Friday, June 22, 2018

California Reports Additional Outbreaks Of Virulent Newcastle Disease In Poultry


Credit USDA










#13,380

Just over a month ago, in APHIS: USDA Confirms Virulent Newcastle Disease In Backyard Flock - California, we looked at the first reported outbreak of Newcastle disease in poultry in the United States in 15 years. 
The infected birds have all been backyard exhibition poultry, and so far no commercial poultry operations have been affected.
While posing only a minor threat to human health - generally only causing mild flu-like symptoms and/or conjunctivitis - Virulent Newcastle Disease can be up to 100% fatal in poultry, and remains a serious threat to poultry interests world wide.
An outbreak in 1971 that began in Southern California led to the culling of 12 million birds and a loss of tens of millions of dollars while the last outbreak in 2003 led to the depopulation of 3.16 million birds at a cost of $161 million (cite)
Two weeks ago, in our last update (see USDA: APHIS Update On Newcastle Disease Outbreak in California) we saw the total number of outbreaks had risen to 13, mostly in the San Bernardino region of Southern California.

Since then, California's Department of Food and Agriculture has announced 5 more outbreaks, all in San Bernardino county.  They are:

June 21, 2018: Additional Cases of Virulent Newcastle Disease in Backyard Birds in San Bernardino County

Bird owners in Southern California are responding to outreach provided over the past several days related to virulent Newcastle disease (VND), and have reported sick birds. Samples from the flocks, which experienced increased mortality, were tested at the California Animal Health & Food Safety Laboratory System (CAHFS). The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services (APHIS) National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) in Ames, Iowa, confirms all findings. Two additional cases of virulent Newcastle disease in backyard chickens in San Bernardino County, CA have been confirmed. For a list of cases visit the USDA website at: https://www.aphis.usda.gov/animalhealth/vnd


The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) and United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) want to remind bird owners about the need for biosecurity to help protect their birds from VND and other infectious diseases. These include simple steps like washing hands and scrubbing boots before and after entering a poultry area; cleaning and disinfecting tires and equipment before moving them off the property; and isolating any birds returning from shows for 30 days before placing them with the rest of the flock. In addition to practicing good biosecurity, all bird owners should report sick birds or unusual bird deaths through California's Sick Bird Hotline at 866-922-BIRD (2473).

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June 20, 2018: Additional Case of Virulent Newcastle Disease in Backyard Birds in San Bernardino County

Bird owners in Southern California are responding to outreach provided over the past several days related to virulent Newcastle disease (VND), and have reported sick birds. Samples from the flocks, which experienced increased mortality, were tested at the California Animal Health & Food Safety Laboratory System (CAHFS). The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services (APHIS) National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) in Ames, Iowa, confirms all findings. One additional case of virulent Newcastle disease in backyard chickens in San Bernardino County, CA has been confirmed. For a list of cases visit the USDA website at: https://www.aphis.usda.gov/animalhealth/vnd

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June 15, 2018: Additional Case of Virulent Newcastle Disease in Backyard Birds in San Bernardino County


Bird owners in Southern California are responding to outreach provided over the past several days related to virulent Newcastle disease (VND), and have reported sick birds. Samples from the flocks, which experienced increased mortality, were tested at the California Animal Health & Food Safety Laboratory System (CAHFS). The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services (APHIS) National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) in Ames, Iowa, confirms all findings. One additional case of virulent Newcastle disease in backyard chickens in San Bernardino County, CA has been confirmed. For a list of cases visit the USDA website at: https://www.aphis.usda.gov/animalhealth/vnd

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June 14, 2018: Additional Case of Virulent Newcastle Disease in Backyard Birds in San Bernardino County


Bird owners in Southern California are responding to outreach provided over the past several days related to virulent Newcastle disease (VND), and have reported sick birds. Samples from the flocks, which experienced increased mortality, were tested at the California Animal Health & Food Safety Laboratory System (CAHFS). The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services (APHIS) National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) in Ames, Iowa, confirms all findings. One additional case of virulent Newcastle disease in backyard chickens in San Bernardino County, CA has been confirmed. For a list of cases visit the USDA website at: https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/ourfocus/animalhealth/animal-disease-information/avian-influenza-disease/vnd


