Detecting BTW Agents on the Battlefield
Before beginning to discuss the concept of detection of biological agents and of the techniques which can be used, it is important to recall some characteristics of the biological threat. Generally, BTW agents have a non-immediate effect on people and for live agents, an incubation period is necessary. This incubation time can last from half a day to weeks or months. In the particular case of toxins, effects are obtained after hours or days. For most BTW agents recognized as belonging to the biological risk category, a therapy (antibiotic/immunotherapy) exists, is effective during the hours immediately after exposure and diminishes clinical symptoms. For a few agents vaccines exist even if they are not widely available. Agents are numerous; detection of BTW agents and available identification techniques are time-consuming and must be carried out to give an answer as quickly and precisely as possible.
KeywordsBotulinum Toxin Bacillus Anthracis Clostridium Botulinum Live Agent Colloidal Gold Particle
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