World laboratory leaders being trained to secure deadly bioagents

Scientists in the United States say they are now training world laboratory leaders to secure deadly biological agents, like HIV and anthrax, against accidental and intentional misuse.

In conjunction with the World Health Organization, researchers with Sandia National Laboratories have developed the Biorisk Management Advanced Trainer Course, reports.

Ren Salerno, founder of Sandia's International Biological Threat Reduction program, told that the courses are a part of Sandia’s efforts to make sure potentially dangerous agents are not accidentally released or do not fall into the wrong hands. Salerno said that the work was accelerated following the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and has continued since that time.

“In the 10 years since Sandia's team was founded, laboratory biosafety and biosecurity has become a particularly vibrant field,” Salerno told

Salerno added that the international community has recognized that work with high-risk pathogens is critical to both public health and international security.

“Today, there are hundreds, maybe thousands, of labs around the world that work with high-risk pathogens, and lab leaders are increasingly committed to taking the proper precautions to prevent those agents from accidentally harming lab workers, being released into the environment or being misused by someone who intends to cause harm,” Salerno told