The proper structure of a biosafety system as a way of reducing the vulnerability of a society, economy or state in the face of a biogenic threat

About authors

1 Laboratory of Population Variability Mechanisms in Pathogenic Microorganisms, Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology, Moscow

2 Department of Virology, Faculty of Biology, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow

3 Laboratory of Translational Medicine, Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology, Moscow

4 Center for Strategic Planning of the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation, Moscow

Correspondence should be addressed: Vladimir A. Gushchin
Gamalei 18, Moscow, 123098; moc.liamg@adainawow

About paper

Funding: this work was supported by the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation as part of the project The National System for Chemical and Biological Security of the Russian Federation (2015-2020) and by the Ministry of Education and Science as part of the project RFMEFI60117X0018.

Received: 2018-09-30 Accepted: 2018-10-14 Published online: 2018-10-20

To understand how vulnerable are a society, an economy and a state in the face of a biohazard, one should attempt to identify any potential holes in the national biosafety system, such as the lack of important components or technologies for biological monitoring and the inadequacy of existing analytical methods used to prevent or counteract biogenic threats. In Russia, biological monitoring is quite advanced. However, the agencies that ensure proper functioning of its components lack collaboration and do not form a well-coordinated network. Each of such agencies alone cannot provide comprehensive information on the subject. In the Russian Federation, there are at least 4 state-funded programs that collect epidemiological data and are quite efficient in performing the narrow task of monitoring infections. But because there is no central database where epidemiological data can be channeled and subsequently shared, these agencies do not complete each other. This leaves the Russian society, economy and state vulnerable to biogenic threats. We need an adequately organized, modern, fully functional and effective system for monitoring biohazards that will serve as a basis for the national biosafety system and also a tool for the identification and elimination of its weaknesses.

Keywords: pathogens, biological safety, biological monitoring