Biological And Biochemical Warfare Biology Essay

Biological warfare (BW), also called germ warfare, is the utilization of pathogens such as infections, bacterias, other disease-causing biological agencies, or the waste made by them as biological weapons (or bioweapons).

There is an obvious overlap between natural warfare and chemical warfare, as the utilization of toxins made by living organisms is considered under the procedures of both Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention and the Chemical Weapons Convention. Waste, that are of organic origins, are often called "midspectrum realtors".

A biological weapon may be intended to eliminate, incapacitate, or critically impair a person, group of people, or even a whole population. It may also be thought as the material or defense against such occupation.

Biological warfare is a military technique that may be utilized by nation-states or non-national organizations. In the last mentioned case, or when a nation-state uses it clandestinely, it could also be considered bioterrorism.


Biological warfare has been practiced repeatedly throughout history. Before the 20th century, the use of biological providers required three major varieties

Deliberate poisoning of food and water with infectious material

Use of microorganisms, waste or animals, living or useless, in a weapon system

Use of biologically inoculated fabrics

The old world:

The earliest documented occurrence of the objective to use biological weapons is noted in Hittite text messages of 1500-1200 B. C, where subjects of plague were motivated into foe lands. Even though the Assyrians realized of ergot, a parasitic fungus infection of rye which produces ergotism when ingested, there is absolutely no data that they poisoned foe wells with the fungus, as has been claimed.

According to Homer's epic poems about the renowned Trojan War, the Iliad and the Odyssey, spears and arrows were tipped with poison. Through the First Sacred Battle in Greece, in about 590 BC, Athens and the Amphictionic Group poisoned the water supply of the besieged town of Kirrha (in close proximity to Delphi) with the harmful vegetable hellebore. The Roman commander Manius Aquillus poisoned the wells of besieged enemy locations in about 130 BC.

During the 4th hundred years BC Scythian archers tipped their arrow tips with snake venom, real human blood, and dog feces to cause wounds to be infected. There are numerous other cases of the utilization of plant contaminants, venoms, and other poisonous chemicals to create natural weapons in antiquity.

In 184 B. C, Hannibal of Carthage experienced clay pots filled with venomous snakes and instructed his troops to throw the pots onto the decks of Pergamene boats. In about AD 198, the town of Hatra (near Mosul, Iraq) repulsed the Roman military led by Septimius Severus by hurling clay pots filled with live scorpions at them.

Medieval biological warfare:

When the Mongol Empire founded commercial and political connections between the Eastern and American areas of the world, its Mongol armies and vendor caravans probably inadvertently helped bring bubonic plague from central Asia to the Middle East and Europe. The Black Death swept through Eurasia, killing approximately one third to one 50 % of the population and changing the course of Asian and European history.

During the Middle Ages, victims of the bubonic plague were used for biological episodes, often by flinging corpses and excrement over castle wall space using catapults. In 1346, the bodies of Mongol warriors of the Golden Horde who got passed away of plague were thrown over the wall surfaces of the besieged Crimean city of Kaffa (now Theodosia). It's been speculated that operation may have been in charge of the advancement of the Black colored Death in Europe.

At the siege of Thun l'Eveque in 1340, through the Hundred Years' Conflict, the attackers catapulted decomposing pets or animals in to the besieged area.

Modern times:

The 18th Century:

The Indigenous American population was decimated after contact with the Old World due to the introduction of several different fatal diseases. You can find two documented cases of alleged and attempted germ warfare. The first, throughout a parley at Fort Pitt on June 24, 1763, Ecuyer gave associates of the besieging Delawares two blankets and a handkerchief that were subjected to smallpox, expecting to spread the disease to the Natives in order to end the siege. William Trent, the militia commander, left records that obviously indicated that the purpose of giving the blankets was "to Convey the Smallpox to the Indians. "

