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BMJ Mil Health ; 166(1): 37-41, 2020 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1452951


Major disease outbreaks continue to be a significant risk to public health, with pandemic influenza or an emerging infectious disease outbreak at the top of the UK National Risk Register. The risk of deliberate release of a biological agent is lower but remains possible and may only be recognised after casualties seek medical attention. In this context the emergency preparedness, resilience and response (EPRR) process protects the public from high consequence infectious diseases, other infectious disease outbreaks and biological agent release. The core elements of the EPRR response are recognition of an outbreak, isolation of patients, appropriate personal protective equipment for medical staff and actions to minimise further disease spread. The paper discusses how high-threat agents may be recognised by clinicians, the initial actions to be taken on presentation and how the public health system is notified and responds. It draws on the national pandemic influenza plans to describe the wider response to a major disease outbreak and discusses training requirements and the potential role of the military.

Biohazard Release , Civil Defense , Influenza, Human/prevention & control , Military Personnel , Pandemics/prevention & control , Public Health Practice , Biohazard Release/prevention & control , Civil Defense/education , Communicable Disease Control , Communicable Diseases/diagnosis , Disaster Planning , Disease Notification , Humans , Influenza, Human/therapy , Interinstitutional Relations , Patient Isolation , Personal Protective Equipment , United Kingdom
Toxicol Mech Methods ; 31(4): 308-321, 2021 May.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-933794


The Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) serves as a repository of materiel, including medical countermeasures (MCMs), that would be used to support the national health security response to a chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear (CBRN) incident, either natural or terrorism-related. To support and advance the SNS, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) manages targeted investigatory research portfolios, such as Countermeasures Against Chemical Terrorism (CounterACT) for chemical agents, that coordinate projects covering basic research, drug discovery, and preclinical studies. Project BioShield, managed by the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Agency (BARDA), guides and supports academia and industry with potential MCMs through the Food & Drug Administration's approval process and ultimately supports the acquisition of successful products into the SNS. Public health emergencies such as the COVID-19 pandemic and the ever-increasing number of MCMs in the SNS present logistical and financial challenges to its maintenance. While MCMs for biological agents have been readily adopted, those for chemical agents have required sustained investments. This paper reviews the methods by which MCMs are identified and supported for inclusion in the SNS, the current status of MCMs for CBRN threats, and challenges with SNS maintenance as well as identifies persistent obstacles for MCM development and acquisition, particularly for ones focused on chemical weapons.

Biohazard Release , Chemical Hazard Release , Medical Countermeasures , Radioactive Hazard Release , Strategic Stockpile , Drug Approval , Humans , Off-Label Use , Terrorism
Zhonghua Liu Xing Bing Xue Za Zhi ; 41(9): 1378-1380, 2020 Sep 10.
Article in Chinese | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-881373


Biosafety is an important guarantee of the new coronavirus laboratory test. The accident treatment of sample overflow and sprinkle is a necessary part of the emergency plan for testing activities. Beijing Preventive Medicine Association coordinated biosafety experts of COVID-19 laboratories from Beijing CDC, to write up "The standard for handling of accidents of corona virus disease 2019 sample (T/BPMA 0005-2020)" . The group standard was based on the guidelines of China and WHO, and combined with the practical experience of COVID-19 epidemic and the principle of "scientific, normative, applicable and feasible" . Through all kinds of risk Assessment, it included the spillover of samples caused by the packing of COVID-19 (highly pathogenic) samples, the overflow and sprinkle in the laboratory during the detection operation, and the spillage accident occurred during the transfer of samples in the same building. The standard could guide and standardize the handling methods of accidental overflow and sprinkle that may occur in the SARS-CoV-2 testing laboratories in the city.

Biohazard Release , Clinical Laboratory Techniques , Containment of Biohazards/standards , Beijing , COVID-19 Testing , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Humans
Infez Med ; 28(3): 302-311, 2020 Sep 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-757657


SARS-CoV-2 has created a global disaster by infecting millions of people and causing thousands of deaths across hundreds of countries. Currently, the infection is in its exponential phase in several countries and there is no sign of immediate relief from this deadly virus. At the same time, some "conspiracy theories" have arisen on the origin of this virus due to the lack of a "definite origin". To understand if this controversy is also reflected in scientific publications, here, we reviewed the key articles published at initial stages of the COVID-19 pandemic (January 01, 2020 to April 30, 2020) related to the zoonotic origin of SARS-CoV-2 and the articles opposing the "conspiracy theories". We also provide an overview on the current knowledge on SARS-CoV-2 Spike as well as the Coronavirus research domain. Furthermore, a few important points related to the "conspiracy theories" such as "laboratory engineering" or "bioweapon" aspects of SARS-CoV-2 are also reviewed. In this article, we have only considered the peer-reviewed publications that are indexed in PubMed and other official publications, and we have directly quoted the authors' statements from their respective articles to avoid any controversy.

