Anthrax is an acute infectious disease caused by the spore-forming bacterium Bacillus anthracis. Anthrax most commonly occurs in wild and domestic lower vertebrates (cattle, sheep, goats, camels, antelopes, and other herbivores), but it can also occur in humans when they are exposed to infected animals or tissue from infected animals.
Anthrax is most common in agricultural regions where it occurs in animals. These include South and Central America, Southern and Eastern Europe, Asia, Africa, the Caribbean, and the Middle East. When anthrax affects humans, it is usually due to an occupational exposure to infected animals or their products. Workers who are exposed to dead animals and animal products from other countries where anthrax is more common may become infected with B. anthracis (industrial anthrax). Anthrax outbreaks occur in the United States on an annual basis in livestock and wild game animals such as deer.
Anthrax infection can occur in three forms: cutaneous (skin), inhalation, and gastrointestinal. B. anthracis spores can live in the soil for many years, and humans can become infected with anthrax by handling products from infected animals or by inhaling anthrax spores from contaminated animal products. Anthrax can also be spread by eating undercooked meat from infected animals. It is rare to find infected animals in the United States.
A new study led by Dr. Antonella Fioravanti in the lab of Prof. Han Remaut (VIB-VUB Center for Structural Biology) has shown that removing the armor of the bacterium that causes anthrax slows its growth and negatively affects its ability to cause disease.
While the high cost of prescription drug prices seems to be a universally agreed-upon trouble spot in the American health system, a House Ways and Means subcommittee hearing Thursday showed that Democrats and Republicans are still miles apart on what to do about it.
During the DNA synthesis process in a laboratory, recordings can be made of the subtle, telltale noises made by synthesis machines. And those captured sounds can be used to reverse-engineer valuable, custom-designed genetic materials used in pharmaceuticals, agriculture and other bioengineering fields.
Lab instruments are important tools throughout research and health care. But what if those instruments are leaking valuable information?
There are many ways to slice and dice genomic data to identify a species of bacteria, or at least find its close relatives. But fast techniques to sequence genomes have flooded the public databases and in a biased fashion, containing lots of genomic data about some species and not enough about others, according to a Rice University computer scientist.
The neurologic effects and treatment options for exposure to biologic and chemical agents are outlined in a newly published article by neurologists from the University of Colorado School of Medicine who collaborated on the article with military physicians.
A team led by Professor Arne Skerra at the Technical University of Munich has developed an innovative strategy for preventing the anthrax bacterium from absorbing iron, which is crucial for its survival.
A team of researchers has now engineered a virus nanoparticle vaccine against Bacillus anthracis and Yersinia pestis, tier 1 agents that pose serious threats to national security of the United States. B. anthracis and Y. pestis are the pathogens that cause anthrax and plague, respectively.
By analyzing genomic sequences from more than 400 strains of the bacterium that causes anthrax, researchers have provided the first evidence that the severity - technically known as virulence - of specific strains may be related to the number of copies of certain plasmids they carry.
In a discovery that points to potential new antibiotic medicines, scientists from Rice University and the University of Michigan have deciphered the workings of a common but little-understood bacterial switch that cuts off protein production before it begins.
Bacteria, transformed into dormant spores, can survive millions of years in extreme environments, threatening human life in the form of food poisoning and the biological weapon anthrax. But understanding how bacteria adapt to hostile environments has largely remained a mystery--until now.
Two recent studies led by biologists at the University of California San Diego have set the research groundwork for new avenues to treat influenza and anthrax poisoning
During World War II, the Soviet Red Army was forced to move their biological warfare operations out of the path of advancing Nazi troops. Among the dangerous cargo were vials of Francisella tularensis, the organism that causes tularemia and one of the world's most infectious pathogens.
The impact of climate change on the emergence and spread of infectious diseases could be greater than previously thought, according to new research by the University of Liverpool.
They undertook a modelling study based on six states in the US in areas that are at risk of Zika emergence. The main finding of this study was that the total cost of Zika in these sates had a range that went from approximately 183.4 million dollars to 1.2 billion dollars.
Botulinum neurotoxin is probably best known to Americans as BOTOX, a cosmetic medicine, rather than as a cause of potentially dangerous foodborne illnesses.
Monoclonal antibody-based therapies have revolutionized treatments of cancer and autoimmune diseases because of their specificity and limited toxicity.
Research teams from the National Institutes of Health and abroad have identified the first inhibitor of an enzyme long thought to be a potential drug target for fighting disease-causing parasites and bacteria.
Case Western Reserve University and Q2 Pharma Ltd., an Israeli biopharmaceutical company, have signed a two-year option to license small molecule, antivirulence technology to potentially treat bacterial infections such as methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), the first known scientific effort of its kind.
The virulent pathogen that causes the disease tularemia, or "rabbit fever," was weaponized during past world wars and is considered a potential bioweapon.