ASA Newsletter

For the Professional in Government, Industry and Academia with an interest in Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Defense, Disarmament and Verification; Chemical and Biological Terrorism; Emergency and Disaster Medical Planning; Industrial Health and Safety; and Environmental Protection.

ASA 02-3, Issue No. 90, June 28, 2002

Studies of Variola Virus Replication in Cell Cultures and Chick Embryo Chorion-allantois Membrane

Elena Ryabchikova, Elena Sokunova, Julia Kononova, Alexandr Guskov
State Research Center of Virology and Biotechnology "Vector", Russian Ministry of Public Health,
Koltsovo, Novosibirsk region, 633559. RUSSIA

           Variola virus is the causative agent of smallpox, one of the most severe human diseases. Variola virus belongs to the Orthopoxvirus genus together with cowpox, mouse pox, vaccinia and monkey pox viruses. Experimental studies with living variola virus were stopped after the global eradication of smallpox, and knowledge about the variola virus biology was "frozen". However the global eradication of smallpox announced by WHO at the end of the 1970s, failed to eliminate the overall problem of orthopoxvirus infections.

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Spiez Laboratory Switzerland 28 April - 3 May 2002

Symposium Chair Dr. Barbara Price's concluding remarks: Thank all of you for attending the CBMTS IV. We have had 28 countries represented here discussing chemical and biological medical treatment. In the first CBMTS in 1994 we were still listening to papers addressing measurements of LD50 for CW agents and summaries of how antidotes and oxime treatments worked and characterizing viruses and looking at general response type biodetectors. Eight years later, we really have come a long way. We are addressing much more complicated medical treatments, refining these treatments, using much more sophisticated instrumentation and really examining the effects of different cell infections on the viruses and the proteins they express. And we, the 140 CBMTS IV professionals, have had many discussions on bioterrorism.

Full Article

An Evaluation of Bioregulators as Terrorism and Warfare Agents

*Slavko Bokan, **John G. Breen, *Zvonko Orehovec
*MOD, Croatian Military Academy,
Laboratory for NBC Protection, Ilica 256 b,
HR-10000 Zagreb, Croatia ** Geneva, Switzerland

           Within neuroscience over the last twenty years there has been an explosion of knowledge about the receptor systems on nerve cells that are of critical importance in receiving the chemical transmitter substances released by other nerve cells. Bioregulators or modulators are biochemical compounds, such as peptides, that occur naturally in organisms. They are a potential new class of weapons that can damage the nervous system, alter moods, trigger psychological changes and even kill. These compounds can act as neurotransmitters and modify neural response. Bioregulators are closely related to substances normally found in the body that regulate normal biological processes. Their potential military or terrorism use is similar to that of toxins. Some examples of potential application of bioregulators are to cause pain, as an anesthetic and to influence blood pressure.

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Managing the Threat of Anthrax in the Mail: Occupational Health Principles

Claus-Peter Polster
Health and Safety Branch
The Hague, The Netherlands

           Recent attacks within the United States of America resulted in 12 cases of anthrax infection. In addition, thousands of subsequent hoaxes and false alarms have caused severe disruptions throughout the US and in other nations. This paper describes how application of the standard principles of risk management and occupational health can be applied to address the issue of potential biohazards in the mail. These principles were successfully implemented by the Health and Safety, Security, and Mailroom staff of the OPCW (Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons) in The Hague, and were able to prevent disruption from a number of false alarm incidents, that might otherwise have caused significant impact.

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For the Professional in Government and Industry with an interest in Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Defense, Disarmament and Verification; Emergency and Disaster Medical Planning; Industrial Health and Safety; and Environmental Protection