Related topics: antibiotics

When dangerous toxins teach fundamental biology

"What our work shows is how a complex in the center of the cell, the ER-Golgi interaction region, controls plasma membrane cholesterol, which is essential for many cellular functions, if not essential for multicellular life," ...

Engineering an enzyme against antibiotic-resistant anthrax

In the 2001 "Amerithrax" attacks, anthrax-causing spores were sent through the mail to media outlets and members of Congress, sickening at least 22 people and killing five. Antibiotic-resistant strains of the bacteria are ...

New feral swine research helps pinpoint anthrax risk zones

A microscopic anthrax spore can lie dormant in the soil for decades until it ends up in a suitable host. Factor in feral swine and their natural tendency to root and wallow, and whose exploding population is estimated at ...

Anthrax arms race helped Europeans evolve against disease

New research from the Cornell College of Veterinary Medicine has revealed how humans evolved greater resistance against anthrax multiple times during history: when they developed a diet of more ruminants, and when agricultural ...

Flies may also spread disease among monkeys and apes

People the world over have a good sense that flies are filthy and that we do not want them landing on our food during our summer picnics. Research has justified that disgust, showing that flies associated with humans and ...

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Anthrax

Anthrax is an acute disease caused by Bacillus anthracis. It affects both humans and animals and most forms of the disease are highly lethal. There are effective vaccines against anthrax, and some forms of the disease respond well to antibiotic treatment.

Like many other members of the genus Bacillus, Bacillus anthracis can form dormant spores that are able to survive in harsh conditions for extremely long periods of time—even decades or centuries. Such spores can be found on all continents, even Antarctica. When spores are inhaled, ingested, or come into contact with a skin lesion on a host they may reactivate and multiply rapidly.

Anthrax commonly infects wild and domesticated herbivorous mammals which ingest or inhale the spores while browsing—in fact, ingestion is thought to be the most common route by which herbivores contract anthrax. Carnivores living in the same environment may become infected by consuming infected animals. Diseased animals can spread anthrax to humans, either by direct contact (e.g. inoculation of infected blood to broken skin) or consumption of diseased animals' flesh.

Anthrax spores can be produced in vitro and used as a biological weapon. Anthrax does not spread directly from one infected animal or person to another, but spores can be transported by clothing or shoes and the body of an animal that died of anthrax can also be a source of anthrax spores.

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA