CDC Bioterrorism Diseases-Agents List

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Due to technical limitations, this article uses an unusual title. It should be called  CDC Bioterrorism Disease/Agents List.

Not as a result of legislation, but on a categorization system that groups pathogens with respect to risk, and complements the Select Agent Program, the Centers for Disease Control created the Bioterrorism Diseases/Agents List.[1]. Select Agents are marked with a *; all Category A pathogens are Select Agents, but not all of categories B and C.

Agents in Categories A and B are reasonably well understood, while Category C are emerging diseases judged to have be capable of modifications to make them more effective biological weapons, or known diseases with newly discovered hazards.

All of the items on this CDC list are human pathogens or overlap agents.

Category A Agents

Category A agents are known to have high rates of transmission, fatalities, or both. Few healthcare workers have experience with them, so will stress the medical system. Due to their hazard, they are judged capable of causing mass social disruption. In this category are:

Category B agents

These spread with moderate ease, have low death rates, and need specific laboratory capabilities for monitoring.

Category C agents

Category C agents, are emerging to bioterrorists due to availability, easy production or dissemination, and potentially high infection or death rates.


  1. Centers for Disease Control, Bioterrorism Agents/Diseases