A Scoping Review on Category A Agents as Bioweapons
Department or Administrative Unit
Nutrition Exercise and Health Sciences
Category A agents are biological pathogens that could pose a threat to health and human safety if used as bioweapons. The exploration and possibility of these threats must be comprehensively reviewed to create a preparedness plan to recognize outbreaks, to educate the public, and to offer vaccinations and/or treatment options, if available. A scoping review using PRISMA guidelines was performed to categorize current information on Category A biological agents as well as understand their potential for future threats. The results used 34 articles and found that while botulin neurotoxins were the most lethal, anthrax posed the most likely threat for use as a bioweapon. Most research was conducted on plague, though it is not the most likely threat. Smallpox is the most likely agent to vaccinate against as there is already a working vaccine that has proven effective and the issue at hand is the need for a larger stockpile. Ultimately, preparedness efforts should include vaccinations and continued research and development of them. Category A agents are a serious public health concern; updated and reformed bioterrorism preparedness plans could greatly minimize panic and mortality.
Beale, S. L., Zolnikov, T. R., & Firebaugh, C. M. (2021). A Scoping Review on Category A Agents as Bioweapons. Prehospital and Disaster Medicine, 1–7. https://doi.org/10.1017/s1049023x21001072
Prehospital and Disaster Medicine
© The Author(s), 2021.