Chapter 1

Anthrax: A Bacillus Anthracis Infection

Muhammad Imran Qadir and Sidra Zafar

Abstract

Anthrax is a bacterial disease and caused by the transfer of bacterial spores. B. anthracis is gram-positive, non-motile, and aerobic bacteria. There are 3 types of commonly caused anthrax: inhalational anthrax, cutaneous anthrax, and gastrointestinal anthrax; each with its signs and symptoms. In the old days, anthrax is diagnosed by clinical findings and by the exposure history to bacteria. In the laboratory, the Gram staining procedure, ELISA, screening, and serologic assays are used. Antimicrobial drugs are not given at once before the appearance of symptoms unless the evidence is found that the risk is present. Some antibiotics are also found to be effective against B. anthracis such as chloramphenicol, tetracyclines, rifampin, and other first-generation cephalosporins. Anthrax is not transmitted from one individual to another even in case of inhalational anthrax. However, standard precautions must be taken to avoid any risk.

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