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 company formed around Michigan State University nanotechnology promises to move speedy detection of deadly pathogens and toxins from the laboratory directly to the field.
For the 26 million Americans with diabetes, drawing blood is the most prevalent way to check glucose levels. It is invasive and at least minimally painful. Researchers at Brown University are working on a new sensor that can check blood sugar levels by measuring glucose concentrations in saliva instead.
The Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues will hold a public meeting February 2-3 in San Francisco, CA.
Soligenix, Inc., a development stage biopharmaceutical company, announced today results from long-term stability studies of its proprietary DNI anthrax rPA subunit protein vaccine, known as SGX204.
Vaccination with the anthrax capsule-a naturally occurring component of the bacterium that causes the disease-protected monkeys from lethal anthrax infection, according to U.S. Army scientists. The study, which appears in the Jan. 20th print edition of the journal VACCINE, represents the first successful use of a non-toxin vaccine to protect monkeys from the disease.
Human Genome Sciences, Inc. will today announce its priority goals for 2012 and report on progress with the commercialization of BENLYSTA (belimumab), the first approved drug for systemic lupus in 56 years, during a presentation this afternoon by H. Thomas Watkins, President and Chief Executive Officer, to financial analysts and investors at the 30th Annual JPMorgan Healthcare Conference in San Francisco.
It has been a decade since the anthrax attacks brought home the reality of bioterrorism and the nation has a stockpile of some basic tools to fight back against a few of the threats that worry defense experts the most.
The doors to the new, state-of-the-art emergency center at 1653 W. Congress Parkway will be the first to "open in the new hospital building at Rush University Medical Center at 6 a.m. CT on Friday, Jan. 6. Rush's current emergency department will close early Friday morning when the department goes on bypass during the move to the new facility.
Trust for America's Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation concluded the nation's public health capacity is being undermined by funding cuts to state and local health departments.
Two major scientific journals are debating on whether to publish details of a man-made mutant flu virus that could kill billions, after a US government's science advisory committee advised them to withhold key details.
PharmAthene, Inc. today announced that the Delaware Court of Chancery has denied SIGA Technologies' motion for reargument filed on October 4, 2011, upholding the Court's original September 22, 2011 decision awarding PharmAthene 50% of the net profits over ten years from all sales of SIGA's smallpox antiviral therapeutic, ST-246, and related products, after SIGA receives the first $40 million in net profits.
Soligenix, Inc., a development stage biopharmaceutical company, announced today that it has initiated a next generation anthrax vaccine development program pursuant to a field-exclusive option agreement with Harvard University to negotiate a license under patent rights that cover prophylactic uses of a modified anthrax toxin protein.
Water discharged into lakes and rivers from municipal sewage treatment plants may contain significant concentrations of the genes that make bacteria antibiotic-resistant. That's the conclusion of a new study on a sewage treatment plant on Lake Superior in the Duluth, Minn., harbor that appears in ACS' journal Environmental Science & Technology.
A new study has shown previously unseen details of an anthrax bacteriophage - a virus that infects anthrax bacteria - revealing for the first time how it infects its host, and providing an initial blueprint for how the phage might someday be modified into a tool for the detection and destruction of anthrax and other potential bioterror agents.
Although scientists have known for centuries that many bacteria produce hydrogen sulfide (H2S) it was thought to be simply a toxic by-product of cellular activity. Now, researchers at NYU School of Medicine have discovered H2S in fact plays a major role in protecting bacteria from the effects of numerous different antibiotics.
iBio, Inc. today announced notice of issuance from the United States Patent and Trademark Office for US Patent 8,058,511, entitled "System for Expression of Genes in Plants," that further extends iBio's patent coverage of viral vectors comprising its iBioLaunch platform.
An important panel of government advisers Friday recommended that the government should sponsor a controversial study to test the anthrax vaccine in children to see whether the inoculation would protect young Americans against a bioterrorist's attack.
One of the things that makes inhalational anthrax so worrisome for biodefense experts is how quickly a relatively small number of inhaled anthrax spores can turn into a lethal infection. By the time an anthrax victim realizes he or she has something worse than the flu and seeks treatment, it's often too late; even the most powerful antibiotics may be no help against the spreading bacteria and the potent toxins they generate.
Four companies are to develop broad-spectrum therapeutics-antibiotics, antivirals and an antitoxin-to prevent or treat diseases caused by multiple types of bacteria or viruses, under contracts awarded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health.
Emergent BioSolutions Inc. today announced that, in response to solicitation RFP-2011-N-13414, it has received an award to supply the U.S. government with 44.75 million doses of BioThrax (Anthrax Vaccine Adsorbed) over a period of five years for a total value of up to $1.25 billion.