The latest update from USDA/APHIS website follows:

Virulent Newcastle Disease

Virulent Newcastle Disease (vND), formerly known as Exotic Newcastle Disease is a contagious and fatal viral disease affecting the respiratory, nervous and digestive systems of birds and poultry. The disease is so virulent that many birds and poultry die without showing any clinical signs. 

vND is not a food safety concern.  No human cases of Newcastle disease have ever occurred from eating poultry products.  Properly cooked poultry products are safe to eat.  In very rare instances people working directly with sick birds can become infected with mild symptoms. 

vND has not been found in commercial poultry in the U.S. since 2003.

Since May 18, USDA has confirmed several cases of vND in backyard birds in California: 
https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/ourfocus/animalhealth/animal-disease-information/avian-influenza-disease/vnd/!ut/p/z1/04_iUlDg4tKPAFJABpSA0fpReYllmemJJZn5eYk5-hH6kVFm8X6Gzu4GFiaGPu6uLoYGjh6Wnt4e5mYG7mam-l5gjQj9IBPw64iA6oAqh1P6kUZFvs6-6fpRBYklGbqZeWn5-hFleSn6BdlRkQDKFRsj/

CDC Update: Candida Auris - June 2018

https://www.cdc.gov/fungal/candida-auris/tracking-c-auris.html
















#13,379



Two years ago this month (June 2016) the CDC issued a Clinical Alert to U.S. Health care facilities about the Global Emergence of Invasive Infections Caused by the Multidrug-Resistant Yeast Candida auris. 
C. auris is an emerging fungal pathogen that was first isolated in Japan in 2009. It was initially found in the discharge from a patient's external ear (hence the name `auris').  Retrospective analysis has traced this fungal infection back over 20 years.
Since then the CDC and public health entities have been monitoring an increasing number of cases (and hospital clusters) in the United States and abroad, generally involving bloodstream infections, wound infections or otitis.
Adding to the concern:
  1. C. auris infections have a high fatality rate
  2. The strain appears to be resistant to multiple classes of anti-fungals  
  3. This strain is unusually persistent on fomites in healthcare environments.
  4. And it can be difficult for labs to differentiate it from other Candida strains
The CDC has recently updated their C. Auris surveillance page, where they show - as of May 31st  - 311 confirmed cases and 29 probable cases, across 11 states.  Once again, an increase of more than 10% over the previous month.

https://www.cdc.gov/fungal/candida-auris/tracking-c-auris.html

Additionally, based on targeted screening in four states reporting clinical cases, the CDC reports an additional 569 patients have been discovered to be asymptomatically colonized with C. auris
Also an increase of 10% over the previous month.
While the numbers remain relatively small, they are undoubtedly under reported, both here in the United States, and around the world.  From the latest CDC update:


https://www.cdc.gov/fungal/candida-auris/tracking-c-auris.html
 
  • Single cases of C. auris have been reported from Austria, Belgium, China, Malaysia, Norway, Russia, Switzerland, and the United Arab Emirates.
  • Multiple cases of C. auris have been reported from Canada, Colombia, France, Germany, India, Israel, Japan, Kenya, Kuwait, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, the United Kingdom, the United States (primarily from the New York City Area, New Jersey, and the Chicago area) and Venezuela; in some of these countries, extensive transmission of C. auris has been documented in more than one hospital.
  • U.S. cases of C. auris have been found in patients who had recent stays in healthcare facilities in India, Kuwait, Pakistan, South Africa, the United Arab Emirates, and Venezuela, which also have documented transmission.
  • Other countries not highlighted on this map may also have undetected or unreported C. auris cases.
Some past blogs include:
Notes from the Field: Surveillance for Candida auris — Colombia, September 2016–May 2017)

ECDC: C. Auris Rapid Risk Assessment For Healthcare Settings - Europe

mSphere: Comparative Pathogenicity of UK Isolates of the Emerging Candida auris
For more on this emerging fungal pathogen, you may wish peruse the CDC's dedicated web page:

