Use of plants in bio-terrorism

790 views

Published on

0 Comments
0 Likes
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Views
Total views
790
On SlideShare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
3
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
34
Comments
0
Likes
0
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Use of plants in bio-terrorism

  1. 1. Why plant toxins are used in Bioterrorism? • Biotoxins of plant origin attract terrorists as they are: _ Difficult to detect _ Difficult to control
  2. 2. • There are a huge variety of plant poisons and it is difficult to organize the myriad plant toxins in an understandable manner. • Among known plant toxins, few of which may be worthy of special attention in context of bioterrorism. 1. Ricin 2. Abrin 3. Gelonin 4. Lectin 5. Curare 6. Modeccin
  3. 3. Ricin • Castor plant - Ricinus communis – From processing waste • Castor beans for oil – Very stable – In several forms • Powder, mist, pellet, dissolved in water or weak acid – Irreversibly blocks protein synthesis – Potential medical uses
  4. 4. Ricin
  5. 5. History • World War I – Considered for use as weapon by US • 1978: London – Assassination of Bulgarian exile, Georgi Markov • 1991: Minnesota – Patriot’s Council plot to kill US Marshal • Iran-Iraq war – Reports of ricin use – Found in Al Qaeda caves in Afghanistan
  6. 6. Transmission • Three routes – Inhalation – Ingestion – Injection • Person-to-person transmission does not occur.
  7. 7. Signs and Symptoms • Inhalation – Incubation less than 8 hours – Cough, weakness, fever, nausea, muscle aches, chest pain and cyanosis – Pulmonary edema, 18-24 hours after inhalation – Severe respiratory distress – Death from hypoxemia, 36-72 hours
  8. 8. Pulmonary edema
  9. 9. • Ingestion – Least toxic form – Less toxic if castor beans swallowed whole – Severe GI symptoms, 1-2 hours – Rapid heartbeat – Internal bleeding – Vascular collapse – Death occurs in 3 days or more
  10. 10. • Injection – Local pain and necrosis at site of injection – Systemic signs similar to those of ingestion
  11. 11. Treatment • No treatment, vaccine or antisera currently available • Avoid ricin exposure • Supportive care – Dependent on route of exposure – Ventilator – Gastric lavage or cathartics
  12. 12. Ricin as biological weapon • • • • Extreme ease of production Widely available Relatively high toxicity Currently no treatment – Supportive care only
  13. 13. Abrin • Jequirity pea - Abrus precatorius _ Very stable _ In several forms _ Powder, mist, pellet, dissolved in water _ Blocks protein synthesis _ Potential medical use
  14. 14. Abrus plant
  15. 15. Toxicity • Abrin works by _ penetrating the cells of the body _ inhibiting cell protein synthesis • The severity of the effects of abrin poisoning vary on the means of exposure to the substance (whether inhaled, ingested, or injected).
  16. 16. Transmission • Three routes _ Inhalation _ Ingestion _ Absorption
  17. 17. Signs and Symptoms • Inhalation – Respiratory distress, fever, cough, nausea, and tightness in the chest. – Heavy sweating may follow as well as pulmonary edema. – Skin might turn blue – Low blood pressure – Respiratory failure that ultimately lead to death
  18. 18. Cyanosis
  19. 19. • Ingestion If a person swallows a small amount: _ Vomiting, diarrhea, hallucination, seizures and blood in the urine. _ Severe dehydration followed by low blood pressure. _ Within several days, the person’s liver, spleen and kidney might stop working, and the person will die.
  20. 20. • Absorption In powder or mist form abrin can cause _ Redness of skin and eyes _ pain • Death from abrin poisoning could take place within 36 to 72 hours of exposure.
  21. 21. Treatment • • • • No treatment or antidote Avoid abrin exposure Getting the abrin off or out of body Supportive care _ Dependent on route of exposure _ Flushing stomach with activated charcoal
  22. 22. GELONIN • Himalayan plant - Gelonium multiflorum • Inhibits protein synthesis _ by cleaving N-glycosidic bond of specific adenine.

×