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Sample records for aerosolized anthrax spores

  1. Anthrax Spores under a microscope

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2003-01-01

    Anthrax spores are inactive forms of Bacillus anthracis. They can survive for decades inside a spore's tough protective coating; they become active when inhaled by humans. A result of NASA- and industry-sponsored research to develop small greenhouses for space research is the unique AiroCide TiO2 system that kills anthrax spores and other pathogens.

  2. Risk-based selection of respirators against infectious aerosols: application to anthrax spores.

    PubMed

    Nicas, M; Neuhaus, J; Spear, R C

    2000-07-01

    This article presents two methods for estimating infection risk among individuals wearing air-purifying respirators against airborne pathogens, with the overall aim of selecting appropriate respiratory protection. Necessary data inputs are the parameters for the ambient pathogen concentration distribution, the respirator penetration distribution, and the infectious dose distribution, along with the breathing rate, duration of a respirator use period, and the number of use periods. The first method assumes that the pathogen does not exhibit a cumulative dose effect, whereas the second accounts for a cumulative dose effect. The methods are illustrated with hypothetical scenarios involving Bacillus anthracis (anthrax) spores. Available data suggest that anthrax spores would exhibit a cumulative dose effect for multiple exposures occurring close in time, as would likely affect personnel responding to a bioterrorist release. The analysis shows that failure to account for a cumulative dose effect when present leads to underestimating infection risk. Three types of air-purifying respirators are compared for their predicted efficacy in reducing the risk of inhalation anthrax. Although uncertainty analyses are not performed, a general conclusion is that a full-facepiece powered air-purifying respirator would be the best air-purifying device for responding to an anthrax spore release. Because such respirators would not prevent all personnel from inhaling an infectious dose, it would be advisable for users not previously vaccinated against anthrax to receive post-exposure prophylactic therapy. PMID:10914342

  3. RAZOR EX Anthrax Air Detection System for detection of Bacillus anthracis spores from aerosol collection samples: collaborative study.

    PubMed

    Hadfield, Ted; Ryan, Valorie; Spaulding, Usha K; Clemens, Kristine M; Ota, Irene M; Brunelle, Sharon L

    2013-01-01

    The RAZOR EX Anthrax Air Detection System was validated in a collaborative study for the detection of Bacillus anthracis in aerosol collection buffer. Phosphate-buffered saline was charged with 1 mg/mL standardized dust to simulate an authentic aerosol collection sample. The dust-charged buffer was spiked with either B. anthracis Ames at 2000 spores/mL or Bacillus cereus at 20 000 spores/mL. Twelve collaborators participated in the study, with four collaborators at each of three sites. Each collaborator tested 12 replicates of B. anthracis in dust-charged buffer and 12 replicates of B. cereus in dust-charged buffer. All samples sets were randomized and blind-coded. All collaborators produced valid data sets (no collaborators displayed systematic errors) and there was only one invalid data point. After unblinding, the analysis revealed a cross-collaborator probability of detection (CPOD) of 1.00 (144 positive results from 144 replicates, 95% confidence interval 0.975-1.00) for the B. anthracis samples and a CPOD of 0.00 (0 positive results from 143 replicates, 95% confidence interval 0.00-0.0262) for the B. cereus samples. These data meet the requirements of AOAC Standard Method Performance Requirement 2010.003, developed by the Stakeholder Panel on Agent Detection Assays. PMID:23767365

  4. Efficacy and Immunogenicity of Single-Dose AdVAV Intranasal Anthrax Vaccine Compared to Anthrax Vaccine Absorbed in an Aerosolized Spore Rabbit Challenge Model

    PubMed Central

    Krishnan, Vyjayanthi; Andersen, Bo H.; Shoemaker, Christine; Sivko, Gloria S.; Tordoff, Kevin P.; Stark, Gregory V.; Zhang, Jianfeng; Feng, Tsungwei; Duchars, Matthew

    2015-01-01

    AdVAV is a replication-deficient adenovirus type 5-vectored vaccine expressing the 83-kDa protective antigen (PA83) from Bacillus anthracis that is being developed for the prevention of disease caused by inhalation of aerosolized B. anthracis spores. A noninferiority study comparing the efficacy of AdVAV to the currently licensed Anthrax Vaccine Absorbed (AVA; BioThrax) was performed in New Zealand White rabbits using postchallenge survival as the study endpoint (20% noninferiority margin for survival). Three groups of 32 rabbits were vaccinated with a single intranasal dose of AdVAV (7.5 × 107, 1.5 × 109, or 3.5 × 1010 viral particles). Three additional groups of 32 animals received two doses of either intranasal AdVAV (3.5 × 1010 viral particles) or intramuscular AVA (diluted 1:16 or 1:64) 28 days apart. The placebo group of 16 rabbits received a single intranasal dose of AdVAV formulation buffer. All animals were challenged via the inhalation route with a targeted dose of 200 times the 50% lethal dose (LD50) of aerosolized B. anthracis Ames spores 70 days after the initial vaccination and were followed for 3 weeks. PA83 immunogenicity was evaluated by validated toxin neutralizing antibody and serum anti-PA83 IgG enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs). All animals in the placebo cohort died from the challenge. Three of the four AdVAV dose cohorts tested, including two single-dose cohorts, achieved statistical noninferiority relative to the AVA comparator group, with survival rates between 97% and 100%. Vaccination with AdVAV also produced antibody titers with earlier onset and greater persistence than vaccination with AVA. PMID:25673303

  5. Efficacy and immunogenicity of single-dose AdVAV intranasal anthrax vaccine compared to anthrax vaccine absorbed in an aerosolized spore rabbit challenge model.

    PubMed

    Krishnan, Vyjayanthi; Andersen, Bo H; Shoemaker, Christine; Sivko, Gloria S; Tordoff, Kevin P; Stark, Gregory V; Zhang, Jianfeng; Feng, Tsungwei; Duchars, Matthew; Roberts, M Scot

    2015-04-01

    AdVAV is a replication-deficient adenovirus type 5-vectored vaccine expressing the 83-kDa protective antigen (PA83) from Bacillus anthracis that is being developed for the prevention of disease caused by inhalation of aerosolized B. anthracis spores. A noninferiority study comparing the efficacy of AdVAV to the currently licensed Anthrax Vaccine Absorbed (AVA; BioThrax) was performed in New Zealand White rabbits using postchallenge survival as the study endpoint (20% noninferiority margin for survival). Three groups of 32 rabbits were vaccinated with a single intranasal dose of AdVAV (7.5 × 10(7), 1.5 × 10(9), or 3.5 × 10(10) viral particles). Three additional groups of 32 animals received two doses of either intranasal AdVAV (3.5 × 10(10) viral particles) or intramuscular AVA (diluted 1:16 or 1:64) 28 days apart. The placebo group of 16 rabbits received a single intranasal dose of AdVAV formulation buffer. All animals were challenged via the inhalation route with a targeted dose of 200 times the 50% lethal dose (LD50) of aerosolized B. anthracis Ames spores 70 days after the initial vaccination and were followed for 3 weeks. PA83 immunogenicity was evaluated by validated toxin neutralizing antibody and serum anti-PA83 IgG enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs). All animals in the placebo cohort died from the challenge. Three of the four AdVAV dose cohorts tested, including two single-dose cohorts, achieved statistical noninferiority relative to the AVA comparator group, with survival rates between 97% and 100%. Vaccination with AdVAV also produced antibody titers with earlier onset and greater persistence than vaccination with AVA.

  6. Methods for neutralizing anthrax or anthrax spores

    DOEpatents

    Sloan, Mark A; Vivekandanda, Jeevalatha; Holwitt, Eric A; Kiel, Johnathan L

    2013-02-26

    The present invention concerns methods, compositions and apparatus for neutralizing bioagents, wherein bioagents comprise biowarfare agents, biohazardous agents, biological agents and/or infectious agents. The methods comprise exposing the bioagent to an organic semiconductor and exposing the bioagent and organic semiconductor to a source of energy. Although any source of energy is contemplated, in some embodiments the energy comprises visible light, ultraviolet, infrared, radiofrequency, microwave, laser radiation, pulsed corona discharge or electron beam radiation. Exemplary organic semiconductors include DAT and DALM. In certain embodiments, the organic semiconductor may be attached to one or more binding moieties, such as an antibody, antibody fragment, or nucleic acid ligand. Preferably, the binding moiety has a binding affinity for one or more bioagents to be neutralized. Other embodiments concern an apparatus comprising an organic semiconductor and an energy source. In preferred embodiments, the methods, compositions and apparatus are used for neutralizing anthrax spores.

  7. Anthrax.

    PubMed

    Datta, K K; Singh, Jagvir

    2002-01-01

    Anthrax is caused by Bacillus anthracis, an encapulated and spore-forming bacillus. The disease is usually contracted through uptake of spores that remain viable in the contaminated soil for many years. Anthrax is primarily a disease of herbivorous animals and is uncommon in humans who may get the infection through contact with contaminated animals or their products. Anthrax spores germinate after entering the body through skin abrasions (cutaneous anthrax) or by inhalation (inhalation anthrax) or ingestion (gastrointestinal anthrax) and multiply to produce two exotoxins which determine the virulence along with capsule. Although most cases occur within 48 hours of exposure, germination of spores may occur upto 60 days later. While inhalation anthrax is almost always fatal, intestinal anthrax results in death in 25% to 60% of cases. Upto 20% of cases having cutaneous anthrax may die. Antibiotics are effective if the disease is recognised early and treated appropriately. Penicillin is the drug of choice when disease occurs in natural setting. Ciprofloxacin is recommended when aerosols of anthrax spores are used as bioweapon, prophylactic antibiotics should not be prescribed until risk of exposure is considered real by experts. PMID:11876121

  8. Decontamination of Anthrax spores in critical infrastructure and critical assets.

    SciTech Connect

    Boucher, Raymond M.; Crown, Kevin K.; Tucker, Mark David; Hankins, Matthew Granholm

    2010-05-01

    Decontamination of anthrax spores in critical infrastructure (e.g., subway systems, major airports) and critical assets (e.g., the interior of aircraft) can be challenging because effective decontaminants can damage materials. Current decontamination methods require the use of highly toxic and/or highly corrosive chemical solutions because bacterial spores are very difficult to kill. Bacterial spores such as Bacillus anthracis, the infectious agent of anthrax, are one of the most resistant forms of life and are several orders of magnitude more difficult to kill than their associated vegetative cells. Remediation of facilities and other spaces (e.g., subways, airports, and the interior of aircraft) contaminated with anthrax spores currently requires highly toxic and corrosive chemicals such as chlorine dioxide gas, vapor- phase hydrogen peroxide, or high-strength bleach, typically requiring complex deployment methods. We have developed a non-toxic, non-corrosive decontamination method to kill highly resistant bacterial spores in critical infrastructure and critical assets. A chemical solution that triggers the germination process in bacterial spores and causes those spores to rapidly and completely change to much less-resistant vegetative cells that can be easily killed. Vegetative cells are then exposed to mild chemicals (e.g., low concentrations of hydrogen peroxide, quaternary ammonium compounds, alcohols, aldehydes, etc.) or natural elements (e.g., heat, humidity, ultraviolet light, etc.) for complete and rapid kill. Our process employs a novel germination solution consisting of low-cost, non-toxic and non-corrosive chemicals. We are testing both direct surface application and aerosol delivery of the solutions. A key Homeland Security need is to develop the capability to rapidly recover from an attack utilizing biological warfare agents. This project will provide the capability to rapidly and safely decontaminate critical facilities and assets to return them to

  9. The ecology of anthrax spores: tough but not invincible.

    PubMed Central

    Dragon, D C; Rennie, R P

    1995-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis is the causative agent of anthrax, a serious and often fatal disease of wild and domestic animals. Central to the persistence of anthrax in an area is the ability of B. anthracis to form long-lasting, highly resistant spores. Understanding the ecology of anthrax spores is essential if one hopes to control epidemics. Studies on the ecology of anthrax have found a correlation between the disease and specific soil factors, such as alkaline pH, high moisture, and high organic content. Researchers initially suggested that these factors influenced vegetative anthrax bacilli. However, subsequent research has shown that vegetative cells of B. anthracis have very specific nutrient and physiological requirements and are unlikely to survive outside a host. Review of the properties of spores of B. anthracis and other Bacillus species suggests that the specific soil factors linked to epidemic areas reflect important environmental conditions that aid the anthrax spores in causing epidemics. Specifically, high levels of calcium in the soil may help to maintain spore vitality for prolonged periods, thereby increasing the chance of spores encountering and infecting a new host. Cycles of runoff and evaporation may collect spores dispersed from previous epidemics into storage areas, thereby concentrating them. Uptake of large doses of viable spores from storage areas by susceptible animals, via altered feeding or breeding behavior, may then allow the bacterium to establish infection and cause a new epidemic. Literature search for this review was done by scanning the Life Sciences Collection 1982-1994 using the keywords "anthrax" and "calcium and spore." Images Figure 1. PMID:7773917

  10. Micromotors to capture and destroy anthrax simulant spores.

    PubMed

    Orozco, Jahir; Pan, Guoqing; Sattayasamitsathit, Sirilak; Galarnyk, Michael; Wang, Joseph

    2015-03-01

    Towards addressing the need for detecting and eliminating biothreats, we describe a micromotor-based approach for screening, capturing, isolating and destroying anthrax simulant spores in a simple and rapid manner with minimal sample processing. The B. globilli antibody-functionalized micromotors can recognize, capture and transport B. globigii spores in environmental matrices, while showing non-interactions with excess of non-target bacteria. Efficient destruction of the anthrax simulant spores is demonstrated via the micromotor-induced mixing of a mild oxidizing solution. The new micromotor-based approach paves a way to dynamic multifunctional systems that rapidly recognize, isolate, capture and destroy biological threats.

  11. Anthrax Toxins in Context of Bacillus anthracis Spores and Spore Germination.

    PubMed

    Cote, Christopher K; Welkos, Susan L

    2015-08-17

    The interaction of anthrax toxin or toxin components with B. anthracis spores has been demonstrated. Germinating spores can produce significant amounts of toxin components very soon after the initiation of germination. In this review, we will summarize the work performed that has led to our understanding of toxin and spore interactions and discuss the complexities associated with these interactions.

  12. Anthrax Toxins in Context of Bacillus anthracis Spores and Spore Germination

    PubMed Central

    Cote, Christopher K.; Welkos, Susan L.

    2015-01-01

    The interaction of anthrax toxin or toxin components with B. anthracis spores has been demonstrated. Germinating spores can produce significant amounts of toxin components very soon after the initiation of germination. In this review, we will summarize the work performed that has led to our understanding of toxin and spore interactions and discuss the complexities associated with these interactions. PMID:26287244

  13. Airborne movement of anthrax spores from carcass sites in the Etosha National Park, Namibia.

    PubMed

    Turnbull, P C; Lindeque, P M; Le Roux, J; Bennett, A M; Parks, S R

    1998-04-01

    Tests for airborne movement of anthrax spores downwind from three heavily contaminated carcass sites were carried out under a range of wind conditions. Anthrax spores were detected in just three of 43 cyclone or gelatin filter air samples taken at distances of 6, 12 and 18 m from the sites. In addition, nine positives resulted during sampling sessions in which the site was mechanically disturbed, with a further five positives being found in sessions subsequent to those in which the site had been disturbed. The three positive samples not related to man-made disturbance were associated with the highest winds experienced during the study. Despite colony counts exceeding 100 on the culture plates in three instances, calculations showed that these represented very low worst case probable spore inhalation rates for animals or humans exposed to such levels. The low number of positives, the clear pattern of rapidly declining numbers of anthrax spores with distance downwind from the centres of the sites apparent on settle plates, and the persisting levels of contamination despite wind and rain, collectively suggest that the anthrax spores were associated with fairly heavy particles, although this was not seen by electron microscopy on soil samples from the sites. Overall, the findings are interpreted as indicating that it is very unlikely that Etosha animals contract anthrax by the inhalation route while simply in transit near or across a carcass site. The significance of the observations in relation to weather conditions in the Etosha, other studies on particulate aerosols in the region, and reports of long-distance airborne movement of microbes, is discussed.

