tract. These toxins produce severe nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, but
the possibility of death is remote. Man normally acquires these heat-
stable toxins following ingestion of contaminated food.
Endotoxins, a protein complex, are synthesized by the cytoplasmic
membrane or by the introcellular membrane system and become a part of the
cell wall of the microorganism. Since this toxin is part of the cell
wall, it can only be released upon death and autolysis of the cell.
Rickettsiae prowazekii, which causes typhus fever, produces an endotoxin
which causes the rapid destruction of the red blood cells and increases
the permeability of blood vessels, resulting in hemorrhage.
PART B -- BIOLOGICAL AGENT DETECTION METHODS
The detection of a biological agent attack is a requirement of an
adequate defense system. Recognizing the means of delivery and symptoms
of biological agents is very important, since it is the most likely
detection method. Of primary concern is detection of biological agent
aerosols which offer the most effective method of dissemination. Unlike
are not detectable with the five physical senses.
Detection can be subdivided into phases that provide information upon
which maximum individual and collective protective measures can be taken.
These phases are:
Rapid warning - To indicate an attack is taking place.
Sampling - To provide the material necessary for
identification and to help determine the
Identification - To identify the agent and help determine
proper therapy for exposed
Epidemiology - To determine the extent of agent effect
throughout a unit or geographical area.
Rapid warning requires the use of some type of automatic device or
devices to give an immediate indication that biological agents have been
used. A device of this nature must be extremely sensitive to detect very
small amounts of agent, and reliable in order to reduce the possibility
of false alarms. These could give the commander an indication that an
attack is in progress.