Author(s): Silver S, Silver S
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Abstract Researchers studying both cellular and viral disease agents in the laboratory have become infected since the early days of microbiology 150 years ago. However, in the early 21st century, new concerns about bioweapons being used to generate terror and also with a series of newly emerging or newly understood disease-causing microbes have resulted in infections and deaths of workers studying these microbes in the laboratory, generally to gain understanding and to develop treatments and vaccines. Here, five examples are summarized: (i) smallpox virus escaped from a UK laboratory where it was being maintained and stored, (ii) the 2014 infections and deaths of five researchers who were isolating West African Ebola virus for DNA sequencing epidemiology studies, (iii) and (iv) two recent infections that happened in the same US laboratory where researchers were infected with agents causing septicemic Yersinia plague and Bacillus anthrax and (v) the 2012 death in California from laboratory infection by Neisseria meningitidis resulting in spinal meningitis. © FEMS 2014. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article was published in FEMS Microbiol Lett
and referenced in Journal of Bioterrorism & Biodefense