CDC Bioterrorism Diseases-Agents List
Not as a result of legislation, but on a categorization system that groups pathogens with respect to risk, and complements the Select Agent Program, the Centers for Disease Control created the Bioterrorism Diseases/Agents List.. Select Agents are marked with a *; all Category A pathogens are Select Agents, but not all of categories B and C.
Agents in Categories A and B are reasonably well understood, while Category C are emerging diseases judged to have be capable of modifications to make them more effective biological weapons, or known diseases with newly discovered hazards.
All of the items on this CDC list are human pathogens or overlap agents.
Category A Agents
Category A agents are known to have high rates of transmission, fatalities, or both. Few healthcare workers have experience with them, so will stress the medical system. Due to their hazard, they are judged capable of causing mass social disruption. In this category are:
- Arenaviridae viral hemorrhagic fevers including Lassa fever and Machupo virus*
- Bacillus anthracis,* the pathogen of anthrax
- Clostridium botulinum toxin*
- Coxiella burnetii*, the cause of Q fever
- Filoviridae viral hemorrhagic fevers (Ebola virus, Marburg virus)*
- Francisella tularensis*, the pathogen of tularemia
- Variola major, which causes smallpox
- Yersinia pestis*, the cause of plague
Category B agents
These spread with moderate ease, have low death rates, and need specific laboratory capabilities for monitoring.
- Brucellosis agents*, including Brucella abortus, Brucellosis melitensis, Brucella suis
- Burkholderia mallei* causing glanders
- Burkholderia pseudomallei* causing meliodosis
- Chlamydia psittaci causing psittacosis
- Clostridium perfringens* epsilon toxin
- Food safety hazards such as Escherichia coli H157/O7, Salmonella sp., Shigella sp.
- Rickettsia prowazekii* causing epidemic typhus
- Staphylococcal enterotoxin B*
- Water safety hazards (e.g., Vibrio cholerae, Cryptosporidium parvum)
- Viral encephalitis (alphaviruses [e.g., Venezuelan equine encephalitis, eastern equine encephalitis, western equine encephalitis])*
Category C agents
Category C agents, are emerging to bioterrorists due to availability, easy production or dissemination, and potentially high infection or death rates.
- Centers for Disease Control, Bioterrorism Agents/Diseases