China: MOA Reports HPAI H5N1 In Qinghai Province

Credit Wikipedia
















#13,378

Avian flu reports have been greatly subdued out of China for months, likely the result of a massive nationwide poultry vaccination campaign conducted last summer and fall using a newly developed H5 + H7 recombinant AI vaccine.
H5N1 - while once the main avian flu threat in China - has been largely overshadowed by H5N6 which emerged in 2014 (see Cell Host Microbe: Genesis, Evolution and Prevalence of HPAI H5N6 In China).
Yesterday, however, China's MOA announced an outbreak of HPAI H5N1 on a farm in Qinghai Province. The last OIE reported H5N1 outbreak from China I can locate was nearly a year ago in Inner Mongolia 
Located in the high-altitude Tibetan Plateau - Qinghai Province has a long and fascinating history of H5N1 outbreaks, including being the site of several large wild bird die offs that signaled significant  evolutionary changes in the virus (see Deja Flu: Another Qinghai Lake H5N1 Die Off).
While there is nothing in today's announcement (below) to suggest a change in the virus, given HPAI H5's propensity to evolve, we'll obviously be alert for any additional reports in the months ahead. 

An H5N1 Subtype Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza Avian Fever in Dachaidan Administrative Region, Qinghai Province
 
Date: 2018-06-21 17:38 Author: Source: Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Press Office

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Information Office released on June 21 an H5N1 sub-type highly pathogenic bird flu outbreak in the Dachaidan administrative area of the Haixi Mongolian Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in Qinghai Province.

On June 12, broiler chickens raised in a certain farm in Dachaidan administrative area in Haixi Mongolian Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Qinghai Province were suspected to have bird flu symptoms, including 1050 cases and 1050 deaths.
On June 14, the Animal Disease Control and Prevention Center of Qinghai Province was diagnosed with suspected bird flu. On June 21, confirmed by the National Avian Influenza Reference Laboratories, the epidemic was an H5N1 subtype of highly pathogenic avian influenza.

After the outbreak of the epidemic, the local government adhered to the requirements of the relevant plans and technical standards for prevention and control, and adhered to prevention, control, and scientific prevention and control according to law, and effectively handled the epidemic. 565 poultry have been culled, and all the dead and culled poultry have been rendered harmless. At present, the epidemic has been effectively controlled.

In the past couple of hours, Hong Kong's CFS (Centre for Food Safety) has responded by issuing the following statement. 

Import of poultry meat and products from Da Qaidam Administrative Region in Qinghai Province suspended
The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department announced today (June 22) that in view of a notification from the Ministry of Agriculture about an outbreak of highly pathogenic H5N1 sub-type avian influenza in Da Qaidam Administrative Region, Qinghai Province, it has followed the existing approach for control of highly pathogenic avian influenza and taken recommendations from the World Organisation for Animal Health into account to suspend the import of poultry and poultry products, including poultry eggs, from an area within a radius of 3 kilometres from the said place for a period of 90 days, and from an area within a radius of 13km for 21 days, with immediate effect for the protection of public health in Hong Kong.

A spokesman for the CFS said that according to information from the General Administration of Customs, the outbreak does not affect any registered Mainland poultry farms for export to Hong Kong. No registered poultry meat or poultry egg processing plants are currently situated within the import restriction zone concerned.

The Centre will closely monitor the latest developments of the avian influenza case in the province and take appropriate follow-up action as necessary.

Ends/Friday, June 22, 2018
Issued at HKT 17:45

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Little Preps Mean A Lot














#13,377


After last year's hurricane, and my bug-out and neighborhood's prolonged power outage (see A Post Irma Update), I made a number of small upgrades to my disaster preps. 
While I already had the basics; food, water, battery operated lanterns, NWS radio, a bug out plan and (most importantly) a Disaster buddy,  etc. - I found some minor areas I thought I could improve upon.
Last October, in Rethinking Solar Power On A Budget, I described some of those improvements, which included adding several 10,000 milliamp USB batteries with (3 fold) solar panels, a couple of USB fans, and several USB LED lights (see photo below).

Battery, Solar Panel, Fan & Light - About $50.

Once acquired, a rabid prepper would pick the hottest day of the year, pull the main breaker on their home's electrical panel, and test the system under difficult conditions.