  14. 9 CFR 113.66 - Anthrax Spore Vaccine-Nonencapsulated.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... in 9 CFR 113.64 and the requirements in this paragraph. Any serial or subserial found unsatisfactory... serial or first subserial shall be tested for safety in sheep or goats by the methods described in 9 CFR... 9 Animals and Animal Products 1 2013-01-01 2013-01-01 false Anthrax Spore...

  15. 9 CFR 113.66 - Anthrax Spore Vaccine-Nonencapsulated.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... in 9 CFR 113.64 and the requirements in this paragraph. Any serial or subserial found unsatisfactory... serial or first subserial shall be tested for safety in sheep or goats by the methods described in 9 CFR... 9 Animals and Animal Products 1 2011-01-01 2011-01-01 false Anthrax Spore...

  16. 9 CFR 113.66 - Anthrax Spore Vaccine-Nonencapsulated.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... in 9 CFR 113.64 and the requirements in this paragraph. Any serial or subserial found unsatisfactory... serial or first subserial shall be tested for safety in sheep or goats by the methods described in 9 CFR... 9 Animals and Animal Products 1 2014-01-01 2014-01-01 false Anthrax Spore...

  17. 9 CFR 113.66 - Anthrax Spore Vaccine-Nonencapsulated.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... in 9 CFR 113.64 and the requirements in this paragraph. Any serial or subserial found unsatisfactory... serial or first subserial shall be tested for safety in sheep or goats by the methods described in 9 CFR... 9 Animals and Animal Products 1 2012-01-01 2012-01-01 false Anthrax Spore...

  18. Efficacy of Oritavancin in a Murine Model of Bacillus anthracis Spore Inhalation Anthrax

    PubMed Central

    Heine, H. S.; Bassett, J.; Miller, L.; Bassett, A.; Ivins, B. E.; Lehoux, D.; Arhin, F. F.; Parr, T. R.; Moeck, G.

    2008-01-01

    The inhaled form of Bacillus anthracis infection may be fatal to humans. The current standard of care for inhalational anthrax postexposure prophylaxis is ciprofloxacin therapy twice daily for 60 days. The potent in vitro activity of oritavancin, a semisynthetic lipoglycopeptide, against B. anthracis (MIC against Ames strain, 0.015 μg/ml) prompted us to test its efficacy in a mouse aerosol-anthrax model. In postexposure prophylaxis dose-ranging studies, a single intravenous (i.v.) dose of oritavancin of 5, 15, or 50 mg/kg 24 h after a challenge with 50 to 75 times the median lethal dose of Ames strain spores provided 40, 70, and 100% proportional survival, respectively, at 30 days postchallenge. Untreated animals died within 4 days of challenge, whereas 90% of control animals receiving ciprofloxacin at 30 mg/kg intraperitoneally twice daily for 14 days starting 24 h after challenge survived. Oritavancin demonstrated significant activity post symptom development; a single i.v. dose of 50 mg/kg administered 42 h after challenge provided 56% proportional survival at 30 days. In a preexposure prophylaxis study, a single i.v. oritavancin dose of 50 mg/kg administered 1, 7, 14, or 28 days before lethal challenge protected 90, 100, 100, and 20% of mice at 30 days; mice treated with ciprofloxacin 24 h or 24 and 12 h before challenge all died within 5 days. Efficacy in pre- and postexposure models of inhalation anthrax, together with a demonstrated low propensity to engender resistance, promotes further study of oritavancin pharmacokinetics and efficacy in nonhuman primate models. PMID:18606841

  19. Anthrax surrogate spores are destroyed by PDT mediated by phenothiazinium dyes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Demidova, Tatiana N.; Hamblin, Michael R.

    2005-04-01

    Some Gram-positive bacteria (including the causative agent of anthrax - Bacillus anthracis) survive conditions of stress and starvation by producing dormant stage spores. The spore"s multilayered capsule consists of inner and outer membranes, cortex, proteinaceous spore coat, and in some species an exosporium. These outer layers enclose dehydrated and condensed DNA, saturated with small, acid-soluble proteins. These protective structures make spores highly resistant to damage by heat, radiation, and commonly employed anti-bacterial agents. Previously Bacillus spores have been shown to be resistant to photodynamic inactivation (PDI) using dyes and light that easily destroy the corresponding vegetative bacteria, but recently we have discovered that they are susceptible to PDI. Photoinactivation, however, is only possible if phenothiazinium dyes are used. Dimethylmethylene blue, methylene blue, new methylene blue and toluidine blue O are all effective photosensitizers. Alternative photosensitizers such as Rose Bengal, polylysine chlorin(e6) conjugate, a tricationic porphyrin and benzoporphyrin derivative are ineffective against spores even though they can easily kill vegetative cells. Spores of B. cereus and B. thuringiensis are most susceptible, B. subtilis and B. atrophaeus are also killed, while B. megaterium is resistant. Photoinactivation is most effective when excess dye is washed from the spores showing that the dye binds to the spores and that excess dye in solution can quench light delivery. The relatively mild conditions needed for spore killing could have applications for treating wounds contaminated by anthrax spores and for which conventional sporicides would have unacceptable tissue toxicity.

  20. Anthrax

    MedlinePlus

    Woolsorter's disease; Ragpicker's disease; Cutaneous anthrax; Gastrointestinal anthrax ... Anthrax commonly affects hoofed animals such as sheep, cattle, and goats. Humans who come into contact with ...

  1. Germination and Amplification of Anthrax Spores by Soil-Dwelling Amoebas

    PubMed Central

    Dey, Rafik; Hoffman, Paul S.

    2012-01-01

    While anthrax is typically associated with bioterrorism, in many parts of the world the anthrax bacillus (Bacillus anthracis) is endemic in soils, where it causes sporadic disease in livestock. These soils are typically rich in organic matter and calcium that promote survival of resilient B. anthracis spores. Outbreaks of anthrax tend to occur in warm weather following rains that are believed to concentrate spores in low-lying areas where runoff collects. It has been concluded that elevated spore concentrations are not the result of vegetative growth as B. anthracis competes poorly against indigenous bacteria. Here, we test an alternative hypothesis in which amoebas, common in moist soils and pools of standing water, serve as amplifiers of B. anthracis spores by enabling germination and intracellular multiplication. Under simulated environmental conditions, we show that B. anthracis germinates and multiplies within Acanthamoeba castellanii. The growth kinetics of a fully virulent B. anthracis Ames strain (containing both the pX01 and pX02 virulence plasmids) and vaccine strain Sterne (containing only pX01) inoculated as spores in coculture with A. castellanii showed a nearly 50-fold increase in spore numbers after 72 h. In contrast, the plasmidless strain 9131 showed little growth, demonstrating that plasmid pX01 is essential for growth within A. castellanii. Electron and time-lapse fluorescence microscopy revealed that spores germinate within amoebal phagosomes, vegetative bacilli undergo multiplication, and, following demise of the amoebas, bacilli sporulate in the extracellular milieu. This analysis supports our hypothesis that amoebas contribute to the persistence and amplification of B. anthracis in natural environments. PMID:22983962

  2. Anthrax

    MedlinePlus

    ... worried about anthrax germs being grown as a weapon. The issue of laboratory-grown B. anthracis received ... technologically difficult to use anthrax effectively as a weapon on a large scale. Types of Anthrax The ...

  3. Anthrax

    MedlinePlus

    ... rash and rashes clinical tools newsletter | contact Share | Anthrax Information for adults A A A In cutaneous ... Scientists studying B. anthracis Signs and Symptoms Cutaneous Anthrax Characteristic rash* *The characteristic rash of anthrax looks ...

  4. Sensitive and rapid quantitative detection of anthrax spores isolated from soil samples by real-time PCR.

    PubMed

    Ryu, Chunsun; Lee, Kyunghee; Yoo, Cheonkwon; Seong, Won Keun; Oh, Hee-Bok

    2003-01-01

    Quantitative analysis of anthrax spores from environmental samples is essential for accurate detection and risk assessment since Bacillus anthracis spores have been shown to be one of the most effective biological weapons. Using TaqMan real-time PCR, specific primers and probes were designed for the identification of pathogenic B. anthracis strains from pag gene and cap gene on two plasmids, pXO1 and pXO2, as well as a sap gene encoded on the S-layer. To select the appropriate lysis method of anthrax spore from environmental samples, several heat treatments and germination methods were evaluated with multiplex-PCR. Among them, heat treatment of samples suspended with sucrose plus non-ionic detergent was considered an effective spore disruption method because it detected up to 10(5) spores/g soil by multiplex-PCR. Serial dilutions of B. anthracis DNA and spore were detected up to a level of 0.1 ng/ microliters and 10 spores/ml, respectively, at the correlation coefficient of 0.99 by real-time PCR. Quantitative analysis of anthrax spore could be obtained from the comparison between C(T) value and serial dilutions of soil sample at the correlation coefficient of 0.99. Additionally, spores added to soil samples were detected up to 10(4) spores/g soil within 3 hr by real-time PCR. As a consequence, we established a rapid and accurate detection system for environmental anthrax spores using real-time PCR, avoiding time and labor-consuming preparation steps such as enrichment culturing and DNA preparation.

  5. Chemokine-Releasing Microparticles Improve Bacterial Clearance and Survival of Anthrax Spore-Challenged Mice

    PubMed Central

    Espina, Virginia; Liotta, Lance A.; Popov, Serguei G.

    2016-01-01

    In this study the hydrogel microparticles (MPs) were used to enhance migration of neutrophils in order to improve outcome of anthrax infection in a mouse model. Two MP formulations were tested. In the first one the polyacrylamide gel MPs were chemically coupled with Cibacron Blue (CB) affinity bait. In the second one the bait molecules within the MPs were additionally loaded with neutrophil-attracting chemokines (CKs), human CXCL8 and mouse CCL3. A non-covalent interaction of the bait with the CKs provided their gradual release after administration of the MPs to the host. Mice were challenged into footpads with Bacillus anthracis Sterne spores and given a dose of MPs a few hours before and/or after the spores. Pre-treatment with a single dose of CK-releasing MPs without any additional intervention was able to induce influx of neutrophils to the site of spore inoculation and regional lymph nodes correlating with reduced bacterial burden and decreased inflammatory response in footpads. On average, in two independent experiments, up to 53% of mice survived over 13 days. All control spore-challenged but MP-untreated mice died. The CB-coupled particles were also found to improve survival likely due to the capacity to stimulate release of endogenous CKs, but were less potent at decreasing the inflammatory host response than the CK-releasing MPs. The CK post-treatment did not improve survival compared to the untreated mice which died within 4 to 6 days with a strong inflammation of footpads, indicating quick dissemination of spores though the lymphatics after challenge. This is the first report on the enhanced innate host resistance to anthrax in response to CKs delivered and/or endogenously induced by the MPs. PMID:27632537

  6. Chemokine-Releasing Microparticles Improve Bacterial Clearance and Survival of Anthrax Spore-Challenged Mice.

    PubMed

    Popova, Taissia G; Teunis, Allison; Espina, Virginia; Liotta, Lance A; Popov, Serguei G

    2016-01-01

    In this study the hydrogel microparticles (MPs) were used to enhance migration of neutrophils in order to improve outcome of anthrax infection in a mouse model. Two MP formulations were tested. In the first one the polyacrylamide gel MPs were chemically coupled with Cibacron Blue (CB) affinity bait. In the second one the bait molecules within the MPs were additionally loaded with neutrophil-attracting chemokines (CKs), human CXCL8 and mouse CCL3. A non-covalent interaction of the bait with the CKs provided their gradual release after administration of the MPs to the host. Mice were challenged into footpads with Bacillus anthracis Sterne spores and given a dose of MPs a few hours before and/or after the spores. Pre-treatment with a single dose of CK-releasing MPs without any additional intervention was able to induce influx of neutrophils to the site of spore inoculation and regional lymph nodes correlating with reduced bacterial burden and decreased inflammatory response in footpads. On average, in two independent experiments, up to 53% of mice survived over 13 days. All control spore-challenged but MP-untreated mice died. The CB-coupled particles were also found to improve survival likely due to the capacity to stimulate release of endogenous CKs, but were less potent at decreasing the inflammatory host response than the CK-releasing MPs. The CK post-treatment did not improve survival compared to the untreated mice which died within 4 to 6 days with a strong inflammation of footpads, indicating quick dissemination of spores though the lymphatics after challenge. This is the first report on the enhanced innate host resistance to anthrax in response to CKs delivered and/or endogenously induced by the MPs. PMID:27632537

  7. Anthrax

    MedlinePlus

    Anthrax is a disease caused by Bacillus anthracis, a germ that lives in soil. Many people know ... bioterror attacks. In the attacks, someone purposely spread anthrax through the U.S. mail. This killed five people ...

  8. Targeted silencing of anthrax toxin receptors protects against anthrax toxins.

    PubMed

    Arévalo, Maria T; Navarro, Ashley; Arico, Chenoa D; Li, Junwei; Alkhatib, Omar; Chen, Shan; Diaz-Arévalo, Diana; Zeng, Mingtao

    2014-05-30

    Anthrax spores can be aerosolized and dispersed as a bioweapon. Current postexposure treatments are inadequate at later stages of infection, when high levels of anthrax toxins are present. Anthrax toxins enter cells via two identified anthrax toxin receptors: tumor endothelial marker 8 (TEM8) and capillary morphogenesis protein 2 (CMG2). We hypothesized that host cells would be protected from anthrax toxins if anthrax toxin receptor expression was effectively silenced using RNA interference (RNAi) technology. Thus, anthrax toxin receptors in mouse and human macrophages were silenced using targeted siRNAs or blocked with specific antibody prior to challenge with anthrax lethal toxin. Viability assays were used to assess protection in macrophages treated with specific siRNA or antibody as compared with untreated cells. Silencing CMG2 using targeted siRNAs provided almost complete protection against anthrax lethal toxin-induced cytotoxicity and death in murine and human macrophages. The same results were obtained by prebinding cells with specific antibody prior to treatment with anthrax lethal toxin. In addition, TEM8-targeted siRNAs also offered significant protection against lethal toxin in human macrophage-like cells. Furthermore, silencing CMG2, TEM8, or both receptors in combination was also protective against MEK2 cleavage by lethal toxin or adenylyl cyclase activity by edema toxin in human kidney cells. Thus, anthrax toxin receptor-targeted RNAi has the potential to be developed as a life-saving, postexposure therapy against anthrax.

  9. Lethal factor, but not edema factor, is required to cause fatal anthrax in cynomolgus macaques after pulmonary spore challenge.

