The genomic dimension in biodefense: Decontamination

Ilias Boltsis, Manousos E. Kambouris, George D. Kostis

Research output: Chapter/Conference proceedingChapterAcademic

1 Citation (Scopus)


The window of vulnerability of a bioagent, may this be communicable or not, is while in the environment, before it enters the host or even adheres to it externally, as potent antimicrobial amenities can be used in such conditions with no or little concern for the host entity. There are many such amenities in use, originating from both the health services and the food industry, which allow massive suppression of microbiota or even sterilization, but the usually indiscriminate effectiveness and widespread use may become counterproductive. Thus the use of amenities allowing targeted application with limited collateral damage and sustainability in resources and effects/side effects, especially in environmental terms and also among the susceptible species, is of special importance. Many innovative and proven amenities may be applied in a targeted manner by genomics informing on the comparative susceptibilities of targets vs background/benign organisms and entities. Thus antimicrobial peptides and chemical or radiological disinfectants are routinely used but may be supplemented occasionally by electromagnetic amenities, sound waves, and other pressure waves or extreme heat, salinity, or acidity and live biological or biochemical agents leading to functional or structural neutralization. The differential susceptibility to all these and possibly other suppressants can be accurately predicted by genomic analysis and postgenomic screening by selecting the appropriate approach and dosage for each individual case upon detection and classification, so as to maximize effectiveness with minimal collateral damage.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGenomics in Biosecurity
Subtitle of host publicationPrinciples and Applications of Genomic Technologies in Expanded Biosecurity Concepts
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)9780323852364
ISBN (Print)9780323852371
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2022

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