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Biological Warfare Human Response Modeling

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The Knowledge Acquisition Matrix Instrument (KAMI) analyzes bioagent-induced diseases that are wartime or terrorist threats but for which only limited human response data is available. In the past, Veridian-Pacific Sierra Research (PSR) developed models for tularemia, Q fever, and Staphylococcal Enterotoxin B based on human clinical data from medical research volunteers. This type of dose-dependent data does not exist for many biological agents. KAMI was developed as an alternative method to collect relevant data. It is a questionnaire that focuses on modeling parameters including infectivity, lethality, onset, illness severity profiles, and time to death or recovery. In 1998, KAMI was distributed to national and international subject matter experts (SMEs) to gather information on anthrax, plague, botulism, and Venezuelan Equine Encephalitis (VEE), based on their experience from animal studies, epidemiology, vaccine development, accidental lab exposures and naturally occurring disease. Subsequently, these SMEs gathered at PSR for a panel meeting to discuss their opinions and work together to reach a consensus on the KAMI data.

They discussed their varying opinions and combined their comments to come up with a final list of signs and symptoms and severity descriptions. They worked collectively to draw time profiles, integrating each person's input. The diversity of the SMEs backgrounds and broad spectrum of experience increased the credibility of their collective responses and feedback.

The first part of this paper describes the data gathering, analysis and results used to generate disease models for the four biological agents. The second part of this paper discusses how these models were used to develop casualty estimates for Allied Medical Publication 8: Medical Planning Guide for the Estimation of NBC Battle Casualties, Volume II: Biological.

Keywords: Application Area: Strategic Defense; OR Methodology: Decision Analysis and Simulation

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: June 1, 2001

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