Biohazards of Protein Biotoxins

  • Jiri Patocka University of South Bohemia, Ceské Budejovice
  • Zdenek Hon University of South Bohemia, Ceské Budejovice
  • Ladislav Streda Department for Control of the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, Prague
  • Kamil Kuca University of Defence, Hradec Kralove
  • Daniel Jun University of Defence, Hradec Kralove
Keywords: Biotoxin, bioterrorism, toxic protei, ricin, abrin, viscumin, volkenesin, modeccin, conotoxin, botulinum toxin, clostridium perfringens toxins, diphteriae toxin, Staphylococcus toxin, shiga toxin, verotoxin, cholera toxin, tetanus toxin, microcystin, mid-sp


Biotoxins are toxic substances produced by a living organism that cause diseases in humanbeings, animals, or plants. The agent may be lethal or incapacitating. The new, emerging threatagents are biotoxins produced by animals, plants, fungi, and bacteria. Many types of organismsproduce substances that are toxic to humans. Examples of such biotoxins are botulinum toxin,tetanus toxin, and ricin. Several bioactive molecules produced by the pharmaceutical industrycan be even more toxic than the classical chemical warfare agents. Such new agents, like thebiotoxins and bioregulators, often are called mid-spectrum agents. The threat to human beingsfrom agents developed by modern chemical synthesis and by genetic engineering also must beconsidered, since such agents may be more toxic or more effective in causing death orincapacitation than classical warfare agents. By developing effective medical protection andtreatment against the most likely chemical and mid-spectrum threat agents, the effects of suchagents in a war scenario or following a terrorist attack can be reduced. Toxin-mediated diseaseshave made human beings ill for millennia. The use of biological agents as weapons of terror hasnow been realised, and separating naturally occurring disease from bioterroristic events hasbecome an important public health goal.
How to Cite
Patocka, J., Hon, Z., Streda, L., Kuca, K., & Jun, D. (2007). Biohazards of Protein Biotoxins. Defence Science Journal, 57(6), 825-837.
Biomedical Sciences