chemical warfare agents


Summary: Chemicals that are used to cause the disturbance, disease, or death of humans during WARFARE.

Top Publications

  1. Ghaedi G, Ghasemi H, Mousavi B, Soroush M, Rahnama P, Jafari F, et al. Impact of psychological problems in chemical warfare survivors with severe ophthalmologic complication, a cross sectional study. Health Qual Life Outcomes. 2012;10:36 pubmed publisher
    ..The study showed that severe ophthalmologic complications in chemical survivors are accompanied with destructive effects on psychological health status. Appropriate management may improve psychological health status in these patients. ..
  2. Renou J, Mercey G, Verdelet T, Paunescu E, Gillon E, Arboleas M, et al. Syntheses and in vitro evaluations of uncharged reactivators for human acetylcholinesterase inhibited by organophosphorus nerve agents. Chem Biol Interact. 2013;203:81-4 pubmed publisher
    ..Moreover, one of seven described compounds presents an ability to reactivate tabun-inhibited hAChE equivalent to those of 2-PAM. ..
  3. Schieltz D, McGrath S, McWilliams L, Rees J, Bowen M, Kools J, et al. Analysis of active ricin and castor bean proteins in a ricin preparation, castor bean extract, and surface swabs from a public health investigation. Forensic Sci Int. 2011;209:70-9 pubmed publisher
    ..To the best of our knowledge following a review of the available literature, this report describes the most detailed analysis of a white powder for a public health or forensic investigation involving ricin...
  4. Kalisiak J, Ralph E, Zhang J, Cashman J. Amidine-oximes: reactivators for organophosphate exposure. J Med Chem. 2011;54:3319-30 pubmed publisher
    ..In addition, 15d was tested in a post-treatment experiment (145 ?mol/kg, ip, administration 5 min after sarin model compound exposure). In both cases, amidine-oximes afforded 100% 24 h survival in an animal model of OP exposure...
  5. Zboril R, Andrle M, Oplustil F, Machala L, Tucek J, Filip J, et al. Treatment of chemical warfare agents by zero-valent iron nanoparticles and ferrate(VI)/(III) composite. J Hazard Mater. 2012;211-212:126-30 pubmed publisher
    ..The applicability of these environmentally friendly iron based materials in treatment of chemical warfare agents (CWAs) has been tested with three representative compounds, sulfur mustard (bis(2-chlorethyl) sulfide, HD)..
  6. Lee S, Kim S, Lee W, Jung S, Hwang B, Ragupathy D, et al. Effects of textural properties on the response of a SnO2-based gas sensor for the detection of chemical warfare agents. Sensors (Basel). 2011;11:6893-904 pubmed publisher
    ..1-0.5 ppm). ..
  7. Kalisiak J, Ralph E, Cashman J. Nonquaternary reactivators for organophosphate-inhibited cholinesterases. J Med Chem. 2012;55:465-74 pubmed publisher
    ..e., a dose of 36 ?mol/kg, i.p.), 7b and 12e protected 100% of the animals challenged with the sarin nerve agent model compound that caused lethality in 6/11 animals without amidine-oxime. ..
  8. Mercey G, Verdelet T, Renou J, Kliachyna M, Baati R, Nachon F, et al. Reactivators of acetylcholinesterase inhibited by organophosphorus nerve agents. Acc Chem Res. 2012;45:756-66 pubmed publisher
    ..States, the specter of a chemical threat against civilian populations has renewed research interest in chemical warfare agents, their mechanisms of action, and treatments that reverse their effects...
  9. Popiel S, Sankowska M. Determination of chemical warfare agents and related compounds in environmental samples by solid-phase microextraction with gas chromatography. J Chromatogr A. 2011;1218:8457-79 pubmed publisher
    ..GC) permits both the qualitative and quantitative analysis of toxic industrial compounds, pesticides and chemical warfare agents (CWAs), including their degradation products, in air, water and soil samples...

More Information


  1. Jain A, Tewari Singh N, Gu M, Inturi S, White C, Agarwal R. Sulfur mustard analog, 2-chloroethyl ethyl sulfide-induced skin injury involves DNA damage and induction of inflammatory mediators, in part via oxidative stress, in SKH-1 hairless mouse skin. Toxicol Lett. 2011;205:293-301 pubmed publisher
    ..This study could help in identifying countermeasures that alone or in combination, can target the unveiled pathways for reducing skin injury in humans by SM. ..