    PubMed

    Hutt, Julie A; Lovchik, Julie A; Drysdale, Melissa; Sherwood, Robert L; Brasel, Trevor; Lipscomb, Mary F; Lyons, C Rick

    2014-12-01

    Inhalational anthrax is caused by inhalation of Bacillus anthracis spores. The ability of B. anthracis to cause anthrax is attributed to the plasmid-encoded A/B-type toxins, edema toxin (edema factor and protective antigen) and lethal toxin (lethal factor and protective antigen), and a poly-d-glutamic acid capsule. To better understand the contribution of these toxins to the disease pathophysiology in vivo, we used B. anthracis Ames strain and isogenic toxin deletion mutants derived from the Ames strain to examine the role of lethal toxin and edema toxin after pulmonary spore challenge of cynomolgus macaques. Lethal toxin, but not edema toxin, was required to induce sustained bacteremia and death after pulmonary challenge with spores delivered via bronchoscopy. After intravenous challenge with bacilli to model the systemic phase of infection, lethal toxin contributed to bacterial proliferation and subsequent host death to a greater extent than edema toxin. Deletion of protective antigen resulted in greater loss of virulence after intravenous challenge with bacilli than deletion of lethal toxin or edema toxin alone. These findings are consistent with the ability of anti-protective antigen antibodies to prevent anthrax and suggest that lethal factor is the dominant toxin that contributes to the escape of significant numbers of bacilli from the thoracic cavity to cause anthrax after inhalation challenge with spores.

  10. Source strength of fungal spore aerosolization from moldy building material

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Górny, Rafał L.; Reponen, Tiina; Grinshpun, Sergey A.; Willeke, Klaus

    The release of Aspergillus versicolor, Cladosporium cladosporioides, and Penicillium melinii spores from agar and ceiling tile surfaces was tested under different controlled environmental conditions using a newly designed and constructed aerosolization chamber. This study revealed that all the investigated parameters, such as fungal species, air velocity above the surface, texture of the surface, and vibration of contaminated material, affected the fungal spore release. It was found that typical indoor air currents can release up to 200 spores cm -2 from surfaces with fungal spores during 30-min experiments. The release of fungal spores from smooth agar surfaces was found to be inadequate for accurately predicting the emission from rough ceiling tile surfaces because the air turbulence increases the spore release from a rough surface. A vibration at a frequency of 1 Hz at a power level of 14 W resulted in a significant increase in the spore release rate. The release appears to depend on the morphology of the fungal colonies grown on ceiling tile surfaces including the thickness of conidiophores, the length of spore chains, and the shape of spores. The spores were found to be released continuously during each 30-min experiment. However, the release rate was usually highest during the first few minutes of exposure to air currents and mechanical vibration. About 71-88% of the spores released during a 30-min interval became airborne during the first 10 min.

  11. Development of a fungal spore aerosol generator: test with Cladosporium cladosporioides and Penicillium citrinum.

    PubMed

    Lee, Byung Uk; Kim, Young Joong; Lee, Chang Ho; Yun, Sun Hwa; Bae, Gwi-Nam; Ji, Jun-Ho

    2008-04-01

    As the first step to develop efficient means to control fungal spore bioaerosols, we designed, manufactured, and evaluated a fungal spore aerosol generator. We studied the physical and biological properties of the fungal spore bioaerosols on two common fungal species. The results demonstrated that the fungal spore bioaerosol generator effectively produces fungal spore bioaerosols.

  12. Anthrax

    MedlinePlus

    ... by the bacterium Bacillus anthracis , which lives in soil. The bacterial cell lives as a hardy spore ... Bacillus anthracis is a bacterium that lives in soil and has developed a survival tactic that allows ...

  13. Enhanced Immune Response to DNA Vaccine Encoding Bacillus anthracis PA-D4 Protects Mice against Anthrax Spore Challenge

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Na Young; Chang, Dong Suk; Kim, Yeonsu; Kim, Chang Hwan; Hur, Gyeung Haeng; Yang, Jai Myung; Shin, Sungho

    2015-01-01

    Anthrax has long been considered the most probable bioweapon-induced disease. The protective antigen (PA) of Bacillus anthracis plays a crucial role in the pathogenesis of anthrax. In the current study, we evaluated the efficiency of a genetic vaccination with the fourth domain (D4) of PA, which is responsible for initial binding of the anthrax toxin to the cellular receptor. The eukaryotic expression vector was designed with the immunoglobulin M (IgM) signal sequence encoding for PA-D4, which contains codon-optimized genes. The expression and secretion of recombinant protein was confirmed in vitro in 293T cells transfected with plasmid and detected by western blotting, confocal microscopy, and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The results revealed that PA-D4 protein can be efficiently expressed and secreted at high levels into the culture medium. When plasmid DNA was given intramuscularly to mice, a significant PA-D4-specific antibody response was induced. Importantly, high titers of antibodies were maintained for nearly 1 year. Furthermore, incorporation of the SV40 enhancer in the plasmid DNA resulted in approximately a 15-fold increase in serum antibody levels in comparison with the plasmid without enhancer. The antibodies produced were predominantly the immunoglobulin G2 (IgG2) type, indicating the predominance of the Th1 response. In addition, splenocytes collected from immunized mice produced PA-D4-specific interferon gamma (IFN-γ). The biodistribution study showed that plasmid DNA was detected in most organs and it rapidly cleared from the injection site. Finally, DNA vaccination with electroporation induced a significant increase in immunogenicity and successfully protected the mice against anthrax spore challenge. Our approach to enhancing the immune response contributes to the development of DNA vaccines against anthrax and other biothreats. PMID:26430894

  14. Fungal spores overwhelm biogenic organic aerosols in a midlatitudinal forest

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhu, Chunmao; Kawamura, Kimitaka; Fukuda, Yasuro; Mochida, Michihiro; Iwamoto, Yoko

    2016-06-01

    Both primary biological aerosol particles (PBAPs) and oxidation products of biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOCs) contribute significantly to organic aerosols (OAs) in forested regions. However, little is known about their relative importance in diurnal timescales. Here, we report biomarkers of PBAP and secondary organic aerosols (SOAs) for their diurnal variability in a temperate coniferous forest in Wakayama, Japan. Tracers of fungal spores, trehalose, arabitol and mannitol, showed significantly higher levels in nighttime than daytime (p < 0.05), resulting from the nocturnal sporulation under near-saturated relative humidity. On the contrary, BVOC oxidation products showed higher levels in daytime than nighttime, indicating substantial photochemical SOA formation. Using tracer-based methods, we estimated that fungal spores account for 45 % of organic carbon (OC) in nighttime and 22 % in daytime, whereas BVOC oxidation products account for 15 and 19 %, respectively. To our knowledge, we present for the first time highly time-resolved results that fungal spores overwhelmed BVOC oxidation products in contributing to OA especially in nighttime. This study emphasizes the importance of both PBAPs and SOAs in forming forest organic aerosols.

  15. Systemic but not mucosal immunity induced by AVA prevents inhalational anthrax.

    PubMed

    Klinman, Dennis M; Currie, Debra; Lee, Gloria; Grippe, Vanessa; Merkel, Tod

    2007-10-01

    Improved vaccines and adjuvants are being developed to reduce the threat posed by a terrorist attack involving aerosolized anthrax spores. Nevertheless, uncertainty persists concerning the relative benefits of inducing mucosal vs systemic immunity to host survival following inhalational exposure to anthrax spores. This work examines the effect of delivering the licensed human vaccine (anthrax vaccine adsorbed, AVA) combined with a CpG oligodeoxynucleotide (ODN) adjuvant intraperitoneally or intranasally to A/J mice. Results indicate that protection from inhalational anthrax correlates with the induction of a strong systemic rather than mucosal immune response, and demonstrate that protection is significantly improved and accelerated by the addition of CpG ODN.

  16. Inhalational anthrax (Ames aerosol) in naïve and vaccinated New Zealand rabbits: characterizing the spread of bacteria from lung deposition to bacteremia.

    PubMed

    Gutting, Bradford W; Nichols, Tonya L; Channel, Stephen R; Gearhart, Jeffery M; Andrews, George A; Berger, Alan E; Mackie, Ryan S; Watson, Brent J; Taft, Sarah C; Overheim, Katie A; Sherwood, Robert L

    2012-01-01

    There is a need to better understand inhalational anthrax in relevant animal models. This understanding could aid risk assessment, help define therapeutic windows, and provide a better understanding of disease. The aim here was to characterize and quantify bacterial deposition and dissemination in rabbits following exposure to single high aerosol dose (> 100 LD(50)) of Bacillus anthracis (Ames) spores immediately following exposure through 36 h. The primary goal of collecting the data was to support investigators in developing computational models of inhalational anthrax disease. Rabbits were vaccinated prior to exposure with the human vaccine (Anthrax Vaccine Adsorbed, AVA) or were sham-vaccinated, and were then exposed in pairs (one sham and one AVA) so disease kinetics could be characterized in equally-dosed hosts where one group is fully protected and is able to clear the infection (AVA-vaccinated), while the other is susceptible to disease, in which case the bacteria are able to escape containment and replicate uncontrolled (sham-vaccinated rabbits). Between 4-5% of the presented aerosol dose was retained in the lung of sham- and AVA-vaccinated rabbits as measured by dilution plate analysis of homogenized lung tissue or bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid. After 6 and 36 h, >80% and >96%, respectively, of the deposited spores were no longer detected in BAL, with no detectable difference between sham- or AVA-vaccinated rabbits. Thereafter, differences between the two groups became noticeable. In sham-vaccinated rabbits the bacteria were detected in the tracheobronchial lymph nodes (TBLN) 12 h post-exposure and in the circulation at 24 h, a time point which was also associated with dramatic increases in vegetative CFU in the lung tissue of some animals. In all sham-vaccinated rabbits, bacteria increased in both TBLN and blood through 36 h at which point in time some rabbits succumbed to disease. In contrast, AVA-vaccinated rabbits showed small numbers of CFU in

  17. Inhalational anthrax (Ames aerosol) in naïve and vaccinated New Zealand rabbits: characterizing the spread of bacteria from lung deposition to bacteremia

    PubMed Central

    Gutting, Bradford W.; Nichols, Tonya L.; Channel, Stephen R.; Gearhart, Jeffery M.; Andrews, George A.; Berger, Alan E.; Mackie, Ryan S.; Watson, Brent J.; Taft, Sarah C.; Overheim, Katie A.; Sherwood, Robert L.

    2012-01-01

    There is a need to better understand inhalational anthrax in relevant animal models. This understanding could aid risk assessment, help define therapeutic windows, and provide a better understanding of disease. The aim here was to characterize and quantify bacterial deposition and dissemination in rabbits following exposure to single high aerosol dose (> 100 LD50) of Bacillus anthracis (Ames) spores immediately following exposure through 36 h. The primary goal of collecting the data was to support investigators in developing computational models of inhalational anthrax disease. Rabbits were vaccinated prior to exposure with the human vaccine (Anthrax Vaccine Adsorbed, AVA) or were sham-vaccinated, and were then exposed in pairs (one sham and one AVA) so disease kinetics could be characterized in equally-dosed hosts where one group is fully protected and is able to clear the infection (AVA-vaccinated), while the other is susceptible to disease, in which case the bacteria are able to escape containment and replicate uncontrolled (sham-vaccinated rabbits). Between 4–5% of the presented aerosol dose was retained in the lung of sham- and AVA-vaccinated rabbits as measured by dilution plate analysis of homogenized lung tissue or bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid. After 6 and 36 h, >80% and >96%, respectively, of the deposited spores were no longer detected in BAL, with no detectable difference between sham- or AVA-vaccinated rabbits. Thereafter, differences between the two groups became noticeable. In sham-vaccinated rabbits the bacteria were detected in the tracheobronchial lymph nodes (TBLN) 12 h post-exposure and in the circulation at 24 h, a time point which was also associated with dramatic increases in vegetative CFU in the lung tissue of some animals. In all sham-vaccinated rabbits, bacteria increased in both TBLN and blood through 36 h at which point in time some rabbits succumbed to disease. In contrast, AVA-vaccinated rabbits showed small numbers of CFU in

  18. Molecular investigation of the Aum Shinrikyo anthrax release in Kameido, Japan.

    PubMed

    Keim, P; Smith, K L; Keys, C; Takahashi, H; Kurata, T; Kaufmann, A

    2001-12-01

    In 1993, the Aum Shinrikyo cult aerosolized Bacillus anthracis spores over Kameido, Japan. Spore samples were obtained from the release site, cultured, and characterized by molecular genetic typing. The isolates were consistent with strain Sterne 34F2, which is used in Japan for animal prophylaxis against anthrax.

  19. Molecular Investigation of the Aum Shinrikyo Anthrax Release in Kameido, Japan

    PubMed Central

    Keim, Paul; Smith, Kimothy L.; Keys, Christine; Takahashi, Hiroshi; Kurata, Takeshi; Kaufmann, Arnold

    2001-01-01

    In 1993, the Aum Shinrikyo cult aerosolized Bacillus anthracis spores over Kameido, Japan. Spore samples were obtained from the release site, cultured, and characterized by molecular genetic typing. The isolates were consistent with strain Sterne 34F2, which is used in Japan for animal prophylaxis against anthrax. PMID:11724885

  20. Development of an Aerosol Surface Inoculation Method for Bacillus Spores

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Sang Don; Ryan, Shawn P.; Snyder, Emily Gibb

    2011-01-01

    A method was developed to deposit Bacillus subtilis spores via aerosolization onto various surface materials for biological agent decontamination and detection studies. This new method uses an apparatus coupled with a metered dose inhaler to reproducibly deposit spores onto various surfaces. A metered dose inhaler was loaded with Bacillus subtilis spores, a surrogate for Bacillus anthracis. Five different material surfaces (aluminum, galvanized steel, wood, carpet, and painted wallboard paper) were tested using this spore deposition method. This aerosolization method deposited spores at a concentration of more than 107 CFU per coupon (18-mm diameter) with less than a 50% coefficient of variation, showing that the aerosolization method developed in this study can deposit reproducible numbers of spores onto various surface coupons. Scanning electron microscopy was used to probe the spore deposition patterns on test coupons. The deposition patterns observed following aerosol impaction were compared to those of liquid inoculation. A physical difference in the spore deposition patterns was observed to result from the two different methods. The spore deposition method developed in this study will help prepare spore coupons via aerosolization fast and reproducibly for bench top decontamination and detection studies. PMID:21193670

  1. Inhalational anthrax.

    PubMed

    Cuneo, Brian M

    2004-03-01

    Anthrax remains a real threat. In a spore form, it is highly infectious and dispersible. The initial symptoms are similar to those of influenza, and the early stage of inhalational anthrax may not be recognized. Early antibiotic treatment is important to achieving a good outcome. Contrary to historical experience. many patients with even advanced anthrax can be saved with aggressive medical care. Prevention of anthrax infections requires vigilant infection control methods as well as a rational prophylactic plan. All health care providers should be familiar with the symptoms and treatment of this disease. It is hoped that future research will clarify tests for early diagnosis, the best methods of prophylaxis, and the most effective treatments. Unfortunately the threat of bioterrorism, and anthrax in particular, is unlikely to go away. PMID:15062228

  2. Spores

    MedlinePlus

    ... do not destroy their spores. A process called sterilization destroys spores and bacteria. It is done at ... and under high pressures. In health care settings, sterilization is usually done using a device called an ...

