Anthrax (disease)

Routes of contamination and effects on the body

The different contamination by Bacillus anthracis generate various effects on the body. There are three forms of contamination:

  • Cutaneous anthrax.
  • Coal gastrointestinal tract.
  • The inhalation anthrax.
  • The cutaneous form

It is rare in animals but is most common in humans (95% of infections caused by Bacillus anthracis). It is caused by contact between spores and injury. A macule is formed at the site of inoculation, which first causes itching, then a day later, the form of ulcers surrounded by vesicles. The button is pressed and painless, it dries and then covered with a black crust (hence the name of disease). In 80% cases, the wound healed without complications. Nevertheless, in some cases the swelling increases and increases in volume causing a facial deformity or limb. Initially a high fever appears that without treatment causes severe complications. These complications evolve to death in 5% to 20% of cases. The last known case in France would be one of three people infected by a cow slaughtered in November 2008 on a farm in Moselle.

The gastrointestinal form

The infection caused by eating meat containing endospores, an infection caused by Bacillus anthracis from the gastrointestinal tract is uncommon, however. Coal gastrointestinal tract appears where spores are found in the gastrointestinal tract above and below. In the first case, the oropharyngeal form is characterized by the appearance of an oral or esophageal ulcer with lymphadenopathy regional lymph and sepsis. In cases where spores are present in the gastrointestinal tract below the nausea and vomiting is rapidly followed by diarrhea, bloody, perforation of the intestines and sepsis, a ascites mass may appear. The mortality rate of this form is variable but high and can reach 100%.

The respiratory form

This form of coal from the inhalation of spores through contaminated particles (aerosol). Inhalation is followed by a nonspecific influenza-like illness accompanied by fever, muscle aches, headache and cough dry. Spores were deposited in the alveoli are phagocytosed by macrophages. These eventually burst and the spores are released and transported by the lymphatic system to the tracheobronchial lymph nodes. The spores give rise to vegetative forms which multiply and produce toxins to sixty days later. Two to four days after onset of symptoms, it is a sudden worsening of the overall situation. There is insufficient respiratory severe acute chest pain and hypotension. A radiograph of the chest then presents a picture typical of the expansion characteristic of the mediastinal lymphodénopathie mediastinal bleeding and mediastinitis. Sometimes the patient died a few hours after the start of this second phase. A meningitis or hemorrhagic septicemia anthrax may be an additional complication. Coal lung accounts for only 5% of cases, but its mortality rate is estimated between 90 and 100% in its historical form, dropping to less than 50% in forms related to bio-terrorism

Natural Transmission

Infection usually results from exposure to anthrax spores from infected animals dead or alive or contaminated animal products. Transmission between humans has not been proven, patients do not pose a danger and it is not necessary to isolate them.

Transmission through a biological weapon

The deliberate spread of Bacillus anthracis spores in the air can cause respiratory form of anthrax. Attacks using of contaminated envelopes anthrax at the end of 2001 the United States have shown that this bacterium is a germ that can serve the Bioterrorism


The antibiotics administered soon adapted, in sufficient doses and for long enough have a certain efficacy. There are different medications to treat an infection with Bacillus anthracis. They are prescribed according to patient age and degree of the disease. The main ones are:

  •  the ciprofloxacin
  • the ofloxacin
  • the vafloxacine
  • the doxycycline
  •  the amoxicillin
  • the pefloxacin.

There is a vaccine as well as immunoglobulins specific

A antibodies, monoclonal the Raxibacumab directed against a component of the toxin has been tested successfully in animals in inhalation anthrax

A curative effect of walnut leaf against anthrax was reported in 1853 by Louis Pomayrols confirmed in 1880 by Casimir Davaine and in 1955 by Emile Lagrange but does not seem interested in the pharmaceutical industry. It remained unknown to all treaties, including Leon Binet was surprised in 1961 Android app