  2. Benson J, Gomez A, Wolf M, Tibbetts B, March T. The acute toxicity, tissue distribution, and histopathology of inhaled ricin in Sprague Dawley rats and BALB/c mice. Inhal Toxicol. 2011;23:247-56 pubmed publisher
    ..Results of this study demonstrate differences exist in pulmonary deposition, clearance rates, and tissue dose and histopathological changes between rats and mice inhaling ricin. ..
  3. de Araujo Furtado M, Rossetti F, Chanda S, YOURICK D. Exposure to nerve agents: from status epilepticus to neuroinflammation, brain damage, neurogenesis and epilepsy. Neurotoxicology. 2012;33:1476-90 pubmed publisher
    ..These studies are very necessary for current military and civilian treatment regimens, against OP nerve agent exposure, which fail to prevent SE resulting in severe neuropathology and epilepsy. ..
  4. Ghabili K, Agutter P, Ghanei M, Ansarin K, Panahi Y, Shoja M. Sulfur mustard toxicity: history, chemistry, pharmacokinetics, and pharmacodynamics. Crit Rev Toxicol. 2011;41:384-403 pubmed publisher
    ..In the present article we review this knowledge and relate the molecular-biological basis of SM toxicity, as far as it has been elucidated, to the pathological effects on exposure victims. ..
  5. Jain A, Tewari Singh N, Orlicky D, White C, Agarwal R. 2-Chloroethyl ethyl sulfide causes microvesication and inflammation-related histopathological changes in male hairless mouse skin. Toxicology. 2011;282:129-38 pubmed publisher
  6. Pierce M, Kahn J, Chiou J, Tumer N. Development of a quantitative RT-PCR assay to examine the kinetics of ribosome depurination by ribosome inactivating proteins using Saccharomyces cerevisiae as a model. RNA. 2011;17:201-10 pubmed publisher
    ..These results demonstrate that the qRT-PCR assay would enable refined kinetic studies with RIPs and could be a powerful screening tool to identify inhibitors of catalytic activity. ..
  7. Ghanei M, Poursaleh Z, Harandi A, Emadi S, Emadi S. Acute and chronic effects of sulfur mustard on the skin: a comprehensive review. Cutan Ocul Toxicol. 2010;29:269-77 pubmed publisher
    Sulfur mustard (2,2-dichlorodiethyl sulfide, SM) is one of the vesicant classes of chemical warfare agents that causes blistering in the skin and mucous membranes, where it can have lingering long-term effects for up to ten years (1)...
  8. Schep L, Temple W, Butt G, Beasley M. Ricin as a weapon of mass terror--separating fact from fiction. Environ Int. 2009;35:1267-71 pubmed publisher
    ..Ricin as a toxin is deadly but as an agent of bioterror it is unsuitable and therefore does not deserve the press attention and subsequent public alarm that has been created. ..
  9. Keegan T, Walker S, Brooks C, Langdon T, Linsell L, Maconochie N, et al. Exposures recorded for participants in the UK Chemical Warfare Agent Human Research Programme, 1941-1989. Ann Occup Hyg. 2009;53:83-97 pubmed publisher
    ..who participated between 1941 and 1989 in British research at Porton Down on the effects of exposure to chemical warfare agents and to defences against those agents...
  10. Khateri S, Ghanei M, Keshavarz S, Soroush M, Haines D. Incidence of lung, eye, and skin lesions as late complications in 34,000 Iranians with wartime exposure to mustard agent. J Occup Environ Med. 2003;45:1136-43 pubmed
  11. Shohrati M, Ghanei M, Shamspour N, Babaei F, Abadi M, Jafari M, et al. Glutathione and malondialdehyde levels in late pulmonary complications of sulfur mustard intoxication. Lung. 2010;188:77-83 pubmed publisher
    ..These findings encourage us to examine therapeutic measures to correct such imbalances in future studies. ..
  12. Ghanei M, Shohrati M, Jafari M, Ghaderi S, Alaeddini F, Aslani J. N-acetylcysteine improves the clinical conditions of mustard gas-exposed patients with normal pulmonary function test. Basic Clin Pharmacol Toxicol. 2008;103:428-32 pubmed publisher
    ..It also prevents sulfur mustard-induced oxidative stress, and can be used in the treatment of sulfur mustard-induced pulmonary disease. ..
  13. Fleming C, Edwards C, Kirby S, Maxwell D, Potter P, Cerasoli D, et al. Crystal structures of human carboxylesterase 1 in covalent complexes with the chemical warfare agents soman and tabun. Biochemistry. 2007;46:5063-71 pubmed
    ..Taken together, these data provide important structural details toward the goal of engineering hCE1 into an organophosphate hydrolase and protein-based therapeutic for nerve agent exposure. ..
