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Les Baillie

and Theresa Huwar

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date: 23 January 2022

Anthrax is caused by the bacterium Bacillus anthracis, a Gram-positive aerobic spore-forming bacillus, primarily infecting herbivores. Although rare in the developed world the organism remains a threat to livestock in African and Asian countries where control depends on appropriate animal husbandry approaches such as vaccination and disposal/decontamination of carcasses. Animals are thought to contract anthrax by ingesting spores from contaminated soil while humans become infected via contact with diseased animals, their products or as a consequence of acts of bio-terrorism such as occurred in 2001. This unprecedented act has stimulated a burst of research, shedding new light on the biology of the organism and its ability to cause disease. It is to be hoped that this renewed interest will see anthrax once more regain the status of an exotic disease of antiquity.

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