Biological Warfare – Agents and Its Types

biological weapons are used for biowarfare

INTRODUCTION

Biological Warfare or biowarfare is commonly called germ warfare. The use of biological weapons during warfare dated back to WORLD WAR I. Check out Biological Warfare and Its Catastrophic Effect on Environment

BIOLOGICAL WARFARE

This term is defined as a tactic of war in which infectious agents or biotoxins are used to massacre humans or eliminate plants/vegetation or animals.

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AGENTS OF BIOLOGICAL WARFARE

Biological agents, also known as biological weapons, are living microorganisms or pathogens. These agents are used in biological warfare. The common biological agents are listed below.

  • Bacteria
  • Virus
  • Fungi
  • Protozoa

The biological agents produce toxins that cause different diseases among humans, wipe out plants and animals.

TYPES OF BIOLOGICAL WEAPONS

There are minimum of five categories of biological weapons that are responsible for epidemics in an area or that are used during biological warfare. The selection of biological weapons is dependent on their lethal ability or the extent to which they can cause harm.

Serial No. Biological Agent Disease Source
1. Viruses Venezuelan Equine Encephalitis Virus Vectors Such As Mosquitoes-Borne Pathogens
2. Bacteria Plague, Anthrax, Tularemia Wild Animals,Hares, Rabits, Roddents, Sheep, Cattles, Ectoparasites
3. Fungi – Potato Blight, Cereal Rust, Rice Blasts Modified Pathogens
4. Toxins Poisons, Ricin Poisoning Poisons form Snakes, Scorpions, Castor Bean
5. Zoonotic Pathogens – Rickettsiae Q fever, Typhus Vectors such as Ectoparasites

Check out Human Ectoparasites And Endoparasites Types and Impacts

TYPES OF BIOLOGICAL WARFARE

There are different types of biological warfare that are listed below.

1. BIOTERRORISM

This term is defined as a kind of terrorism in which biological agents are intentionally released to cause mass destruction. Bioterrorism often results in an epidemic.

DIFFERENCE BETWEEN BIOLOGICAL WARFARE AND BIOTERRORISM

Biological warfare and bioterrorism are interlinked terms. During warfare, the use of biological weapons is called biological warfare while the intentional release of biological weapons in a certain area is bioterrorism. Both acts are performed to kill humans, animals, and plants.

2. GENETIC WARFARE

Genetic engineering is a branch of biotechnology that has been used for manipulating biological agents in biological warfare. This type is known as genetic warfare. The genes of pathogens are either modified or replaced with more infected genes for persistent effects.

3. ENTOMOLOGICAL WARFARE

It is considered a type of biological warfare because insects are used as sources of infection or biological agents. Vector-borne diseases could be examples of entomological warfare. The insects are weaponized with infection or pathogens and used as vectors to transmit dangerous diseases to humans, animals, and plants.

4. TARGET-BASED BIOLOGICAL WARFARE

This type of biological warfare is differentiated from others on the basis of its target. The target of biological weapons could be animals, plants or vegetation, agricultural lands, livestock, etc. The modified biological weapons are specifically used to cause diseases among livestock and destroy plants/agriculture.

CONCLUSION

The war tactics have lowered humans standards. Genetic engineering technology is being used in the modification of biological weapons. Biological warfare is another disaster for the environment. Paradoxically, the developed countries in the world that are supposed to act as peacekeepers have modified biological weapons. There should be strict regulation and sanctions should be imposed on countries that are involved in these destructive acts.

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