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Final Report: Analysis of Iraqi Military Blood Samples 

Filename:0600rpt.91d

	            
	            

Defense Intelligence Agency	Armed Forces
                                                     Medical Intelligence 
                                                      Center


Subject: Final Report: Analysis of Iraqi Military Blood Samples 

Overview and Summary

This report describes the results of a project to test blood samples from 
Iraqi military personnel involved in the Gulf War in order to help 
identify biological warfare (BW) agents in the Iraqi inventory. These 
blood samples were also tested to determine thc prevalence of a select 
number of endemic, infectious diseases in the Persian Gulf Region.

The results indicate no conclusive evidence for an organized vaccination 
program against the confirmed Iraqi BW agents, Bacillus anthracis 
(anthrax) and botulinum toxin, or to any of the suspect BW agents, 
Yersinia pestis (plague). Coxiella burnetii (Q fever), staphylococcal 
enterotoxin B, Franisella tularensis (tularemia), and Brucella specics. A 
number of endemic diseases were identified some with a reasonably high 
prevalence. This information will aid in thc preparation of future risk 
assessments provided in support of US military plans and operations


	   	              
5 December 1991

Testing for Biological Warfare Agent Vaccination

Introduction		

This report summarizes the results of a project to analyze blood samples 
from Iraqi military personnel involved in the Gulf War for evidence that 
they were vaccinated against Iraqi biological warfare (BW) agents.  In so 
doing, it was hoped that additional insight could be gained to help 
determine which agents were in the Iraqi BW arsenal.  The results of the 
testing are presented in Table I.


Results and Discussion

No conclusive evidence for a vaccination program against any of the 
confirmed or suspect Iraqi BW agents was found.  The seven positive 
reactions for Bacillus anthracis protective antigen are believed to be due 
to either previous natural exposure or non-specific reaction in the test. 
 The 16 percent positive reaction to Caxiella burnetii is believed due to 
endemic Z-fever indicating a quite high prevalence for this disease.  The 
number of samples for Brucella melitensis and staphylococcal enterotoxin B 
is too small to be statistically significant.

Naturally-Occurring Diseases

Introduction

Blood samples were examined for a number of naturally-occurring infectious 
diseases.  This information could significantly improve risk assessments 
provided in support of US military plans and operations.  The results are 
presented in Table II.

Results and Discussion

These results improved the confidence of previous regional infectious 
disease risk assessments.  The large percentage of positive reactions to 
Sandfly fever (Sicilian and Naples strain) confirms the high risk this 
disease poses for US military operations in the region.  The positive 
reactions for West Nile fever and Sindbis fever provide the first known 
documentation of the suspected presence of these diseases in Iraq.  The 
low positivity rate for Crimean Congo hemorrhagic fever, dengue fever, Q 
fever  and Rift Valley fever confirm the relatively low risk these 
diseases would pose to US personnel.  The number of samples for Rickettsia 
typi is too small to be statisically significant.


                  Table 1. Results of Test for Vaccination    
                            Against Confirmed or Suspect Iraqi 
                            BW Agents                         
                                                              
                                                              
       

     Agent/Disease         Number Tested       Number Positive 
      


    Bacillus anthracis                                        
       Protective antigen       132                    7      
        Lethal factor            104                    0     
    
    Botulinum toxin                                           
        Type A                  69                     0      
         Type B                  21                     0     
          Type C                  21                     0    
           Type D                  20                     0   
            Type E                  20                     0  
             Type F                  20                     0 
              

    Brucella melitensis        2                      1       
    (brucellosis)                                             
         
    Coxiella burnetii          130                    21      
     (Q-fever)

    Francisella tularensis     130                    1       
     (tularemai                                               
                                                              
       Staphylococcal enterotoxin B 2                    2    
                                                              
         Yersinia pestis            132                    1  
          (plague) 

                                                              
                         Table II Results of tests for 
Exposure
                        to Naturally-Occurring Disease 

  Agent/Disease           Number Tested   Number Positive     
  
  Crimean Congo               125               1             
   hemorrhagic fever                                          
      
  Dengue fever                109               0
  (serotype 2)            

  Rickettsia typhi            18                0
  (murine typhus)

  Rift Valley fever          125                1

  Sandfly fever              
    Sindbis strain           125                98
    Naples strain            126                49


  Sindbis fever              109                3    

  West Nile fever            125                30 
  
          
 



 

 



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