July 23, 2016

Impacts of Emerging Infectious Disease Research on International Security Policy

Biosecurity Research at ACDIS

The ACDIS biosecurity initiative examines issues at the intersection of human and veterinary medicine, public health, biodefense, and international security policy.

Key areas of research focus include detection, countermeasures, and responses to emerging infectious and zoonotic diseases, and the challenges and benefits posed by novel or modified pathogens and biotoxins through synthetic biology.

ACDIS aims to inform the development of clear but sufficiently flexible regulatory frameworks, risk assessment criteria, and compliance and enforcement mechanisms critical for biosecurity planning and policymaking.

Participating Faculty Researchers

Steven R. Blanke
Associate Professor, Microbiology

William W. Laegreid
Professor, Pathobiology

Daniel L. Rock
Professor, Pathobiology

Brenda A. Wilson
Associate Professor, Microbiology

Last updated: May 23, 2008


William Laegreid
Head, Department of Veterinary Sciences, University of Wyoming
University of Wyoming

Published by Program in Arms Control, Disarmament, and International Security (ACDIS), University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

ACDIS International Security Policy Brief series
No. 1 / April 2008

Full text [PDF]


Dr. Will Laegreid asserts in this policy brief that the occurrence of an emerging infectious disease (EID) event introduced by natural or human causes may have important consequences for international security, with potential serious effects in economic and geopolitical spheres. However, the impacts will vary in magnitude and form depending on a number of factors. Laegreid argues that scientific research examining a variety of potential contexts in which an EID event might occur and informed by policy considerations is required to aid in EID prevention, mitigation, response and recovery.

Policy Recommendations

  • Recognize the economic, social, and political implications of emerging infectious diseases, and be prepared to meet international security challenges presented by EID outbreaks with scientifically sound responses.

  • Prioritize development of proactive, reliable EID dection methods as the first step to an effective response plan.

  • Support research efforts in human and animal disease control strategies and tools that consider a variety of potential contexts in which they may be employed.

  • Step up efforts in planning for recovery after an EID event to complement detection and response research. Develop new tools and methods in areas such as animal identification and epidemiology of rare events.