The agents with potential of biological terrorism include bacterial, fungal and viral pathogens and toxins produced by living organisms. Infectious agents that could potentially be used include those causing anthrax (Bacillus anthracis), plague (Yersinia pestis), tularemia (Francisella tularensis), equine encephalitides (e.g. Venezuelan equine encephalitis viruses), hemorrhagic fevers (arenaviruses, filoviruses, flaviviruses, and bunyaviruses), and small pox (variola virus). Toxins include botulinum toxin from Clostridium botulinum; ricin toxin from the castor bean Ricinus communis; trichothecene mycotoxins from Fusarium, Myrotecium Trichoderma, Stachybotrys, and other filamentous fungi; staphylococcal enterotoxins from Staphylococcus aureus; and toxins from marine organisms such as dinoflagellates, shellfish, and blue-green algae. Depending on the agents, a lethal or incapacitating outcome can occur. In a military context, incapacitating agents may be more effective because the unit will not be able to perform their mission and casualties will consume scarce medical and evacuation assets (31).


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