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1.
Ann Agric Environ Med ; 29(1): 1-11, 2022 Mar 21.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-35352899

RESUMO

INTRODUCTION AND OBJECTIVE: The aim of the study was to analyze available literature on the development of biological warfare and combating the SARS CoV-2 pandemic. Against the background of contemporary threats from biological factors, the strengths and weaknesses of response in the event of a bioterrorist attack during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic have been identified. The scope and importance of international cooperation in the fight against the pandemic is assessed. REVIEW METHODS: The more important literature on bioterrorism, biological weapons and the COVID-19 pandemic, both from earlier work and recent publications, was analyzed, emphasizing new threats and adequate defence against them. BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE STATE OF KNOWLEDGE: The bio-warfare threat and the current COVID 19 pandemic that has hit mankind on a global scale has clearly shown how dangerous biological agents are and what effects they can cause, negatively affecting every sphere of human activity with catastrophic consequences. Data on examples of bioterrorist attacks carried out and research on the development of biological weapons and methods of combating pandemic COVID-19, were reviewed. New threats related to technological development,including those resulting from genetic manipulation, biosynthesis, and modern means of delivery, are pointed out. Attention has been paid to the implications of controlling the proliferation of biological weapons and the issues of international cooperation in the fight against bioterrorism and the COVD-19 pandemic. SUMMARY: The lesson learned clearly demonstrates the weakness of states in responding to such threats. The risks of uncontrolled scientific advances are still underestimated. Appropriate international control measures must be taken urgently to prepare for new pandemics, bioterrorist attacks, and the possibility of using modern biological weapons.


Assuntos
Guerra Biológica , COVID-19 , Bioterrorismo , COVID-19/epidemiologia , Humanos , Pandemias/prevenção & controle
2.
Health Secur ; 20(2): 182-186, 2022.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-35021880
3.
J Hist Med Allied Sci ; 77(1): 24-47, 2022 Feb 07.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34897467

RESUMO

The Japanese Imperial Army Unit 731's Biological Warfare (BW) research program committed atrocious crimes against humanity in their pursuit of biological weapons development during the Second World War. Due to an American cover-up, the details behind Unit 731's human experimentation were slow to be revealed. The recent literature discloses the gruesome details of the experiments but characterizes the human trials as crude in nature. Further, there is a lack of clarity as to how human trial results were extrapolated for use in real world missions. Through an examination of testimony from the Soviet Union's Khabarovsk War Crime Trials, this paper argues that Unit 731's inoculation and airborne warfare experiments on prisoners of war were scientifically rigorous. The scientific method is used as the basis against which the scientific rigor of the experiments is tested. The paper reveals that the successes and failures of the human trials were extrapolated to BW missions during the Sino-Japanese war. American researchers' expectations of BW data were fulfilled, thus paving the way for an immunity deal. Ethical standards in medicine before WWII were not well established, but wartime medical practices and experimentation reveal the context in which the pursuit of scientific knowledge has no boundaries.


Assuntos
Guerra Biológica , Crimes de Guerra , Experimentação Humana , Humanos , Estados Unidos , Guerra , II Guerra Mundial
6.
Gut Microbes ; 13(1): 1-19, 2021.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33779498

RESUMO

Oral antibiotics are commonly prescribed to non-hospitalized adults. However, antibiotic-induced changes in the human gut microbiome are often investigated in cohorts with preexisting health conditions and/or concomitant medication, leaving the effects of antibiotics not completely understood. We used a combination of omic approaches to comprehensively assess the effects of antibiotics on the gut microbiota and particularly the gut resistome of a small cohort of healthy adults. We observed that 3 to 19 species per individual proliferated during antibiotic treatment and Gram-negative species expanded significantly in relative abundance. While the overall relative abundance of antibiotic resistance gene homologs did not significantly change, antibiotic-specific gene homologs with presumed resistance toward the administered antibiotics were common in proliferating species and significantly increased in relative abundance. Virome sequencing and plasmid analysis showed an expansion of antibiotic-specific resistance gene homologs even 3 months after antibiotic administration, while paired-end read analysis suggested their dissemination among different species. These results suggest that antibiotic treatment can lead to a persistent expansion of antibiotic resistance genes in the human gut microbiota and provide further data in support of good antibiotic stewardship.Abbreviation: ARG - Antibiotic resistance gene homolog; AsRG - Antibiotic-specific resistance gene homolog; AZY - Azithromycin; CFX - Cefuroxime; CIP - Ciprofloxacin; DOX - Doxycycline; FDR - False discovery rate; GRiD - Growth rate index value; HGT - Horizontal gene transfer; NMDS - Non-metric multidimensional scaling; qPCR - Quantitative polymerase chain reaction; RPM - Reads per million mapped reads; TA - Transcriptional activity; TE - Transposable element; TPM - Transcripts per million mapped reads.