  3. Significant contributions of fungal spores to the organic carbon and to the aerosol mass balance of the urban atmospheric aerosol

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bauer, Heidi; Schueller, Elisabeth; Weinke, Gert; Berger, Anna; Hitzenberger, Regina; Marr, Iain L.; Puxbaum, Hans

    Fungal spores are ubiquitous components of atmospheric aerosols and are therefore also contributors to the organic carbon (OC) component and to the mass of PM 10 (PM—particulate matter) aerosols. In this study we use spore counts and an experimentally derived factor of 13 pg C and of 33 pg fresh weight per spore for assessing quantitatively the contribution to OC and PM 10. The concentrations of airborne fungal spores were determined at a suburban (Schafberg) and a traffic-dominated urban site (Rinnböckstrasse) in Vienna, Austria, during spring and summer. Fungal spores OC ranged from 22 to 677 ng m -3 with a summer mean value of around 350 ng m -3 at the suburban site and 300 ng m -3 at the urban traffic site. At the suburban site fungal spores contributed on average 6% in spring and 14% in summer to aerosol OC mass concentration. At the traffic-dominated site fungal spores accounted for 2% of OC in spring and for 8% in summer. The fungal contribution to PM 10 was also notable and amounted to 3% and 7% at the suburban and to 1% and 4% at the urban site in spring and summer, respectively. Impactor measurements of OC at the suburban site showed that in summer fungal spores were predominant contributors to the coarse aerosol OC, and accounted on average for 60% of the OC in the PM 2-10 fraction. Fungal spores thus can be regarded as main components to PM 10, total OC and, most importantly, coarse OC even in urban areas.

  4. A heterodimer of a VHH (variable domains of camelid heavy chain-only) antibody that inhibits anthrax toxin cell binding linked to a VHH antibody that blocks oligomer formation is highly protective in an anthrax spore challenge model.

    PubMed

    Moayeri, Mahtab; Leysath, Clinton E; Tremblay, Jacqueline M; Vrentas, Catherine; Crown, Devorah; Leppla, Stephen H; Shoemaker, Charles B

    2015-03-01

    Anthrax disease is caused by a toxin consisting of protective antigen (PA), lethal factor, and edema factor. Antibodies against PA have been shown to be protective against the disease. Variable domains of camelid heavy chain-only antibodies (VHHs) with affinity for PA were obtained from immunized alpacas and screened for anthrax neutralizing activity in macrophage toxicity assays. Two classes of neutralizing VHHs were identified recognizing distinct, non-overlapping epitopes. One class recognizes domain 4 of PA at a well characterized neutralizing site through which PA binds to its cellular receptor. A second neutralizing VHH (JKH-C7) recognizes a novel epitope. This antibody inhibits conversion of the PA oligomer from "pre-pore" to its SDS and heat-resistant "pore" conformation while not preventing cleavage of full-length 83-kDa PA (PA83) by cell surface proteases to its oligomer-competent 63-kDa form (PA63). The antibody prevents endocytosis of the cell surface-generated PA63 subunit but not preformed PA63 oligomers formed in solution. JKH-C7 and the receptor-blocking VHH class (JIK-B8) were expressed as a heterodimeric VHH-based neutralizing agent (VNA2-PA). This VNA displayed improved neutralizing potency in cell assays and protected mice from anthrax toxin challenge with much better efficacy than the separate component VHHs. The VNA protected virtually all mice when separately administered at a 1:1 ratio to toxin and protected mice against Bacillus anthracis spore infection. Thus, our studies show the potential of VNAs as anthrax therapeutics. Due to their simple and stable nature, VNAs should be amenable to genetic delivery or administration via respiratory routes.

  5. Fungal Spore Concentrations and Ergosterol Content in Aerosol Samples in the Caribbean During African Dust Events

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Santos-Figueroa, G.; Bolaños-Rosero, B.; Mayol-Bracero, O. L.

    2015-12-01

    Fungal spores are a major component of primary biogenic aerosol particles that are emitted to the atmosphere, are ubiquitous, and play an important role in the chemistry and physics of the atmosphere, climate, and public health. Every year, during summer months, African dust (AD) particles are transported to the Caribbean region causing an increase in the concentrations of particulate matter in the atmosphere. AD is one of the most important natural sources of mineral particulate matter at the global scale, and many investigations suggest that it has the ability to transport dust-associated biological particles through long distances. The relationship between AD incursions and the concentration of fungal spores in the Caribbean region is poorly understood. In order to investigate the effects of AD incursions on fungal spore's emissions, fungal spore concentrations were monitored using a Burkard spore trap at the tropical montane cloud forest of Pico del Este at El Yunque National Forest, Puerto Rico. The presence of AD was supported with satellite images of aerosol optical thickness, and with the results from the air masses backward trajectories calculated with the NOAA HYSPLIT model. Basidiospores and Ascospores comprised the major components of the total spore's concentrations, up to a maximum of 98%, during both AD incursions and background days. A considerably decrease in the concentration of fungal spores during AD events was observed. Ergosterol, biomarker for measuring fungal biomass, concentrations were determined in aerosols that were sampled at a marine site, Cabezas de San Juan Nature Reserve, in Fajardo Puerto Rico, and at an urban site, Facundo Bueso building at the University of Puerto Rico. Additional efforts to understand the relationship between the arrival of AD to the Caribbean and a decrease in spore's concentrations are needed in order to investigate changes in local spore's vs the contribution of long-range spores transported within the AD.

  6. Release of simulated anthrax particles from disposable respirators.

    PubMed

    Kennedy, Nola J; Hinds, William C

    2004-01-01

    A preliminary study was undertaken to evaluate the potential for a disposable respirator that has been contaminated with anthrax spores to release spores in handling after use. The release of inert particles from disposable respirators was measured for masks dropped 3 feet onto a hard surface. Ten experimental runs were conducted for each of two N95 mask types, the Moldex 2200N95 and the 3M 8210. Anthrax spores were simulated with a test aerosol of single and double 1-micron polystyrene spheres. For the Moldex mask loaded with approximately 20 million spheres on it, an average of 0.16% was released; for the 3M mask an average of 0.29% was released. PMID:15202151

  7. Computational Modeling of Aerosol Hazard Arising from the Opening of an Anthrax Letter in an Open-Office Complex

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lien, F. S.; Ji, H.; Yee, E.

    Early experimental work, conducted at Defence R&D Canada — Suffield, measured and characterized the personal and environmental contamination associated with the simulated opening of anthrax-tainted letters under a number of different scenarios. A better understanding of the physical and biological processes is considerably significant for detecting, assessing, and formulating potential mitigation strategies for managing these risks. These preliminary experimental investigations have been extended to simulate the contamination from the opening of anthrax-tainted letters in an Open-Office environment using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD). Bacillus globigii (BG) was used as a biological simulant for anthrax, with 0.1 gram of the simulant released from opened letters in the experiments conducted. The accuracy of the model for prediction of the spatial distribution of BG spores in the office is first assessed quantitatively by comparison with measured SF6 concentrations (the baseline experiment), and then qualitatively by comparison with measured BG concentrations obtained under a number of scenarios, some involving people moving within various offices.

  8. Anthrax Pathogenesis.

    PubMed

    Moayeri, Mahtab; Leppla, Stephen H; Vrentas, Catherine; Pomerantsev, Andrei P; Liu, Shihui

    2015-01-01

    Anthrax is caused by the spore-forming, gram-positive bacterium Bacillus anthracis. The bacterium's major virulence factors are (a) the anthrax toxins and (b) an antiphagocytic polyglutamic capsule. These are encoded by two large plasmids, the former by pXO1 and the latter by pXO2. The expression of both is controlled by the bicarbonate-responsive transcriptional regulator, AtxA. The anthrax toxins are three polypeptides-protective antigen (PA), lethal factor (LF), and edema factor (EF)-that come together in binary combinations to form lethal toxin and edema toxin. PA binds to cellular receptors to translocate LF (a protease) and EF (an adenylate cyclase) into cells. The toxins alter cell signaling pathways in the host to interfere with innate immune responses in early stages of infection and to induce vascular collapse at late stages. This review focuses on the role of anthrax toxins in pathogenesis. Other virulence determinants, as well as vaccines and therapeutics, are briefly discussed.

  9. Systematic evaluation of the efficacy of chlorine dioxide in decontamination of building interior surfaces contaminated with anthrax spores.

    PubMed

    Rastogi, Vipin K; Ryan, Shawn P; Wallace, Lalena; Smith, Lisa S; Shah, Saumil S; Martin, G Blair

    2010-05-01

    Efficacy of chlorine dioxide (CD) gas generated by two distinct generation systems, Sabre (wet system with gas generated in water) and ClorDiSys (dry system with gas generated in air), was evaluated for inactivation of Bacillus anthracis spores on six building interior surfaces. The six building materials included carpet, acoustic ceiling tile, unpainted cinder block, painted I-beam steel, painted wallboard, and unpainted pinewood. There was no statistically significant difference in the data due to the CD generation technology at a 95% confidence level. Note that a common method of CD gas measurement was used for both wet and dry CD generation types. Doses generated by combinations of different concentrations of CD gas (500, 1,000, 1,500, or 3,000 parts per million of volume [ppmv]) and exposure times (ranging between 0.5 and 12 h) were used to evaluate the relative role of fumigant exposure period and total dose in the decontamination of building surfaces. The results showed that the time required to achieve at least a 6-log reduction in viable spores is clearly a function of the material type on which the spores are inoculated. The wood and cinder block coupons required a longer exposure time to achieve a 6-log reduction. The only material showing a clear statistical difference in rate of decay of viable spores as a function of concentration was cinder block. For all other materials, the profile of spore kill (i.e., change in number of viable spores with exposure time) was not dependent upon fumigant concentration (500 to 3,000 ppmv). The CD dose required for complete spore kill on biological indicators (typically, 1E6 spores of Bacillus atrophaeus on stainless steel) was significantly less than that required for decontamination of most of the building materials tested.

  10. Anthrax: Diagnosis

    MedlinePlus

    ... Search The CDC Cancel Submit Search The CDC Anthrax Note: Javascript is disabled or is not supported ... message, please visit this page: About CDC.gov . Anthrax Basic Information Types of Anthrax Cutaneous Anthrax Inhalation ...

  11. Semi-automated bacterial spore detection system with micro-fluidic chips for aerosol collection, spore treatment and ICAN DNA detection.

    PubMed

    Inami, Hisao; Tsuge, Kouichiro; Matsuzawa, Mitsuhiro; Sasaki, Yasuhiko; Togashi, Shigenori; Komano, Asuka; Seto, Yasuo

    2009-07-15

    A semi-automated bacterial spore detection system (BSDS) was developed to detect biological threat agents (e.g., Bacillus anthracis) on-site. The system comprised an aerosol sampler, micro-fluidic chip-A (for spore germination and cell lysis), micro-fluidic chip-B (for extraction and detection of genomic DNA) and an analyzer. An aerosol with bacterial spores was first collected in the collection chamber of chip-A with a velocity of 300 l/min, and the chip-A was taken off from the aerosol sampler and loaded into the analyzer. Reagents packaged in the chip-A were sequentially applied into the chamber. The genomic DNA extract from spore lyzate was manually transferred from chip-A to chip-B and loaded into the analyzer. Genomic DNA in chip-B was first trapped on a glass bead column, washed with various reagents, and eluted to the detection chamber by sequential auto-dispensing. Isothermal and chimeric primer-initiated amplification of nucleic acids (ICAN) with fluorescent measurement was adopted to amplify and detect target DNA. Bacillus subtilis was the stimulant of biological warfare agent in this experiment. Pretreatment conditions were optimized by examining bacterial target DNA recovery in the respective steps (aerosol collection, spore germination, cell lysis, and DNA extraction), by an off-chip experiment using a real-time polymerase chain reaction quantification method. Without the germination step, B. subtilis spores did not demonstrate amplification of target DNA. The detection of 10(4) spores was achieved within 2h throughout the micro-fluidic process. PMID:19450964

  12. Anthrax and the inflammasome.

    PubMed

    Moayeri, Mahtab; Sastalla, Inka; Leppla, Stephen H

    2012-05-01

    Anthrax lethal toxin (LT), a major virulence determinant of anthrax disease, induces vascular collapse in mice and rats. LT activates the Nlrp1 inflammasome in macrophages and dendritic cells, resulting in caspase-1 activation, IL-1β and IL-18 maturation and a rapid cell death (pyroptosis). This review presents the current understanding of LT-induced activation of Nlrp1 in cells and its consequences for toxin-mediated effects in rodent toxin and spore challenge models.

  13. Molecular markers of biomass burning, fungal spores and biogenic SOA in the Taklimakan desert aerosols

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fu, Pingqing; Zhuang, Guoshun; Sun, Yele; Wang, Qiongzhen; Chen, Jing; Ren, Lujie; Yang, Fan; Wang, Zifa; Pan, Xiaole; Li, Xiangdong; Kawamura, Kimitaka

    2016-04-01

    Biogenic primary organic aerosols (POA) and secondary organic aerosols (SOA) are important organic constituents of atmospheric particulate matter (PM). In order to better understand the atmospheric abundances, molecular compositions and sources of the desert aerosols, biomass-burning tracers (e.g. levoglucosan), primary saccharides including fungal spore tracers, and SOA tracers from the oxidation of biogenic volatile organic compounds (e.g. isoprene, monoterpenes and sesquiterpene) have been studied in ambient aerosols from the Taklimakan desert, using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Results showed that the total concentrations of biomass-burning tracers at Hetian (177-359 ng m-3, mean 233 ng m-3 in PM2.5) in the south rim of the desert were much higher than those at Tazhong (1.9-8.8 ng m-3 in PM2.5 and 5.9-32 ng m-3 in TSP) in the central Taklimakan desert. Molecular markers of fungal spores were also detected in all the desert aerosols, highlighting the importance of primary bioaerosols in the Asian dust particles. A specific pattern of the dominance of 2-methylglyceric acid over 2-methyltetrols and C5-alkene triols was found in the Taklimakan desert aerosols, especially during the dust storm events, which is different from the 2-methyltetrols-dominated pattern in other ambient aerosols. Our results provide direct evidence on the biogenic POA and SOA tracers in the Taklimakan desert region, which help to better understand their impact on the aerosol chemistry in the down-wind regions.

  14. Anthrax: A Guide for Biology Teachers.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Simon, Eric J.

    2002-01-01

    Presents facts about anthrax so that biology teachers can communicate them to others. Defines anthrax and the nature of bacterial spores. Discusses transmission and clinical presentation as well as prevention, diagnosis, and treatment. Explores the use of anthrax as a biological warfare agent. (Contains 27 references.) (DDR)

  15. Regional-scale simulations of fungal spore aerosols using an emission parameterization adapted to local measurements of fluorescent biological aerosol particles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hummel, M.; Hoose, C.; Gallagher, M.; Healy, D. A.; Huffman, J. A.; O'Connor, D.; Pöschl, U.; Pöhlker, C.; Robinson, N. H.; Schnaiter, M.; Sodeau, J. R.; Toprak, E.; Vogel, H.

