Author(s): Goel AK
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Abstract Bioterrorism has received a lot of attention in the first decade of this century. Biological agents are considered attractive weapons for bioterrorism as these are easy to obtain, comparatively inexpensive to produce and exhibit widespread fear and panic than the actual potential of physical damage. Bacillus anthracis (B. anthracis), the etiologic agent of anthrax is a Gram positive, spore forming, non-motile bacterium. This is supposed to be one of the most potent BW agents because its spores are extremely resistant to natural conditions and can survive for several decades in the environment. B. anthracis spores enter the body through skin lesion (cutaneous anthrax), lungs (pulmonary anthrax), or gastrointestinal route (gastrointestinal anthrax) and germinate, giving rise to the vegetative form. Anthrax is a concern of public health also in many countries where agriculture is the main source of income including India. Anthrax has been associated with human history for a very long time and regained its popularity after Sept 2001 incidence in United States. The present review article describes the history, biology, life cycle, pathogenicity, virulence, epidemiology and potential of B. anthracis as biological weapon.
This article was published in World J Clin Cases
and referenced in Journal of Bioterrorism & Biodefense