Biological Select Agents and Toxins (BSAT)
Pp. 51-67 (17)
Alberto Cique Moya, Miguel Andrés Capo Marti and Javier Del Pino
Biological Select Agents and Toxins (BSATs) are a specific group of
pathogens, toxins and substances of biological origin that pose not only a severe threat
to human, plant, and animal health, but also have the potential to be used deliberately to
cause disease, prompt fear, or destroy agricultural or animal products as biological
warfare or bioterrorism agents. BSATs may cause a disruption of the thyroid system
either directly or indirectly through the systemic effects they induce. Bioregulator
agents, toxins and microbiological infections, which could induce acute, subacute or
chronic thyroiditis, among others, could cause thyroid functional alteration. The
thyroiditis induced through colonization of thyroid gland by these pathogen agents
(induced mainly by virus or bacteria) or as a particular manifestation of a systemic
disease, results in inflammation of the thyroid gland that can sometimes degenerate into
destructive thyrotoxicosis. Otherwise, the possibility of their use as terrorist or criminal
agents makes it necessary to know and recognize the implications arising from the
intended use of these agents on the thyroid system. This chapter will refer to the main
agents that induce thyroid disruption and the known mechanisms through which these
effects are induced.
Biological warfare agents, biorregulators, bioterrorism agents, thyroiditis.
Environmental Health and NBC Service. Defense Preventive Medicine Institute. Ministry of Defense, Madrid, Spain.