Biological Warfare and Bioterrorism: A Historical Review.
Because of the increased threat of terrorism, the risk posed by various microorganisms as biological weapons needs to be evaluated and the historical development and use of biological agents better understood. Biological warfare agents may be more potent than conventional and chemical weapons. During the past century, the progress made in biotechnology and biochemistry has simplified the development and production of such weapons. In addition, genetic engineering holds perhaps the most dangerous potential. Ease of production and the broad availability of biological agents and technical know-how have led to a further spread of biological weapons and an increased desire among developing countries to have them. This article explains the concepts of biological warfare and its states of development, its utilization, and the attempts to control its proliferation throughout history. The threat of bioterrorism is real and significant; it is neither in the realm of science fiction nor confined to our nation. EARLY USE OF BIOLOGICAL WARFARE