biological weapons, bacteriological weapon

From Big Medical Encyclopedia

BIOLOGICAL WEAPONS, bacteriological weapon — a type of weapon of mass defeat in armies of a number of the capitalist countries, action to-rogo it is based on use of disease-producing properties of microorganisms and products of their life activity. B.'s use by the lake in the military purposes represents the method of warfare prohibited by international law and condemned by all progressive mankind.

The Soviet Union always supported B.'s prohibition by the lake. One of the first steps in this direction were signing and ratification of the Geneva protocol of 1925. In the next years at the sessions of the League of Nations and United Nations General Assembly the Soviet Union supported by the world progressive community repeatedly raised a question of acceptance of effective measures for prohibition of means of mass destruction including B. of the lake. The persistent policy of our state in this question was crowned with success, and at the XXVI session of the United Nations General Assembly the Convention on prohibition of development, production and accumulation of stocks of B. of the lake and toxins introduced by the Soviet Union and other socialist countries was approved. In April, 1972 representatives of the states depositaries — the USSR, the USA and Great Britain, and also some other the states signed this Convention.

The B. lake represents the ammunition containing bacterial means.

Bacterial means — liquid or dry blends of pathogenic microorganisms (toxins) with additive of various substances providing increase in their stability at the dispersion and stay in air and also strengthening the striking action [Rozberi (T. E. Rosebury, 1947); Taygertt (W. D. Tigertt, 1963); Hersh (S. M of Hersh, 1970)]. Carry to bacterial means also infected carriers — insects and mites intended for preservation and distribution of the striking agents. Biol, representatives of all famous groups of microorganisms can practically be the striking agents. However not all microbes capable to cause a disease can be considered as the potential striking agents. For this purpose they shall have high infectious activity in relation to estimated object of defeat and ability to cause diseases with the expressed effect and to be rather steady at storage and use.

As the striking agents only those microbes which are easy for receiving in the quantity sufficient for fighting use and which can extend an easy way can be used. Important, but optional properties for the striking agents are difficulty of indication and lack of specific protection against them.

According to foreign specialists, carry to number of the possible striking agents causative agents of plague, a malignant anthrax, tularemia, a brucellosis, a sap, melioidosis, coccidioidomycosis, psittacosis, Q fever, spotty fever of the Rocky Mountains, east, western and Venezuelan encephalomyelitis of horses, fevers of the valley the Rift, and also botulinum toxin and staphylococcal enterotoksinony Saydel and Goldvin (V. W. Sidel, R. M of Goldwyn, 1966) believe that causative agents of natural smallpox, cholera, typhoid, paratyphus, bacterial dysentery, fever of a dengue shall be carried to them. Sakdeva (L. D. Sachdeva, 1971) carries to them also causative agents of histoplasmosis, flu, poliomyelitis, etc. Can be of a certain interest possessing paralytic action saksitoksin, developed by the elementary Gonyaulax catanella.

Miller (W. S. Miller, 1959) believes that not only the culture of one any type of the activator, but also mix of cultures of two and more types of pathogenic microorganisms can be bacterial means. The combined defeats arising at the same time will proceed more hard and, perhaps, with a perversion of a clinical picture that will complicate diagnosis and consequently, and treatment.

Bacterial means can be replenished with again allocated causative agents of diseases. In a number of the countries of Africa, Asia, South America work mikrobiol. laboratories of the USA which conduct inspection of patients and carriers of infections. The found new activators are exposed to studying in the special centers. So, one of the first laboratories, in a cut it is allocated and the Western Neil's virus was studied, there was the American laboratory Namro-3 (Africa).

The number of the potential striking agents can also extend at the expense of activators at which these or those properties change in the necessary direction by genetic methods.

The genetic researches conducted in a number of the capitalist countries for the benefit of receiving more perfect bacterial means as Hersh (1970) notes were not limited to works with microorganisms, but had the task and change of some biol, properties of carriers, in particular increase in their resistance to insecticides and low temperatures.

Rothschild (J. The N of Rothschild, 1966) provides data on what the striking agents on force of influence it is possible to divide on lethal and temporarily putting out of action. Carry to the first causative agents of the infectious diseases and intoxications which are coming to an end, as a rule, it is deadly (microbes of plague, a melioidosis, botulinum toxin, etc.). Carry to the second a virus of the Venezuelan encephalomyelitis of horses, rickettsiae of the Q fever, staphylococcal enterotoxin, etc., defeat of people to-rymi causes only temporary inactivation.

