Meeting report : “Bacillus anthracis Bioterrorism Research Priorities for Public Health Response,” December 10-11, 2001, CDC, Atlanta, GA
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Meeting report : “Bacillus anthracis Bioterrorism Research Priorities for Public Health Response,” December 10-11, 2001, CDC, Atlanta, GA

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  • English

  • Details:

    • Alternative Title:
      Bacillus anthracis Bioterrorism Research Priorities for Public Health Response
    • Description:
      This meeting provided a forum for 132 representatives from the Department of Health and Human Services (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and National Institutes of Health (NIH)), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Department of Defense (DoD), Department of Energy (DoE), US Postal Service, State Health Departments, universities and other organizations to identify, prioritize, and coordinate near-term Bacillus anthracis bioterrorism research for public health response. During the recent anthrax bioterrorism investigation CDC and its partners identified a number of areas where additional research may be useful in improving public health response.

      The disciplines and specific expertise required to approach many of these areas are varied and exist within multiple federal government entities and elsewhere. To address those research questions that are most critical to improving public health response to B. anthracis-related bioterrorism, CDC convened this meeting to obtain input on critical research priorities and coordinate with federal partners and other stakeholders in planning and conduct of applied research that needs to be initiated within the next 12 months.

      The workshop format consisted of two plenary sessions in which experts provided summaries of the existing science in key topic areas. Background talks were given on the “Evaluation of B. anthracis containing powders or substances” by Mathew Shaw, Battelle Memorial Institute; “Epidemiologic Investigation” by Philip Brachman, Emory University, School of Public Health; “Environmental Assessment” by Edwin Kilbourne, Agency for Toxic Substances and Drug Research; “Surveillance” by Ruth Berkelman, Emory University; “Introduction to issues in Diagnosis, Treatment, and Prevention of Anthrax” by Art Friedlander, US Army Medical Research Institute for Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID), DoD; “Diagnosis” by Susan Alpert, C.R. Bard, Inc.; “Treatment” by Dennis Stevens, Veterans Affairs Medical Center, University of Washington; “Post-exposure prophylaxis” by Diane Murphy, Food and Drug Administration; and “Remediation” by Dorothy Cantor, Environmental Protection Agency.

      Following the first plenary session, participants were divided into eight pre-assigned working groups. The eight working groups included: 1) Evaluation of B. anthracis containing powders or substances, 2) Epidemiological investigation, 3) Environmental assessment, 4) Surveillance, 5) Diagnosis, 6) Treatment, 7) Post-exposure prophylaxis, and 8) Remediation. Each of the 8 working groups had pre-assigned co-leaders, one from outside of CDC and one from CDC. Each of the CDC co-leads were senior scientists who had been heavily involved in the anthrax bioterrorism investigation and response. Lists of specific questions were given to each of the working groups to help stimulate discussion and provide direction based on observations during the anthrax bioterrorism investigation. During the second plenary session each of the groups presented interim results of discussion for input from the larger group of meeting participants. In the second working group session, groups were asked to prepare a written report of their group’s top three research priorities.

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