Indian Journal of Dermatology
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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 62  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 456-458

Anthrax: Where margins are merging between emerging threats and bioterrorism

1 Department of Microbiology, Calcutta National Medical College, Kolkata, West Bengal, India
2 Department of Microbiology, Dr. B C Roy Postgraduate Institute of Pediatric Sciences, Kolkata, West Bengal, India
3 Department of Microbiology, School of Tropical Medicine, Kolkata, West Bengal, India

Correspondence Address:
Dibyendu Banerjee
CNMC, Kolkata, West Bengal
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijd.IJD_378_17

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National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases has classified all the emerging infectious diseases agents under three categories. Among Category A priority pathogens comes Bacillus anthracis –the causative agent of Anthrax. It is a gram positive spore bearing bacteria, and the disease is typically associated with grazing animals, and affects the people as a zoonosis. The disease can be classically transmitted by three routes namely: cutaneous, gastrointestinal and pulmonary, with a fourth route recently identified as “injection anthrax”, seen in intravenous drug abusers. Cutaneous anthrax is the commonest form in humans, accounting for 95% of all the cases. There are two main virulence factors of this bacteria, a capsule and an exotoxin, each carried by a separate toxin. Two models have been used for explaining the pathogenesis of this infection. The earlier one or “Trojan horse” model is now replaced with “jail-break” model. Centers for disease control (CDC) has issued updated guidelines for diagnosis, post-exposure prophylaxis and treatment. For immunization, anthrax vaccine absorbed is available.

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