Brucella as a biological weapon

Cell Mol Life Sci. 2006 Oct;63(19-20):2229-36. doi: 10.1007/s00018-006-6311-4.


Brucella has traditionally been considered a biological weapon. It was the subject of extensive offensive research in the past, and still belongs to category B pathogens on most lists. Its propensity for airborne transmission and induction of chronic debilitating disease requiring combined antibiotic regimens for treatment, its abundance around the world and its vague clinical characteristics defying rapid clinical diagnosis are some of the characteristics that apply to the pathogen's weapons potential. Yet minimal mortality, availability of treatment options, protracted inoculation period and the emergence of new, more virulent potential weapons means that its inclusion among agents of bioterrorism is nowadays mainly of historical significance. Nevertheless, in the interest of literacy and of avoiding panic, physicians and the public both should be aware of the most common zoonosis worldwide.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bioterrorism*
  • Brucella / pathogenicity*
  • Brucellosis* / diagnosis
  • Brucellosis* / drug therapy
  • Brucellosis* / microbiology
  • Brucellosis* / transmission
  • Disease Outbreaks / prevention & control
  • Humans