Fungi and fungal toxins as weapons
Paterson, Robert Russell Monteith Micoteca da Universidade do Minho, Centro de Engenharia Biológica, Braga, Portugal.
Lima, Nelson Micoteca da Universidade do Minho, Centro de Engenharia Biológica, Braga, Portugal.
- Fungal biological weapons
- Fungal toxins
- Water as a vector
- Genetically modified fungi
- Treatment and decontamination
- Some priorities
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
Preparations of human, animal, or plant fungal pathogens as spores or fragments are a major security concern as biological weapons. Moreover, the preparation of purified toxins from toxigenic fungi is accomplished by a straightforward process, and conform to substances known as chemical weapons. A list of fungal toxins is provided in the table. The factors that are fundamental to producing a serviceable bioweapon are (1) efficient manufacture, (2) ease of conversion to a weapon (“weaponization”), (3) longevity of the organism or toxin in storage, (4) efficient dispersal, and (5) stability when exposed to the environment. Other factors are concealment and ability to obtain the toxin or fungus. The threat posed by these weapons may not be obvious initially. However, the economic consequences of simply reacting to an actual attack can be huge. Indeed, somber assessments of the dangers of bioweapons to the United States, for example, have been made. The effect on society could be anything from insignificant to catastrophic. It is thus much more appropriate to focus on prevention, followed by readiness and response. Current terrorist tactics have shifted worldwide attention to the protection of food supplies. A broad range of actions and programs is being developed and implemented to prevent, deter, and respond to potential attacks. These include enhanced laboratory capability, advanced tracking, increased examination, more surveillance, greater training, recovery plans, and new medical treatments.
The content above is only an excerpt.
for your institution. Subscribe
To learn more about subscribing to AccessScience, or to request a no-risk trial of this award-winning scientific reference for your institution, fill in your information and a member of our Sales Team will contact you as soon as possible.
to your librarian. Recommend
Let your librarian know about the award-winning gateway to the most trustworthy and accurate scientific information.
AccessScience provides the most accurate and trustworthy scientific information available.
Recognized as an award-winning gateway to scientific knowledge, AccessScience is an amazing online resource that contains high-quality reference material written specifically for students. Contributors include more than 9000 highly qualified scientists and 43 Nobel Prize winners.
MORE THAN 8700 articles covering all major scientific disciplines and encompassing the McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science & Technology and McGraw-Hill Yearbook of Science & Technology
115,000-PLUS definitions from the McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms
3000 biographies of notable scientific figures
MORE THAN 19,000 downloadable images and animations illustrating key topics
ENGAGING VIDEOS highlighting the life and work of award-winning scientists
SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER STUDY and additional readings to guide students to deeper understanding and research
LINKS TO CITABLE LITERATURE help students expand their knowledge using primary sources of information