SESSION 10 - Biological events and pandemics: methods, algorithms instrumentation, protection/decontamination, and technological developments

This session will host presentations based on the following description.


Recent years have shown us that the risk of the spreading of a biological agent is very prominent. The recent pandemic, caused by the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, has demonstrated the fundamental role played by emergency plans, preparedness, and monitoring to contain it (Epidemic Intelligence).  Especially today, when globalization implies the increased interconnectedness and interdependence of peoples and countries, a single and far-distant outbreak may become a pandemic. Moreover, in today’s scenario, Biosecurity and Biosafety play a key role in tackling any emergence and re-emergence of biological agents, which may have a natural origin and spread or may have an intentional engineering and a malicious dispersion for offensive purposes, such as the use of BWAs by a rogue nation, or bio-terrorist attacks. In this setting, therefore, the following issues assume a fundamental role:  

  • The possibility of promptly identifying and classifying the dispersion, the nature, and possibly, the origin of biological agents (also thanks to new detection technologies and NGS techniques). 
  • The preparedness to face such events (by means of civil and military contingency plans, infrastructures, and capability),  
  • The research for the containment, monitoring, and epidemiological prediction of such events (also through mathematical modelling of outbreaks).  
  • The use of appropriate personal protection equipment (through planning and proper communication).  

This session aims to deepen the current risks related to the spread of biological agents: providing an overview of what are the new technologies that are useful for the detection and analysis of biological agents, exploring the lessons learned from the current pandemic and from past events to address this type of risk as well as illustrating the progress in planning for the preparedness and rapid response to such events. 

This session will host the work of the experts that will reflect those concepts.

Keywords: Biological Agents (BAs); Biological Warfare Agents (BWAs); Bioterrorism; Biological Agents Detection; New technologies and application for detection; Drones, Unmanned Vehicles applications; Biological Agents Decontamination; Protection; Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs); Decision Support Software (DSS); Biosecurity; Biosafety; Biological agent detection new technologies; Epidemic Intelligence; Epidemiological models; Pandemic; Bacteria; Viruses; Toxins; Microbiological Pathogens.