Facilitated By

San Antonio Medical Foundation

Biothreat Agents

59th Medical Wing at the Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Center (WHASC)

The 59th Medical Wing at the Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Center (WHASC) provides support for research conducted by investigators and their collaborators addressing the unique scientific needs of the Air Force, the Department of Defense and the Nation.

Research Start Date

In deployment, the military personnel often encounter infectious disease agents that range from the common (e.g., rhinoviruses) to highly virulent emerging pathogens (e.g., SARS virus, MERS Coronavirus), and potentially even the proven biological warfare agents (e.g., anthrax, plague). Naturally occurring genetic variations and experimentally induced mutations in mammalian genes that confer varying degrees of resistance to infectious diseases are known. However, the military lacks any usable database on such variations. Once available, and combined with tests to identify individuals resistant to one or more of biothreat agents, such a database would greatly facilitate decision making in strategic and tactical deployment of military personnel who exhibit resistance to highly virulent agents. This proposal aims to close the gap.Aims. 1) To search scientific literature and other databases to prepare a comprehensive list of relevant genes and variations in them that confer resistance or susceptibility to biothreat agents. 2) To obtain individual-specific cells to determine the prevalence of such variations. 3) To experimentally assess whether certain variations actually confer resistance. 4) To develop reagents to test for key variations when needed.

Collaborative Project
Clinical Care
Infectious Disease
The views expressed are those of the authors and do not reflect the official views or policy of the Department of Defense or its Components. Where applicable, the voluntary fully informed consent of the subjects used in this research was obtained as required by 32 CFR 219 and DODI 3216.02_AFI 40-402