is primarily a disease of animals, however, it can occasionally be transmitted to humans.
The disease is caused by Bacillus antracis, a Gram positive, rod shaped, and
endospore forming microorganism. Endospore formation is necessary in times of
unfavorable living conditions (e.g. low water availability, extremely high temperatures,
etc.). The bacteria remains dormant until environmental conditions becomes suitable for
Transmission to humans can occur by direct contact of the skin with the endospores of B.
antracis, via the respiratory tract through inhalation of spores, and via the
gastrointestinal tract through the ingestion of spores. The cutaneous route of
transmission accounts for 95 % of the cases of anthrax in the United States. Contact with
animal hair, wool, and hides containing spores of B. antracis is often implicated
in transmission of anthrax, and the disease is therefore known as wool sorter's disease.
Deposition of spores of B. antracis under the epidermis permits germination, with
subsequent production of toxin by the growing bacteria.
If disease is inhaled
- Mild Fever, Malaise
- Fatigue, Coughing
- Feeling of pressure on chest
If disease contract through skin
- a boil develops that eventually forms a black center
Treatment and Prevention
Cutaneous (skin) anthrax can be treated with penicillin and other antibiotics. This
reduces the death rate to less than 1 percent. However, an untreated cutaneous anthrax has
a mortality rate between 10-20 percent.
Testing for Anthrax
If you believe or concerned that you have been exposed to Anthrax, please contact our lab
at 614-459-2307 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. This is a very simple process
that involves swabbing the nasal or skin area. Results are available between 48-72 hrs. A
positive Anthrax results will be reported to the Health Department. The cost for
laboratory analysis for Anthrax is $65.00. Payment can be in the form of cash, money
order, check (issue to Toxicology Associates, Inc.), or credit card.
Upon receipt of payment, we will send all necessary forms and collection
materials. This can be delivered overnight (add $18.50), or regular US Mail (No
Charge). Submit sample and completed form to our lab at Toxicology
Associates, Inc., 999 Bethel Road, Columbus, Ohio 43214
Anthrax Bacteria Analysis
Product # ATX759