Disease caused by Bacillus anthracis

What is Bacillus anthracis?

Bacillus anthracis is a gram-positive, rod-shaped bacterium that is found in soil. It is the causal agent of the disease anthrax.

What is Anthrax and What Are Its Symptoms?

Anthrax is an acute infectious disease caused by the spore-forming bacteria Bacillus anthracis. It affects both humans and animals. Symptoms usually present on the skin or in the respiratory system and can include fever, chills, joint pain, and fatigue.

Types of Anthrax

There are three types of anthrax: Cutaneous, Inhalation, and Gastrointestinal.
  • Cutaneous anthrax is caused by contact with the spores and is found mostly in livestock and wild animals. Symptoms present on the skin and can include an itchy, raised bump, blister, or red spot that eventually forms an ulcer with a black center.
  • Inhalation anthrax is caused by inhalation of the spores. Symptoms include difficulty breathing, fever, and chest tightness.
  • Gastrointestinal anthrax is caused by ingesting contaminated food or water. Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Diagnosis of Anthrax

Anthrax is diagnosed by blood test, nasopharyngeal or bronchial swabs, and tissue biopsy.

Treatment of Anthrax

Treatment of anthrax involves antibiotics such as ciprofloxacin, doxycycline, or penicillin. Vaccines are also available for some types of anthrax.

Prevention of Anthrax

Prevention strategies include vaccination, avoiding contact with infected animals or their carcasses, and wearing protective clothing and respirators when working with potentially contaminated materials.