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NIAID unveils bioterrorism research agenda

mechanisms of potential bioterror pathogens. Such information, which includes sequencing of each microbe's genome, will provide the information needed to develop new drugs and vaccines to combat possible bioterrorism-caused diseases.
  • Human immune response. Increased research on the basic components of the human immune system will enable scientists to develop safe and potent vaccines, highly accurate diagnostic tests, and broadly acting drugs that boost overall immunity to a range of pathogens.
  • Vaccines. Vaccines are one of the most effective ways to protect people from infectious diseases, and accelerated research on new vaccines is underway. New Ebola and anthrax vaccines will soon enter human testing, and research on improved smallpox and tularemia vaccines is ongoing. Additional research has been conducted on ways to stretch current smallpox vaccine stockpiles for the short term.
  • Treatments. The increase in antibiotic resistance among bacteria and the relative scarcity of effective antiviral drugs make treatment research imperative. Scientists will use information gained from basic studies of a microbe's biology and genetic makeup to develop compounds that specifically destroy that organism or its toxins. Research on new treatments for pathogens such as smallpox and anthrax are currently underway.
  • Diagnostics. An effective response against a bioterrorist attack requires rapid, accurate identification of both natural and bioengineered microbes. Information on a pathogen's sensitivity to available drugs will also help doctors quickly treat anyone who has become infected. New early warning and diagnostic tests are a key part of NIAID's bioterrorism research agenda.
  • Research resources. Research on the five general areas above requires a broad range of resources including genomic information, novel reagents, animal models of disease, and high-containment laboratories and clinical facilities. NIAID will pr
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  • Contact: Sam Perdue
    sp189u@nih.gov
    301-402-1663
    NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
    14-Mar-2002


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