Assuntos
Antibacterianos/uso terapêutico , Resistência Microbiana a Medicamentos , Fezes/microbiologia , Fezes/virologia , Microbioma Gastrointestinal/efeitos dos fármacos , Microbiota/efeitos dos fármacos , Adolescente , Adulto , Idoso , Bactérias/virologia , Bacteriófagos/efeitos dos fármacos , Guerra Biológica , Estudos de Coortes , Transferência Genética Horizontal/efeitos dos fármacos , Humanos , Metagenoma/efeitos dos fármacos , Pessoa de Meia-Idade , Plasmídeos/efeitos dos fármacos , Transcriptoma/efeitos dos fármacos , Viroma/efeitos dos fármacos , Adulto Jovem
8.
Disaster Med Public Health Prep ; 15(6): 697-702, 2021 12.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32635956

RESUMO

OBJECTIVES: Biological weapons are one of the oldest weapons of mass destruction used by man. Their use has not only determined the outcome of battles, but also influenced the fate of entire civilizations. Although the use of biological weapons agents in a terrorist attack is currently unlikely, all services responsible for the surveillance and removal of epidemiological threats must have clear guidelines and emergency response plans. METHODS: In the face of the numerous threats appearing in the world, it has become necessary to put the main emphasis on modernizing, securing, and maintaining structures in the field of medicine which are prepared for unforeseen crises and situations related to the use of biological agents. RESULTS: This article presents Poland's current preparation to take action in the event of a bioterrorist threat. The study presents both the military aspect and procedures for dealing with contamination. CONCLUSIONS: In Poland, as in other European Union countries fighting terrorism, preparations should be made to defend against biological attacks, improve the flow of information on the European security system, strengthen research centers, train staff, create observation units and vaccination centers, as well as prepare hospitals for the hospitalization of patients-potential victims of bioterrorist attacks.


Assuntos
Guerra Biológica , Planejamento em Desastres , Terrorismo , Guerra Biológica/prevenção & controle , Bioterrorismo/prevenção & controle , Humanos , Polônia , Terrorismo/prevenção & controle
9.
Health Secur ; 19(1): 3-12, 2021.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33090030

RESUMO

While biological warfare has classically been considered a threat requiring the presence of a distinct biological agent, we argue that in light of the rise of state-sponsored online disinformation campaigns we are approaching a fifth phase of biowarfare with a "cyber-bio" framing. By examining the rise of measles cases following disinformation campaigns connected to the US 2016 presidential elections, the rise of disinformation in the current novel coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic, and the impact of misinformation on public health interventions during the 2014-2016 West Africa and 2019-2020 Democratic Republic of the Congo Ebola outbreaks, we ask whether the potential impact of these campaigns-which includes the undermining of sociopolitical systems, the delegitimization of public health and scientific bodies, and the diversion of the public health response-can be characterized as analogous to the impacts of more traditional conceptions of biowarfare. In this paper, we look at these different impacts and the norms related to the use of biological weapons and cyber campaigns. By doing so, we anticipate the advent of a combined cyber and biological warfare. The latter is not dependent on the existence of a manufactured biological weapon; it manages to undermine sociopolitical systems and public health through the weaponization of naturally occurring outbreaks.


Assuntos
Guerra Biológica/psicologia , Epidemias , Disseminação de Informação , Política , Movimento contra Vacinação , COVID-19/epidemiologia , Comunicação , Doença pelo Vírus Ebola/epidemiologia , Humanos , Sarampo/epidemiologia , Mídias Sociais
10.
Uisahak ; 30(3): 465-498, 2021 12.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-35073558