    2014-04-01

    Fungal spores as a prominent type of primary biological aerosol particles (PBAP) have been incorporated into the COSMO-ART regional atmospheric model, using and comparing three different emission parameterizations. Two literature-based emission rates derived from fungal spore colony counts and chemical tracer measurements were used as a parameterization baseline for this study. A third, new emission parameterization was adapted to field measurements of fluorescent biological aerosol particles (FBAP) from four locations across Northern Europe. FBAP concentrations can be regarded as a lower estimate of total PBAP concentrations. Size distributions of FBAP often show a distinct mode at approx. 3 μm, corresponding to a diameter range characteristic for many fungal spores. Previous studies have suggested the majority of FBAP in several locations are dominated by fungal spores. Thus, we suggest that simulated fungal spore concentrations obtained from the emission parameterizations can be compared to the sum of total FBAP concentrations. A comparison reveals that parameterized estimates of fungal spore concentrations based on literature numbers underestimate measured FBAP concentrations. In agreement with measurement data, the model results show a diurnal cycle in simulated fungal spore concentrations, which may develop partially as a consequence of a varying boundary layer height between day and night. Measured FBAP and simulated fungal spore concentrations also correlate similarly with simulated temperature and humidity. These meteorological variables, together with leaf area index, were chosen to drive the new emission parameterization discussed here. Using the new emission parameterization on a model domain covering Western Europe, fungal spores in the lowest model layer comprise a fraction of 15% of the total aerosol mass over land and reach average number concentrations of 26 L-1. The results confirm that fungal spores and biological particles may account for a

  16. Anthrax lethal and edema toxins in anthrax pathogenesis.

    PubMed

    Liu, Shihui; Moayeri, Mahtab; Leppla, Stephen H

    2014-06-01

    The pathophysiological effects resulting from many bacterial diseases are caused by exotoxins released by the bacteria. Bacillus anthracis, a spore-forming bacterium, is such a pathogen, causing anthrax through a combination of bacterial infection and toxemia. B. anthracis causes natural infection in humans and animals and has been a top bioterrorism concern since the 2001 anthrax attacks in the USA. The exotoxins secreted by B. anthracis use capillary morphogenesis protein 2 (CMG2) as the major toxin receptor and play essential roles in pathogenesis during the entire course of the disease. This review focuses on the activities of anthrax toxins and their roles in initial and late stages of anthrax infection.

  17. Use of anthrax vaccine in the United States: recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), 2009.

    PubMed

    Wright, Jennifer Gordon; Quinn, Conrad P; Shadomy, Sean; Messonnier, Nancy

    2010-07-23

    These recommendations from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) update the previous recommendations for anthrax vaccine adsorbed (AVA) (CDC. Use of anthrax vaccine in the United States: Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices [ACIP]. MMWR 2000;49:1-20; CDC. Use of anthrax vaccine in response to terrorism: supplemental recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices [ACIP]. MMWR 2002;51:1024-6) and reflect the status of anthrax vaccine supplies in the United States. This statement 1) provides updated information on anthrax epidemiology; 2) summarizes the evidence regarding the effectiveness and efficacy, immunogenicity, and safety of AVA; 3) provides recommendations for pre-event and preexposure use of AVA; and 4) provides recommendations for postexposure use of AVA. In certain instances, recommendations that did not change were clarified. No new licensed anthrax vaccines are presented. Substantial changes to these recommendations include the following: 1) reducing the number of doses required to complete the pre-event and preexposure primary series from 6 doses to 5 doses, 2) recommending intramuscular rather than subcutaneous AVA administration for preexposure use, 3) recommending AVA as a component of postexposure prophylaxis in pregnant women exposed to aerosolized Bacillus anthracis spores, 4) providing guidance regarding preexposure vaccination of emergency and other responder organizations under the direction of an occupational health program, and 5) recommending 60 days of antimicrobial prophylaxis in conjunction with 3 doses of AVA for optimal protection of previously unvaccinated persons after exposure to aerosolized B. anthracis spores.

  18. Anthrax Vaccine

    MedlinePlus

    What is anthrax?Anthrax is a serious disease that can affect both animals and humans. It is caused by bacteria called Bacillus anthracis. People can get anthrax from contact with infected animals, wool, meat, or ...

  19. Neutron-based sterilization of anthrax contamination.

    PubMed

    Liu, Bin; Wang, Qingfei

    2006-05-01

    With the anthrax threat becoming a reality, it is very important to have an effective way to sterilize areas contaminated by anthrax. Anthrax spores are the dormant form of the anthrax bacteria. They can germinate in tissues, producing new bacteria that release lethal toxins. Neutrons can be a powerful tool in our defense against anthrax contamination. Neutrons are elementary particles that have no charge, which allows them to be very penetrating, killing the anthrax spores on the surface and inside the containers. So neutrons have an advantage over other forms of radiation if deep penetration is required to kill biological organisms. A Cf neutron source allows for a low cost method of decontamination. It emits most neutrons in the 100 keV to 2 MeV energy regions, and a neutron in this energy region is 20 times more deadly than electrons or gamma rays in killing anthrax spores. If we just consider the first neutron collision with anthrax spores and that all the anthrax spores will not survive at the dose level above 2.0 x 10 Gy, our calculations show that a 0.5-g Cf neutron source within 20 min can generate 1.11 x 10 m fluence neutrons, which is good enough to kill the anthrax spores on the sample. An experimental confirmation of the above results may prove that to achieve 1.11 x 10 m fluence neutrons on the anthrax spore sample, the neutron irradiation time may be reduced dramatically or the Cf neutron source reduced to 0.1 g level or even less. The aim of this paper is to evaluate a feasible way to sterilize the anthrax contamination by using a Cf neutron source. Presently, we are mainly concentrating on the theoretical estimation of neutron fluence to see if the Cf neutron source can deliver enough neutron irradiation dose to kill the anthrax spores. Our future work will focus on experimental confirmation and Monte Carlo simulation by using Geant4 or MCNP codes. At that time, we will consider the effects of the real experimental setup, the shielding materials

  20. Neutron-based sterilization of anthrax contamination.

    PubMed

    Liu, Bin; Wang, Qingfei

    2006-05-01

    With the anthrax threat becoming a reality, it is very important to have an effective way to sterilize areas contaminated by anthrax. Anthrax spores are the dormant form of the anthrax bacteria. They can germinate in tissues, producing new bacteria that release lethal toxins. Neutrons can be a powerful tool in our defense against anthrax contamination. Neutrons are elementary particles that have no charge, which allows them to be very penetrating, killing the anthrax spores on the surface and inside the containers. So neutrons have an advantage over other forms of radiation if deep penetration is required to kill biological organisms. A Cf neutron source allows for a low cost method of decontamination. It emits most neutrons in the 100 keV to 2 MeV energy regions, and a neutron in this energy region is 20 times more deadly than electrons or gamma rays in killing anthrax spores. If we just consider the first neutron collision with anthrax spores and that all the anthrax spores will not survive at the dose level above 2.0 x 10 Gy, our calculations show that a 0.5-g Cf neutron source within 20 min can generate 1.11 x 10 m fluence neutrons, which is good enough to kill the anthrax spores on the sample. An experimental confirmation of the above results may prove that to achieve 1.11 x 10 m fluence neutrons on the anthrax spore sample, the neutron irradiation time may be reduced dramatically or the Cf neutron source reduced to 0.1 g level or even less. The aim of this paper is to evaluate a feasible way to sterilize the anthrax contamination by using a Cf neutron source. Presently, we are mainly concentrating on the theoretical estimation of neutron fluence to see if the Cf neutron source can deliver enough neutron irradiation dose to kill the anthrax spores. Our future work will focus on experimental confirmation and Monte Carlo simulation by using Geant4 or MCNP codes. At that time, we will consider the effects of the real experimental setup, the shielding materials

  1. Regional-scale simulations of fungal spore aerosols using an emission parameterization adapted to local measurements of fluorescent biological aerosol particles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hummel, M.; Hoose, C.; Gallagher, M.; Healy, D. A.; Huffman, J. A.; O'Connor, D.; Pöschl, U.; Pöhlker, C.; Robinson, N. H.; Schnaiter, M.; Sodeau, J. R.; Stengel, M.; Toprak, E.; Vogel, H.

    2015-06-01

    Fungal spores as a prominent type of primary biological aerosol particles (PBAP) have been incorporated into the COSMO-ART (Consortium for Small-scale Modelling-Aerosols and Reactive Trace gases) regional atmospheric model. Two literature-based emission rates for fungal spores derived from fungal spore colony counts and chemical tracer measurements were used as a parameterization baseline for this study. A third, new emission parameterization for fluorescent biological aerosol particles (FBAP) was adapted to field measurements from four locations across Europe. FBAP concentrations can be regarded as a lower estimate of total PBAP concentrations. Size distributions of FBAP often show a distinct mode at approx. 3 μm, corresponding to a diameter range characteristic for many fungal spores. Previous studies for several locations have suggested that FBAP are in many cases dominated by fungal spores. Thus, we suggest that simulated FBAP and fungal spore concentrations obtained from the three different emission parameterizations can be compared to FBAP measurements. The comparison reveals that simulated fungal spore concentrations based on literature emission parameterizations are lower than measured FBAP concentrations. In agreement with the measurements, the model results show a diurnal cycle in simulated fungal spore concentrations, which may develop partially as a consequence of a varying boundary layer height between day and night. Temperature and specific humidity, together with leaf area index (LAI), were chosen to drive the new emission parameterization which is fitted to the FBAP observations. The new parameterization results in similar root mean square errors (RMSEs) and correlation coefficients compared to the FBAP observations as the previously existing fungal spore emission parameterizations, with some improvements in the bias. Using the new emission parameterization on a model domain covering western Europe, FBAP in the lowest model layer comprise a

  2. Evaluation of Intravenous Anthrax Immune Globulin for Treatment of Inhalation Anthrax

    PubMed Central

    Mytle, Nutan; Hopkins, Robert J.; Malkevich, Nina V.; Basu, Subhendu; Meister, Gabriel T.; Sanford, Daniel C.; Comer, Jason E.; Van Zandt, Kristopher E.; Al-Ibrahim, Mohamed; Kramer, William G.; Howard, Cris; Daczkowski, Nancy; Chakrabarti, Ajoy C.; Ionin, Boris; Nabors, Gary S.

    2013-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis toxins can be neutralized by antibodies against protective antigen (PA), a component of anthrax toxins. Anthrivig (human anthrax immunoglobulin), also known as AIGIV, derived from plasma of humans immunized with BioThrax (anthrax vaccine adsorbed), is under development for the treatment of toxemia following exposure to anthrax spores. The pharmacokinetics (PK) of AIGIV was assessed in naive animals and healthy human volunteers, and the efficacy of AIGIV was assessed in animals exposed via inhalation to aerosolized B. anthracis spores. In the clinical study, safety, tolerability, and PK were evaluated in three dose cohorts (3.5, 7.1, and 14.2 mg/kg of body weight of anti-PA IgG) with 30 volunteers per cohort. The elimination half-life of AIGIV in rabbits, nonhuman primates (NHPs), and humans following intravenous infusion was estimated to be approximately 4, 12, and 24 days, respectively, and dose proportionality was observed. In a time-based treatment study, AIGIV protected 89 to 100% of animals when administered 12 h postexposure; however, a lower survival rate of 39% was observed when animals were treated 24 h postexposure, underscoring the need for early intervention. In a separate set of studies, animals were treated on an individual basis upon detection of a clinical sign or biomarker of disease, namely, a significant increase in body temperature (SIBT) in rabbits and presence of PA in the serum of NHPs. In these trigger-based intervention studies, AIGIV induced up to 75% survival in rabbits depending on the dose and severity of toxemia at the time of treatment. In NHPs, up to 33% survival was observed in AIGIV-treated animals. (The clinical study has been registered at ClinicalTrials.gov under registration no. NCT00845650.) PMID:23979731

  3. Evaluation of intravenous anthrax immune globulin for treatment of inhalation anthrax.

    PubMed

    Mytle, Nutan; Hopkins, Robert J; Malkevich, Nina V; Basu, Subhendu; Meister, Gabriel T; Sanford, Daniel C; Comer, Jason E; Van Zandt, Kristopher E; Al-Ibrahim, Mohamed; Kramer, William G; Howard, Cris; Daczkowski, Nancy; Chakrabarti, Ajoy C; Ionin, Boris; Nabors, Gary S; Skiadopoulos, Mario H

    2013-11-01

    Bacillus anthracis toxins can be neutralized by antibodies against protective antigen (PA), a component of anthrax toxins. Anthrivig (human anthrax immunoglobulin), also known as AIGIV, derived from plasma of humans immunized with BioThrax (anthrax vaccine adsorbed), is under development for the treatment of toxemia following exposure to anthrax spores. The pharmacokinetics (PK) of AIGIV was assessed in naive animals and healthy human volunteers, and the efficacy of AIGIV was assessed in animals exposed via inhalation to aerosolized B. anthracis spores. In the clinical study, safety, tolerability, and PK were evaluated in three dose cohorts (3.5, 7.1, and 14.2 mg/kg of body weight of anti-PA IgG) with 30 volunteers per cohort. The elimination half-life of AIGIV in rabbits, nonhuman primates (NHPs), and humans following intravenous infusion was estimated to be approximately 4, 12, and 24 days, respectively, and dose proportionality was observed. In a time-based treatment study, AIGIV protected 89 to 100% of animals when administered 12 h postexposure; however, a lower survival rate of 39% was observed when animals were treated 24 h postexposure, underscoring the need for early intervention. In a separate set of studies, animals were treated on an individual basis upon detection of a clinical sign or biomarker of disease, namely, a significant increase in body temperature (SIBT) in rabbits and presence of PA in the serum of NHPs. In these trigger-based intervention studies, AIGIV induced up to 75% survival in rabbits depending on the dose and severity of toxemia at the time of treatment. In NHPs, up to 33% survival was observed in AIGIV-treated animals. (The clinical study has been registered at ClinicalTrials.gov under registration no. NCT00845650.).

  4. Anthrax and wildlife.

    PubMed

    Hugh-Jones, M E; de Vos, V

    2002-08-01

    Although livestock anthrax is declining in many parts of the world, with an increasing number of countries probably truly free of the disease, anthrax remains enzootic in many national parks and even in some game ranching areas. These infected areas can present a persistent risk to surrounding livestock, which may otherwise be free of the disease, as well as a public health risk. The authors use as examples the national parks in southern Africa, the Wood Buffalo National Park in northern Alberta, Canada, and the deer ranching counties in south-west Texas, United States of America, to present the range of problems, epidemiology, and control procedures. While many advances have been achieved in the understanding of this disease, research is required into the genotypic grouping of anthrax isolates, improved field diagnostic techniques, and oral vaccines, as well as to provide a better understanding of spore survival in soil and the ecology of the disease under natural conditions.

  5. Treatment of Anthrax Disease Frequently Asked Questions

    SciTech Connect

    Judd, Kathleen S.; Young, Joan E.; Lesperance, Ann M.; Malone, John D.

    2010-05-14

    This document provides a summary of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on the treatment of anthrax disease caused by a wide-area release of Bacillus anthracis spores as an act bioterrorism. These FAQs are intended to provide the public health and medical community, as well as others, with guidance and communications to support the response and long-term recovery from an anthrax event.

  6. Anthrax vaccine associated deaths in miniature horses.

    PubMed

    Wobeser, Bruce K

    2015-04-01

    During a widespread anthrax outbreak in Canada, miniature horses were vaccinated using a live spore anthrax vaccine. Several of these horses died from an apparent immune-mediated vasculitis temporally associated with this vaccination. During the course of the outbreak, other miniature horses from different regions with a similar vaccination history, clinical signs, and necropsy findings were found.

  7. Anthrax: Symptoms

    MedlinePlus

    ... hands Inhalation anthrax symptoms can include: Fever and chills Chest Discomfort Shortness of breath Confusion or dizziness ... aches Gastrointestinal anthrax symptoms can include: Fever and chills Swelling of neck or neck glands Sore throat ...

  8. Contribution of fungi to primary biogenic aerosols in the atmosphere: wet and dry discharged spores, carbohydrates, and inorganic ions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Elbert, W.; Taylor, P. E.; Andreae, M. O.; Pöschl, U.

