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Biosecurity and Microbial Forensics

  • PHA 6935 Biosecurity and Microbial Forensics

    Credits: 3


    This course is designed to provide an in-depth understanding of the risks associated with intentional and unintentional release of biological agents and the systems and practices used to investigate, contain or control these releases. Each module will introduce various aspects of biosecurity and microbial forensics, with a focus on the types of biological agents or situations that pose a potential security risk. This course will aim to equip students with the skills needed to evaluate potential biological threats and to respond effectively once a biological event has been identified.


    Please review our recommended course order.


    Module Topic
    Module 1 Fundamentals and History of Biosecurity
    Module 2 Biological Agents
    Module 3 Epidemiology and Investigation of Disease Outbreaks
    Module 4 Sample Collection and Handling
    Module 5 Biological Agent Identification and Characterisation
    Module 6 Responses to Biological Threats and Legal Aspects of Biosecurity

    At the end of this course, students should be able to:

    • Understand the concepts of biosecurity and microbial forensics, and have an awareness of the current and historical biological threats
    • Describe the general characteristics of the major groups of biological agents, the threat these agents pose to biosecurity and how they may be used as biological weapons
    • Appreciate the role modern biotechnology could play in the potential development of designer pathogens
    • Understand the role of epidemiology and surveillance in biosecurity, and be able to identify signs of a suspicious outbreak
    • Understand the safety issues and regulations involved with handling biological hazards
    • Describe the different types of samples and methods of collection, decontamination procedures, storage and transport conditions and analytical tests that are used during disease outbreak investigations
    • Understand the health, environmental, economic, political, legal and social issues related to biosecurity

    Recommened Materials

    Microbial Forensics 2nd Edition
    Author: Bruce Budowle, Steven E. Schutzer, Roger G. Breeze and Paul S. Keim
    Publisher: Academic Press; 2nd Edition (2010)
    ISBN: 9780123820068

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