- Caused by Bacillus anthracis (gram-positive spore-forming rod)
- Category A bioterrorism agent
- Causes zoonotic disease
- Cutaneous anthrax/ Hide porter’s disease: Most common form; characterized by malignant pustule with black eschar. Common in dock workers.
- Most fatal form: Pulmonary anthrax
- Virulence factors:
- Edema factor
- Lethal factor
- Polypeptide capsule.
- Gram stain: Bamboo stick appearance
- Gelatin: Inverted far tree appearance
- PLET agar: Medusa head colony
- McFadyean’s reaction: When a blood film containing anthrax bacilli is stained using polychrome methylene blue and observed under microscope, a purplish coat (capsule) is seen around a blue stained bacilli.
- Drug of choice for treatment & prophylaxis: Ciprofloxacin.
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