British commander Lord Jeffrey Amherst and Swiss-British official Colonel Henry Bouquet, whose correspondence referenced the idea of giving smallpox-infected blankets to Indians in the course of Pontiac's Rebellion. Historian Francis Parkman verifies four words from June 29, July 13, 16 and 26th, 1763. Excerpts: Commander Lord Jeffrey Amherst creates July 16, 1763, "P. S. You can do well to try to Inocculate the Indians through Blankets, as well concerning try Almost every other method that can provide to Extirpate this Execrable Competition. I will be very glad your Program for Hunting them Down by Pups could take Effect, . . . " Colonel Henry Bouquet replies July 26, 1763, "I received last night your Excellency's words of 16th using their Inclosures. The indication for Indian Messengers, and your entire directions will be viewed. "

While the purpose for natural warfare is clear, there is a question among historians concerning whether this actually took place despite Bouquet's affirmative reply to Amherst and each having written to the other about any of it twice. Smallpox sent to Native North american tribes could have been because of the transfer of the condition to blankets during transportation. Historians have been unable to establish if this course of action was implemented, specifically in light of the fact that smallpox had been present in the region, and that scientific knowledge of disease in those days had yet to find bacterias or develop a knowledge of plague vectors.

Regardless of whether this course of action was completed, trade and battle provided ample opportunity for transmission of the condition. See also: Small pox during Pontiac's Rebellion.

The 19th Hundred years:

In 1834 Cambridge Diarist Richard Henry Dana been to San Francisco over a merchant ship. His ship exchanged many items including blankets with Mexicans and Russians who experienced founded outposts on the north area of the SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA Bay.

Local histories record that the California smallpox epidemic started at the Russian fort immediately after they remaining. Blankets were a popular trading item, and the cheapest source of them was second-hand blankets that have been often polluted.

During the American Civil Conflict, Basic Sherman reported that Confederate causes shot farm animals in ponds upon that your Union depended for drinking water. This might have made the annoying to drink, although actual health threats from dead systems of humans and pets which didn't pass away of disease are minimal.

Jack London in his tale '"Yah! Yah! Yah!"' describes a punitive Western european expedition to a Pacific island deliberately exposing the Polynesian inhabitants to Measles, of which many of them passed on s:South Sea Tales/"Yah! Yah! Yah!". While much of the material for London's South Sea Tales comes from his personal experience in your community, it isn't certain that this particular incident is historical.

The 20th Hundred years:

During the First World Conflict, Germany pursued an ambitious biological warfare program. Using diplomatic pouches and couriers, the German Standard Staff provided small teams of saboteurs in the Russian Duchy of Finland, and in the then-neutral countries of Romania, the united states and Argentina.

In Finland, Scandinavian freedom fighters mounted on reindeer located ampules of anthrax in stables of Russian horses in 1916. Anthrax was also provided to the German military attache in Bucharest, as was Glanders, that was used against livestock destined for Allied service.

German intelligence official and US citizen Dr. Anton Casimir Dilger set up a secret lab in the basement of his sister's home in Chevy Chase, Maryland, that produced Glanders that was used to infect livestock in slots and inland collection items including, at least, Newport News, Norfolk, Baltimore, and NY, and probably St. Louis and Covington, Kentucky. In Argentina, German real estate agents also used Glanders in the dock of Buenos Aires and also tried to ruin whole wheat harvests with a damaging fungus.

During the 1948 Israel War of Freedom, Red Cross records lifted suspicion that the Jewish Haganah militia had released Salmonella typhi bacterias into the drinking water supply for the city of Acre, creating an outbreak of typhoid one of the inhabitants. Egyptian troops later captured disguised Haganah military near wells in Gaza, whom they carried out for allegedly trying another attack. Israel denies these allegations.

During the Freezing Conflict, US conscientious objectors were used as consenting test subject matter for biological realtors in a program known as Procedure Whitecoat. There have been also many unpublicized testing completed on the public during the Cold War.

E120 natural bomblet, developed before the U. S. agreed upon the Biological and Toxic Weapons Convention

Considerable research on the topic was performed by the United States (see US Biological Weapon Tests), the Soviet Union, and probably other major countries throughout the Cold War time, though it is generally believed that natural weapons were never used after World War II. This view was challenged by China and North Korea, who accused america of large-scale field evaluation of biological weapons, like the use of disease-carrying bugs against them through the Korean Warfare (1950-1953).

