Pathogens and Their Weaponization. Geoffrey Zubay. Columbia University Press . Agents of Bioterrorism. Google Preview. Pub Date: February Download Citation on ResearchGate | On Jan 1, , Geoffrey Zubay and others published Agents of Bioterrorism: Pathogens and their Weaponization }. [Book Review: Agents of Bioterrorism: Pathogens and Their Weaponization.] Article in The Quarterly Review of Biology 81(3) ยท September with 5.

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However, production of highly purified, virulent, weapon-quality rickettsiae is a daunting task that requires expertise and elaborate, state-of-the art laboratory procedures to retain rickettsial survival and virulence. Furthermore, mass production of rickettsial pathogens and the procedures required for their aerosolization are highly hazardous.

Add comment Close comment form modal. In short, mass propagation of rickettsial pathogens and their purification and aerosolization remain a major challenge. Rickettsial diseases are aeaponization distributed throughout the world as zoonotic cycles in foci of endemicity, with sporadic and often seasonal outbreaks developing [ 56 ].

ZubayProfessor Geoffrey Zubay.

Reply to Wasko et al. In addition, acquisition of rickettsial pathogens from reservoir hosts would be a daunting task requiring time-consuming protocols to obtain pure and virulent isolates.

Bioterrorism: pathogens as weapons.

To slow down the epidemic, the most significant challenge is to identify the source of infection intentional vs. Thus, the use of these agents for mass transmission requires a massive number of either infected arthropod vectors or kilograms of aerosolized rickettsiae. Rickettsiae are maintained in nature in their arthropod vectors, via transovarial and transstadial pathogejs, and human infection occurs accidentally through either a bite from the infected arthropod or contact with Rickettsia -laden feces.

Sign In or Create an Account. Oxford University Press is a department of the University of Oxford. Drug Discovery and Biodefense. Prophylactic measures are badly needed, because population growth and increased land use bring arthropods and their associated pathogens into human habitations. Thank you for submitting a comment on this article. A similar situation could also exist for other rickettsial pathogens that are endemic in an affected area.


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Geoffrey Zubay is professor of biology at Columbia University. Rickettsial aerosolization would provide an additional compounding factor, because it requires both a high degree of scientific expertise and a well-equipped, rather sophisticated facility.

Abstract Because of their unique biological characteristics, such as environmental stability, small size, aerosol transmission, persistence in infected hosts, low infectious dose, and high associated morbidity and mortality, Rickettsia prowazekii and Coxiella burnetii have been bioteerrorism. Initiating the proper treatment and curtailing outbreaks is the most crucial step, because prompt initiation of antibiotic treatment would prevent people from becoming ill and from dying.

In recent years, increased awareness and proper treatment and care have had a great impact on reducing case-fatality rates associated with rickettsial diseases. Pathogens and Their Weaponization Bioterrorim L. As obligate intracellular bacteria, rickettsiae require eukaryotic host cells for propagation, and the isolation and purification of rickettsiae without host cell contaminants would require highly skilled personnel and elaborate laboratory procedures.

You must accept the terms and conditions. Although the head louse P.

Bioterrorism: pathogens as weapons.

Ans sudden occurrence of a few human cases in areas of nonendemicity could set off the alarm. These biological attributes would make the pathogenic rickettsiae desirable bioterrorism agents.

Your comment will be reviewed and published at the journal’s discretion. Because several rickettsial pathogens are on kf Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s list of select agents, their acquisition from established repositories and their transportation are restricted. Epidemiologic characteristics of selected highly pathogenic rickettsiae.


In the United States, drastic increases in the number of cases of murine typhus in the s, Rocky Mountain spotted fever RMSF in the late s, and human ehrlichioses in the s attest to the potential emergence of these infections in at-risk populations [ 1tgeir ].

Zubay No preview available – Recrudescent typhus may have been the mechanism for the dissemination of R. Email alerts New issue tueir. However, from time to time, these infections have reemerged in epidemic form in human populations e. Another drawback to developing rickettsial pathogens as a biological weapon is their lack of direct transmission from host to host.

Because the disease is still endemic in highlands and cold areas of Africa, Asia, and Central and South America, as well as in parts of Eastern Europe, thfir the source of infection would be difficult. Please check for further notifications by email. The authors examine thirteen disease-causing agents, including those responsible for anthrax, the plague, smallpox, influenza, and SARS. Account Options Sign in.

Pathogens and Their Weaponization.

Pathogenic Rickettsiae as Bioterrorism Agents | Clinical Infectious Diseases | Oxford Academic

The present article is dedicated to the memory of Dr. Patients with this disease could serve as a long-term source of R. Woodward, for his insightful contributions to our knowledge of epidemic and murine typhus. In addition, analysis of rickettsial genomics and proteomics will enhance our clinical and field diagnostic capabilities, thus reducing misdiagnosis and false-negative results in routine surveillance studies.