Pyres: 2001 UK FMD Outbreak - Photo: Murdo Macleod.  Slides L-R: Smallpox, SARS Coronavirus , Foot and Mouth Disease, West Nile Virus.

The Future of Biodetection Systems - Final Workshop Analysis: The Future of Biodetection Systems Workshop was held last year to bring together industry, academia, national labs, and federal agency personnel in an interactive process, to develop a roadmap for research and development investment in biodetection.  
Sponsored by Los Alamos National Laboratory, September 26 & 27 2006. -- Overview: BTACC Pathobiologics International.  Keynote: DNA-based Detection Technologies (Powerpoint): Stephen M.Apatow, Humanitarian University Consortium Graduate Studies Center for Medicine,


12 October 2006 - 3 April 2013

Stephen M. Apatow
Founder, Director of Research & Development
Humanitarian Resource Institute (UN:NGO:DESA)
Humanitarian University Consortium Graduate Studies
Center for Medicine, Veterinary Medicine & Law
Phone: 203-668-0282

Pathobiologics International

The Future of Biodetection Systems - Final Workshop Analysis

Dear Colleagues:

The recent workshop "Future of Biodetection Systems"  (Agenda, Schedule, Presenters, Poster Presentations) hosted by the International Technologies Program Office and Bioscience Division of the Los Alamos National Laboratory on September 26 and 27 in Sante Fe, New Mexico, has provided a valuable platform for current discussions associated with R&D initiatives in sampling technologies, DNA-based detection technologies, transducers, spectroscopy based technologies and systems integration.  
Speakers included:

DNA Based Detection Technologies:
Stephen M. Apatow,
Humanitarian University Consortium

Ligand Based Technologies:
Brian Kay, University of Illinois, Chicago

Transduction Systems:
Larry Sklar, University of New Mexico

Biodetection Sampling Systems:
Gary W. Long, Tetracore Inc.

Spectroscopy Systems:
Luis Garcia-Rubio, University of South Florida

Systems Integration:
David Cullin, ICX Technologies

During the presentation "
DNA Based Detection Technologies," the focus was molecular detection technologies that are currently in use to provide actionable public health and animal health information.  Two key reference papers included:
  1. Diagnostic System for Rapid and Sensitive Differential Detection of Pathogens:  Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) platform identifies up to 22 respiratory pathogens including respiratory syncytial virus, human parainfluenza virus, SARS coronavirus, adenovirus, enterovirus, metapneumovirus, and influenza virus in a single Mass Tag PCR reaction.  Emerging Infectious Diseases, Vol. 11, No. 2, February 2005.
  2. Use of Oligonucleotide Microarrays for Rapid Detection and Serotyping of Acute Respiratory Disease-Associated Adenoviruses: Real-Time PCR combined with microarray technology provides rapid detection of adenoviruses (51 serotypes, six subgroups A to F)  to aid in controlling viral transmission and adenovirus-associated respiratory disease within military training facilities.  Journal of Clinical Microbiology, July 2004, p. 3232-3239, Vol. 42, No. 7.
An immediate need was presented for WHO/OIE approval of field validated molecular detection technologies, that are utilized every day to protect U.S. soldiers and NATO troops, from common pathogens, biological weapons agents and foreign animal/zoonotic diseases, according to standard methodologies, on uniform diseases with quality-controlled standardized reagents (including multiplex tests and microarray).

Defense level field validation of molecular detection technologies needs to be reviewed as a reference point for civilian applications.  Scenarios that limit the use of these technologies (
such as 11 year periods for U.S. FDA licensing
), need to be addressed in the light of current threats to international public health.

According to the Reuter's report "Swiss measures aim to protect flocks from bird flu" (29 September 2006):

In Switzerland, for six months from October 15, free-range chickens will be banned within one kilometre of 21 major lakes and rivers, where wild birds infected with the H5N1 virus might stop to rest or drink, it said. "Within these poultry will be banned as well as poultry markets and exhibitions," the Swiss economy ministry said in a statement.

In conjunction with the capacity for a new human transmissible pandemic strain to spread worldwide in a 24-48 hour period via air travel,  this year's migratory bird spread of H5N1 includes concerns associated with Oseltamivir resistance and low pathogenic strains that present a threat to humans (due to the widespread use of substandard vaccines on animal populations in numerous global regions).  It is clear that our capacity to rapidly sequence pathogens such as H5N1 or pandemic strains that originated from H5N1 (H1, H2, H3, H7, H9 subtypes) and bioinformatics level comparative analysis via a functional international epidemiological surveillance and reporting system is crucial.

Humanitarian Resource Institute will disseminate the final report from the Los Alamos Bioscience Division, upon it's completion.

News & Information

[Biodefense Threat Analysis Center]
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