Biodefense: Principles and Pathogens

The anthrax attacks by bioterrorists in the USA in October 2001 served to highlight our vulnerability to biological warfare and to act as an impetus for a massive increase in funding for biodefense research. In this timely book, top biodefense experts critically review every aspect of this complex issue. The microbiology, diagnosis, pathogenesis, epidemiology, infection control and novel therapeutics for all the key pathogens involved are comprehensively covered. Biodefense is currently focused on anthrax, smallpox, plague, tularemia, botulism and viral hemorrhagic fevers and entire chapters are devoted to each of these topics. Further chapters cover the bioterrorism threat from other diseases including brucellosis, glanders, melioidosis, psittacosis, Q fever, typhoid, gastroenteritis and cryptosporidiosis. Biological toxins derived from living organisms, such as the epsilon toxin derived from Clostridium perfringens, mycotoxins and plant-derived toxins such as ricin are also reviewed in detail. Two fascinating chapters are devoted to agroterrorism, the use of infectious agents that target animals and plants to decimate the food supply. Additional chapters cover emerging pathogens and novel bio-engineered agents that could be used in bioterrorism. The book also covers hospital preparedness, infection control, psychosocial issues, and the evolving methods for surveillance and detection in biodefence.