Biosecurity in the Americas: Research, Practitioner Education/Training and Transition

Project Details


As we have seen in recent years, the world is vulnerable to biological threats. In the case of the Americas, the H1N1 epidemic of 2009 and, more recently, the COVID-19 pandemic have demonstrated, as reflected by World Health Organization figures, a disproportionately high number of deaths in the region compared to other parts of the globe. These statistics confirm a pressing need to strengthen the region’s prevention, detection and response capabilities.

Fortunately, the level of terrorist threats to biosecurity in Latin America is relatively low; in fact, the region’s threats typically take the form of crimes, which are more difficult to predict but easier to prevent. Implementation of internal measures and national biosafety and biosecurity regulations in laboratories and research centers is an essential step to prevent biological accidents (whether intentional or unintentional), to mitigate risks and to prepare adequate responses in the unfortunate event of any accident.

To address these needs, the Inter-American Committee against Terrorism of the Organization of American States (CICTE/OAS) has carried out in recent years a project entitled “Strengthening biosafety and biosecurity in Latin America in line with Resolution 1540”, generously funded and supported by the European Union.

Thanks to the collaboration between CICTE/OAS and the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START) of the University of Maryland, in the context of this project we have already launched two free online courses on biosafety and biosecurity in Spanish for laboratory personnel, scientists and decision makers. Through these courses we intend to contribute to lay the foundations of a biosafety culture, create a Latin American network of expertise and strengthen biosafety and biosecurity standards and measures throughout our continent.

Biosecurity in the Americas: Regional Threat Assessment (Spanish)

Biosecurity in the Americas: Regional threat assessment in Colombia (English)

Biosecurity in the Americas: Regional threat assessment in Panama (English)

Biosecurity in the Americas: Regional threat assessment in Chile (English)