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.
The idea that disease and infection might be used as weapons is truly dreadful, but there is plenty of evidence showing that biological weapons have been around since ancient times. Bioterrorism, as it is dubbed, is nothing new, and although medicines have made the world a safer place against a myriad of old scourges both natural and manmade, it still remains all too easy today to uncork a nasty cloud of germs.
A trawl of the genome of the deadly bacterium Bacillus anthracis has revealed a clutch of targets for new drugs to combat an epidemic of anthrax or a biological weapons attack.
PharmAthene, Inc., a biodefense company developing medical countermeasures against biological and chemical threats, announced today it has received notification from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that its SparVax rPA anthrax vaccine program has been placed on clinical hold.
A new rapid test to diagnose melioidosis, a difficult infection to treat - and classified as a biothreat by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - is being optimized and tested by University of Nevada School of Medicine researcher David AuCoin.
Human Genome Sciences, Inc. announced today that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has acknowledged receipt of the resubmission of the Biologics License Application (BLA) for raxibacumab, a treatment for inhalational anthrax, and has established December 15, 2012 as the Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA) action date.
A new global study mapping human-animal diseases like tuberculosis (TB) and Rift Valley fever finds that an "unlucky" 13 zoonoses are responsible for 2.4 billion cases of human illness and 2.2 million deaths per year. The vast majority occur in low- and middle-income countries.
iBio, Inc. today announced that the US Patent Office has allowed patent application 11/706,576 entitled "Bacillus anthracis Antigens, Vaccine Compositions, and Related Methods."
Bacteria are omnipresent - in the water, the air and the soil, as well as in plants, animals and even people. We tend to think of bacteria as pathogenic, causing disease. We associate them with intestinal upsets and throat infections, pneumonia and blood poisoning.
The latest episode in the American Chemical Society's (ACS') award-winning Global Challenges/Chemistry Solutions podcast series describes a simple, inexpensive dip-and-dry treatment can convert ordinary silk into a fabric that kills disease-causing bacteria - even the armor-coated spores of microbes like anthrax - in minutes.
A special feature in this week's issue of the journal Science highlights protein array technology, touching on research conducted by Joshua LaBaer, director of the Biodesign Institute's Virginia G. Piper Center for Personalized Diagnostics.
Today's headlines include a report that congressional conservatives are fighting amongst themselves over health law strategies.
Emergent BioSolutions Inc. announced today that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved its supplemental Biologics License Application (sBLA) to change the administration schedule of BioThrax (Anthrax Vaccine Adsorbed) to a three-dose primary series of intramuscular injections at 0, 1, and 6 months.
Soligenix, Inc., a development stage biopharmaceutical company, announced today its financial results for the quarter ending March 31, 2012.
Aradigm Corporation today announced financial results for the first quarter and three months ended March 31, 2012.
iBio, Inc. today announced issuance of a US patent covering compositions of matter and methods of use of modified lichenase B polypeptides comprising the Company's iBioModulator platform.
Neighbors were already concerned about the growing number of group homes for the elderly and recovering addicts in the area, many of them for profit. A Times analysis found 24 licensed facilities offering residential care for the elderly within a mile of the proposed project and three more waiting for state approval. It is one of several such clusters that have emerged in Los Angeles County -- including parts of the San Fernando Valley and South Bay -- where families can afford fees that run into thousands of dollars per month. Large swaths of the county's less affluent areas have no such facilities.
D.C. Council member David A. Catania has found an additional $20 million in the budget to continue offering free health insurance to 19,000 undocumented immigrants, reversing a proposal by Mayor Vincent C. Gray (D) that could have restricted them from receiving emergency care. Catania (I-At Large) … has made full funding of the Alliance Insurance program a chief priority as the council prepares for final budget deliberations.
Soldiers in war zones and farmers tending their fields can have in common chronic exposure to chemicals that impact their nerves.
PaxVax Corporation, developer of innovative and socially responsible oral vaccines against infectious diseases, announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has accepted its investigational new drug (IND) application for its single-dose oral cholera vaccine, clearing the way to begin clinical trials. The company intends to begin Phase 3 trials later this year.
Aradigm Corporation today announced that the Company's Investigational New Drug Application (IND) to conduct a pivotal Phase 3 clinical trial of Pulmaquin (dual release ciprofloxacin for inhalation) in non-cystic fibrosis bronchiectasis (BE) has been cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.