Genotyping of Bacillus anthracis Isolated from Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina


Boris Habrun, Department for Bacteriology and Parasitology, Croatian Veterinary Institute, Savska cesta 143, PO Box 883, HR-10000 Zagreb, Croatia. Tel.: +385 1 612 36 04, Fax: +385 1 619 08 41; E-mail:


Anthrax is a serious disease caused by Bacillus anthracis. Humans can become infected by handling products from infected animals, by breathing spores and rarely by eating undercooked meat from infected animals. The genome of B. anthracis is highly monomorphic and thus shows very low DNA sequence variation. We analysed the molecular characteristics of 12 B. anthracis isolates from outbreaks in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, which have occurred during the past 10 years along with two vaccine strains. Genotyping system based on variable-number tandem repeat analysis at six loci revealed that six isolates belong to genotype from the A1.a cluster whilst six isolates relate to the B2 cluster, compared to 89 previously described genotypes. The distribution of two evolutionarily distant clusters suggests an introduction of B. anthracis to this area in at least two separate events.