Anthrax: History, Biology, Global Distribution, Clinical Aspects, Immunology, and Molecular Biology

by

Robert E. Levin

DOI: 10.2174/97816080588601140101
eISBN: 978-1-60805-886-0, 2014
ISBN: 978-1-60805-887-7



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Table of Contents

Foreword

- Pp. i
Ronald G. Labbe
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Preface

- Pp. ii
Robert E. Levin
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History, Global Distribution, and Non-Natural Incidents of Anthrax

- Pp. 3-23 (21)
Robert E. Levin

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Characteristics of Bacillus anthracis

- Pp. 24-46 (23)
Robert E. Levin

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Clinical Aspects and The Infectious Process of Anthrax

- Pp. 47-68 (22)
Robert E. Levin

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Functionality of Bacillus anthracis Toxins

- Pp. 69-111 (43)
Robert E. Levin

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Vaccine Development and Immunological Aspects of Bacillus anthracis

- Pp. 112-207 (96)
Robert E. Levin

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Genetics and Molecular Techniques for Detection and Identification of Bacillus anthracis

- Pp. 208-275 (68)
Robert E. Levin

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Index

- Pp. 276-291 (16)
Robert E. Levin
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Foreword

This work consists of the latest presentation of our knowledge of Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax in a single volume. There are few better illustrations of the importance of "pure" research than the elucidation of the genetic factors involved in the virulence of B. anthracis in view of its recent emergence as a major potential instrument of biological warfare. An understanding of the relationship of B. anthracis to other members of the B. cereus group is essential for anyone working with B. anthracis and has been fully described in chapter two, and thoroughly elucidated with the application of molecular techniques presented in chapter six. The symptomatic aspects of the three forms of anthrax: cutaneous, gastrointestinal, and inhalation, manifest distinct clinical symptoms, and are thoroughly presented with appropriate illustrations in chapter three. Although several human vaccines have been developed and used over the years with reported success, the development of a reliably effective human vaccine devoid of adverse reactions and not requiring periodic boosting is still elusive, particularly a vaccine against inhalation anthrax. The highly detailed presentation of developmental vaccine efforts over the years in chapter five is comprehensive and should serve as a guide for future efforts in this area. The student and others will find this volume highly informative and replete with extensive references to the published literature.

Ronald G. Labbe
University of Massachusetts
Amherst
USA


Preface

Following the post 9/11/2001 distribution of anthrax spores through the U.S. mail, and the resulting deaths of five individuals, primarily due to initial misdiagnosis, there has been a renewed interest in anthrax, particularly as a biological warfare agent. This volume is an attempt to bring forth all essential aspects of anthrax. Included are its early history, non-natural outbreaks of anthrax, characteristics of the causative organism Bacillus anthracis and its relationship to other members of the B. cereus family. Also extensively included are clinical aspects, mechanisms of anthrax virulence and genetics of virulence factors. The extensive studies over the years regarding the development of veterinary and human vaccines, genetics of virulence, and molecular studies including conventional PCR and real-time PCR are dealt with in complete detail, with inclusion of a multitude of primers and probes. The author hopes that this text will serve as an advanced presentation and reference work for individuals pursuing introductory and advanced information regarding anthrax and as a guide for individuals contemplating studies on anthrax. The format, organization, tables, figures, and extensive references to the published literature should facilitate its use as an advanced text.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

The author wishes to acknowledge the assistance of Ruth Whitkowski in proof reading certain portions of the text.

CONFLICT OF INTEREST

The author confirms that the ebook content has no conflict of interest.

Robert E. Levin
University of Massachusetts
Amherst
USA
E-mail: relevin@foodfci.umass.edu

List of Contributors

Author(s):
Robert E. Levin
University of Massachusetts
Amherst
USA




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