Biological weapons are also known as bio-weapons of biological threat agents that are microorganisms or viruses giving rise to diseases in humans and other living things. Bio-agents can cause mortality and morbidity on a large scale targeting huge populations. Humans who are victims of bio-agents undergo adverse consequences in a shorter time. Bio-agents are used as biological weapons leading to biological warfare. A small amount of viable material is sufficient for causing a disease outbreak. Different countries use biological weapons to kill the human race which causes the deaths of the larger population. The use of biological weapons is common in biological warfare and caused of spreading plague in the fourteenth century when Mongols attacked Kaffa. The spread of smallpox by British troops among native Indians also represented the reliance of forces on a biological weapon. History also reveals the use of biological weapons by the British army during the revolutionary war (1776-1781). Infected soldiers spread smallpox among American troops. Contaminated clothing was another method used for transmitting disease. The soviet union released anthrax in 1995. Many countries throughout history engaged in biological warfare by using biological weapons for the injection of disease. During elections in Dallas, Rajneeshees attempted to spread disease by contaminating salad bars (Thavaselvam & Vijayaraghavan, 2010).
Bacterial features of a biological weapon
Microorganisms including bacteria, fungi, viruses, and protozoa are capable of carrying toxins that work to spread disease. The viruses that are capable of transmitting the disease replicate inside the living cell which is also pathogenic to humans and other living organisms. They contain protein and nucleic acids such as DNA and RNA capable of multiplying and spreading faster. Biologists recognize bacteria as single-celled prokaryotic organisms having a definite cell wall. Many fungal species exist that develop the disease in plants and few are known that generate disease in humans. bacteria produce toxins as secondary metabolism. Different bacteria work to transmit different diseases such as Bacillus anthracis causes anthrax while the variola virus leads to smallpox in a small time. Yersinia pestis is powerful bacteria in developing plague and filovirus causes viral hemorrhagic fever. Bacterias are non-pathogenically structured along with antigens and genome. Bacteria are small organisms that are without membranes and capable of growing in living organisms. spores develop in a hostile environment that results in a transmission of disease. They have the capability of inducing disease in a shorter time. Sporulation allows the replication of genetic material while the release of spores in water is a common cause of its transfer. They can also travel to another body through the air (Cenciarelli, Pietropaoli, Gabbarini, Carestia, D’Amico, & Malizia, 2014).
Prevention of bio-agents
Prevention of biological weapons or bio-agents at the national level is important for to protection of people and countries. The state needs to take efficient measures at the national level that minimizes the risks of disease spread. The primary measure involves investing in research and development that leads to the determination of an efficient approach for limiting disease spread. Antiviral agents and rapid vaccines for the local people can enhance their immunity systems allowing them to survive. Biological checks at airports and borders can prevent the spread of viruses or bacteria. The preparation of reinforced health and agricultural response system is reliable for restricting the spread of bacteria. Strong disposal and decontamination plan is an effective strategy to prevent plants and animals from catching the virus of bio-agent. The state will provide useful protection methodologies including vaccination and treatment. Restricting movements of infected people and quarantining are useful approaches to limiting the chances of infection transmission. Identification of suspected bioterrorism incidents relies on effective procedures of quarantine. Provision of clean water, food, and medical treatment to the quarantined communities also promoted anti-biological warfare (NAP, 2002)
Cenciarelli, O., Pietropaoli, S., Gabbarini, V., Carestia, M., D’Amico, F., & Malizia, A. (2014). Use of Non-Pathogenic Biological Agents as Biological Warfare Simulants for the Development of a Stand-Off Detection System. Journal of Microbial & Biochemical Technology.
NAP. (2002). Countering Bioterrorism. National Academies Press.
Thavaselvam, D., & Vijayaraghavan, R. (2010). Biological warfare agents. J Pharm Bioallied Sci, 2 (3), 179–188.