The role of the new Russian anti-bioterrorism centres


  • Westerdahl Kristina S
  • Norlander Lena

Publish date: 2006-01-01

Report number: FOI-R--1971--SE

Pages: 83

Written in: English


  • Bioterrorism
  • terrorism counter-measures
  • biological weapons
  • Russia
  • Sergiev Posad
  • MoD Virology Center


Russian counter-measures to bioterrorism include the establishment of two designated lead centres: The Centre of Special Laboratory Diagnostics and Treatment of Especially Dangerous and Exotic Infectious Diseases (DSCT) at the Ministry of Defence Virology Centre in Sergiev Posad, and the Federal Interagency Centre (FIAC) at the Volgograd Anti-Plague Institute, subordinate to the Ministry of Health. By selecting well-stablished institutes with experience of countermeasures to diseases caused by natural and deliberate spread of pathogens, resources such as qualified staff, equipment and strain collections were already in place. In purpose to understand the framework of the new centres, the past two decades´ scientific publications of the mother institutes are reviewed in depth and the areas of competence are described for each facility. Additionally, the reported activities of the centres are assessed. The two centres are independent from each other, established by separate orders and funding. The aims and areas of activities are complementary. The available information indicates that CSDT takes active part in domestic outbreaks. The lack of information on FIAC makes the assessment of its role impossible. According to the publications lists 1985-2004, both institues have a frequent but low publication rate and several collaborating institutes in Russia. There is a continuous interest in viruses and bacteria that have been in focus for decades. The Virology Centre, CSDT, has an impressive knowledge in several of the most dangerous viruses known and a high technical competence, modern equipment, and techniques in molecular biology. The Volgograd institute and centre seems to have more traditional research techniques for studies of bacteria, albeit with knowledge of a limited set of bacteria. The scientists have an adequate experience in areas that are relevant for the FIAC.