Biological agents:

Biological warfare is the deliberate use of disease and natural poisons to incapacitate humans. It utilizes pathogens as weapons. Pathogens will be the micro-organism, whether bacterial, viral or protozoic, that cause disease. You will find four varieties of biological warfare realtors: bacteria, viruses, rickettsiae and fungi. Biological weapons are recognized by being living microorganisms, that reproduce of their host victims, who then become contagious with a deadly, if weakening, multiplier effect. Toxins in contrast do not reproduce in the victim and need only the briefest of incubation intervals; they kill within a few hours.

Biological Weapons Characteristics:

Anti-personnel BW:

Ideal characteristics of natural weapons focusing on humans are high infectivity, high potency, non-availability of vaccines, and delivery as an aerosol.

Diseases probably to be looked at for use as natural weapons are contenders for their lethality (if sent effectively), and robustness (making aerosol delivery feasible).

The biological brokers used in biological weapons can frequently be manufactured quickly and easily. The primary difficulty is not the creation of the biological agent but delivery in a highly effective form to a prone target.

For example, anthrax is known as a highly effective agent for several reasons. First, it sorts hardy spores, perfect for dispersal aerosols. Second, pneumonic (lung) attacks of anthrax usually do not cause secondary microbe infections in other people. Thus, the effect of the agent is usually confined to the prospective. A pneumonic anthrax illness starts with ordinary "cold" symptoms and quickly becomes lethal, with a fatality rate that is 90% or higher. Finally, friendly staff can be guarded with appropriate antibiotics.

A mass episode using anthrax would require the creation of aerosol contaminants of 1 1. 5 to 5 micrometres. Too large and the aerosol would be filtered out by the the respiratory system. Too small and the aerosol would be inhaled and exhaled. Also, as of this size, nonconductive powders have a tendency to clump and cling because of electrostatic charges. This hinders dispersion. So the materials must be treated to insulate and release the charges. The aerosol must be provided so that rain and sun will not rot it, and yet the human lung can be attacked. You will find other technological complications as well.

Diseases considered for weaponization, or regarded as weaponized include anthrax, ebola, Marburg trojan, plague, cholera, tularemia, brucellosis, Q fever, Bolivian hemorrhagic fever, Coccidioides mycosis, Glanders, Melioidosis, Shigella, Rocky Pile spotted fever, typhus, Psittacosis, yellowish fever, Japanese B encephalitis, Rift Valley fever, and smallpox [19][31]. Naturally-occurring waste you can use as weapons include ricin, SEB, botulism toxin, saxitoxin, and many mycotoxins. The organisms leading to these diseases are known as select agents. In america, their possession, use, and transfer are governed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Select Agent Program.

Anti-agriculture BW:

Biological warfare can also specifically target plants to ruin crops or defoliate vegetation. AMERICA and Britain found out plant growth regulators (i. e. , herbicides) during the Second World Battle, and initiated an herbicidal warfare program that was eventually found in Malaya and Vietnam in counter insurgency. Though herbicides are chemicals, they are often grouped with natural warfare as bioregulators in a similar manner as biotoxins. Scorched earth strategies or destroying livestock and farmland were carried out in the Vietnam conflict and Eelam Warfare in Sri Lanka.

The United States developed an anti-crop ability during the Freezing War which used place diseases (bioherbicides, or mycoherbicides) for destroying opponent agriculture. It was believed that damage of enemy agriculture over a strategic size could thwart Sino-Soviet aggression in an over-all battle. Diseases such as wheat blast and grain blast were weaponized in aerial spray tanks and cluster bombs for delivery to enemy water sheds in agricultural regions to initiate epiphytotics (epidemics among crops). When the United States renounced its unpleasant biological warfare program in 1969 and 1970, the vast majority of its biological arsenal was composed of these flower diseases.

