| || Biological Warfare Agents
Author : Kamboj, Dev Vrat ;Goel, Ajay Kumar;Singh, Lokendra
Source : Defence Science Journal ; Vol:56(4) ; 2006 ; pp 495-506
Subject : 57.089 Biomedical Sciences ;623.459 Chemical Weapons
Keywords : Biological warfare agents;Biological warfare;Weapons of mass destruction;BTWC;Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention;Biodefence;Bacterial agents;Viral agents;Toxins
Abstract : There is a long historic record of use of biological warfare (BW) agents by warring countries against their enemies. However, the frequency of their use has increased since the beginning of the twentieth century. World war I witnessed the use of anthrax agent against human beings and animals by Germans, followed by large-scale field trials by Japanese against war prisoners and Chinese population during world war II. Ironically, research and development in biological warfare agents increased tremendously after the Geneva Protocol, signed in 1925, because of its drawbacks which were overcome by Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC) in 1972. Biological warfare programme took back seat after the 1972 convention but biological agents regained their importance after the bioterrorist attacks of anthrax powder in 2001. In the light of these attacks, many of which turned out to be hoax, general awareness is required about biological warfare agents that can be used against them. This review has been written highlighting important biological warfare agents, diseases caused by them, possible therapies and other protection measures.