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Bacillus anthracis

Published on Feb 10, 2016

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Bacillus anthracis



  • From Greek word "anthrakis" (coal)
  • Can survive for decades as spores in soil
  • Was used as a biological warfare agent
  • large Gram positive, aerobic, spore bearing bacillus
  • Only obligate pathogen within genus bacillus
*Greek word for coal due to its black coal like cutaneous eschars
*spores do not form in host tissue unless the infected body fluids are exposed to air


  • Tri- toxin bearing plasmid
  • Cutaneous, gastrointestinal, and inhalation
  • Germination occurs 60 days after exposure
*cause haemorrhage, edema, and necrosis
*3 disease forms


  • Usually caused by contact with infected animals or animal products
  • Humans are generally moderatelly resistant
  • 1979- 1985 largest human epidemic
*factory workers who deal with hides or wool
*one woollen mill workers were inhaling between 600- 1300 spores during an 8 hour shift with no ill effects
*Zimbabwe more than 10,000 cases with most of them were cutaneous


  • Different vaccines for each countries
  • High side effects and costly
  • Penicillin (or nah)
Photo by Daniel Paquet

Biological Warfare

  • 2001 anthrax appeared after 25 years in U.S.
  • First used by Germany in WW1
  • Can cause mass illness

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