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Anthrax 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. Endospmaninpain.JPG (91719 bytes)ore 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 living.

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 staydrugfree@toxassociates.com. 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


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Copyright 1999 [Toxicology Associates, Inc.]. All rights reserved.
Revised: January 13, 2010