Anthrax is caused by Bacillus anthracis. Humans acquire the disease directly from contact with infected herbivores or indirectly via their products. The clinical forms include:

  1. cutaneous anthrax (eschar with edema), from handling infected material (this accounts for more than 95 percent of cases);
  2. intestinal anthrax, from eating infected meat;
  3. pulmonary anthrax, from inhaling spore-laden dust.

Several other Bacillus spp, in particular Bacillus cereus and to a lesser extent Bacillus subtilis and Bacillus licheniformis, are periodically associated with bacteremia/septicemia, endocarditis, meningitis, and infections of wounds, the ears, eyes, respiratory tract, urinary tract, and gastrointestinal tract.

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