  14. Zarchi K, Akbar A, Naieni K. Long-term pulmonary complications in combatants exposed to mustard gas: a historical cohort study. Int J Epidemiol. 2004;33:579-81 pubmed
    ..80, 1.45), and unprotected exposure versus protective mask use 3.04 (95% CI: 2.20, 4.20). The estimated risk of pulmonary complications from war exposure to mustard gas increased with age and for soldiers who had not worn masks. ..
  15. Hill C, Li W, Thoden J, Holden H, Raushel F. Enhanced degradation of chemical warfare agents through molecular engineering of the phosphotriesterase active site. J Am Chem Soc. 2003;125:8990-1 pubmed
    ..These studies demonstrate that substantial changes in substrate specificity can be achieved by relatively minor changes to the primary amino acid sequence. ..
  16. Zilker T. Medical management of incidents with chemical warfare agents. Toxicology. 2005;214:221-31 pubmed
    Successful management of incidents with chemical warfare agents strongly depends on the speed of medical help and the ability of helpers to react properly...
  17. Albuquerque E, Pereira E, Aracava Y, Fawcett W, Oliveira M, Randall W, et al. Effective countermeasure against poisoning by organophosphorus insecticides and nerve agents. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2006;103:13220-5 pubmed
    ..Thus, a galantamine-based therapy emerges as an effective and safe countermeasure against OP poisoning. ..
  18. Bradberry S, Dickers K, Rice P, Griffiths G, Vale J. Ricin poisoning. Toxicol Rev. 2003;22:65-70 pubmed
    ..Management is supportive. Prophylactic immunisation against ricin toxicity is a developing research initiative, although presently not a realistic option in a civilian context. ..
  19. Smith K, Skelton H. Chemical warfare agents: their past and continuing threat and evolving therapies. Part II of II. Skinmed. 2003;2:297-303 pubmed
    b>Chemical warfare agents are ideal weapons for terrorists and for use in military operations against both civilian populations and troops...
  20. Ghanei M, Fathi H, Mohammad M, Aslani J, Nematizadeh F. Long-term respiratory disorders of claimers with subclinical exposure to chemical warfare agents. Inhal Toxicol. 2004;16:491-5 pubmed
    ..Our subjects were selected among all those who were in chemically contaminated areas with chemical warfare agents (CWA) and had been registered for an annual checkup...
  21. Kehe K, Thiermann H, Balszuweit F, Eyer F, Steinritz D, Zilker T. Acute effects of sulfur mustard injury--Munich experiences. Toxicology. 2009;263:3-8 pubmed publisher
    ..3 patients needed tracheotomy. Chest X-ray did not yield abnormal observations. This presentation summarizes the experience of treating SM victims in Munich and discusses therapeutic implications. ..
  22. Hefazi M, Maleki M, Mahmoudi M, Tabatabaee A, Balali Mood M. Delayed complications of sulfur mustard poisoning in the skin and the immune system of Iranian veterans 16-20 years after exposure. Int J Dermatol. 2006;45:1025-31 pubmed
    ..Although skin is a major transporting system for SM's systemic absorption, there is probably no correlation between the severity of late cutaneous and immunological complications of SM poisoning. ..
  23. Panahi Y, Davoudi S, Sadr S, Naghizadeh M, Mohammadi Mofrad M. Impact of pruritus on quality of life in sulfur mustard-exposed Iranian veterans. Int J Dermatol. 2008;47:557-61 pubmed publisher
    ..002), and daily activities (P = 0.036) were worst in patients with severe itching. Chemically injured veterans suffering from severe itching have a significantly poorer quality of life than do patients with milder symptoms. ..
  24. Ghanei M, Amiri S, Akbari H, Kosari F, Khalili A, Alaeddini F, et al. Correlation of sulfur mustard exposure and tobacco use with expression (immunoreactivity) of p53 protein in bronchial epithelium of Iranian "mustard lung" patients. Mil Med. 2007;172:70-4 pubmed
    ..Initial data trends suggest an additive contribution of SM exposure and smoking to p53 immunoreactivity. These results illustrate the use of p53 immunoreactivity in the characterization of COPD, including mustard lung. ..
  25. Kita K, Suzuki T, Ochi T. Down-regulation of glutaminase C in human hepatocarcinoma cell by diphenylarsinic acid, a degradation product of chemical warfare agents. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 2007;220:262-70 pubmed
    ..Selective inhibition of GAC expression by DPAA may be a cause of dysfunction of glutamatergic neuronal transmission and the resultant neurological impairments. ..
