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Anthrax (Bacillus anthracis), Molecular Biology of

  1. Kathryn B. Garber

Published Online: 15 SEP 2006

DOI: 10.1002/3527600906.mcb.200300095

Encyclopedia of Molecular Cell Biology and Molecular Medicine

Encyclopedia of Molecular Cell Biology and Molecular Medicine

How to Cite

Garber, K. B. 2006. Anthrax (Bacillus anthracis), Molecular Biology of. Encyclopedia of Molecular Cell Biology and Molecular Medicine. .

Author Information

  1. Emory University School of Medicine, Department of Human Genetics, Atlanta, GA, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 SEP 2006

Abstract

Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax, has been a subject of research for over 150 years, beginning with the work of Rayer and Davaine who found “small filiform bodies” in the blood of anthrax-infected sheep and, from this finding, coined the term bacteria. Several years later, Koch proved conclusively that B. anthracis was the causative agent of anthrax, providing the first demonstration that a disease was caused by a specific bacterium. He later developed the first live attenuated bacterial vaccine with a heat-attenuated strain of B. anthracis. Despite its illustrious beginnings as a subject of research, an understanding of the molecular biology of B. anthracis has lagged behind that of some other bacteria. Bacillus anthracis has recently come back into focus as a target of research with the goal of being able to readily detect this bacterium in environmental samples and to understand its pathogenesis and evolution better.

Keywords:

  • Spore;
  • Phagosome;
  • Endocytosis;
  • Transposon;
  • Virulence Factor;
  • Regulon