The bacterial striking means can extend in various ways, basic of which, according to Fotergill (L. D. Fothergill, 1964), creation in a ground layer of air of finely divided aerosols with a particle size from 1 to 5 micron is. The aspiration to use of aerosols of the specified dispersion is connected first of all with the fact that the striking efficiency of aero disperse systems depends on a particle size, bearing the bacterial striking agents. Gudlou and Leonard (R. J. Goodlow, F. A. Leonard, 1961) note that the diameter of these particles, the less size of the striking dose of an aerosol is less. Besides, high-disperse aerosols are easily transferred by flows of air to long distances and get into buildings and shelters.

Can be one of ways of distribution of the bacterial striking means transmissible, providing use of ability of some insects and mites to transfer activators at a sting. According to Rothschild (1966), thus causative agents of plague, fever of a dengue, yellow fever, Venezuelan and east encephalomyelitis of horses and some other can extend. It is specified also a possibility of use of the arthropods which are mechanical carriers of pathogenic microorganisms.

According to Yablonsky (L. Jablonski, 1960) and Ganasa (P. J. Ganas, 1968), one of probable ways of infection can be direct infection with bacterial means of sources of water supply, foodstuff and air of rooms.

Infection of people and animals can occur through respiratory tracts at inhalation of the infected air, through integuments at stings of insects and mites, at sedimentation of particles of a microbic aerosol on the injured skin, and also through went. - kish. a path — at the use of the infected water and food.

At fighting use of bacterial means of a way of their penetration can differ significantly from inherent to them under natural conditions. So, e.g., infection with the causative agent of yellow fever in the nature is always connected with stings of mosquitoes of Ayodes aegypti; during the use as bacterial means of the causative agent of yellow fever infection can occur through respiratory tracts (Rozberi, 1956).

A number of special ammunition which principle of action is based on crushing by their explosion or under pressure of gas was developed for use of bacterial means. At the same time the cloud of a bacterial aerosol is created, a cut moves flows of air. The microbic aerosols which settled on the area create contaminated areas which duration of existence will depend by nature bacterial means. So, the activator of a malignant anthrax remains on the soil for a number of years. Carriers can also create contaminated areas for a long time.

Delivery of bacterial means to the purpose can be made by airplanes and rockets of various radius of action (Hersh, 1970). Use of special artillery shells and sea mines is possible [Leytenberg (M. of Leitenberg), 1967].

Properties and features of a biological weapons

One of the main properties B. of the lake is the potential high performance caused by the fact that pathogenic microbes cause damage, influencing in is insignificant small doses; they are capable to breed in an organism, and their toxins are the most toxic poisons from among the known organic compounds. In direct experiences on the person by the American authors it is established that at infection through respiratory tracts the infecting dose of the activator of a tularemia makes 15 — 50 microbic cells. For infection with a malignant anthrax through skin the 10th dispute of the activator, and through respiratory tracts — 20 000 dispute is enough; according to D. Rothschild (1966), pulmonary flora of plague arises after inhalation of 3000 microbes. Simple recalculations show that 1 g of bacterial means contains millions and billions of striking doses.

Aerosols of bacterial means can extend to very considerable distances from the place of their education. So, in one of experiences on the American polygon after spraying of 200 ml of bacterial suspension live microorganisms were found more than in 60 km from point of spraying. In the same place death of experimental animals from a tularemia at distance about 20 km from the place of spraying of bacteria was established [Lewis (K. N. of Lewis), 1962]. According to the data provided by Hislop (N. S. G. Hyslop, 1971), follows that during an epizooty of a foot-and-mouth disease of outbreak of an infection are registered in the places remote from primary center on 60 — 80 km.

High potential activity of bacterial means in a combination to ability of their aerosols to move to long distances, without losing ability to infection, allows to apply them in extremely trace amounts per acre. So, 50 kg of dry material a dispute of the activator of a malignant anthrax at its use from ammunition of explosive action are enough to cause damage to a large number of people on the area of 20 km 2 . Spraying of 10 000 kg of an aerosol of a malignant anthrax from a linear source on distance of 100 km gives the same effect on the area of 100 000 (Hersh, 1970). Thus, on 1 km 2 in the first case 2,5 kg, and in the second — 0,1 kg of bacterial means are necessary. Similar numbers are given also by other authors.

