Advertisement

Ricin: A Possible, Noninfectious Biological Weapon

  • Maor Maman
  • Yoav Yehezkelli
Part of the Emerging Infectious Diseases of the 21st Century book series (EIDC)

9. Conclusion

Ricin is a potent and easy to extract plant toxin. Its characteristics make it a potentially dangerous biological weapon. We understand now, better than ever, the pathogenesis of ricin poisoning. But treatment of ricin poisoning is still mainly supportive. More research is needed to develop specific and effective modalities of treatment.

The threat of bioterrorism is no longer as remote as it was in the past. The medical community should be familiar with the clinical presentation and treatment of ricin poisoning. Knowledge will allow better recognition and response to an attack.

Keywords

Castor Bean Personal Protective Equipment Shiga Toxin Dermal Exposure Biological Weapon 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Alibek, K. (1999). Biohazard. New York, Random House, Inc.Google Scholar
  2. CDC. (2000). Biological and chemical terrorism: strategic plan for preparedness and response recommendations of the CDC Strategic Planning Workgroup. MMWR 49(RR-4):1–14.Google Scholar
  3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2003). Laboratory testing for ricin in environmental samples—fact sheet. Available at: http://www.bt.cdc.gov/agent/ricin/labtesting.asp.Google Scholar
  4. Challoner, K.R., and McCarron, M.M. (1990). Castor bean intoxication. Ann. Emerg. Med. 19:1177–1183.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Christopher, G.W., Cieslak, T.J., Palvin, J.A., and Eitzen, E.M. (1997). Biological warfare. A historical perspective. J.A.M.A. 278:412–417.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Crompton, R., and Gall, D. (1980). Georgi Markov—death in a pellet. Medico Legal J. 48(2):51–62.Google Scholar
  7. Eitzen, E.M., and Takafuji, E.T. (1997). Historical overview of biological warfare. In: Sidell, F.R., Takafuji, E.T., and Franz, D.R. (eds.), Textbook of Military Medicine: Medical Aspects of Chemical and Biological Warfare. TMM Publications, Washington, D.C.Google Scholar
  8. Ellenhorn, M.J. (1997). Plants — mycotoxins — mushrooms. In: Ellenhorn’s Medical Toxicology: Diagnosis and Treatment of Human Poisoning. Baltimore, Williams & Wilkins, pp. 1847–1849.Google Scholar
  9. Fodstad, O., Kvalheim, G., Godal, A., Lotsberg, J., Aamdal, S., Host, H., and Pihl, A. (1984). Phase I study of plant protein ricin. Cancer Res. 44:862–865.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. Franz, D.R., and Jaax, N.K. (1997). Ricin toxin. In: Sidell, F.R., Takafuji, E.T., and Franz, D.R. (eds.), Textbook of Military Medicine: Medical Aspects of Chemical and Biological Warfare. TMM Publications, Washington, D.C.Google Scholar
  11. Frigerio, L., and Roberts, L.M. (1998). The enemy within: ricin and plant cells. J. Exp. Botany 49(326):1473–1480.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Hampton, T. (2004). Ricin vaccine developed. JAMA 292:1419-a.Google Scholar
  13. Hostetler, M.A. (2003). Toxicity, plants — castor bean and jequirity bean. Available at: http://www.emedicine.com/ped/topic331.htm.Google Scholar
  14. Kaku, H. (1998). Ricin related protein family. Available at: http://www.glycoforum.gr.jp/science/word/lectin/LEA08E.html.Google Scholar
  15. Kende, M., Yan, C., Hewetson, J., Frick, M.A., Rill, W.L., and Tammariello, R. (2002). Oral immunization of mice with ricin toxoid vaccine encapsulated in polymeric microspheres against aerosol challenge. Vaccine 20(11–12):1681–1691.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Koppel, A., MacVicar, S., Schuster, H., and Moniquet, C. (2003). Deadly ricin at Paris rail station. Available at: http://www.cnn.com/2003/WORLD/europe/03/20/france.ricin/index.html.Google Scholar
