The Pros And Cons Of Bioterrorism

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Bioterrorism is the deliberate release of viruses, bacteria, toxins or other harmful agents to cause illness or death in people, livestock, or crops. These agents are typically found in nature, but could be mutated or altered to increase their ability to cause disease, make them resistant to current medicines, or to increase their ability to be spread into the environment. Bacillus anthracis is one of the most popular agents to be used in a bioterrorism attack. Anthrax could be used in many forms, for example, it can be placed into letters and mailed, much like the 2001 anthrax attack, anthrax can be released into the air where the spores can be easily blown by the wind and inhaled or can be carried around on objects such as people’s clothes to which it has…show more content…
Anthrax is an infectious disease caused by gram-positive, rod-shaped bacteria known as Bacillus anthracis. Anthrax can be transmitted via airborne methods such as bioterrorism, where it is used as a weapon and released into the air to cause infection, or by breathing in anthrax spores from infected animal products such as wool. Humans can also become infected by direct contact, from handling infected animal products, or by vehicular transmission from eating undercooked meat from infected animals causing gastrointestinal anthrax. Anthrax is not passed from one person to another. (Arthur Schoenstadt, 2017).
The virulence factors of anthrax are encoded on two large pathogenicity-related plasmids. The virulence factors of anthrax are the capsule and endotoxin production (Fasanella, 2013). The capsule of the bacterium aids in attachment to the host and prevents phagocytosis by the host immune system. Once the anthrax spores are lodged into the skin or lungs, the bacteria rapidly begin growth, producing a deadly tripartite endotoxin which affects cell metabolism. This toxin is composed of three proteins which are the Protective Antigen (PA), the Edema Factor (EF) and the Lethal Factor
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