RESUMO

This article aims to critically review de Mussis's report of the events at Caffa. De Mussi says in his account that Tartars catapulted their dead compatriots infected by the plague into the besieged city of Caffa in order to contaminate the Genoese defending the city and that some Genoese galleys fleeing from the city transported the disease to Western Europe. Some historians interpret his report of Tartars catapulting plague-infected bodies as an act of biological warfare, and others do not trust his account as a reliable historical record, while some works rely on his account, even though they do not interpret it as evidence of biological warfare. This article tries to determine whether his account is true or not, and explain historical contexts in which it was made. De Mussi was not an eye-witness of the war between the Tartars and the Genoese in the years of 1343 to 1437 in Caffa, contrary to some historians' arguments that he was present there during the war. In addition, he understands and explains the disease from a religious perspective as does most of his contemporary Christians, believing that the disease was God's punishment for the sins of human beings. His account of the Tartars catapulting their compatriot's bodies may derive from his fear and hostility against the Tartars, thinking that they were devils from hell and pagans to be annihilated. For de Mussi, the Genoese may have been greedy merchants who were providing Muslims with slaves and enforcing their military forces. Therefore, he thought that the Tartars and the Genoese were sinners that spread the disease, and that God punished their arrogance. His pathological knowledge of the disease was not accurate and very limited. His medical explanation was based on humoral theory and Miasma theory that Christians and Muslims in the Mediterranean World shared. De Mussi's account that Caffa was a principal starting point for the disease to spread to Western Europe is not sufficiently supported by other contemporary documents. Byzantine chronicles and Villani's chronicle consider not Caffa but Tana as a starting point. In conclusion, most of his account of the disease are not true. However, we can not say that he did not intentionally lie, and we may draw a conclusion that his explanation was made under scientific limits and religious prejudice or intolerance of the medieval Christian world.


Assuntos
Guerra Biológica , Peste , Cristianismo , Europa (Continente) , Humanos , Islamismo , Masculino , Peste/história
11.
Elife ; 102021 09 07.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34488940

RESUMO

Bacteria inhibit and kill one another with a diverse array of compounds, including bacteriocins and antibiotics. These attacks are highly regulated, but we lack a clear understanding of the evolutionary logic underlying this regulation. Here, we combine a detailed dynamic model of bacterial competition with evolutionary game theory to study the rules of bacterial warfare. We model a large range of possible combat strategies based upon the molecular biology of bacterial regulatory networks. Our model predicts that regulated strategies, which use quorum sensing or stress responses to regulate toxin production, will readily evolve as they outcompete constitutive toxin production. Amongst regulated strategies, we show that a particularly successful strategy is to upregulate toxin production in response to an incoming competitor's toxin, which can be achieved via stress responses that detect cell damage (competition sensing). Mirroring classical game theory, our work suggests a fundamental advantage to reciprocation. However, in contrast to classical results, we argue that reciprocation in bacteria serves not to promote peaceful outcomes but to enable efficient and effective attacks.


Assuntos
Antibacterianos/biossíntese , Bacteriocinas/metabolismo , Guerra Biológica , Percepção de Quorum , Fenômenos Fisiológicos Bacterianos , Evolução Biológica
12.
J Bacteriol ; 203(7)2021 03 08.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33139480

RESUMO

Bacteria commonly live in dense polymicrobial communities and compete for scarce resources. Consequently, they employ a diverse array of mechanisms to harm, inhibit, and kill their competitors. The cell wall is essential for bacterial survival by providing mechanical strength to resist osmotic stress. Because peptidoglycan is the major component of the cell wall and its synthesis is a complex multistep pathway that requires the coordinate action of several enzymes, it provides a target for rival bacteria, which have developed a large arsenal of antibacterial molecules to attack the peptidoglycan of competitors. These molecules include antibiotics, bacteriocins, and contact-dependent effectors that are either secreted into the medium or directly translocated into a target cell. In this minireview, we summarize the diversity of these molecules and highlight distinct mechanisms to disrupt the peptidoglycan, giving special attention to molecules that are known or have the potential to be used during interbacterial competitions.


Assuntos
Bactérias/metabolismo , Parede Celular/metabolismo , Peptidoglicano/metabolismo , Bactérias/genética , Proteínas de Bactérias/genética , Proteínas de Bactérias/metabolismo , Guerra Biológica , Parede Celular/genética
13.
Medicina (Kaunas) ; 56(11)2020 Nov 06.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33172013