  17. Kortepeter, M.G., Christopher, G., Cieslak, T., Culpepper, R., Darling, R., Palvin, J., Rowe, J., McKee, K., and Eitzen, E. (2001). USAMRIID’s Medical Management of Biological Casualties Handbook, 4th ed. U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, Fort Detrick, Frederick, MD, pp. 130–137.Google Scholar
  18. Kortepeter, M.G., and Parker, G.W. (1999). Potential biological weapons threats. Emerg. Infect. Dis. 5:523–527.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Kreitman, R.J. (1999). Immunotoxins in cancer therapy. Curr. Opin. Immunol. 11:570–578.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Kreitman, R.J. (2001). Toxin-labeled monoclonal antibodies. Curr. Pharm. Biotechnol. 2:313–325.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Lord, J.M., Roberts, L.M., and Robertus J.D. (1994). Ricin: structure, mode of action, and some current applications. FASEB J. 8:201–208.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. Maman, M., Sagi, R., Moseri, R., and Yehezkelli, Y. (2003). Ricin—a potent plant toxin. In: Shoenfeld, Y., and Shemer, J. (eds.), Terror and Medicine. Pabst Science Publishers, Berlin.Google Scholar
  23. Mayor, S. (2003). UK doctors warned after a ricin poison was found in police raid. Br. Med. J. 326:126.Google Scholar
  24. Mirarchi, F.L., and Allswede, M. (2003). CBRNE — ricin. Available at: http://www.emedicine.com/emerg/topic889.htm.Google Scholar
  25. Oeltmann, T.N., and Frankel, A.E. (1991). Advances in immunotoxins. FASEB J. 5(10):2334–2337.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  26. Old Testament. (1982). Jonah 4:6–9. Copyright by Y. Orestein, “Yavne” Publishing House, Ltd., Tel-Aviv.Google Scholar
  27. Olsnes, S., and Kozlov, J.V. (2001). Ricin. Toxicon 39:1723–1728.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Olsnes, S., and Pihl, A. (1976). Abrin, ricin and their associated agglutinins. In Cuatrecasas, P. (eds.), Receptors and Recognition. Series B. The Specificity and Action of Animal, Bacterial and Plant Toxins. Chapman and Hall, London, pp. 129–173.Google Scholar
  29. Rauber, A., and Heard, J. (1985). Castor bean toxicity re-examined: a new prospective. Vet. Hum. Toxicol. 27:498–502.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  30. Sandvig, K., and Van Deurs, B. (2000). Entry of ricin and Shiga toxin into cells: molecular mechanisms and medical perspectives. EMBO J. 19:5943–5950.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Sandvig, K., and Van Deurs, B. (2002). Transport of protein toxins into cells: pathways used by ricin, cholera toxin and shiga toxin. FEBS Lett. 529(1):49–53.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Shyu, H.F., Chaio, D.J., Liu, H.W., and Tang, S.S. (2002). Monoclonal antibody-based enzyme immunoassay for detection ricin. Hybrid Hybridomics 21:69–73.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Smallshaw, J.E., Firan, A., Fulmer, J.R., Ruback, S.L, Ghetie, V., and Vitetta, E.S. (2002). A novel recombinant vaccine which protects mice against ricin intoxication. Vaccine 20:3422–3427.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Wedin, G.P., Neal, J.S., Everson, G.W., and Krenzelok, E.P. (1986). Castor bean poisoning. Am. J. Emerg. Med. 4(3):259–261.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Weissmann-Brenner, A., Brenner, B., Kats, L., and Hourvitz, A. (2002). Ricin — from a Bulgarian umbrella to an optional treatment of cancer. Harefuah 141:153–156. [Hebrew].PubMedGoogle Scholar
  36. Yan, C., Rill, W.L., Malli, R., Hewetson, J., Naseem, H., Tammariello, R., and Kende, M. (1996). Intranasal stimulation of long lasting immunity against aerosol ricin challenge with ricin toxoid vaccine encapsulated in polymer microspheres. Vaccine 14:1031–1038.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Zilinskas, R.A. (1997). Iraq’s biological weapons: the past as future? J.A.M.A. 278:418–424.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maor Maman
    • 1
  • Yoav Yehezkelli
    • 1
  1. 1.Israel Defense Forces Medical Corps HeadquartersIsrael

Personalised recommendations