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Summary of the Context

The EuroBioTox project focused on biotoxins of potential bioterrorism risk integrating 63 expert institutions from 23 countries. Previous studies showed that there was a lack of robustness in European preparedness for biotoxin incidents. In this context recent incidents in France and Germany highlighted that extremists take an interest in the production of biotoxins, and that they even succeeded in the production of toxic material. Therefore, the European capabilities urgently needed to be strengthened to cope with a potential intentional release of biotoxins. The toxins in the scope of EuroBioTox comprised of selected large protein toxins (ricin, abrin, botulinum neurotoxins [BoNT], staphylococcal enterotoxins [SE]) as well as small molecule biotoxins (saxitoxin [STX]). The project was implemented by 13 core partners in collaboration with 50 outer network partners who had access to training, reagents, protocols, and proficiency tests.
EuroBioTox focused on the following main objectives:
  1. The evaluation of available analytical tools, methods, reagents, and matrices for biotoxin detection using the expertise of the 13 core partners.
  2. The establishment of a comprehensive mechanism to increase quality assurance in the field.
  3. The improvement of validation and testing capabilities for biotoxin analysis across the EU including methods for detection and identification.
  4. The evaluation of animal replacement methods for the detection of BoNT.