An overview of anthrax infection including the recently identified form of disease in injection drug users.
Summary of "An overview of anthrax infection including the recently identified form of disease in injection drug users."
Bacillus anthracis infection (anthrax) can be highly lethal. Two recent outbreaks related to contaminated mail in the USA and heroin in the UK and Europe and its potential as a bioterrorist weapon have greatly increased concerns over anthrax in the developed world.
This review summarizes the microbiology, pathogenesis, diagnosis, and management of anthrax. RESULTS AND
Anthrax, a gram-positive bacterium, has typically been associated with three forms of infection: cutaneous, gastrointestinal, and inhalational. However, the anthrax outbreak among injection drug users has emphasized the importance of what is now considered a fourth disease form (i.e., injectional anthrax) that is characterized by severe soft tissue infection. While cutaneous anthrax is most common, its early stages are distinct and prompt appropriate treatment commonly produces a good outcome. However, early symptoms with the other three disease forms can be nonspecific and mistaken for less lethal conditions. As a result, patients with gastrointestinal, inhalational, or injectional anthrax may have advanced infection at presentation that can be highly lethal. Once anthrax is suspected, the diagnosis can usually be made with gram stain and culture from blood or tissue followed by confirmatory testing (e.g., PCR). While antibiotics are the mainstay of anthrax treatment, use of adjunctive therapies such as anthrax toxin antagonists are a consideration. Prompt surgical therapy appears to be important for successful management of injectional anthrax.
Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine, Cleveland, OH, 44122, USA.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Intensive care medicine
- PubMed Source: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22527064
- DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00134-012-2541-0
Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions
An acute infection caused by the spore-forming bacteria BACILLUS ANTHRACIS. It commonly affects hoofed animals such as sheep and goats. Infection in humans often involves the skin (cutaneous anthrax), the lungs (inhalation anthrax), or the gastrointestinal tract. Anthrax is not contagious and can be treated with antibiotics.
A self-limiting bacterial infection of the regional lymph nodes caused by AFIPIA felis, a gram-negative bacterium recently identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and by BARTONELLA HENSELAE. It usually arises one or more weeks following a feline scratch, with raised inflammatory nodules at the site of the scratch being the primary symptom.
Any infection acquired in the community, that is, contrasted with those acquired in a health care facility (CROSS INFECTION). An infection would be classified as community-acquired if the patient had not recently been in a health care facility or been in contact with someone who had been recently in a health care facility.
Sverdlovsk Accidental Release
ANTHRAX outbreak that occurred in 1979 and was associated with a research facility in Sverdlovsk, in the Ural mountain region of central RUSSIA. Most victims worked or lived in a narrow zone extending from the facility. The zone of anthrax-caused livestock mortality paralleled the northerly wind that prevailed shortly before the outbreak. It was concluded that an escape of ANTHRAX caused outbreak.
Infection with a fungus of the genus COCCIDIOIDES, endemic to the SOUTHWESTERN UNITED STATES. It is sometimes called valley fever but should not be confused with RIFT VALLEY FEVER. Infection is caused by inhalation of airborne, fungal particles known as arthroconidia, a form of FUNGAL SPORES. A primary form is an acute, benign, self-limited respiratory infection. A secondary form is a virulent, severe, chronic, progressive granulomatous disease with systemic involvement. It can be detected by use of COCCIDIOIDIN.
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