Bioterrorism Agent

Bioterrorism Agent


  • Bioterrorism is terrorism involving the intentional release or dissemination of biological agents. 
  • These agents are bacteria, viruses, fungi, or toxins, and may be in a naturally occurring or a human-modified form, in much the same way in biological warfare.
  • Sentinel laboratories are mainly involved in Control of Bioterrorism

Category A


The U.S. public health system and primary healthcare providers must be prepared to address various biological agents, including pathogens that are rarely seen in the United States. High-priority agents include organisms that pose a risk to national security because they

  • Can be easily disseminated or transmitted from person to person;
  • Result in high mortality rates and have the potential for major public health impact;
  • Might cause public panic and social disruption; and
  • Require special action for public health preparedness.


  • Anthrax (Bacillus anthracis)
  • Botulism (Clostridium botulinum toxin)
  • Plague (Yersinia pestis)(highest potential)
  • pox (variola major)
  • Tularemia (Francisella tularensis)
  • Viral hemorrhagic fevers, including
    • Filoviruses (Ebola, Marburg)
    • Arenaviruses (Lassa, Machupo)

Category B


Second highest priority agents include those that

  • Are moderately easy to disseminate;
  • Result in moderate morbidity rates and low mortality rates; and
  • Require specific enhancements of CDC’s diagnostic capacity and enhanced disease surveillance.


  • Brucellosis (Brucella species)
  • Epsilon toxin of Clostridium perfringens
  • Food safety threats (Salmonella species, Escherichia coli O157:H7, Shigella)
  • Glanders (Burkholderia mallei)
  • Melioidosis (Burkholderia pseudomallei)
  • Psittacosis (Chlamydia psittaci)
  • Q fever (Coxiella burnetii)
  • Ricin toxin from Ricinus communis (castor beans)
  • Staphylococcal enterotoxin B
  • Typhus fever (Rickettsia prowazekii)
  • Viral encephalitis (alphaviruses, such as eastern equine encephalitis, Venezuelan equine encephalitis, and western equine encephalitis])
  • Water safety threats (Vibrio choleraeCryptosporidium parvum)

Category C


Third highest priority agents include emerging pathogens that could be engineered for mass dissemination in the future because of

  • Availability;
  • Ease of production and dissemination; and
  • Potential for high morbidity and mortality rates and major health impact.


  • Emerging infectious diseases such as Nipah virus and hantavirus

Exam Important

Sentinel laboratories are mainly involved in Control of Bioterrorism

Category A bioterrorism agents are Ebola, Small pox, Botulism, Hemorrhagic fever, Yersinia & Clostridium botulinum

Cholera belongs to category-B of bioterrorism 

Plague carries the highest potential for use as biological weapons for microbial bioterrorism

B. anthracis is an Agent for bioterrorism

Don’t Forget to Solve all the previous Year Question asked on Bioterrorism Agent

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