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Appendix 6

Category A and B Biological Agents

Category A Agents

The U.S. public health system and primary healthcare providers must be prepared to address various biological agents, including pathogens that are rarely seen in the United States. High-priority agents include organisms that pose a risk to national security because they can be easily disseminated or transmitted from person to person; result in high mortality rates and have the potential for major public health impact; might cause public panic and social disruption; and require special action for public health preparedness. Category A agents are listed below:

  • Anthrax (Bacillus anthracis)
  • Botulism (Clostridium botulinum toxin)
  • Plague (Yersinia pestis)
  • Smallpox (variola major)
  • Tularemia (Francisella tularensis)
  • Viral hemorrhagic fevers (filoviruses [e.g., Ebola, Marburg] and arenaviruses [e.g., Lassa, Machupo])
  •  

    Category B Agents

    The second-highest priority agents include those that are moderately easy to disseminate; result in moderate morbidity rates and low mortality rates; and require specific enhancements of CDC’s diagnostic capacity and enhanced disease surveillance. Category B agents are listed below:

    • Brucellosis (Brucella species)
    • Epsilon toxin of Clostridium perfringens
    • Food safety threats (e.g., Salmonella species, Escherichia coli O157:H7, Shigella)
    • Glanders (Burkholderia mallei)
    • Melioidosis (Burkholderia pseudomallei)
    • Psittacosis (Chlamydia psittaci)
    • Q fever (Coxiella burnetii)
    • Ricin toxin from Ricinus communis (castor beans)
    • Staphylococcal enterotoxin B
    • Typhus fever (Rickettsia prowazekii)
    • Viral encephalitis (alphaviruses [e.g., Venezuelan equine encephalitis, eastern equine encephalitis, western equine encephalitis])
    • Water safety threats (e.g., Vibrio cholerae, Cryptosporidium parvum)

     

     

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