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ISTC Biosafety and Biosecurity Activities in the Republics of the Former Soviet Union: Accomplishments, Challenges, and Prospects

**All rights reserved. Posted with permission from the American Biological Safety Association (ABSA), Mundelein, IL. Originally published inApplied Biosafety: Journal of the American Biological Safety Association, 15(2), pp. 56-59. Copyright © 2010. Visit www.absa.org for more information.

 

 

Biosafety and Biosecurity are global issues, and are frequently addressed differently in different parts of the world. The top photo (courtesy of Saba Safarova of the Tajik Republican Center for Prevention of Quarantine Diseases) shows scientists wearing "anti-plague" suits doing a necropsy at a field plague lab in Tajikistan. Plague work in the countries of the former Soviet Union is traditionally done on the bench top by highly-trained scientists, using meticulous microbiological practices and wearing such suits, rather than in a biosafety cabinet. The bottom photo shows an old burial site of anthrax-infected cattle outside Bishkek, capital of the Kyrgyz Republic. The security system consists of concrete poured over the top and a sign reading "anthrax" (inset). Many such burials exist throughout Central Asia. Many have been forgotten, and others are being encroached by development. The fence in the photo, for example, surrounds adjacent property, rather than containing the grave site. The International Science and Technology Center, with funding and expertise from a variety of governmental partners, is working in the region to improve biosafety and biosecurity. The goal is to develop sustainable, effective solutions that preserve the best local practices, while also introducing more modern, ‘international’ approaches where appropriate. For more information, see the Guest Editorial "Biosafety and Biosecurity Activities of the International Science and Technology Center in the Republics of the Former Soviet Union: Accomplishments, Challenges, and Prospects" by L. Michael Weaver.

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