    2007-09-01

    Biogenic aerosols play important roles in atmospheric chemistry physics, the biosphere, climate, and public health. Here, we show that fungi which actively discharge their spores with liquids into the air, in particular actively wet spore discharging Ascomycota (AAM) and actively wet spore discharging Basidiomycota (ABM), are a major source of primary biogenic aerosol particles and components. We present the first estimates for the global average emission rates of fungal spores. Measurement results and budget calculations based on investigations in Amazonia (Balbina, Brazil, July 2001) indicate that the spores of AAM and ABM may account for a large proportion of coarse particulate matter in tropical rainforest regions during the wet season (0.7-2.3 μg m-3). For the particle diameter range of 1-10 μm, the estimated proportions are ~25% during day-time, ~45% at night, and ~35% on average. For the sugar alcohol mannitol, the budget calculations indicate that it is suitable for use as a molecular tracer for actively wet discharged basidiospores (ABS). ABM emissions seem to account for most of the atmospheric abundance of mannitol (10-68 ng m-3), and can explain the observed diurnal cycle (higher abundance at night). ABM emissions of hexose carbohydrates might also account for a significant proportion of glucose and fructose in air particulate matter (7-49 ng m-3), but the literature-derived ratios are not consistent with the observed diurnal cycle (lower abundance at night). AAM emissions appear to account for a large proportion of potassium in air particulate matter over tropical rainforest regions during the wet season (17-43 ng m-3), and they can also explain the observed diurnal cycle (higher abundance at night). The results of our investigations and budget calculations for tropical rainforest aerosols are consistent with measurements performed at other locations. Based on the average abundance of mannitol reported for extratropical continental boundary layer air

  9. Field detection of bacillus spore aerosols with stand-alone pyrolysis-gas chromatography and ion mobility spectrometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Snyder, A.; Maswadeh, Waleed M.; Parsons, John A.; Tripathi, Ashish; Meuzelaar, Henk L. C.; Dworzanski, Jacek P.; Kim, Man-Goo

    1999-12-01

    A commercially available, hand-held chemical vapor detector was modified to detect Gram-positive Bacillus subtilis var. globigii spores (BG) in outdoor field scenarios. An Airborne Vapor Monitor (AVM) ion mobility spectrometry (IMS) vapor detector was interfaced to a biological sample processing and transfer introduction system. The biological sample processing was accomplished by quartz tube pyrolysis (Py), and the resultant vapor was transferred by gas chromatography (GC) to the IMS detector. The Py-GC/IMS system can be described as a hyphenated device where two analytical dimensions, in series, allow the separation and isolation of individual components from the pyrolytic decomposition of biological analytes. Gram positive spores such as BG contain 5 - 15% by weight of dipicolinic acid (DPA), and picolinic acid is a pyrolysis product of DPA. Picolinic acid has a high proton affinity, and it is detected in a sensitive fashion by the atmospheric pressure-based IMS device. Picolinic acid occupies a unique region in the GC/IMS data domain with respect to other bacterial pyrolysis products. A 1000 to 1, air-to-air, aerosol concentrator was interfaced to the Py-GC/IMS instrument, and the system was placed in an open-air, Western United States desert environment. The system was tested with BG spore aerosol releases, and the instrument was remotely operated during a trial. A Met-One aerosol particle counter was placed next to the Py-GC/IMS so as to obtain a real-time record of the ambient and bacterial aerosol challenges. The presence/absence of an aerosol event, determined by an aerosol particle counter and a slit sampler-agar plate system, was compared to the presence/absence of a picolinic acid response in a GC/IMS data window at selected times in a trial with respect to a BG challenge. In the 21 BG trials, the Py-GC/IMS instrument experienced two true negatives, no false positives, and the instrument developed a software failure in one trial. The remaining 18 trials

  10. Culturability of Bacillus spores on aerosol collection filters exposed to airborne combustion products of Al, Mg, and B·Ti.

    PubMed

    Adhikari, Atin; Yermakov, Michael; Indugula, Reshmi; Reponen, Tiina; Driks, Adam; Grinshpun, Sergey A

    2016-05-01

    Destruction of bioweapon facilities due to explosion or fire could aerosolize highly pathogenic microorganisms. The post-event air quality assessment is conducted through air sampling. A bioaerosol sample (often collected on a filter for further culture-based analysis) also contains combustion products, which may influence the microbial culturability and, thus, impact the outcome. We have examined the interaction between spores deposited on collection filters using two simulants of Bacillus anthracis [B. thuringiensis (Bt) and B. atrophaeus (referred to as BG)] and incoming combustion products of Al as well as Mg and B·Ti (common ingredient of metalized explosives). Spores extracted from Teflon, polycarbonate, mixed cellulose ester (MCE), and gelatin filters (most common filter media for bioaerosol sampling), which were exposed to combustion products during a short-term sampling, were analyzed by cultivation. Surprisingly, we observed that aluminum combustion products enhanced the culturability of Bt (but not BG) spores on Teflon filters increasing the culturable count by more than an order of magnitude. Testing polycarbonate and MCE filter materials also revealed a moderate increase of culturability although gelatin did not. No effect was observed with either of the two species interacting on either filter media with products originated by combustion of Mg and B·Ti. Sample contamination, spore agglomeration, effect of a filter material on the spore survival, changes in the spore wall ultrastructure and germination, as well as other factors were explored to interpret the findings. The study raises a question about the reliability of certain filter materials for collecting airborne bio-threat agents in combustion environments. PMID:26914458

  11. Culturability of Bacillus spores on aerosol collection filters exposed to airborne combustion products of Al, Mg, and B·Ti.

    PubMed

    Adhikari, Atin; Yermakov, Michael; Indugula, Reshmi; Reponen, Tiina; Driks, Adam; Grinshpun, Sergey A

    2016-05-01

    Destruction of bioweapon facilities due to explosion or fire could aerosolize highly pathogenic microorganisms. The post-event air quality assessment is conducted through air sampling. A bioaerosol sample (often collected on a filter for further culture-based analysis) also contains combustion products, which may influence the microbial culturability and, thus, impact the outcome. We have examined the interaction between spores deposited on collection filters using two simulants of Bacillus anthracis [B. thuringiensis (Bt) and B. atrophaeus (referred to as BG)] and incoming combustion products of Al as well as Mg and B·Ti (common ingredient of metalized explosives). Spores extracted from Teflon, polycarbonate, mixed cellulose ester (MCE), and gelatin filters (most common filter media for bioaerosol sampling), which were exposed to combustion products during a short-term sampling, were analyzed by cultivation. Surprisingly, we observed that aluminum combustion products enhanced the culturability of Bt (but not BG) spores on Teflon filters increasing the culturable count by more than an order of magnitude. Testing polycarbonate and MCE filter materials also revealed a moderate increase of culturability although gelatin did not. No effect was observed with either of the two species interacting on either filter media with products originated by combustion of Mg and B·Ti. Sample contamination, spore agglomeration, effect of a filter material on the spore survival, changes in the spore wall ultrastructure and germination, as well as other factors were explored to interpret the findings. The study raises a question about the reliability of certain filter materials for collecting airborne bio-threat agents in combustion environments.

  12. Anthrax letters: personal exposure, building contamination, and effectiveness of immediate mitigation measures.

    PubMed

    Kournikakis, Bill; Ho, Jim; Duncan, Scott

    2010-02-01

    This report is the first detailed and quantitative study of potential mitigation procedures intended to deal with anthrax letters using a simulated anthrax letter release within an actual office building. Spore aerosols were created by opening letters containing 0.1 g of dry powdered Bacillus atrophaeus spores. Culturable aerosol samples were collected using slit-to-agar and filter-based samplers. Five test scenarios were designed to determine whether simple mitigation procedures or activities carried out by the person who opened the letter made a significant difference to aerosol concentrations in comparison to a control scenario where no activity took place. Surface contamination of the letter opener was measured at 10 body points for Scenarios 1 to 4. A sixth scenario, based on published Centers for Disease Control and Prevention anthrax letter response guidelines, used letters containing 1 g of spores. Results demonstrated that the spore aerosol spread throughout the building in less than 4.5 min. Potential mitigation techniques such as closing the office door or shutting off the ventilation system were not effective. Activities carried out by the letter opener including moving, walking to another location, and spraying water onto the contaminated desk with a hand sprayer all resulted in significantly higher aerosol concentrations in comparison to control. The potential total inhalational hazard for the letter opener during the five test scenarios ranged from 4.1 x 10(5) to 1.6 x 10(6) colony forming units (CFU) compared to 3.9 x 10(5) CFU for the control. Surface contamination of the letter opener (Scenarios 1 to 4) was highest on the right hip (4.8 x 10(4) to 1.0 x 10(5) CFU/cm(- 2)) and lowest on the right or left side of the head (2.2 x 10(2) to 3.7 x 10(3) CFU/cm(-2)). The statistically based methodology used in this study provided the means to objectively assess anthrax letter protocols to determine their effectiveness under realistic conditions

  13. Anthrax Infection

    PubMed Central

    Sweeney, Daniel A.; Hicks, Caitlin W.; Cui, Xizhong; Li, Yan

    2011-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis infection is rare in developed countries. However, recent outbreaks in the United States and Europe and the potential use of the bacteria for bioterrorism have focused interest on it. Furthermore, although anthrax was known to typically occur as one of three syndromes related to entry site of (i.e., cutaneous, gastrointestinal, or inhalational), a fourth syndrome including severe soft tissue infection in injectional drug users is emerging. Although shock has been described with cutaneous anthrax, it appears much more common with gastrointestinal, inhalational (5 of 11 patients in the 2001 outbreak in the United States), and injectional anthrax. Based in part on case series, the estimated mortalities of cutaneous, gastrointestinal, inhalational, and injectional anthrax are 1%, 25 to 60%, 46%, and 33%, respectively. Nonspecific early symptomatology makes initial identification of anthrax cases difficult. Clues to anthrax infection include history of exposure to herbivore animal products, heroin use, or clustering of patients with similar respiratory symptoms concerning for a bioterrorist event. Once anthrax is suspected, the diagnosis can usually be made with Gram stain and culture from blood or surgical specimens followed by confirmatory testing (e.g., PCR or immunohistochemistry). Although antibiotic therapy (largely quinolone-based) is the mainstay of anthrax treatment, the use of adjunctive therapies such as anthrax toxin antagonists is a consideration. PMID:21852539

  14. Human antibodies against spores of the genus Bacillus: a model study for detection of and protection against anthrax and the bioterrorist threat.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Bin; Wirsching, Peter; Janda, Kim D

    2002-04-16

    A naive, human single-chain Fv (scFv) phage-display library was used in bio-panning against live, native spores of Bacillus subtilis IFO 3336 suspended in solution. A direct in vitro panning and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay-based selection afforded a panel of nine scFv-phage clones of which two, 5B and 7E, were chosen for further study. These two clones differed in their relative specificity and affinity for spores of B. subtilis IFO 3336 vs. a panel of spores from 11 other Bacillus species/strains. A variety of enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay protocols indicated these scFv-phage clones recognized different spore epitopes. Notably, some spore epitopes markedly changed between the free and microtiter-plate immobilized state as revealed by antibody-phage binding. An additional library selection procedure also was examined by constructing a Fab chain-shuffled sublibrary from the nine positive clones and by using a subtractive panning strategy to remove crossreactivity with B. licheniformis 5A24. The Fab-phage clone 52 was improved compared with 5B and was comparable to 7E in binding B. subtilis IFO 3336 vs. B. licheniformis 5A24, yet showed a distinctive crossreactivity pattern with other spores. We also developed a method to directly detect individual spores by using fluorescently labeled antibody-phage. Finally, a variety of "powders" that might be used in deploying spores of B. anthracis were examined for antibody-phage binding. The strategies described provide a foundation to discover human antibodies specific for native spores of B. anthracis that can be developed as diagnostic and therapeutic reagents. PMID:11959974

  15. Anthrax Basics

    MedlinePlus

    ... it like the cold or flu. How do animals get infected with anthrax? Domestic and wild animals such as cattle, sheep, goats, antelope, and deer ... soil, plants, or water. In areas where domestic animals have had anthrax in the past, routine vaccination ...

  16. Human anthrax as a re-emerging disease.

    PubMed

    Doganay, Mehmet; Demiraslan, Hayati

    2015-01-01

    Anthrax is primarily a disease of herbivores and the etiological agent is B. anthracis which is a gram-positive, aerobic, spore-forming, and rod shaped bacterium. Bacillus anthracis spores are highly resistant to heat, pressure, ultraviolet and ionizing radiation, chemical agents and disinfectants. For these reasons, B. anthracis spores are an attractive choice as biological agents for the use of bioweapon and/or bioterrorism. Soil is the main reservoir for the infectious agent. The disease most commonly affects wild and domestic mammals. Human are secondarily infected by contact with infected animals and contaminated animal products or directly expose to B. anthracis spores. Anthrax occurs worldwide. This infection is still endemic or hyperendemic in both animals and humans in some part of areas of the world; particularly in Middle East, West Africa, Central Asia, some part of India, South America. However, some countries are claiming free of anthrax, and anthrax has become a re-emerging disease in western countries with the intentional outbreak. Currently, anthrax is classified according to its setting as (1) naturally occurring anthrax, (2) bioterrorism-related anthrax. Vast majority of human anthrax are occurring as naturally occurring anthrax in the world. It is also a threaten disease for western countries. The aim of this paper is to review the relevant patents, short historical perspective, microbiological and epidemiological features, clinical presentations and treatment.

  17. Cutaneous anthrax (image)

    MedlinePlus

    Anthrax is caused by the bacteria Bacillus anthracis . While anthrax commonly affects hoofed animals such as sheep and goats, humans may get sick from anthrax, too. The most common type of anthrax infection ...

  18. [Bacillus anthracis: causative agent of anthrax].

    PubMed

    Boutiba-Ben Boubaker, I; Ben Redjeb, S

    2001-12-01

    Anthrax, an acute infectious disease of historical importance, is once again regaining interest with its use as a biological weapon. It is caused by B. anthracis, a Gram positive spore forming rod usually surrounded by a capsule and producing toxin. It occurs most frequently as an epizootic or enzootic disease of herbivores that acquire spores form direct contact with contaminated soil. Spores can survive for many years in soil. Animal vaccination programs have reduced drastically the disease in developed countries. In humans, the disease is acquired following contact with anthrax infected animals or their products. 3 types of anthrax infection can occur: cutaneous, inhalational and gastro intestinal. Cutaneous anthrax is the most common observed form. When germination occurs, replicating bacteria release toxin leading to hemorrhage, edema, necrosis and death. Full virulence of B. anthracis requires the presence of both antiphagocytic capsule and 3 toxin components (protective antigen, lethal factor and edema factor). Most naturally occurring anthrax strains are sensitive to penicillin but resistant to third generation cephalosporins. Post exposure prophylaxis is indicated to prevent inhalational anthrax. PMID:11892436

  19. Protein- and DNA-based anthrax toxin vaccines confer protection in guinea pigs against inhalational challenge with Bacillus cereus G9241.