  26. Kuca K, Jun D, Bajgar J. Currently used cholinesterase reactivators against nerve agent intoxication: comparison of their effectivity in vitro. Drug Chem Toxicol. 2007;30:31-40 pubmed
    ..Moreover, oxime HI-6 (the most effective one) was not able to reactivate tabun- and soman-inhibited AChE. Due to this fact, it could be designated as a partially broad-spectrum reactivator...
  27. Ghanei M, Mokhtari M, Mohammad M, Aslani J. Bronchiolitis obliterans following exposure to sulfur mustard: chest high resolution computed tomography. Eur J Radiol. 2004;52:164-9 pubmed
    ..These findings suggest the diagnosis of bronchiolitis obliterans (BO). We did not encounter chest HRCT features consistent with pulmonary fibrosis. ..
  28. Ghanei M, Tazelaar H, Chilosi M, Harandi A, Peyman M, Akbari H, et al. An international collaborative pathologic study of surgical lung biopsies from mustard gas-exposed patients. Respir Med. 2008;102:825-30 pubmed publisher
    ..Surgical lung biopsy may be helpful in difficult cases, as constrictive (obliterative) bronchiolitis can be present in symptomatic patients with normal PFTs and chest HRCT. ..
  29. Ghasemi H, Ghazanfari T, Ghassemi Broumand M, Javadi M, Babaei M, Soroush M, et al. Long-term ocular consequences of sulfur mustard in seriously eye-injured war veterans. Cutan Ocul Toxicol. 2009;28:71-7 pubmed publisher
    ..Although many descriptive studies about SM-induced ocular injuries are present in the medical literature, few of them have been conducted over a large group with serious ocular involvement...
  30. Pourfarzam S, Ghazanfari T, Yaraee R, Ghasemi H, Hassan Z, Faghihzadeh S, et al. Serum levels of IL-8 and IL-6 in the long term pulmonary complications induced by sulfur mustard: Sardasht-Iran Cohort Study. Int Immunopharmacol. 2009;9:1482-8 pubmed publisher
  31. Kuca K, Juna D, Musilek K. Structural requirements of acetylcholinesterase reactivators. Mini Rev Med Chem. 2006;6:269-77 pubmed
    ..It is shown that there are several structural fragments possibly involving in the structure of proposed AChE reactivators. Finally, an attempt of a future course of new AChE reactivators development is discussed. ..
  32. Cook D, David J, Griffiths G. Retrospective identification of ricin in animal tissues following administration by pulmonary and oral routes. Toxicology. 2006;223:61-70 pubmed
    ..In addition the oral toxicity of the crude ricin administered was found to be higher than expected in the rat, based upon published information and an unpublished in house murine study. ..
  33. Maxwell D, Koplovitz I, Worek F, Sweeney R. A structure-activity analysis of the variation in oxime efficacy against nerve agents. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 2008;231:157-64 pubmed publisher
  34. Arroyo C, Burman D, Kahler D, Nelson M, Corun C, Guzman J, et al. TNF-alpha expression patterns as potential molecular biomarker for human skin cells exposed to vesicant chemical warfare agents: sulfur mustard (HD) and Lewisite (L). Cell Biol Toxicol. 2004;20:345-59 pubmed
    Studies were conducted to examine the effect of two vesicant chemical warfare agents (VCWA), one of them an arsenical, on cytokine gene expression in normal human epidermal keratinocyte (NHEK) cells...
  35. Baille V, Clarke P, Brochier G, Dorandeu F, Verna J, Four E, et al. Soman-induced convulsions: the neuropathology revisited. Toxicology. 2005;215:1-24 pubmed
    ..In soman poisoning as well as in other cerebral pathologies, premature conclusions on this question can potentially be misleading and might even lead to detrimental therapies. ..
  36. Kehe K, Szinicz L. Medical aspects of sulphur mustard poisoning. Toxicology. 2005;214:198-209 pubmed
    Sulphur mustard is one of the major chemical warfare agents developed and used during World War I. Large stockpiles are still present in several countries. It is relatively easy to produce and might be used as a terroristic weapon...
  37. Wong J, Korcheva V, Jacoby D, Magun B. Intrapulmonary delivery of ricin at high dosage triggers a systemic inflammatory response and glomerular damage. Am J Pathol. 2007;170:1497-510 pubmed
    ..A sublethal dose of ricin failed to induce damage to 28S rRNA in kidney or other extrapulmonary organs. ..
  38. Wetherell J, Price M, Mumford H. A novel approach for medical countermeasures to nerve agent poisoning in the guinea-pig. Neurotoxicology. 2006;27:485-91 pubmed
  39. Dorandeu F, Taysse L, Boudry I, Foquin A, Herodin F, Mathieu J, et al. Cutaneous challenge with chemical warfare agents in the SKH-1 hairless mouse. (I) Development of a model for screening studies in skin decontamination and protection. Hum Exp Toxicol. 2011;30:470-90 pubmed publisher
    Exposure to lethal chemical warfare agents (CWAs) is no longer only a military issue due to the terrorist threat...