In 1980s Soviet Ministry of Agriculture experienced successfully developed variations of foot-and-mouth disease and rinderpest against cows, African swine fever for pigs, and psittacosis to kill chicken. These real estate agents were prepared to spray them down from tanks mounted on airplanes over hundreds of miles. The trick program was code-named "Ecology"


Role of public health departments and disease security:

It is important to note that of the classical and modern biological weapons organisms are pet animal diseases, the one exception being smallpox. Thus, in any use of biological weapons, it is highly likely that pets will become unwell either simultaneously with, or simply prior to humans.

Indeed, in the largest biological weapons mishap known- the anthrax outbreak in Sverdlovsk (now Yekaterinburg) in the Soviet Union in 1979, sheep became sick with anthrax as far as 200 kilometers from the discharge point of the organism from a armed service facility in the southeastern portion of the location (known as Element 19 but still off limitations to site visitors today, see Sverdlovsk Anthrax drip).

Thus, a solid surveillance system including real human clinicians and veterinarians may identify a bioweapons episode early in the course of an epidemic, permitting the prophylaxis of disease in the vast majority of men and women (and/or pets) exposed but not yet ill.

For example in the case of anthrax, it is likely that by 24 - 36 time after an invasion, some small percentage of people (those with compromised disease fighting capability or who had received a large dosage of the organism anticipated to proximity to the release point) will become ill with classical symptoms and signs or symptoms (including a nearly unique torso X-ray finding, often acknowledged by public health officers if they receive timely reports). By making these data open to local public health officials instantly, most models of anthrax epidemics signify that more than 80% of the exposed human population can obtain antibiotic treatment before becoming symptomatic, and thus avoid the reasonably high mortality of the condition.

Identification of bioweapons:

The goal of biodefense is to combine the sustained attempts of the national and homeland security, medical, public health, brains, diplomatic, and law enforcement communities. Healthcare providers and general public health officials are one of the primary lines of defense. In some countries private, local, and provincial (condition) features are being augmented by and coordinated with federal government investments, to provide split defenses against natural weapons attacks. During the first Gulf Conflict the US activated a biological and chemical response team, Task Power Scorpio, to respond to any potential use of weapons of mass damage on civilians.

The traditional methodology toward safeguarding agriculture, food, and normal water: focusing on the natural or unintentional introduction of a disease is being strengthened by concentrated efforts to address current and expected future natural weapons threats which may be deliberate, multiple, and repetitive.

The growing threat of biowarfare agencies and bioterrorism has resulted in the introduction of specific field tools that perform on-the-spot analysis and recognition of experienced suspect materials. One such technology, being developed by research workers from the Lawrence Livermore Country wide Laboratory (LLNL), uses a "sandwich immunoassay", where fluorescent dye-labeled antibodies aimed at specific pathogens are mounted on silver and gold nanowires.

Biological agent

A sampling of Bacillus anthracis-Anthrax

A natural agent is a bacterium, pathogen, prion, fungus, or biological toxin that can be used in bioterrorism or natural warfare. More than 1200 different sorts of biological real estate agents have been referred to and studied thus far. Applying a slightly broader meaning, some eukaryotes (for example parasites) and their associated poisons can be viewed as as biological brokers.

Biological agents be capable of adversely affect human health in a variety of ways, ranging from relatively mild allergic reactions to serious medical conditions, even death. These organisms are ubiquitous in the natural environment; they are found in water, dirt, plants, and family pets. Because many natural agents reproduce rapidly and require nominal resources for preservation, they are a potential threat in a multitude of occupational settings.

