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Adv Prev Med. 2012;2012:149737. doi: 10.1155/2012/149737. Epub 2012 Mar 26.

The need for continued development of ricin countermeasures.

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  • 1Division of Clinical Medicine, Clinical Research Management Inc., Team Ke'aki Tech, United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, 1425 Porter Street, Fort Detrick, MD 21702-5011, USA.

Abstract

Ricin toxin, an extremely potent and heat-stable toxin produced from the bean of the ubiquitous Ricinus communis (castor bean plant), has been categorized by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as a category B biothreat agent that is moderately easy to disseminate. Ricin has the potential to be used as an agent of biological warfare and bioterrorism. Therefore, there is a critical need for continued development of ricin countermeasures. A safe and effective prophylactic vaccine against ricin that was FDA approved for "at risk" individuals would be an important first step in assuring the availability of medical countermeasures against ricin.

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