  40. Davoudi S, Keshavarz S, Sadr B, Shohrati M, Naghizadeh M, Farsinejad K, et al. Skin hydration and transepidermal water loss in patients with a history of sulfur mustard contact: a case-control study. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2009;23:940-4 pubmed publisher
    ..Contact with sulfur mustard agent can alter biophysical properties of the skin--especially the function of stratum corneum as a barrier to water loss-several years after exposure. ..
  41. Ghazanfari T, Faghihzadeh S, Aragizadeh H, Soroush M, Yaraee R, Mohammad Hassan Z, et al. Sardasht-Iran cohort study of chemical warfare victims: design and methods. Arch Iran Med. 2009;12:5-14 pubmed
    ..This paper describes the design and methodology of Sardasht-Iran Cohort Study...
  42. Balali Mood M, Hefazi M, Mahmoudi M, Jalali E, Attaran D, Maleki M, et al. Long-term complications of sulphur mustard poisoning in severely intoxicated Iranian veterans. Fundam Clin Pharmacol. 2005;19:713-21 pubmed
  43. Barr J. Analysis of biological samples for chemical warfare agents. J Anal Toxicol. 2008;32:1 pubmed
  44. Vijayaraghavan R, Gautam A, Kumar O, Pant S, Sharma M, Singh S, et al. Protective effect of ethanolic and water extracts of sea buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides L.) against the toxic effects of mustard gas. Indian J Exp Biol. 2006;44:821-31 pubmed
    ..The present study shows that percutaneous administration of SM induces oxidative stress and ethanolic extract of leaf of H. rhamnoides and H. rhamnoides flavone from fruit can significantly protect it...
  45. McHugh C, Tammariello R, Millard C, Carra J. Improved stability of a protein vaccine through elimination of a partially unfolded state. Protein Sci. 2004;13:2736-43 pubmed
  46. Smith W. Therapeutic options to treat sulfur mustard poisoning--the road ahead. Toxicology. 2009;263:70-3 pubmed publisher
  47. Wang F, Gu H, Swager T. Carbon nanotube/polythiophene chemiresistive sensors for chemical warfare agents. J Am Chem Soc. 2008;130:5392-3 pubmed publisher
  48. Newmark J. Nerve agents. Neurologist. 2007;13:20-32 pubmed
    Nerve agents, the deadliest of the classic chemical warfare agents, primarily function as acetylcholinesterase inhibitors and cause a rapidly progressive cholinergic crisis...
  49. Theriot C, Du X, Tove S, Grunden A. Improving the catalytic activity of hyperthermophilic Pyrococcus prolidases for detoxification of organophosphorus nerve agents over a broad range of temperatures. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol. 2010;87:1715-26 pubmed publisher
    ..has potential for application for decontamination of organophosphorus compounds in certain pesticides and chemical warfare agents under harsh conditions...
  50. Ekström F, Pang Y, Boman M, Artursson E, Akfur C, Börjegren S. Crystal structures of acetylcholinesterase in complex with HI-6, Ortho-7 and obidoxime: structural basis for differences in the ability to reactivate tabun conjugates. Biochem Pharmacol. 2006;72:597-607 pubmed
    ..The low efficiency of HI-6 and the significantly higher efficiency of Ortho-7 and obidoxime may be explained by the differential binding of the oximes in the PAS and active-site gorge of AChE. ..
  51. Kato K, Mizoi M, An Y, Nakano M, Wanibuchi H, Endo G, et al. Oral administration of diphenylarsinic acid, a degradation product of chemical warfare agents, induces oxidative and nitrosative stress in cerebellar Purkinje cells. Life Sci. 2007;81:1518-25 pubmed
  52. Balali Mood M, Hefazi M. Comparison of early and late toxic effects of sulfur mustard in Iranian veterans. Basic Clin Pharmacol Toxicol. 2006;99:273-82 pubmed
    ..Being suggested as the main cause ofassociated with malignancies and recurrent infections, natural killer cells were significantly lower 16 to 20 years after intoxication. ..
  53. Wiener S, Hoffman R. Nerve agents: a comprehensive review. J Intensive Care Med. 2004;19:22-37 pubmed
    ..Nerve agents are perhaps the most feared of potential agents of chemical attack. The authors review the history, physical characteristics, pharmacology, clinical effects, and treatment of these agents. ..