Betacoronavirus/genetics , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Genetic Engineering/methods , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Selection, Genetic , Animals , Biohazard Release , Biological Warfare Agents , COVID-19 , Chiroptera/virology , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Dissent and Disputes , Eutheria/classification , Eutheria/virology , Global Health/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , Recombination, Genetic , SARS-CoV-2 , Sequence Alignment , Zoonoses/virology
Med Sci (Paris) ; 36(8-9): 783-796, 2020.
Article in French | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-706965


SARS-CoV-2 is a new human coronavirus (CoV), which emerged in People's Republic of China at the end of 2019 and is responsible for the global Covid-19 pandemic that caused more than 540 000 deaths in six months. Understanding the origin of this virus is an important issue and it is necessary to determine the mechanisms of its dissemination in order to be able to contain new epidemics. Based on phylogenetic inferences, sequence analysis and structure-function relationships of coronavirus proteins, informed by the knowledge currently available, we discuss the different scenarios evoked to account for the origin - natural or synthetic - of the virus. On the basis of currently available data, it is impossible to determine whether SARS-CoV-2 is the result of a natural zoonotic emergence or an accidental escape from experimental strains. Regardless of its origin, the study of the evolution of the molecular mechanisms involved in the emergence of this pandemic virus is essential to develop therapeutic and vaccine strategies.

TITLE: Retrouver les origines du SARS-CoV-2 dans les phylogénies de coronavirus. ABSTRACT: Le SARS-CoV-2 est un nouveau coronavirus (CoV) humain. Il a émergé en Chine fin 2019 et est responsable de la pandémie mondiale de Covid-19 qui a causé plus de 540 000 décès en six mois. La compréhension de l'origine de ce virus est une question importante et il est nécessaire de déterminer les mécanismes de sa dissémination afin de pouvoir se prémunir de nouvelles épidémies. En nous fondant sur des inférences phylogénétiques, l'analyse des séquences et les relations structure-fonction des protéines de coronavirus, éclairées par les connaissances actuellement disponibles, nous discutons les différents scénarios évoqués pour rendre compte de l'origine - naturelle ou synthétique - du virus.

Betacoronavirus/genetics , Communicable Diseases, Emerging/virology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Coronavirus/classification , Evolution, Molecular , Pandemics , Phylogeny , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , RNA, Viral/genetics , Amino Acid Sequence , Animals , Betacoronavirus/classification , Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , Biohazard Release , COVID-19 , China/epidemiology , Coronaviridae Infections/transmission , Coronaviridae Infections/veterinary , Coronaviridae Infections/virology , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Disease Reservoirs , Gain of Function Mutation , Genome, Viral , HIV/genetics , Host Specificity , Humans , Mammals/virology , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , Reassortant Viruses/genetics , SARS-CoV-2 , Sequence Alignment , Sequence Homology, Amino Acid , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/physiology , Zoonoses
Med Sci (Paris) ; 36(8-9): 797-802, 2020.
Article in French | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-703389


SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus-2, which emerged in China at the end of 2019, is responsible for a global health crisis resulting in the confinement of more than 3 billion people worldwide and the sharp decline of the world economy. In this context, a race against the clock is launched in order to develop a treatment to stop the pandemic as soon as possible. A study published in Nature by the Volker Thiel team reports the development of reverse genetics for SARS-CoV-2 allowing them to recreate the virus in just a few weeks. The perspectives of this work are very interesting since it will allow the genetic manipulation of the virus and thus the development of precious tools which will be useful to fight the infection. Even though this approach represents a technological leap that will improve our knowledge of the virus, it also carries the germ of possible misuse and the creation of the virus for malicious purposes. The advantages and disadvantages of recreating SARS-CoV-2 in this pandemic period are discussed in this mini-synthesis.

TITLE: Une course contre la montre - Création du SARS-CoV-2 en laboratoire, un mois après son émergence ! ABSTRACT: Le SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus-2), qui a émergé à la fin de l'année 2019 en République populaire de Chine, est responsable d'une crise sanitaire mondiale qui a entraîné le confinement de plus de 3 milliards d'individus et l'arrêt brutal de l'économie planétaire. Dans ce contexte, une course contre la montre est lancée afin de développer, dans les plus brefs délais, un traitement permettant d'enrayer la pandémie. Une étude de l'équipe de Volker Thiel, parue dans le journal Nature, rapporte la mise au point d'une technique de génétique inverse pour le SARS-CoV-2, leur ayant permis de recréer le virus en seulement quelques semaines. Les perspectives de ces travaux sont très intéressantes puisqu'elles permettent d'envisager la manipulation génétique du virus et ainsi le développement d'outils précieux qui seront utiles pour combattre l'infection. Si la technique représente également un saut technologique qui permettra d'améliorer nos connaissances sur le virus, elle porte aussi en elle le germe d'un possible mésusage et la création d'un virus à des fins malveillantes. Les avantages et inconvénients de recréer le SARS-CoV-2 dans cette période de pandémie sont discutés dans cet article.

Betacoronavirus/genetics , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Organisms, Genetically Modified , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Reverse Genetics/methods , Betacoronavirus/pathogenicity , Biohazard Release , COVID-19 , COVID-19 Vaccines , Chromosomes, Artificial, Yeast , Cloning, Molecular/methods , Coronaviridae/classification , Coronaviridae/genetics , Coronaviridae/pathogenicity , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , DNA, Complementary/genetics , Host Specificity , Humans , Organisms, Genetically Modified/genetics , Organisms, Genetically Modified/pathogenicity , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , RNA, Viral/genetics , Recombination, Genetic , Risk , SARS-CoV-2 , Viral Vaccines