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Tasks of CBB’s biopreparedness organisation

On-going activities


Specialised medical expertise

The main tasks are to prepare medical guidelines, to conduct training sessions, and to carry out medical and technical intelligence assessments. This is done in order to have on-going biological threat surveillance and to enhance biological security.


The task is to coordinate relevant preparedness activities within research and development and to research and test in relation to warfare agents and methods (weaponisation, weapons effects, inactivation, etc.). The analytical tasks also include threat assessments of scientific, technical, and general character. The assessments are an integral part of the CBB's modelling capability used in relation to the on-going preparedness activities, and as a prognostic tool in relation to operational decision support.

24-hour preparedness teams

CBB’s responsibility is to ensure a 24-hour preparedness capability (including a Field Investigation Team), to conduct training and education both internally and with other agencies (Police, The Emergency Management Agency, the military, etc.), to develop and maintain concepts of operations under different circumstances, and to maintain the necessary equipment. At the operational level an important element is the special expertise in dispersal analysis. CBB is using several models to support the decision making.

The CBB preparedness organisation consists of an on-call Senior Medical Doctor with specialisation in microbiology and a Field Investigation Team. The tasks of the Field Investigation Team are to collect information, collect samples, to conduct rapid laboratory analysis, and to provide expert medical advice in order to identify biological warfare agents, verification of dispersion area, and clinical advice on immediate actions to be taken including medical countermeasures. Furthermore, foreign specialist laboratories with BSL 4-facilities are included in the 24-hour preparedness capability.

Operational activities

When a biological terror incident is suspected, whether it is a Type 1-incident (primary attack) or a Type 2-incident (disease outbreak), the Centre conducts an intelligence-based threat assessment as a basis for the investigational effort and a coordinating group is established at the Centre. The same procedure is carried out for accidental releases of dangerous biological agents (Type 3-incidents), but instead of a threat assessment a risk analysis is conducted.

As with any other service from Statens Serum Institut (SSI), the investigation is conducted under medical direction and responsibility. The investigation makes use of a number of tools which can be both internal capabilities at CBB or SSI, and external capabilities, including domestic and foreign authorities and agencies.

CBB reports all investigation results and conclusions to the Police. The report contains an overall conclusion of the investigation and provides relevant expert advice. As part of the implementation of countermeasures, CBB has access to SSI's emergency vaccines and other medicaments.

  • Medical intelligence. CBB collects relevant information to analyze the incident; partly from the Centre's own sources, and partly from other national authorities
  • Clinical picture. CBB obtains information about potential illness in connection with the incident – presentation of symptoms, course of disease, and paraclinical results
  • Epidemiological situation. In connection with a possible disease outbreak, CBB collects information about the epidemiological situation, for example, from the local health inspectors, or via an epidemiological field investigation carried out in collaboration with experts from the Department of Epidemiology at SSI
  • Sampling. Collection of samples from the environment, or, if possible, from clinical material from animals and humans takes place nationally by activating CBB’s Field Investigation Team. The team takes samples for subsequent analysis of biological substances 
  • Laboratory Analysis. Laboratory analysis takes place at CBB’s laboratory facilities, which are manned by a 24 hour duty officer. If necessary, CBB can also draw on external specialist laboratories with BSL 4-facilities.
  • Dispersal Analysis. CBB demarcates the contaminated area, and identifies potentially exposed individuals, among other things by using an advanced dispersal analysis system. The reporting to other agencies takes place in accordance with classification requirements and the use of either couriers or encrypted electronic communications
  • Diagnosis. CBB collects all information and analysis results in an overall report that seeks to identify the cause of the incident and provide a prognosis for further progression (consequences, dangerousness, etc.)
  • Countermeasures. If necessary, the report includes recommendations for countermeasures, both medical (e.g. medical treatment or preventive vaccination), and physical (e.g., personal protective equipment, cordons, and decontamination). Implementation of these measures is coordinated by the Police
  • Information. If necessary, the report from CBB will include draft information for the press, potentially exposed persons or others, and, if necessary, CBB assists by informing other authorities