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Dictionary of Biological Defense

 

       

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  Located below are definitions for some of the more common terms - abbreviations, acronyms, definitions, etc. - that you are likely to come across in the field of biological defense.  

a   b   c   d   e   f   g   h   i

j   k   l   m   n   o   p     r

s   t   u   v   w   x   y   z

 

                                                                    

 

letter           term                                                                        definition

a

Aerosol

A fine mist or spray containing minute particles.

Alexeter A word of Greek origin meaning a guard or defender.
Anthrax

Derived from the bacterium, Bacillus anthracis.  An acute bacterial infection of the skin, lungs or GI tract. Can be transmitted via direct contact (with infected animals), inhalation or ingestion.  

Symptoms (depending on contraction method): Sores, blisters, respiratory distress, fever, shock, intense stomach pain, bowel obstruction, dehydration, diarrhea, fever, blood poisoning & death. 

Antibody A biological molecule (protein) that specifically recognizes a foreign substance (antigen) as a means of natural defense; proteins used commonly in diagnostic tests.
Antigen A substance that generates or stimulates a specific antibody immune response; a substance that is specifically bound or attracted to a given antibody molecule.
Assay An analytical test used to measure the amount or presence of a specific substance.
A.T.F. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms (Treasury)

b

B. Thuringiensis

A near-neighbor relative of bacillus anthracis (Anthrax).

Bacillus Anthracis [See "Anthrax"]
Biological Agent A toxin, bacterial or viral organism that can cause casualties when released.  To be an agent, it must be infectious to humans, be capable of being produced in enough quantity to be toxic & stable through the dissemination process.
B.D.R.P.

Biological Defense Research Program

(US Navy - Bethesda, MD) 

B.I.D.S. Biological Integrated Detection System 
Botulinum Toxin

Most often found in improperly prepared foods, the bacteria Clostridium botulinum is highly toxic and, once infected, untreated victims may stand little chance of survival.  There are seven recognized strains of the toxin and all of them act through flaccid paralysis of the motor nerve terminals.

Symptoms: Drooping eyelids, dry mouth, dry throat, difficulty talking & swallowing, impaired vision, difficulty breathing, death from asphyxia.

Brucella

Able to be used as a biological warfare agent, these parasitic organisms invade all animal tissues and cause infections in the genital organs, mammary glands & intestinal tracts.  They are pathogenic for man & animals.

Symptoms: Prolonged fever, headaches, profuse sweating, chills, muscle & joint pain and fatigue.

B.T. [see B. Thuringiensis]

c

C.B.D.C.O.M. Chemical Biological Defense Command
C.B.I.R.F Chemical/Biological Incident Response Force (U.S. Marines, Camp Lejeune, NC)
C.B.Q.R.F Chemical/Biological Quick Response Force (CBDCOM - Aberdeen, MD)
C.B.R.T. Chemical/Biological Response Team (FBI/Army - Dobbins AFB, GA)
C.B.R.D.T

Chemical/Biological Rapid Deployment Team 

(multi-service: DHHS, DoD, EPA, DOE - Washington, DC)

C.D.C.

Center for Disease Control 

(DHHS)

Chemiluminescence Light generated from a chemical reaction
C.F.U.'s Colony Forming Units.  A measure of the concentration of bacteria in a sample.
Confirmatory A test type that provides conclusive or convincing results; usually employed after a positive screening test.
C.S.T.

Civil Support Teams, formerly known as RAID Teams 

(National Guard)

d

D.A.R.P.A.

Defense Advanced Research Project Agency

(Arlington, VA) 

D.E.S.T.

Domestic Emergency Support Teams 

(FBI)

Detector, biological  An instrument that warns of the presence of a biological agent or substance.  Does not provide identity of a biological agent, only that some type of biological substance is present.
Diagnostic A test (or assay) used to provide information on the health or well being of a patient.
D.H.H.S. Department of Health and Human Services
D.N.W.S.

Defense Nuclear Weapons School 

(DTRA Training Site)

D.S.O.

Defense Sciences Office 

(DARPA)

D.T.R.A. Defense Threat Reduction Agency

e

E.R.D.E.C.

Edgewood Research, Development & Engineering Center

(Edgewood, MD)

E.R.R.I. Emergency Response & Research Institute

f

g

F.B.I.

Federal Bureau of Investigation

F.E.S.T. Foreign Emergency Support Team (State)
F.E.M.A. Federal Emergency Management Agency
Francisella tularensis [See "Tularemia"]

h

HazMat

Hazardous Materials

H.M.R.U.

