The neologisms biosecurity and biopreparedness have acquired heightened power in the post-9/11, postantrax-mailing era, when the need to safeguard civilians, animals, and plants from pathogens and toxins became even more prominent. Although there are competing definitions, the term biosecurity generally refers to the safeguarding of high-consequence biological and toxin agents and materials in order to protect potentially dangerous microorganisms from theft, accidents, and criminal or terrorist misuse. Biosecurity currently involves protection from both biological weapons and infectious diseases, even though not all infectious diseases are deemed threatening enough to fall under the biosecurity rubric.

By contrast, the term biopreparedness refers to a state of readiness for potential future public health emergencies. Both biosecurity and biopreparedness involve a range of activities that span surveillance and detection, the ...

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