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Anthrax Agents in Kyrgyzstan

#KR-1101


Assessment of Spatial Techniques of Pollution of the Territory of Kyrgyzstan by Anthrax Agents

Tech Area / Field

  • MED-DIS/Disease Surveillance/Medicine
  • AGR-DIS/Disease Surveillance/Agriculture
  • BIO-MIB/Microbiology/Biotechnology
  • ENV-EHS/Environmental Health and Safety/Environment

Status
8 Project completed

Registration date
14.11.2003

Completion date
30.10.2008

Senior Project Manager
Weaver L M

Leading Institute
National Academy of Sciences of Kyrgyzstan / Biotechnology Institution, Kyrgyzstan, Bishkek

Supporting institutes

  • Republican Center of Quarantine and Especially Dangerous Infections, Kyrgyzstan, Bishkek

Collaborators

  • Institute Zooprofilattico Sperimentale, Italy, Foggia\nLouisiana State University / School of Veterenary Medicine, USA, LA, Baton Rouge\nLouisiana State University / Department of Geography and Anthropology, USA, LA, Baton Rouge

Project summary

Anthrax is a hazardous infectious disease of people and animals. Its hazard is in the ability of an agent to form a strong shell (spore) in an environment, stipulating its extremely high stability to effects of physicochemical environmental factors (for example, survives when boiling during 10-15 minutes).

By virtue of very high resistance of anthrax agent to unfavorable effects of physical and chemical factors of the environment, in all states planning to wage bacteriological war, this microbe was considered as a real biological weapon, because it is capable to keep viability during motion of a bacterial aerosol through atmospheric layers from a source (bomb, missile) to alive enemy forces. It is also important, that the pulmonary form of anthrax produced by aerosol contamination, causes 100 % loss of the infected people. Unpretentiousness in cultivation under working environment, capability to prepare huge quantity of a microbial mass in the shortest terms, at little costs, and also capability to use this microbe as biological weapon to strike both alive enemy forces and its livestock, also looked "attractive".

Anthrax in Kyrgyzstan is a severe problem for public health and agriculture. The territory of Kyrgyzstan is long since considered not free from anthrax. At the same time, anthrax was diagnosed in 1887 for the first time near Tokmok city in Chui region. According to epizootological data, on the territory of Kyrgyzstan more than 1.3 thousand fixed not free from anthrax hotbeds are registered. Thus, location of a considerable part of the old hotbeds of anthrax have been lost. It is necessary to note, that after the USSR collapse, i.e. for the last 10-15 years, in Kyrgyzstan, the researches on anthrax are suspended. During this period on the locations of the old anthrax hotbeds, there were repeated natural disasters: flooding, landslides, earthquake etc. As a result, probably many old hotbeds have been washed out and have remained under ground, or the agents of anthrax have been disseminated on neighboring vast territories, infecting considerable areas.

The spores of anthrax microbe are quite often dashed out from depth of soil on a surface by heavy showers and floodwaters, as a result of sand storms, earthquakes, and also during different activities, related to excavation and earth handling.

In a number of cases the disease of people and animals is time and again repeated in the same settlements, and sometimes with 60-70 years interval. The reason is that the agent of anthrax, having fallen in soil during the slaughter of ill animal or being in its dead body (burial ground of cattle), is capable to be preserved in it in viable condition for many decades, creating hazard of producing new diseases of the people and animals.

Epidemiological and epizootic data testify, that currently registered anthrax diseases of the people and animal quite often follow contamination from plots of soil infected in distant past. Figuratively speaking, now "the mines", placed in soil by the previous generations, blast out. On the other hand, modern diseases endanger future generations.

The plots of soil, once contaminated by anthrax agent are called "damned fields", because there pastured animals even after many decades still die, and the people become infected during various construction (laying highways and railways, building the foundation of apartment houses and industrial buildings etc.), agricultural (tillage), hydromelioration and other land works. Thus, the transboundary problems of propagation of anthrax agent arise.

These circumstances stipulate necessity of preservation and usage of the data about all the available soil hotbeds of anthrax on the territory of Kyrgyzstan, or so-called permanently not free from anthrax settlements which have arisen both in the past and during the last years.

In this connection, the purpose of the given project is preservation, systematization and concentration of the information about all accounted for permanently not free from anthrax hotbeds on the territory of Kyrgyzstan during the last 100 years in the unified cadastre. There are more than 1300 such settlements. The project is also aimed at detection of regularities of their geographical dissemination, which allow forecasting of propagation of disease and development of rational measures on protection of the territory of the country.

The Project will be implemented mainly by weapon scientists and experts from Kyrgyzstan, which are involved in the researches on epidemiology, epizootology and preventive measures of anthrax diseases for people and animals. The Project will promote reorientation of weapon scientists and experts on peaceful activities, i.e. on the development of techniques on the environment protection and on the solution of national and international problems of biosafety.

It corresponds to the ISTC purpose "to support both fundamental and applied researches and development work for the peaceful purposes, including environment...".


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