Bacterial Biological Agents


Causative Agent (Military Symbol)



Bacillus anthracis (N) or (TR)

Brucellosis (bovine)

Brucella abortus (AB)

Brucellosis (caprine)

Brucella melitensis (AM) or (BX)

Brucellosis (porcine)

Brucella suis (US) or (NX)


Vibrio cholerae (HO)


Corynebacterium diphtheriae (DK)

Dysentery (bacterial)

Shigella dysenteriae, some varieties of Escherichia coli (Y)


Burkholderia mallei (LA)


Listeria monocytogenes (TQ)


Burkholderia pseudomallei (Hello there)


Yersinia pestis (LE)


Francisella tularensis (SR) or (JT)

Antibiotic amount of resistance:

Antibiotic amount of resistance is a particular type of medication resistance when a microorganism has the potential of withstanding the effects of antibiotics. Antibiotic amount of resistance evolves via natural selection acting upon arbitrary mutation, but it can even be engineered through the use of an evolutionary stress over a people. Once such a gene is produced, bacteria can then transfer the genetic information in a horizontal fashion (between individuals) by conjugation, transduction, or transformation. Many antibiotic level of resistance genes reside on plasmids, facilitating their transfer. In case a bacterium provides several level of resistance genes, it is called multiresistant or, informally, a superbug. The term antimicrobial resistance may also be used to explicitly encompass microorganisms other than bacterias.

Antibiotic resistance can even be introduced artificially into a microorganism through laboratory protocols, sometimes used as a selectable marker to look at the mechanisms of gene transfer or even to identify individuals that absorbed a piece of DNA that included the level of resistance gene and another gene appealing.


The popular use of antibiotics both inside and outside of medication is playing a substantial role in the introduction of resistant bacteria. They are generally used in animals but also in other business which at least in the case of agricultural use lead to the spread of resistant strains to human being populations. In a few countries antibiotics can be purchased over the counter with out a prescription which ingredients the issue. In human medicine the significant problem of the introduction of resistant bacteria is due to misuse and overuse of antibiotics by doctors as well as patients. Other methods contributing towards resistance are the addition of antibiotics to the give food to of livestock. Home use of antibacterials in soaps and other products, however is not clearly contributing to amount of resistance, is also discouraged (as not being able to an infection control). Also unsound procedures in the pharmaceutical production industry can contribute towards the probability of creating antibiotic resilient strains.

Certain antibiotic classes are highly associated with colonisation with superbugs compared to other antibiotic classes. The risk for colonisation increases when there is too little sensitivity (amount of resistance) of the superbugs to the antibiotic used and high tissues penetration as well as extensive spectrum activity against "good bacteria". Regarding MRSA, increased rates of MRSA attacks have emerged with glycopeptides, cephalosporins and especially quinolones. In the case of colonisation with C difficile the high risk antibiotics include cephalosporins and in particular quinolones and clindamycin.


Antibiotic amount of resistance can be considered a result of horizontal gene transfer, [30] and also of unlinked point mutations in the pathogen genome and a rate of about 1 in 108 per chromosomal replication. The antibiotic action up against the pathogen can be seen as an environmental pressure; those bacterias that have a mutation permitting them to survive will live on to reproduce. They'll then cross this trait to their offspring, that will result in a completely resilient colony.

The four main mechanisms where microorganisms exhibit resistance to antimicrobials are

Drug inactivation or modification: e. g. enzymatic deactivation of Penicillin G in some penicillin-resistant bacterias through the production of ܠ-lactamases.

Alteration of aim for site: e. g. alteration of PBP-the binding goal site of penicillins-in MRSA and other penicillin-resistant bacteria.

Alteration of metabolic pathway: e. g. some sulfonamide-resistant bacterias do not require para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA), an important precursor for the formation of folic acid and nucleic acids in bacteria inhibited by sulfonamides. Instead, like mammalian cells, they choose utilizing preformed folic acid.

Reduced drug build up: by lowering drug permeability and/or increasing active efflux (pumping out) of the drugs over the cell surface.


Specific consensus recommendations are made regarding the identification of anthrax, indications for vaccination, therapy for those exposed, postexposure prophylaxis, decontamination of the environment, and additional research needs.

Of the many biological agents that may be used as weapons, the Working Group on Civilian Biodefense has recognized a limited variety of organisms that could cause disease and deaths in sufficient quantities to cripple a city or region. Anthrax is one of the most serious of the diseases.

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