Hazardous Material Response Unit 

(FBI - Quantico, VA)

i

Identifier, biological 

An instrument or test that provides information on the specific name, type or nature of a biological substance.

I.B.A.D.S.  Interim Biological Agent Detection System

Immunoassay

The detection - via assay - of substances by immunological methods.

[see also, "Assay"]

Immunochromatography

An antibody-based test that typically uses capillary flow through an absorbent membrane to mix and subsequently separate the various components.

Immunochromatography

(Lateral Flow)

Immunochromatography where the various biochemical components are separated across an absorbent membrane into discrete distinct regions. 
Interferrants Contaminating or interfering substances that may cause incorrect results in analytical tests.

j

k

J.B.P.D.S. Joint Biological Point Detection System
J.B.R.E.W.S. Joint Biological Remote Early Warning System
J.P.O.-BIO Joint Program Office for Biological Defense (DoD - Secretary of Defense)
J.S.M.G. Joint Service Materials Group
J.W.A.R.N. Joint Warning & Reporting Network

l

Lateral Flow,

immunochromatography

Immunochromatography where the various biochemical components are separated across an absorbent membrane into discrete distinct regions. 

m

M.M.S.T. Metropolitan Medical Strike Teams (OEP/DHHS)  

n

N.B.C. Nuclear, Biological & Chemical
N.D.P.O.

National Domestic Preparedness Office

(FBI)

N.E.S.T.

Nuclear Emergency Search Teams

(DOE)

N.I.H.

National Institutes of Health 

(DHHS)

N.M.R.I. Naval Medical Research Institute
N.R.L.

Naval Research Laboratories

(Washington, D.C.)

o O.E.P.

Office of Emergency Preparedness 

(DHHS)

O.L.S.D.P.

Office of Local & State Domestic Preparedness 

(DOJ)

p

q

Plague

A zoonotic disease caused by the bacterium, Yersinia pestis. Under natural conditions, humans become infected as a result of contact with rodents and their fleas. In a biological warfare scenario, the plague bacillus could be delivered via contaminated vectors (fleas), more likely, via aerosol.

Symptoms:

malaise, high fever, chills, headache, myalgia, cough with production of a bloody sputum & toxemia.

r

RAID Teams

 

Rapid Assessment and Initial Detection; now known as Civil Support Teams 

[see CST National Guard]

Ricin  

Derived from the common castor bean.  Can be inhaled, injected or ingested.  Easy to produce, stable & able to be dispersed via chemical agent munitions.  In a biological warfare scenario, it is expected that it would be released as a toxic cloud.

Symptoms (depending on contraction method): coughing, difficulty breathing, nausea, vomiting, muscle aches, muscle death, severe inflammation of lungs & airways, organ failure, internal bleeding and death (36-48 hrs).

R.R.I.S.

Rapid Response Information System 

(FEMA)

s

S.B.C.C.O.M.

Soldier and Biological Chemical Command 

(formerly known as CBDCOM)

Screen An instrument or test that gives a preliminary result; a positive result should be followed by a conclusive confirmatory test before proceeding with any critical action or response.

S.E.B.

(Staphylococcal Enterotoxin B)

Derived from the bacteria, Staphylococcal aureus, this toxin can be employed by aerosol dissemination or food/water contamination. Via the inhalational route, the effects can appear between 1-6 hours.

Symptoms: Fever, chills, headache, myalgia, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, low mortality rate (> 2%)

S.O.C. Special Operations Command

t

T.E.U.

Technical Escort Unit 

(ARMY)

Toxin A poison produced by a living organism, or its synthetic equivalent (e.g., Ricin or Botulinum Toxin).
T.S.W.G. Technical Support Working Group
Tularemia

From the bacterial zoonosis, Francisella tularensis.  also know as rabbit or deerfly fever, it is one of the most infectious pathogenic bacteria known.

Symptoms: Fever, chills, headache, shortness of breath, sweating, joint stiffness, muscle pains, enlarged lymph nodes, conjunctivitis, weight loss & red spots/ulcers on the skin.

U

v

U.S.A.M.R.I.I.D.

United States Army Medical Research Institute for Infectious Diseases 

(Fort Detrick, MD)

w

x

W.M.D. Weapons of Mass Destruction; generally weapons falling into three categories: Nuclear, Biological or Chemical (NBC).

y

z

Yersinia pestis [See "Plague"]

 

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