While I take prepping seriously - living as I do in an older `manufactured home' in hot and humid Florida - the thought of `sweltering in place' just to prove a point is a pretty hard sell.
But as fate would have it, last week the power company pulled the plug for me. 
Some sort of equipment failure, around 5pm on a miserably hot June afternoon, deprived my neighborhood of lights, air conditioning, and Internet access for more than 3 hours.

Three hours without power is hardly an emergency.  Last September my neighborhood went 5 days. But it was an opportunity to try out my new USB fan, lights, batteries, and two other `creature comforts'.

The very good news is that the battery, which hadn't been charged since last fall, still had (nearly) a full charge, and it powered up the fan without a problem.

Within minutes, I was surrounded by two of these little breeze makers, and my risk for suffering heat exhaustion (or worse) went down immediately (see Excess Mortality Due To Elevated Ambient Temperatures).
The LED light was bright, and after nearly 4 hours of use, the USB battery was still showing > 75% charged .
I haven't had an opportunity to test the solar charging aspects of these batteries, but so far, I'm impressed.  They are light, compact, and relatively inexpensive.

While not necessarily lifesaving, having a way to occupy your mind during an extended grid down situation can help maintain your sanity.
Books, board games, and even having good old-fashioned conversations are undoubtedly the best, but when they run dry having a low drain battery powered MP3 player, or a battery operated DVD player, can seem like a lifesaver.
I added both to my preps last fall (less than $100 for the pair), and loaded up the MP3 player with music and scores of audio books.  I tested both out, and each worked flawlessly. 





While having food, water, and a roof over your head during a crisis are undoubtedly your first preparedness priorities, adding a few basic comforts - like fans, and some form of entertainment - is well worth the effort.
For a listing of preparedness items you might want to buy for yourself, or to give as gifts to your loved ones, you may wish to check out Preparedness: Some Holiday Gift Items Worth Considering.
During any disaster, the most likely large-scale impact with be prolonged power outages, and with that can come many challenges, not the least of which include  heat-related illnesses and deaths. 
Being prepared - in advance - to deal with these types of threats can mean the difference between days or weeks of misery and relative comfort, and sometimes the difference between life and death.
For more on general preparedness, you may wish to revisit:
When 72 Hours Isn’t Enough

In An Emergency, Who Has Your Back?

Tapping Into Your Preps

Bulgaria To Recall 1 Million Eggs Due To HPAI H5N8

Credit Wikipedia













#13,376


About this time last summer we were following the considerable efforts of Russia's Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance (Rosselkhoznadzor) to locate tons of HPAI Contaminated Poultry That Had Been Shipped To At Least 9 Regions Of Russia.
Even had bird flu contaminated products been consumed by the public, the risk of human infection was very low (particularly since the virus was H5N8).
But if live birds (or eggs) had been sent to other poultry facilities, or poultry products (meat or eggs) were disposed of improperly (where birds and wildlife could get at them), then there were legitimate concerns of seeing the virus spread further.

Last week, in Bulgarian Food Safety Agency Reports Avian Flu At Poultry Farm In Dobrich, we saw reports from Bulgarian Agency For Food Safety of an outbreak in Dobrich, a region which had been hit last March as well.
A follow up report last Friday indicated that a recall of eggs from the newly affected farm would be ordered, and that about 35,000 birds would be destroyed. 
Today, we've an official report estimating the number of eggs to be recalled at over a million, and unofficial media reports that 330,000 birds will now be destroyed.
While we await an OIE report, the FAO is reporting this outbreak is due to HPAI H5N8.
First this (translated) statement from the Bulgarian Agency For Food Safety.

Downloaded eggs pose no risk to public health 
20.06.2018
 
The disease Influenza ( "flu") influenza is a highly contagious viral disease in birds. The disease has two forms (H5 and H7), which differ in their ability to infect:

  • Low pathogenic usually causes mild symptoms, often, but not always show clear signs of infection (remains "hidden");
  • Highly pathogenic form spreads rapidly and causes very high mortality rates in most poultry species. This form of the virus causes serious consequences and enormous financial losses to poultry.
The virus of avian influenza has the opportunity for rapid mutation (change) and switching from low pathogenic to highly.

For these reasons, early detection of infection in poultry and their rapid destruction is a key element of control to prevent the spread of infection in the country.

