Protecting public health in the age of emerging infections

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Emerging and re-emerging infections cause huge concernamong public health workers and international and nationalbodies such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and theU.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH). Indeed, scientistsaround the world express the view that despite the danger,research on these emerging virulent pathogens is crucial andmust continue. While most of the studies underway are targetedat improving and protecting public health, some studies bearpotentially serious risks resulting from misuse. These studiesare defined as dual-use research of concern (DURC), where itis not evident that the benefits outweigh the risks. The H5N1controversy has pushed various governments to institute newpolicies to govern such research. We describe the regulationsthat govern this emerging field of research in the United Statesand Israel, two countries that have taken leading stands onthese issues. We suggest that the existing policies are able tomitigate many of the risks that this research encapsulates, yetmore work is required – especially on the global level.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)677-682
Number of pages6
JournalIsrael Medical Association Journal
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2014


  • Biosafety
  • Biosecurity
  • Dual-use research(DUR)
  • Emerging infections
  • Influenza H5N1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (all)


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