ATR (anthrax toxin receptor):

A type I membrane protein with an extracellular Von Willebrand factor A domain that binds directly to PA.


To reduce the severity of (a disease) or virulence or vitality of a pathogenic agent.


The presence of bacteria in the bloodstream.


Microscopic, single-celled organisms that have some biochemical and structural features different from those of animal and plant cells.

Basic research:

Fundamental, theoretical, or experimental investigation to advance scientific knowledge, with immediate practical application not being a direct objective.


For a particular indicator or performance goal, the industry measure of best performance. The benchmarking process identifies the best performance in the industry (health care or non-health care) for a particular process or outcome, determines how that performance is achieved, and applies the lessons learned to improve performance.

Benign prostatic hypertrophy:

Nonmalignant (noncancerous) enlargement of the prostate gland, a common occurrence in older men.


Tonic spasm of the orbicularis oculi muscle, producing more or less complete closure of the eyelids.

Broad-spectrum antibiotic:

An antibiotic effective against a large number of bacterial species. It generally describes antibiotics effective against both gram-positive and gram-negative classes of bacteria.

BSL (biosafety level):

Specific combinations of work practices, safety equipment, and facilities designed to minimize the exposure of workers and the environment to infectious agents. Biosafety level 1 applies to agents that do not ordinarily cause human disease. Biosafety level 2 is appropriate for agents that can cause human disease, but whose potential for transmission is limited. Biosafety level 3 applies to agents that may be transmitted by the respiratory route, which can cause serious infection. Biosafety level 4 is used for the diagnosis of exotic agents that pose a high risk of life-threatening disease, which may be transmitted by the aerosol route and for which there is no vaccine or therapy.

BT (bioterrorism):

Terrorism using biological agents. Biological diseases and the agents that might be used for terrorism have been listed by the CDC and comprise viruses, bacteria, rickettsiae, fungi, and biological toxins. These agents have been classified according to the degree of danger each agent is felt to pose into one of three categories: A, B, and C (see definitions below).

Category A Biological Disease:

High-priority agents include organisms that pose a risk to national security because they can be easily disseminated or transmitted person-to-person, cause high mortality, with potential for major public health impact, might cause public panic and social disruption, and require

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