To prevent the spread of infection, creating restricted zones, prohibited the movement of poultry and the use of products liable to be contaminated, are enhanced biosecurity measures at all levels of poultry production (cleaning and disinfection of the infected holdings) performed surveillance (clinical examination and sampling, if necessary) the holdings in containment areas.

Measures to combat disease applied in a proportionate and flexible manner, taking into account different levels of risk of infection caused by various forms of the virus, the likely social and economic impact on the agricultural sector and the risk to public health and animal health.

Since early 2018 confirmed 11 outbreaks of bird flu - two on farms for laying hens and 9 in duck farms.

The latest outbreak was found on 13/06/2018 on a farm for laying hens.

Within the eradication of the outbreak and limiting the spread of the virus, NVS is condemned and withdrawn more than 1 041 220 the number of eggs that will be targeted for destruction.
Since the egg recall goes back nearly a month, there is a good chance some have already been sold to and consumed by the public, hence the safety reassurances from the Bulgarian authorities.

While I haven't seen an official statement on the number of birds to be culled, a media report from btvnovinite.bg - based in part on a TV interview with Dr. Kremena Stoeva of the Bulgarian Agency for Food Safety (NVS) - indicates that number has now risen to over 300,000. 


Outbreak of bird flu in Dobrich, 320 thousand. Chickens will be culled 

The market again will be downloaded over 1 million. Eggs

Posted at 8:15 PM. On 21/06/2018

Outbreak of bird flu was discovered in Dobrich - village Donchevo. Holding in which the infection has been established is the largest producer of eggs in the country. It was decided that about 320,000 laying hens will be killed and all eggs produced after May 23 - to be destroyed.
Market pull batch numbers: 2BG08001 and 3BG08001. It's about more than 1 million. Pieces.

Since the beginning of the year, here are 11 confirmed outbreaks of bird flu - two on farms for laying hens and 9 in duck farms.

To prevent the spread of infection in Dobrich, locals are advised to keep poultry indoors. The feed also is not open.

From health inspection in Dobrich said for bTV, none of the workers on the farm, which was established bird flu, has not sought medical attention.

(Continue . . . )

After a relatively quiet spring, over the past 10 days we've seen an uptick in the number of avian flu reports, particularly across Europe and Russia.  Nothing dramatic, but certainly noticeable.

Yesterday morning's blog Russia Reporting Avian Flu Outbreaks In Samara, Penza & Kursk Regions, was further quantified a few hours later by an OIE report, detailing 16 new outbreaks in Russia.


Credit OIE
That OIE report  lists these outbreaks as HPAI H5, and does not provide a full subtype. While H5N8 seems a good bet, last December Russia reported an unusual outbreak of HPAI H5N2, and HPAI H5N6 has been reported in both Europe and Asia.
None of this tells us what kind of avian flu season Europe can expect next fall, but it is a reminder that a variety of HPAI H5 viruses continue to circulate in the wild across much of Europe and Asia.
And that last winter's welcomed lull in poultry and wild bird outbreaks isn't guaranteed to last.


Wednesday, June 20, 2018

National Academy Of Sciences: Biodefense in the Age of Synthetic Biology













#13,375


Just over a month ago Johns Hopkins held a day-long pandemic table-top exercise (see CLADE X: Archived Video & Recap), with former and current government officials playing the roles of the President's National Security advisory team, as a pandemic scenario unfolded.
The virus used for this exercise was a bio-engineered parainfluenza-Nipah virus hybrid, unleashed on the world by a fictitious radical terrorist group.
A scenario not so very different from 2015's Blue Ribbon Study Panel Report on Biodefense, where a bi-partisan panel described a fictional biological attack on Washington D.C. using a genetically engineered Nipah virus as part of their presentation.

Although nature may be the most prolific bio-terrorist, the past decade has seen a huge proliferation of the type of knowledge and a dramatic drop in the cost and complexity of the kind of lab equipment that one would need to create, or enhance, a pandemic virus.  
What a few short years ago would have required the resources of a technologically advanced nation state, can be accomplished today on a far more modest budget. 
And as the costs go down for these sorts of technologies in the years ahead, the odds that some group with a radical agenda will use them to create a `better' bug will only increase.Yesterday's implausible science fiction plots have an unnerving way of becoming tomorrow's fait accompli.

