Bacillus anthracis is a gram-positive spore-forming aerobic rod
-Spores are the infectious form of the organism
-They cause a zoonotic infectious disease called Anthrax
-the spores are inoculated through the skin, ingested, or inhaled
-Anthrax occurs naturally in mammals and human anthrax follows exposure to infected animals or animal products or rarely bioterrorism
Symptoms & Signs
Clinically, the disease occurs in three forms: Cutaneous, inhalational, and gastrointestinal
Cutaneous anthrax: the most common and the least morbid form of anthrax.
A painless papule progressing through vesicular, pustular, and escharotic phases resulting in painless, umbilicated ulcer (black eschar/malignant pustule); It can be associated with fever, headache, chills, cough, dyspnea, chest pain, vomiting, and fatigue.
Inhalation anthrax: Fever, cough, dyspnea, respiratory failure, pleural effusion, hemoptysis, mediastinal edema and widening
Gastrointestinal anthrax: nausea, vomiting, ulcers, bloody diarrhea, abdominal pain, ascites, and shock
Culture of skin lesions, sputum, blood, and CSF
CXR: a widened mediastinum and pleural effusions
-Antibiotics: Ciprofloxacin, Doxycycline, Amoxicillin, Penicillin, Rifampin, Clindamycin, Clarithromycin, Erythromycin, Vancomycin, Imipenem
Q. What is the most sensitive test for inhalational disease? Chest radiograph
Q.What is the most accurate predictor of inhalation anthrax on chest radiograph? Mediastinal widening