| || Biohazards of Protein Biotoxins
Author : Patocka, Jiri;Hon, Zdenek;Streda, Ladislav;Kuca, Kamil ;Jun, Daniel
Source : Defence Science Journal ; Vol:57(6) ; 2007 ; pp 825-837
Subject : 60 Biotechnology;61 Medical Sciences
Keywords : Biotoxin;Bioterrorism;Toxic protei;Ricin;Abrin;Viscumin;Volkenesin;Modeccin;Clostridium perfringens toxins;Mid-spectrum agents;Toxin
Abstract : Biotoxins are toxic substances produced by a living organism that cause diseases in human beings, animals, or plants. The agent may be lethal or incapacitating. The new, emerging threat agents are biotoxins produced by animals, plants, fungi, and bacteria. Many types of organisms produce substances that are toxic to humans. Examples of such biotoxins are botulinum toxin, tetanus toxin, and ricin. Several bioactive molecules produced by the pharmaceutical industry can be even more toxic than the classical chemical warfare agents. Such new agents, like the biotoxins and bioregulators, often are called mid-spectrum agents. The threat to human beings from agents developed by modern chemical synthesis and by genetic engineering also must be considered, since such agents may be more toxic or more effective in causing death or incapacitation than classical warfare agents. By developing effective medical protection and treatment against the most likely chemical and mid-spectrum threat agents, the effects of such agents in a war scenario or following a terrorist attack can be reduced. Toxin-mediated diseases have made human beings ill for millennia. The use of biological agents as weapons of terror has now been realised, and separating naturally occurring disease from bioterroristic events has become an important public health goal.