RESUMO

Pathogens are various organisms, such as viruses, bacteria, fungi, and protozoa, which can cause severe illnesses to their hosts. Throughout history, pathogens have accompanied human populations and caused various epidemics. One of the most significant outbreaks was the Black Death, which occurred in the 14th century and caused the death of one-third of Europe's population. Pathogens have also been studied for their use as biological warfare agents by the former Soviet Union, Japan, and the USA. Among bacteria and viruses, there are high priority agents that have a significant impact on public health. Bacillus anthracis, Francisella tularensis, Yersinia pestis, Variola virus, Filoviruses (Ebola, Marburg), Arenoviruses (Lassa), and influenza viruses are included in this group of agents. Outbreaks and infections caused by them might result in social disruption and panic, which is why special operations are needed for public health preparedness. Antibiotic-resistant bacteria that significantly impede treatment and recovery of patients are also valid threats. Furthermore, recent events related to the massive spread of Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) are an example of how virus-induced diseases cannot be ignored. The impact of outbreaks, such as SARS-CoV-2, have had far-reaching consequences beyond public health. The economic losses due to lockdowns are difficult to estimate, but it would take years to restore countries to pre-outbreak status. For countries affected by the 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19), their health systems have been overwhelmed, resulting in an increase in the mortality rate caused by diseases or injuries. Furthermore, outbreaks, such as SARS-CoV-2, will induce serious, wide-ranging (and possibly long-lasting) psychological problems among, not only health workers, but ordinary citizens (this is due to isolation, quarantine, etc.). The aim of this paper is to present the most dangerous pathogens, as well as general characterizations, mechanisms of action, and treatments.


Assuntos
Infecções por Coronavirus , Infecções , Pandemias , Pneumonia Viral , Saúde Pública , Betacoronavirus , Guerra Biológica/métodos , Guerra Biológica/prevenção & controle , COVID-19 , Infecções por Coronavirus/economia , Infecções por Coronavirus/epidemiologia , Infecções por Coronavirus/psicologia , Infecções por Coronavirus/terapia , Humanos , Infecções/epidemiologia , Infecções/microbiologia , Infecções/terapia , Pandemias/economia , Pandemias/prevenção & controle , Pandemias/estatística & dados numéricos , Pneumonia Viral/economia , Pneumonia Viral/epidemiologia , Pneumonia Viral/psicologia , Pneumonia Viral/terapia , Psicologia , SARS-CoV-2
14.
Neurol Clin ; 38(4): 881-896, 2020 11.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33040867

RESUMO

Nerve agents and neurobiological weapons are among the most devastating and lethal of weapons. Acetylcholinesterase inhibitors act by increasing the amount of acetylcholine in the neuromuscular junction, resulting in flaccid paralysis. Tabun, VX, soman, and sarin are the major agents in this category. Exposure to nerve agents can be inhalational or through dermal contact. Neurotoxins may have peripheral and central effects on the nervous system. Atropine is an effective antidote to nerve agents. Neurobiological weapons entail using whole organisms or organism-synthesized toxins as agents. Some organisms that can be used as biological weapons include smallpox virus.


Assuntos
Guerra Biológica/métodos , Substâncias para a Guerra Química/efeitos adversos , Síndromes Neurotóxicas/etiologia , Animais , Humanos , Toxinas Biológicas/efeitos adversos
16.
Sci Adv ; 6(30): eabb5614, 2020 07.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32832672

RESUMO

Peptidoglycan (PG) is essential in most bacteria. Thus, it is often targeted by various assaults, including interbacterial attacks via the type VI secretion system (T6SS). Here, we report that the Gram-negative bacterium Acinetobacter baumannii strain ATCC 17978 produces, secretes, and incorporates the noncanonical d-amino acid d-lysine into its PG during stationary phase. We show that PG editing increases the competitiveness of A. baumannii during bacterial warfare by providing immunity against peptidoglycan-targeting T6SS effectors from various bacterial competitors. In contrast, we found that d-Lys production is detrimental to pathogenesis due, at least in part, to the activity of the human enzyme d-amino acid oxidase (DAO), which degrades d-Lys producing H2O2 toxic to bacteria. Phylogenetic analyses indicate that the last common ancestor of A. baumannii had the ability to produce d-Lys. However, this trait was independently lost multiple times, likely reflecting the evolution of A. baumannii as a human pathogen.


Assuntos
Acinetobacter baumannii , Guerra Biológica , Acinetobacter baumannii/genética , Aminoácidos/metabolismo , Proteínas de Bactérias/genética , Proteínas de Bactérias/metabolismo , Humanos , Peróxido de Hidrogênio/metabolismo , Peptidoglicano/metabolismo , Filogenia
17.
J Bioeth Inq ; 17(4): 567-574, 2020 Dec.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32840850

RESUMO

Two theories on the origins of COVID-19 have been widely circulating in China and the West respectively, one blaming the United States and the other a highest-level biocontainment laboratory in Wuhan, the initial epicentre of the pandemic. Both theories make claims of biological warfare attempts. According to the available scientific evidence, these claims are groundless. However, like the episodes of biological warfare during the mid-twentieth century, the spread of these present-day conspiracy theories reflects a series of longstanding and damaging trends in the international scene which include deep mistrust, animosities, the power of ideologies such as nationalism, and the sacrifice of truth in propaganda campaigns. Also, the threats associated with biological warfare, bioterrorism, and the accidental leakage of deadly viruses from labs are real and growing. Thus, developing a better global governance of biosafety and biosecurity than exists at present is an urgent imperative for the international community in the broader context of a looming Cold War II. For such a governance, an ethical framework is proposed based upon the triple ethical values of transparency, trust, and the common good of humanity.


