) to effectively tackle the issue.
The institute will step up research on vaccines, cures, diagnoses, detection and research to deter bioterrorism. It will also collect the opinions of experts to draw up the plan which will center on cutting-edge technology such as nano-biotechnology.
The NIH is conducting various research projects such as the development of a gene recombination anthrax vaccine, which is currently in its second stage of clinical trials.
The institute has also developed pathogens likely to cause bioterrorism as well as kits that detects toxins and has used them at the 2012 Nuclear Security Summit in Seoul this March and other large-scale international conferences.
It has also established and is managing a bioterrorism response lab system connected to health centers nationwide, in order to efficiently observe any bioterrorism activities that might break out.
“The threat of bioterrorism has become a crucial issue for international society, since the 9/11 terrorist attacks and the anthrax letter terror incident in 2001,” said the official.
“Developed nations are actively investing in research of the characteristics of bioterrorism pathogens and control technology to strengthen their ability to check bioterrorism by developing vaccines, stocking up on medicine and medical supplies, and establishing a monitoring system to contain bioterrorism,” the official said.
“Based on the plan, we will conduct future research on responding to bioterrorism to maximize the results and reinforce the nation’s ability to manage bioterrorism,” he added.