It is required bacterial means for infection of water and foodstuff a little. So, Sakdeva (1971) notes that to infect 5 000 000 l of water, 1 kg of culture of the causative agent of a typhoid or 5 kg of partially purified botulinum toxin, or 7 kg of staphylococcal enterotoxin there is enough.

B.'s feature of the lake is duration of its striking action caused by a possibility of long preservation of viability of microorganisms or the infected carriers on contaminated areas and also emergence of epidemics (epizooty) in the course of which the people who were not in a zone of primary influence will be surprised.

The B. lake is characterized by selectivity of action, edges depends on the range of the striking action of the agent. So, e.g., the influenza virus is capable to cause a disease in people, and the virus of a foot-and-mouth disease can affect the person and separate animal species. One of features of B. of the lake is the various nature of defeat that is caused by various level of pathogenicity. One striking agents cause the diseases putting out of action for several days (a virus of the Venezuelan encephalomyelitis of horses), others — the diseases depriving of working capacity for months (the causative agent of a brucellosis), the third — cause death of all or most of the diseased (causative agents of plague, a sap). In the considerable range can vary also the term of emergence of the striking effect that is connected with distinctions in sensitivity of an organism to the activator and doses of infection. Duration of an incubation interval of diseases can fluctuate from one-two (the Venezuelan encephalomyelitis of horses) to 20 — 30 and more than days (A Q fever, a brucellosis).

Depending on a type of the striking agent the number struck in one cases can be limited to the contingent which was directly affected by B. of the lake in others — number of the diseased and the territory, on a cut there can be victims, will be much wider as a result of emergence of epidemic process. Due to the considered B.'s feature of the lake foreign authors claim that the type of activators will be chosen depending on the fighting task and a specific situation developing at the time of its use.

Fotergill (1949) and Lewis (1962) note that the striking activity of aerosols of bacterial agents is influenced by solar radiation, air humidity, vertical and horizontal stability of a ground layer of the atmosphere.

The difficulty of indication of B. of the lake caused biol properties of microbes, significantly complicates protection and is considered as one of properties of this type of weapon. Establishment of the fact of its use and furthermore type of the used agent, especially when it is about activators of the virus and rickettsial nature, will demand considerable time, qualified personnel and rather difficult equipping of laboratories.

Its retroactive (return) action is among B.'s features of the lake. It is assumed that epidemics caused by use of bacterial means in connection with impossibility to control their course, can extend in troops and among the population of the country which used weapon [Rozberi, Kabat, Boldt (T. E. Rosebury, E. A. Kabat, M. of H. Boldt, 1947)].

As a result of B.'s use by the lake scales of effects of use of other means of mass defeat can be exceeded considerably. Distribution of aerosols in the big territory can lead to infection not only subject to attack, but also a wide range house and wildings, birds and other carriers of infections. Some of them can contact for the first time in the history of the evolution to this activator. It is not excluded that such situation will lead to emergence of the unusual centers of zoonotic infections. It in turn can be a basis for genetic variability of microorganisms with all that it implies (Fotergill, 1963).

In foreign special literature the most contradictory opinions on tasks for which solution B. can be used by the lake meet. Some authors believe that B. of the lake can be applied only to striking blows on deep backs of the opponent, others consider it suitable for use in backs and directly in the battlefield.

See also Protection against means of war of defeat , Antibacterial protection .

Bibliography: Baroyan O. V. Destiny of conventional diseases, M., 1971, bibliogr.; Rozhnyatovsky T. and Zhultov-s to and y 3. Biological warfare, the lane with polsk., M., 1959, bibliogr.; P about z ER and T. Mir or plague, the lane with English, M., 1956, bibliogr.; Rothschild J. Weapon of tomorrow, the lane with English, M., 1966; Hersh S. A chemical and biological weapons, the lane with English, M., 1970; Chemical and bacteriological (biological) weapon and effects of its possible use, the lane with in., M., 1970; Rosebury T. Kabat E. And. Bacterial warfare, J. Immunol., v. 56, p. 7, 1947; The problem of chemical and biological warfare, SIPRI, v. 1, 1970, v. 4, Stockholm, 1971.

O. V. Bars