Recent incidents in Europe and worldwide have threatened civil society by the attempted use of different biological toxins and have thereby shown that increased vigilance and adequate preparation is of increasing importance in a world facing growing risks of man-made disasters. Previous studies which the consortium is well acquainted with showed that there is a lack of robustness in European preparedness for biotoxin incidents. There is a need for standard analytical tools and procedures, reference materials, state-of-the-art training and establishment of a European proficiency testing scheme.
Using current best practice, the EuroBioTox core members will develop and validate improved analytical tools, reagents and standard operating procedures based on realistic incident scenarios. Certified Reference Materials for the threat biotoxins will be developed and, by establishing a European repository, will be made available to the EuroBioTox network including more than 50 European organisations, expert laboratories, industrial partners and end-users. Training courses at basic and advanced levels will be developed and attended by the EuroBioTox network partners, followed by a series of proficiency tests which, through these “outer circle” associates, will disseminate best practice methods across Europe. The current animal test for botulinum neurotoxin is ethically unacceptable and alternative in vitro tests will be evaluated.
After this project there will be a pan-European network of competence, certified reference materials, standard operating procedures and a common way of handling biotoxin incidents.
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