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B. anthracis

Overview
 
CAS Number:
Synonyms: Anthrax
Contaminant Type: Microbial

Bacillus anthracis is a Gram-negative, aerobic, spore-forming bacterium. [589] When environmental conditions become unfavorable, the vegetative cells form spores [590] of size 1 micron x 2 micron. [589] The spores are mammalian pathogens. [590] The spores resist heat, drying, freezing and can survive in soil for years. [590] Livestock can become infected by eating or inhaling the spores which germinate in the gut causing the disease in animals.

Anthrax is a disease in humans caused by B. anthracis spores. There are three clinical forms of anthrax: inhalation, dermal and intestinal. [590] The intestinal form results from eating infected animals [589] or by consumption of B. anthracis contaminated water. Human symptoms are nausea, fever, severe abdominal pain and bloody diarrhea. [588] It can lead to death. [589]

The concern for B. anthracis in drinking water is of a possible threat from intentional contamination of spores into water supplies.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention classifies B. anthracis as a Category A agent meaning it poses a threat to the public, may spread across wide public areas, and requires significant planning to protect public health. [588]

B. anthracis is not regulated by USEPA in drinking water.

There are no occurrence data for B. anthracis in source waters to drinking water treatment plants.

Date of Literature Search: August 2007



588 US Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Disease Control; 2007; Anthrax: what you need to know; http://www.bt.cdc.gov/agent/anthrax/needtoknow.asp; As posted on August 28, 2007. Emergency Preparedness and Response, US Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Disease Control, Atlanta, GA.
589 US Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Disease Control; 2007; Anthrax; http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dbmd/diseaseinfo/anthrax_t.htm; As posted on August 28, 2007. Division of Bacterial and Mycotic Diseases, US Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA.
590 CSA discovery guides; 2007; Anthrax Overview; http://www.csa.com/discoveryguides/anthrax/overview.php; As posted on August 28, 2007. CSA, Bethesda, MD.



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