In addition to reports on fundamental research highlighting the basic pathogenesis of highly dangerous infections, molecular and genetic characteristics of their causative agents, and mechanisms of immunogenesis, attention also focused on results obtained from applied research. Such studies are aimed at improving techniques and methods of rapid diagnostics of highly dangerous infections and indication and identification of relevant pathogens, as well as developing new research efforts in the design of immunological and biological preparations.

The participants recognized the special contributions to public health which defense scientists can make and urged them to direct their efforts to improved prophylaxis, detection, and treatment of highly dangerous pathogens.

The participants of the symposium enthusiastically supported the idea of exchanges of specialists from different countries. It would facilitate the sharing of research results and the search for areas of mutually beneficial scientific cooperation and would provide a basis for joint research.

Expanded educational programs are needed to improve understanding among both health practitioners and the general public about practical measures that can be taken to reduce the risks of infections from dangerous pathogens.

Modern information and communications technologies are providing unprecedented opportunities for direct communications among scientists throughout the world. Governments and private organizations should ensure that these technologies are made available to scientists working on dangerous pathogens.

A continuing high level of attention should be given to all aspects of safe handling of dangerous pathogens, including the safe disposal of contaminated wastes.

Thus, it is clear that scientists must support the battle against epidemics which result in tremendous disasters inflicted on the world 's population and cause 16 million deaths every year.

The participants expressed their sincere gratitude to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and the International Science and Technology Center, which cosponsored the symposium, to the Volga-Vyatka State Scientific Center of Applied Biotechnology, which organized the event, and to the governor of Kirov Region, Academician V.N. Sergeenkov, for his special interest in the symposium.

The participants had an opportunity to visit the Kirov Biochemical Plant, the Vyatka Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and the facilities of the Sanitary Epidemiological Service and the Committee on Ecology in Kirov. Also, the participants welcomed the proposal of the Volgo-Vyatka State Scientific Center for Applied Biotechnology to serve as a point of contact for future cooperation with the region in fields related to the topics discussed at the symposium.

June 20, 1997

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