Assuntos
Guerra Biológica , COVID-19/virologia , Contenção de Riscos Biológicos , Governo , Cooperação Internacional , SARS-CoV-2 , Bioterrorismo , COVID-19/epidemiologia , COVID-19/etiologia , China , Culpa , Humanismo , Humanos , Pandemias , Confiança , Estados Unidos , Vírus
18.
Forensic Sci Int ; 314: 110366, 2020 Sep.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32683271

RESUMO

Microbial Forensics is a field that continues to grow in interest and application among the forensic community. This review, divided into two sections, covers several topics associated with this new field. The first section presents a historic overview concerning the use of microorganisms (or its product, i.e. toxins) as harmful biological agents in the context of biological warfare (biowarfare), bioterrorism, and biocrime. Each case is illustrated with the examination of case reports that span from prehistory to the present day. The second part of the manuscript is devoted to the role of MF and highlights the necessity to prepare for the pressing threat of the harmful use of biological agents as weapons. Preventative actions, developments within the field to ensure a timely and effective response and are discussed herein.


Assuntos
Guerra Biológica/história , Bioterrorismo/história , Crime/história , Infecções Bacterianas , Ciências Forenses , Infecções por HIV , Ensaios de Triagem em Larga Escala , História do Século XV , História do Século XVI , História do Século XVII , História do Século XVIII , História do Século XIX , História do Século XX , História do Século XXI , História Antiga , História Medieval , Humanos , Aprendizado de Máquina , Técnicas Microbiológicas , Toxinas Biológicas/efeitos adversos
19.
Health Secur ; 18(3): 186-194, 2020.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32522047

RESUMO

Continuing rapid advances in science and technology both pose potential risks and offer potential benefits for the effective implementation of the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC). The lack of commonly accepted methods for assessing relevant risks and benefits present significant challenges to building common understandings that could support policy choices. This article argues that qualitative frameworks can provide the basis to structure BWC discussions about potential risks and benefits, reveal areas of agreement and disagreement, and provide a basis for continuing dialogue. It draws on the results of a workshop held in Geneva during the 2019 BWC Meetings of Experts. A diverse group of international experts were given the opportunity to apply 2 qualitative frameworks developed specifically to assess potential biosecurity concerns arising from emerging science and technology to BWC-relevant case examples. Participants discussed how such frameworks might be adapted and put into action to help support the BWC. They also began a discussion of how a comparable framework to assess potential benefits could be developed.


Assuntos
Armas Biológicas , Conferências de Consenso como Assunto , Medição de Risco , Ciência , Tecnologia , Guerra Biológica/prevenção & controle , Congressos como Assunto , Humanos , Agências Internacionais
20.
N Z Med J ; 133(1516): 83-92, 2020 06 12.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32525864

RESUMO

It is important for all countries to secure themselves against infectious disease threats, including potential global catastrophic biological risks. The Global Health Security Index (GHSI), first published in 2019, is a comprehensive, objective assessment of health security capabilities across 195 States Parties to the International Health Regulations. The GHSI is a broader assessment than the World Health Organization Joint External Evaluation and emphasises public documentation of preparedness as well as sustainable capabilities. New Zealand scored 54/100 on the GHSI (35th in the world). But also worryingly, the range of scores for New Zealand's Pacific neighbours was 19.2-27.8, highlighting potential regional vulnerabilities. Clearly, the New Zealand Government needs to do more to ensure its own optimal preparedness for global biological threats, and document these preparations to assure the international community. But it should also provide additional overseas development assistance (bringing this assistance up to 0.7% of GNI as per UN recommendations) and work with Pacific Nations to enhance health security in the region.


Assuntos
Planejamento em Desastres , Epidemias/prevenção & controle , Saúde Global , Prática de Saúde Pública , Medidas de Segurança , Animais , Guerra Biológica/prevenção & controle , Humanos , Cooperação Internacional , Nova Zelândia , Ilhas do Pacífico , Organização Mundial da Saúde
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