'Bacillus anthracis and Anthrax': The past, present and future of anthrax research

January 12, 2011

Few strands of bacteria have achieved such a central place in public consciousness as Bacillus anthracis, the bacteria which causes Anthrax. While today it is a feared weapon of bioterrorism Bacillus anthracis has played a significant historical role, especially through the research of the celebrated 19th century scientists Robert Koch and Louis Pasteur, in shaping our understanding of infectious diseases and immunology.

In his new book Bacillus Anthracis and Anthrax Dr Nicholas Bergman brings both of these perspectives together to present a definitive 'state of the field' summary for anthrax research, providing a comprehensive guide to all aspects of the organism, ranging from basic biology to central public health issues.

"With all the attention and research that have been focused on Bacillus anthracis and anthrax in recent years, our understanding of both the organism and the disease has improved dramatically," said Bergman. "This book aims to provide a up-to-date reference that will be useful to scientists, medical and public health personnel, and those playing roles in shaping public policy."

Bacillus Anthracis and Anthrax covers all major aspects of Anthrax biology, from basic biology and pathogenesis to diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of anthrax bioterror-associated issues.

Throughout the book anthrax is considered historically as well biologically, with chapters ranging from the impact of anthrax on human history from 5000 BC by Peter Turnbull and Sean Shadomy, to an assessment of current anthrax vaccination research by Elke Saile and Conrad Quinn, as well as an analysis by Leonard Cole of anthrax as a weapon of war.

The biological analysis of B. anthracis, includes research on life cycle, differentiation, , as well as the interaction of B. anthracis with the immune system.

Bacillus Anthracis and Anthrax also considers the clinical features, diagnosis and treatment of the different forms of human anthrax, as well as a review of animal models of anthrax and their use in research.

While and Anthrax will be a premier reference tool to B. Anthracis and anthrax for microbiologists, immunologists and physiologists it will also serve as an invaluable resource for medical professionals, bioterror experts and all those involved in the issues of .

Explore further: A faster, more sensitive method for detecting anthrax

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