    PubMed

    Palmer, John; Bell, Matt; Darko, Christian; Barnewall, Roy; Keane-Myers, Andrea

    2014-11-01

    In the past decade, several Bacillus cereus strains have been isolated from otherwise healthy individuals who succumbed to bacterial pneumonia presenting symptoms resembling inhalational anthrax. One strain was indistinguishable from B. cereus G9241, previously cultured from an individual who survived a similar pneumonia-like illness and which was shown to possess a complete set of plasmid-borne anthrax toxin-encoding homologs. The finding that B. cereus G9241 pathogenesis in mice is dependent on pagA1-derived protective antigen (PA) synthesis suggests that an anthrax toxin-based vaccine may be effective against this toxin-encoding B. cereus strain. Dunkin Hartley guinea pigs were immunized with protein- and DNA-based anthrax toxin-based vaccines, immune responses were evaluated and survival rates were calculated after lethal aerosol exposure with B. cereus G9241 spores. Each vaccine induced seroconversion with the protein immunization regimen eliciting significantly higher serum levels of antigen-specific antibodies at the prechallenge time-point compared with the DNA-protein prime-boost immunization schedule. Complete protection against lethal challenge was observed in all groups with a detectable prechallenge serum titer of toxin neutralizing antibodies. For the first time, we demonstrated that the efficacy of fully defined anthrax toxin-based vaccines was protective against lethal B. cereus G9241 aerosol challenge in the guinea pig animal model.

  20. Anthrax: a continuing concern in the era of bioterrorism

    PubMed Central

    2005-01-01

    Anthrax, a potentially fatal infection, is a virulent and highly contagious disease. It is caused by a gram-positive, toxigenic, spore-forming bacillus: Bacillus anthracis. For centuries, anthrax has caused disease in animals and, although uncommonly, in humans throughout the world. Descriptions of this naturally occurring disease begin in antiquity. Anthrax is primarily a disease of herbivores, which are infected by ingestion of spores from the soil. With the advent of modern microbiology, Pasteur developed the first successful anthrax vaccine in 1881. The incidence of the disease has continually decreased since the late 19th century, and animal vaccination programs drastically reduced the animal mortality from the disease. However, anthrax spores continue to be documented in soil samples from throughout the world. Research on anthrax as a biological weapon began more than 80 years ago, and today at least 17 nations are believed to have offensive biological weapons programs that include anthrax. Recent events in the USA have shown how society is affected by both hoax and real threats of anthrax bioweapons. This fourth article in the series on weapons of biowarfare/bioterrorism summarizes the historical background of anthrax as well as clinical and laboratory information useful for bioterrorism preparedness. PMID:16200179

  1. [Oropharyngeal anthrax].

    PubMed

    Onerci, M; Ergin, N T

    1993-07-01

    We report on a 46-year old man suffering from the oropharyngeal form of human anthrax. The patient presented with a sore throat and extensive swelling of the right neck, the oropharynx and especially the right tonsil. The skin of the mandibular and submandibular region showed vesicular lesions followed by ulcerations resulting in a blackish eschar. The diagnosis was verified by bacteriological culture. Thus, in cases of known exposure, in areas where anthrax is endemic or in immigrant workers coming from such areas, infection with bacillus anthracis should be included in the differential diagnosis of inflammatory oedematous lesions of the oropharynx. PMID:8369089

  2. Oropharyngeal anthrax.

    PubMed

    Navacharoen, N; Sirisanthana, T; Navacharoen, W; Ruckphaopunt, K

    1985-12-01

    The first bacteriologically confirmed case of oropharyngeal anthrax is described. A 59-year-old male patient presented with sore throat and extensive swelling of the neck and anterior chest wall five hours after the ingestion of uncooked water buffalo meat. Marked inflammation of the oropharynx and a small necrotic area in the left tonsil were found. Culture taken from this area grew Bacillus anthracis. In anthrax-susceptible areas, this acute illness should be added to the differential diagnoses of inflammatory lesion of the oropharynx with extensive neck swelling.

  3. The Ins and Outs of Anthrax Toxin

    PubMed Central

    Friebe, Sarah; van der Goot, F. Gisou; Bürgi, Jérôme

    2016-01-01

    Anthrax is a severe, although rather rare, infectious disease that is caused by the Gram-positive, spore-forming bacterium Bacillus anthracis. The infectious form is the spore and the major virulence factors of the bacterium are its poly-γ-D-glutamic acid capsule and the tripartite anthrax toxin. The discovery of the anthrax toxin receptors in the early 2000s has allowed in-depth studies on the mechanisms of anthrax toxin cellular entry and translocation from the endocytic compartment to the cytoplasm. The toxin generally hijacks the endocytic pathway of CMG2 and TEM8, the two anthrax toxin receptors, in order to reach the endosomes. From there, the pore-forming subunit of the toxin inserts into endosomal membranes and enables translocation of the two catalytic subunits. Insertion of the pore-forming unit preferentially occurs in intraluminal vesicles rather than the limiting membrane of the endosome, leading to the translocation of the enzymatic subunits in the lumen of these vesicles. This has important consequences that will be discussed. Ultimately, the toxins reach the cytosol where they act on their respective targets. Target modification has severe consequences on cell behavior, in particular on cells of the immune system, allowing the spread of the bacterium, in severe cases leading to host death. Here we will review the literature on anthrax disease with a focus on the structure of the toxin, how it enters cells and its immunological effects. PMID:26978402

  4. Anthrax blood test

    MedlinePlus

    Anthrax serology test; Antibody test for anthrax; Serologic test for B anthracis ... A normal result means no antibodies to the anthrax bacteria were seen in your blood sample. However, during the early stages of infection, your body may only ...

  5. Anthrax vaccines: present status and future prospects.

    PubMed

    Kaur, Manpreet; Singh, Samer; Bhatnagar, Rakesh

    2013-08-01

    The management of anthrax remains a top priority among the biowarfare/bioterror agents. It was the Bacillus anthracis spore attack through the US mail system after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in the USA that highlighted the potential of B. anthracis as a bioterrorism agent and the threat posed by its deliberate dissemination. These attacks invigorated the efforts toward understanding the anthrax pathogenesis and development of more comprehensive medical intervention strategies for its containment in case of both natural disease and manmade, accidental or deliberate infection of a non-suspecting population. Currently, efforts are directed toward the development of safe and efficacious vaccines as well as intervention tools for controlling the disease in the advanced fulminant stage when toxemia has already developed. This work presents an overview of the current understanding of anthrax pathogenesis and recent advances made, particularly after 2001, for the successful management of anthrax and outlines future perspectives.

  6. Immunization with a Recombinant, Pseudomonas fluorescens-Expressed, Mutant Form of Bacillus anthracis-Derived Protective Antigen Protects Rabbits from Anthrax Infection.

    PubMed

    Reed, Matthew D; Wilder, Julie A; Mega, William M; Hutt, Julie A; Kuehl, Philip J; Valderas, Michelle W; Chew, Lawrence L; Liang, Bertrand C; Squires, Charles H

    2015-01-01

    Protective antigen (PA), one of the components of the anthrax toxin, is the major component of human anthrax vaccine (Biothrax). Human anthrax vaccines approved in the United States and Europe consist of an alum-adsorbed or precipitated (respectively) supernatant material derived from cultures of toxigenic, non-encapsulated strains of Bacillus anthracis. Approved vaccination schedules in humans with either of these vaccines requires several booster shots and occasionally causes adverse injection site reactions. Mutant derivatives of the protective antigen that will not form the anthrax toxins have been described. We have cloned and expressed both mutant (PA SNKE167-ΔFF-315-E308D) and native PA molecules recombinantly and purified them. In this study, both the mutant and native PA molecules, formulated with alum (Alhydrogel), elicited high titers of anthrax toxin neutralizing anti-PA antibodies in New Zealand White rabbits. Both mutant and native PA vaccine preparations protected rabbits from lethal, aerosolized, B. anthracis spore challenge subsequent to two immunizations at doses of less than 1 μg.

  7. Immunization with a Recombinant, Pseudomonas fluorescens-Expressed, Mutant Form of Bacillus anthracis-Derived Protective Antigen Protects Rabbits from Anthrax Infection

    PubMed Central

    Reed, Matthew D.; Wilder, Julie A.; Mega, William M.; Hutt, Julie A.; Kuehl, Philip J.; Valderas, Michelle W.; Chew, Lawrence L.; Liang, Bertrand C.; Squires, Charles H.

    2015-01-01

    Protective antigen (PA), one of the components of the anthrax toxin, is the major component of human anthrax vaccine (Biothrax). Human anthrax vaccines approved in the United States and Europe consist of an alum-adsorbed or precipitated (respectively) supernatant material derived from cultures of toxigenic, non-encapsulated strains of Bacillus anthracis. Approved vaccination schedules in humans with either of these vaccines requires several booster shots and occasionally causes adverse injection site reactions. Mutant derivatives of the protective antigen that will not form the anthrax toxins have been described. We have cloned and expressed both mutant (PA SNKE167-ΔFF-315-E308D) and native PA molecules recombinantly and purified them. In this study, both the mutant and native PA molecules, formulated with alum (Alhydrogel), elicited high titers of anthrax toxin neutralizing anti-PA antibodies in New Zealand White rabbits. Both mutant and native PA vaccine preparations protected rabbits from lethal, aerosolized, B. anthracis spore challenge subsequent to two immunizations at doses of less than 1 μg. PMID:26207820

  8. Clinical Framework and Medical Countermeasure Use During an Anthrax Mass-Casualty Incident.

    PubMed

    Bower, William A; Hendricks, Katherine; Pillai, Satish; Guarnizo, Julie; Meaney-Delman, Dana

    2015-12-01

    In 2014, CDC published updated guidelines for the prevention and treatment of anthrax (Hendricks KA, Wright ME, Shadomy SV, et al. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention expert panel meetings on prevention and treatment of anthrax in adults. Emerg Infect Dis 2014;20[2]. Available at http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/20/2/13-0687_article.htm). These guidelines provided recommended best practices for the diagnosis and treatment of persons with naturally occurring or bioterrorism-related anthrax in conventional medical settings. An aerosolized release of Bacillus anthracis spores over densely populated areas could become a mass-casualty incident. To prepare for this possibility, the U.S. government has stockpiled equipment and therapeutics (known as medical countermeasures [MCMs]) for anthrax prevention and treatment. However, previously developed, publicly available clinical recommendations have not addressed the use of MCMs or clinical management during an anthrax mass-casualty incident, when the number of patients is likely to exceed the ability of the health care infrastructure to provide conventional standards of care and supplies of MCMs might be inadequate to meet the demand required. To address this gap, in 2013, CDC conducted a series of systematic reviews of the scientific literature on anthrax to identify evidence that could help clinicians and public health authorities set guidelines for intravenous antimicrobial and antitoxin use, diagnosis of anthrax meningitis, and management of common anthrax-specific complications in the setting of a mass-casualty incident. Evidence from these reviews was presented to professionals with expertise in anthrax, critical care, and disaster medicine during a series of workgroup meetings that were held from August 2013 through March 2014. In March 2014, a meeting was held at which 102 subject matter experts discussed the evidence and adapted the existing best practices guidance to a clinical use framework for the

  9. Clinical Framework and Medical Countermeasure Use During an Anthrax Mass-Casualty Incident.

    PubMed

    Bower, William A; Hendricks, Katherine; Pillai, Satish; Guarnizo, Julie; Meaney-Delman, Dana

    2015-12-04

    In 2014, CDC published updated guidelines for the prevention and treatment of anthrax (Hendricks KA, Wright ME, Shadomy SV, et al. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention expert panel meetings on prevention and treatment of anthrax in adults. Emerg Infect Dis 2014;20[2]. Available at http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/20/2/13-0687_article.htm). These guidelines provided recommended best practices for the diagnosis and treatment of persons with naturally occurring or bioterrorism-related anthrax in conventional medical settings. An aerosolized release of Bacillus anthracis spores over densely populated areas could become a mass-casualty incident. To prepare for this possibility, the U.S. government has stockpiled equipment and therapeutics (known as medical countermeasures [MCMs]) for anthrax prevention and treatment. However, previously developed, publicly available clinical recommendations have not addressed the use of MCMs or clinical management during an anthrax mass-casualty incident, when the number of patients is likely to exceed the ability of the health care infrastructure to provide conventional standards of care and supplies of MCMs might be inadequate to meet the demand required. To address this gap, in 2013, CDC conducted a series of systematic reviews of the scientific literature on anthrax to identify evidence that could help clinicians and public health authorities set guidelines for intravenous antimicrobial and antitoxin use, diagnosis of anthrax meningitis, and management of common anthrax-specific complications in the setting of a mass-casualty incident. Evidence from these reviews was presented to professionals with expertise in anthrax, critical care, and disaster medicine during a series of workgroup meetings that were held from August 2013 through March 2014. In March 2014, a meeting was held at which 102 subject matter experts discussed the evidence and adapted the existing best practices guidance to a clinical use framework for the

  10. Combination Therapy with Antibiotics and Anthrax Immune Globulin Intravenous (AIGIV) Is Potentially More Effective than Antibiotics Alone in Rabbit Model of Inhalational Anthrax

    PubMed Central

    Kammanadiminti, Srinivas; Patnaikuni, Ravi Kumar; Comer, Jason; Meister, Gabriel; Sinclair, Chris; Kodihalli, Shantha

    2014-01-01

    Background We have evaluated the therapeutic efficacy of AIGIV when given in combination with levofloxacin and the effective window of treatment to assess the added benefit provided by AIGIV over standard antibiotic treatment alone in a New Zealand white rabbit model of inhalational anthrax. Methods Rabbits were exposed to lethal dose of aerosolized spores of Bacillus anthracis (Ames strain) and treated intravenously with either placebo, (normal immune globulin intravenous, IGIV) or 15 U/kg of AIGIV, along with oral levofloxacin treatment at various time points (30–96 hours) after anthrax exposure. Results The majority of treated animals (>88%) survived in both treatment groups when treatment was initiated within 60 hours of post-exposure. However, reduced survival of 55%, 33% and 25% was observed for placebo + levofloxacin group when the treatment was initiated at 72, 84 and 96 hours post-exposure, respectively. Conversely, a survival rate of 65%, 40% and 71% was observed in the AIGIV + levofloxacin treated groups at these time points. Conclusions The combination of AIGIV with antibiotics provided an improvement in survival compared to levofloxacin treatment alone when treatment was delayed up to 96 hours post-anthrax exposure. Additionally, AIGIV treatment when given as an adjunct therapy at any of the time points tested did not interfere with the efficacy of levofloxacin. PMID:25226075

  11. Preparedness for an anthrax attack.

    PubMed

    Franz, David R

    2009-12-01

    Bacillus anthracis is a long-known bacterial organism with a uniquely stable spore stage. Its stability and the lethal disease which results when the spore is inhaled made it a favorite of state-sponsored biological weapons programs throughout the Cold War era. It is also believed to be high on the list of candidate microbial agents which could be used by terrorist groups or lone actors. Its unique characteristics make protection of humans, especially civilians, from an intentional biological attack very difficult. The author argues that an all-hazards/public health approach - which would also be needed for any natural or deliberate outbreak, no matter the agent - should serve as a foundation of preparation for the specific anthrax countermeasures. Because B. anthracis is a unique organism, specific countermeasures for anthrax detection, diagnostics, prophylaxis and therapy, should be developed in nations or regions where the threat of biological attack is believed to warrant such preparation. Other considerations for a nation interested in anthrax preparedness are discussed.

