Anthrax, a zoonotic disease of herbivorous animals transmissible from animals to man, occurs primarily in three forms: cutaneous, inhalation, and gastrointestinal. Meningitis and septicemia occur but are secondary to one of the primary forms; occasionally, cases of anthrax meningitis are reported in which a primary focus is not identified. The etiological agent is Bacillus anthracis, a gram-positive organism that in its spore form can persist in nature for prolonged periods, possibly years. The incidence of anthrax has decreased over the past 60 years, so that currently, human cases are seen only occasionally in the United States, where reporting is probably fairly accurate. Synonyms for anthrax include charbon, malignant pustule, Siberian ulcer, malignant edema, woolsorters’ disease, and ragpickers’ disease.


Protective Antigen Bacillus Anthracis Anthrax Vaccine Acute Bacterial Infection Anthrax Infection 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Philip S. Brachman
    • 1
  1. 1.Emory University School of Public HealthAtlantaUSA

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