Providing an effective defence against biological attack is complicated by the large number of potential agents, which range from viruses that cause haemorrhagic fever to bacterial toxins, some of which are only rarely encountered in nature. Defence strategies must be equally diverse, and include such measures as enhanced epidemiological surveillance, vaccination, treatment with antimicrobial agents and passive administration of antibodies. Implementation of such strategies is by no means straightforward and a significant amount of research and development is still needed.

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