With that in mind, scientists have been working for years on ways to counter the triple threats of a biological attack, an accidental release, or naturally occurring pandemic with a highly pathogenic biological agent.
Yesterday the National Academies of Sciences published a 234 page PDF on the rapidly advancing state of the science of synthetic biology and our growing vulnerability to synthetic or enhanced bio-agents.
Despite its impressive pedigree and voluminous content, anyone expecting to find easy solutions to these complex and continually changing threats will come away disappointed.

As the authors write:
`. . . because it was outside of the study’s scope to consider all of the mitigation options available to the defense enterprise, the report does not make comprehensive, explicit recommendations regarding mitigation approaches.'
The full report may be downloaded (for free) as a PDF file from www.nap.edu. While I've not had time to do more than glance at this lengthy study, a press release (below) describes the report.
June 19, 2018

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

If Misused, Synthetic Biology Could Expand the Possibility of Creating New Weapons; DOD Should Continue to Monitor Advances in the Field, New Report Says
http://www8.nationalacademies.org/onpinews/newsitem.aspx?RecordID=24890&_ga=2.34910051.374787785.1529515752-1675346060.1529515752

WASHINGTON – Synthetic biology expands the possibilities for creating new weapons — including making existing bacteria and viruses more harmful — while decreasing the time required to engineer such organisms, concludes a new report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.  Although some malicious applications of synthetic biology may not seem plausible right now, they could become achievable with future advances.

Synthetic biology, a field that creates technologies for engineering or creating organisms, is being used for a variety of purposes that benefit society. Applications include treating diseases, improving agricultural yields, and remediating pollution.  Even though synthetic biology holds great promise in many areas, it is possible to imagine harmful uses that could threaten U.S. citizens and military personnel.  To better prepare for potential misuse, the National Academies were asked by the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) to develop a framework for evaluating security concerns related to advances in synthetic biology. The task included assessing the levels of concern warranted for such advances, and recommending potential options to anticipate and respond to such threats.

“In and of itself, synthetic biology is not harmful.  The level of concern depends on the specific applications or capabilities that it may enable,” said Michael Imperiale, Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Michigan and chair of the committee that conducted the study and wrote the report.  “The U.S. government should pay close attention to this rapidly progressing field, just as it did to advances in chemistry and physics during the Cold War era.”

In its interim report, the committee proposed a strategic framework to identify and prioritize potential areas of concern associated with the field and to help biodefense analysts as they consider the current and future synthetic biology capabilities.  The framework is designed for analyzing existing biotechnology tools in order to evaluate the dangers at present, understand how various technologies compare with and complement each other, and assess the implications of new experimental outcomes.

In the final report, the committee used this framework to analyze potential vulnerabilities enabled by synthetic biology.  The results were based on the availability and ease of use of the technologies, the challenges of producing an effective weapon, the expertise and resources required to carry out an attack, and both proactive and reactive measures that might be taken to help mitigate the effects of an attack.  The committee ranked the synthetic biology capabilities from highest relative level of concern to lowest in the figure below.

The report emphasizes that many of the traditional approaches of biological and chemical defense will be relevant to synthetic biology-enabled threats, but the field will also present new challenges.  DOD and its partners should continue to explore strategies that can be applied to a wide range of threats and also to account for broader capabilities enabled by the field now and in the future.  Since synthetic biology-enabled weapons might be unpredictable and hard to monitor or detect, DOD should consider evaluating how the public health infrastructure needs to be strengthened to adequately recognize a potential attack.

“It’s impossible to predict when specific enabling developments will occur; the timelines would depend on commercial developments as well as academic research, and even converging technologies that may come from outside this field,” added Imperiale.  “So it is important to continue monitoring advances in synthetic biology and other technologies that may affect current bottlenecks and barriers, opening up more possibilities.”

The study was sponsored by DOD.  The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine are private, nonprofit institutions that provide independent, objective analysis and advice to the nation to solve complex problems and inform public policy decisions related to science, technology, and medicine.  The National Academies operate under an 1863 congressional charter to the National Academy of Sciences, signed by President Lincoln.  For more information, visit http://national-academies.org.

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