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Bacillus anthracis and its activity in Anthrax

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1 Bacillus anthracis and its activity in Anthrax
Lance Morrison

2 General anthrax info Identified in 1800s
Mostly effected livestock (transmit to humans) Showed to be related to B. anthracis in (Robert Koch) First effective vaccine 1881 (Louis Pasteur) Present day, much less common, isolated outbreaks

3 Anthrax (cont.) Infect by inhalation, ingestion, contact with open skin wound (cutaneous) In humans, cutaneous is most common Bioweapon via inhalation

4 Bacillus anthracis Rod shape, Gram-positive bacteria Forms endospores
Can synthesize a protein capsule Synthesizes three important proteins: Edema Factor Lethal Factor Protective Antigen

5 Endospores Created through cell division Dormant, resilient form

6 Endospores Survive for extended periods in soil
y.o. spores (de Vos, 1990) Can be reactivated by change in environment Nutrient rich = survival, replication

7 Protein Capsule Avoid immune responses Very unsure of full role

8 Bacillus anthracis Genetics
1 chromosome, 2 Plasmids (pXO1, pXO2) pXO1 – Edema Factor, Lethal Factor, Protective antigen pXO2 – Protein Capsule (polyglutamate)

9 pXO1 – Okinaka et al. Purify plasmid from pXO1+, pXO2- strain
Shotgun sequencing method GeneMark software


11 LF, EF, PA Protective antigen binds to copies of itself
Complex binds to lethal factor and edema factor Lethal Toxin, Edema Toxin

12 Vaccines Pasteur – 1881, Weakened Cell vaccine
Sterne – 1935, Attenuated Cell vaccine Anthrax Vaccine Adsorbed – 1970,

13 Works Cited Bravata DM, Holty JE, Liu H, McDonald KM, Olshen RA, Owens DK (February 2006). "Systematic review: a century of inhalational anthrax cases from 1900 to 2005". Ann Intern Med144 (4): 270– 80 de Vos V (1990). “The ecology of anthrax in the Kruger national Park, South Africa. Salisbury Medical Bulletin”. 68S:19–23. Okinaka, R.T., et al. “Sequence and organization of pXO1, the large Bacillus anthracis plasmid harboring the anthrax toxin genes”. J. Bacteriol. October 1999 vol. 181 no. 20  Pimental RA, Christensen KA, Krantz BA, Collier RJ (September 2004). "Anthrax toxin complexes: heptameric protective antigen can bind lethal factor and edema factor simultaneously". Biochem Biophys Res Commun 322 (1): 258–62. Uchida, I., T. Sekizaki, K. Hashimoto, and N. Terakado “Association of the encapsulation of Bacillus anthracis with a 60 megadalton plasmid”. J. Gen. Microbiol. 131:363–367. The World Health Organization. <>

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