Bacterial zoonoses have afflicted campaigns throughout military history, at times playing an important role in determining their outcomes. In addition, zoonotic bacteria are among the leading biological warfare threats. The U.S. military medical services have been at the forefront of research to define the basic microbiology, ecology, epidemiology, and clinical aspects of these diseases. This historical review discusses the military significance of plague, Q fever, anthrax, leptospirosis, bartonellosis, tularemia, and brucellosis and the U.S. military medical research counteroffensive. These contributions have ranged from basic molecular biology to elegant epidemiological surveys, from defining pathogenesis to developing new vaccine candidates. In an era of emerging diseases and biological weapons, the U.S. military will continue to lead a dynamic research effort to counter these disease threats.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health