  12. Preparedness for an anthrax attack.

    PubMed

    Franz, David R

    2009-12-01

    Bacillus anthracis is a long-known bacterial organism with a uniquely stable spore stage. Its stability and the lethal disease which results when the spore is inhaled made it a favorite of state-sponsored biological weapons programs throughout the Cold War era. It is also believed to be high on the list of candidate microbial agents which could be used by terrorist groups or lone actors. Its unique characteristics make protection of humans, especially civilians, from an intentional biological attack very difficult. The author argues that an all-hazards/public health approach - which would also be needed for any natural or deliberate outbreak, no matter the agent - should serve as a foundation of preparation for the specific anthrax countermeasures. Because B. anthracis is a unique organism, specific countermeasures for anthrax detection, diagnostics, prophylaxis and therapy, should be developed in nations or regions where the threat of biological attack is believed to warrant such preparation. Other considerations for a nation interested in anthrax preparedness are discussed. PMID:19619577

  13. Multigeneration Cross Contamination of Mail with Bacillus Species Spores by Tumbling ▿

    PubMed Central

    Edmonds, Jason; Clark, Paul; Williams, Leslie; Lindquist, H. D. Alan; Martinez, Kenneth; Gardner, Warren; Shadomy, Sean; Hornsby-Myers, Jennifer

    2010-01-01

    In 2001, envelopes loaded with Bacillus anthracis spores were mailed to Senators Daschle and Leahy as well as to the New York Post and NBC News buildings. Additional letters may have been mailed to other news agencies because there was confirmed anthrax infection of employees at these locations. These events heightened the awareness of the lack of understanding of the mechanism(s) by which objects contaminated with a biological agent might spread disease. This understanding is crucial for the estimation of the potential for exposure to ensure the appropriate response in the event of future attacks. In this study, equipment to simulate interactions between envelopes and procedures to analyze the spread of spores from a “payload” envelope (i.e., loaded internally with a powdered spore preparation) onto neighboring envelopes were developed. Another process to determine whether an aerosol could be generated by opening contaminated envelopes was developed. Subsequent generations of contaminated envelopes originating from a single payload envelope showed a consistent two-log decrease in the number of spores transferred from one generation to the next. Opening a tertiary contaminated envelope resulted in an aerosol containing 103 B. anthracis spores. We developed a procedure for sampling contaminated letters by a nondestructive method aimed at providing information useful for consequence management while preserving the integrity of objects contaminated during the incident and preserving evidence for law enforcement agencies. PMID:20511424

  14. Inhibiting the transport of hazardous spores using polymer-based solutions.

    PubMed

    Krauter, Paula A; Hoffman, D Mark; Vu, Alexander K; Keating, Garrett A; Zalk, David M

    2007-11-01

    A series of polymer solutions were developed for the purpose of immobilizing aerosolized 1-10 mu m sized hazardous biological particles. The polymer solutions were designed as tools for emergency response and remediation personnel. The inhibition of secondary aerosolization and migration of biothreat particles has important implications for public health protection and contamination cleanup. Limiting further dispersion of particles such as Bacillus anthracis spores may reduce inhalation hazards and enhance remediation efficiencies. This study evaluated film-forming polymers that have multiple functional groups capable of attracting and binding particles; these included acrylates, cellulosics, vinyl polymers, and polyurethanes. The selected polymers were combined with appropriate solvents to design solutions that met specific performance objectives. The polymer solutions were then evaluated for key characteristics, such as high adhesion, high elasticity, low density, short drying time, low viscosity, and low surface tension. These solutions were also evaluated for their adhesion to biothreat agent in a series of wind tunnel experiments using highly refined aerosolized Bacillus atrophaeus spores (a simulant for anthrax, 1-3 mu m). Results demonstrated that a polymer solution, an amphoteric acrylate identified as NS-2, was the best candidate for attaching to spores and inhibiting reaerosolization. This polymer solution was anionic, thus providing the electrostatic (coulombic) attraction to cationic spores, had low surface tension, and performed well in wind tunnel tests.

  15. Multigeneration Cross-Contamination of Mail with Bacillus anthracis Spores.

    PubMed

    Edmonds, Jason; Lindquist, H D Alan; Sabol, Jonathan; Martinez, Kenneth; Shadomy, Sean; Cymet, Tyler; Emanuel, Peter

    2016-01-01

    The release of biological agents, including those which could be used in biowarfare or bioterrorism in large urban areas, has been a concern for governments for nearly three decades. Previous incidents from Sverdlosk and the postal anthrax attack of 2001 have raised questions on the mechanism of spread of Bacillus anthracis spores as an aerosol or contaminant. Prior studies have demonstrated that Bacillus atrophaeus is easily transferred through simulated mail handing, but no reports have demonstrated this ability with Bacillus anthracis spores, which have morphological differences that may affect adhesion properties between spore and formite. In this study, equipment developed to simulate interactions across three generations of envelopes subjected to tumbling and mixing was used to evaluate the potential for cross-contamination of B. anthracis spores in simulated mail handling. In these experiments, we found that the potential for cross-contamination through letter tumbling from one generation to the next varied between generations while the presence of a fluidizer had no statistical impact on the transfer of material. Likewise, the presence or absence of a fluidizer had no statistically significant impact on cross-contamination levels or reaerosolization from letter opening. PMID:27123934

  16. Multigeneration Cross-Contamination of Mail with Bacillus anthracis Spores

    PubMed Central

    Edmonds, Jason; Lindquist, H. D. Alan; Sabol, Jonathan; Martinez, Kenneth; Shadomy, Sean; Cymet, Tyler; Emanuel, Peter

    2016-01-01

    The release of biological agents, including those which could be used in biowarfare or bioterrorism in large urban areas, has been a concern for governments for nearly three decades. Previous incidents from Sverdlosk and the postal anthrax attack of 2001 have raised questions on the mechanism of spread of Bacillus anthracis spores as an aerosol or contaminant. Prior studies have demonstrated that Bacillus atrophaeus is easily transferred through simulated mail handing, but no reports have demonstrated this ability with Bacillus anthracis spores, which have morphological differences that may affect adhesion properties between spore and formite. In this study, equipment developed to simulate interactions across three generations of envelopes subjected to tumbling and mixing was used to evaluate the potential for cross-contamination of B. anthracis spores in simulated mail handling. In these experiments, we found that the potential for cross-contamination through letter tumbling from one generation to the next varied between generations while the presence of a fluidizer had no statistical impact on the transfer of material. Likewise, the presence or absence of a fluidizer had no statistically significant impact on cross-contamination levels or reaerosolization from letter opening. PMID:27123934

  17. Obiltoxaximab Prevents Disseminated Bacillus anthracis Infection and Improves Survival during Pre- and Postexposure Prophylaxis in Animal Models of Inhalational Anthrax

    PubMed Central

    Yamamoto, Brent J.; Shadiack, Annette M.; Carpenter, Sarah; Sanford, Daniel; Henning, Lisa N.; Gonzales, Nestor; O'Connor, Edward; Casey, Leslie S.

    2016-01-01

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend adjunctive antitoxins when systemic anthrax is suspected. Obiltoxaximab, a monoclonal antibody against protective antigen (PA), is approved for treatment of inhalational anthrax in combination with antibiotics and for prophylaxis when alternative therapies are not available. The impact of toxin neutralization with obiltoxaximab during pre- and postexposure prophylaxis was explored, and efficacy results that supported the prophylaxis indication are presented here. New Zealand White rabbits and cynomolgus macaques received obiltoxaximab as a single intramuscular or intravenous dose of 2 to 16 mg/kg of body weight at various times relative to Bacillus anthracis aerosol spore challenge. The primary endpoint was survival, and effect of treatment timing was explored. In rabbits, obiltoxaximab administration 9 h postchallenge singly or combined with a 5-day levofloxacin regimen protected 89% to 100% of animals compared to 33% with levofloxacin monotherapy. In cynomolgus macaques, a single intramuscular dose of 16 mg/kg obiltoxaximab led to 100% survival when given 1 to 3 days preexposure and 83% to 100% survival when given 18 to 24 h postexposure and prior to systemic bacteremia onset. Obiltoxaximab administration after bacteremia onset resulted in lower (25% to 50%) survival rates reflective of treatment setting. Prophylactic administration of obiltoxaximab before spore challenge or to spore-challenged animals before systemic bacterial dissemination is efficacious in promoting survival, ameliorating toxemia, and inhibiting bacterial spread to the periphery. PMID:27431219

  18. Obiltoxaximab Prevents Disseminated Bacillus anthracis Infection and Improves Survival during Pre- and Postexposure Prophylaxis in Animal Models of Inhalational Anthrax.

    PubMed

    Yamamoto, Brent J; Shadiack, Annette M; Carpenter, Sarah; Sanford, Daniel; Henning, Lisa N; Gonzales, Nestor; O'Connor, Edward; Casey, Leslie S; Serbina, Natalya V

    2016-10-01

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend adjunctive antitoxins when systemic anthrax is suspected. Obiltoxaximab, a monoclonal antibody against protective antigen (PA), is approved for treatment of inhalational anthrax in combination with antibiotics and for prophylaxis when alternative therapies are not available. The impact of toxin neutralization with obiltoxaximab during pre- and postexposure prophylaxis was explored, and efficacy results that supported the prophylaxis indication are presented here. New Zealand White rabbits and cynomolgus macaques received obiltoxaximab as a single intramuscular or intravenous dose of 2 to 16 mg/kg of body weight at various times relative to Bacillus anthracis aerosol spore challenge. The primary endpoint was survival, and effect of treatment timing was explored. In rabbits, obiltoxaximab administration 9 h postchallenge singly or combined with a 5-day levofloxacin regimen protected 89% to 100% of animals compared to 33% with levofloxacin monotherapy. In cynomolgus macaques, a single intramuscular dose of 16 mg/kg obiltoxaximab led to 100% survival when given 1 to 3 days preexposure and 83% to 100% survival when given 18 to 24 h postexposure and prior to systemic bacteremia onset. Obiltoxaximab administration after bacteremia onset resulted in lower (25% to 50%) survival rates reflective of treatment setting. Prophylactic administration of obiltoxaximab before spore challenge or to spore-challenged animals before systemic bacterial dissemination is efficacious in promoting survival, ameliorating toxemia, and inhibiting bacterial spread to the periphery. PMID:27431219

  19. Anthrax as an example of the One Health concept.

    PubMed

    Bengis, R G; Frean, J

    2014-08-01

    Anthrax is a peracute, acute or subacute multispecies bacterial infection that occurs on many continents. It is one of the oldest infectious diseases known; the biblical fifth and sixth plagues (Exodus chapters 7 to 9) that affected first livestock and then humans were probably anthrax. From the earliest historical records until development of an effective vaccine midway through the 20th Century, anthrax was one of the foremost causes of uncontrolled mortality in cattle, sheep, goats, horses and pigs, with 'spill over' into humans, worldwide. With the development of the Sterne spore vaccine, a sharp decline in anthrax outbreaks in livestock occurred during the 1930-1980 era. There were successful national vaccination programmes in many countries during this period, complemented by the liberal use of antibiotics and the implementation of quarantine regulations and carcass disposal. However, a resurgence of this disease in livestock has been reported recently in some regions, where complacency and a false sense of security have hindered vaccination programmes. The epidemiology of anthrax involves an environmental component, as well as livestock, wildlife and human components. This makes anthrax an ideal example for discussion in the One Health context. Many outbreaks of anthrax in wildlife are undetected or unreported, owing to surveillance inadequacies and difficulties. Human disease is generally acquired accidentally during outbreaks of anthrax in domestic livestock and wildlife. The exception is deliberate targeting of humans with anthrax in the course of biowarfare or bioterrorism.

  20. Raxibacumab: potential role in the treatment of inhalational anthrax

    PubMed Central

    Kummerfeldt, Carlos E

    2014-01-01

    Anthrax is a highly contagious and potentially fatal human disease caused by Bacillus anthracis, an aerobic, Gram-positive, spore-forming rod-shaped bacterium with worldwide distribution as a zoonotic infection in herbivore animals. Bioterrorist attacks with inhalational anthrax have prompted the development of more effective treatments. Antibodies against anthrax toxin have been shown to decrease mortality in animal studies. Raxibacumab is a recombinant human monoclonal antibody developed against inhalational anthrax. The drug received approval after human studies showed its safety and animal studies demonstrated its efficacy for treatment as well as prophylaxis against inhalational anthrax. It works by preventing binding of the protective antigen component of the anthrax toxin to its receptors in host cells, thereby blocking the toxin’s deleterious effects. Recently updated therapy guidelines for Bacillus anthracis recommend the use of antitoxin treatment. Raxibacumab is the first monoclonal antitoxin antibody made available that can be used with the antibiotics recommended for treatment of the disease. When exposure is suspected, raxibacumab should be given with anthrax vaccination to augment immunity. Raxibacumab provides additional protection against inhalational anthrax via a mechanism different from that of either antibiotics or active immunization. In combination with currently available and recommended therapies, raxibacumab should reduce the morbidity and mortality of inhalational anthrax. PMID:24812521

  1. Fatal case of inhalational anthrax mimicking intra-abdominal sepsis.

    PubMed

    Quintiliani, Richard; Quintiliani, Richard

    2002-05-01

    In this report, we discuss the second fatal case of inhalational anthrax related to the use of Bacillus anthracis spores as a biological weapon in the United States. This case highlights two of the major characteristics of inhalational anthrax: the fulminating nature of the infection and the difficulty of promptly establishing a diagnosis. In the patient discussed here, gastrointestinal symptoms and findings were so impressive that the patient was thought to have a primary intra-abdominal condition. In the current situation, in which bioterrorism is a real threat, any patient presenting with a flulike or gastrointestinal illness should be queried about their occupation. Anyone with evidence of systemic disease who resides or works in a geographical region where anthrax cases are occurring should be treated until the diagnosis of anthrax is excluded. In the United States, the group that is at high risk for anthrax has shifted from rural farm workers to city dwellers, especially postal workers and public figures. PMID:12071107

  2. Anthrax: A disease of biowarfare and public health importance

    PubMed Central

    Goel, Ajay Kumar

    2015-01-01

    Bioterrorism has received a lot of attention in the first decade of this century. Biological agents are considered attractive weapons for bioterrorism as these are easy to obtain, comparatively inexpensive to produce and exhibit widespread fear and panic than the actual potential of physical damage. Bacillus anthracis (B. anthracis), the etiologic agent of anthrax is a Gram positive, spore forming, non-motile bacterium. This is supposed to be one of the most potent BW agents because its spores are extremely resistant to natural conditions and can survive for several decades in the environment. B. anthracis spores enter the body through skin lesion (cutaneous anthrax), lungs (pulmonary anthrax), or gastrointestinal route (gastrointestinal anthrax) and germinate, giving rise to the vegetative form. Anthrax is a concern of public health also in many countries where agriculture is the main source of income including India. Anthrax has been associated with human history for a very long time and regained its popularity after Sept 2001 incidence in United States. The present review article describes the history, biology, life cycle, pathogenicity, virulence, epidemiology and potential of B. anthracis as biological weapon. PMID:25610847

  3. Key aspects of the molecular and cellular basis of inhalational anthrax.

    PubMed

    Cote, Christopher K; Welkos, Susan L; Bozue, Joel

    2011-12-01

    Bacillus anthracis is the etiologic agent of the disease inhalational anthrax, an acute systemic infection initiated by inhaling spores, which if not rapidly detected and treated, results in death. Decades of research have elucidated novel aspects of anthrax pathogenesis but there are many issues left unresolved.

  4. Fluorescence spectra and biological activity of aerosolized bacillus spores and MS2 bacteriophage exposed to ozone at different relative humidities in a rotating drum

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ratnesar-Shumate, Shanna; Pan, Yong-Le; Hill, Steven C.; Kinahan, Sean; Corson, Elizabeth; Eshbaugh, Jonathan; Santarpia, Joshua L.

    2015-03-01

    Biological aerosols (bioaerosols) released into the environment may undergo physical and chemical transformations when exposed to atmospheric constituents such as solar irradiation, reactive oxygenated species, ozone, free radicals, water vapor and pollutants. Aging experiments were performed in a rotating drum chamber subjecting bioaerosols, Bacillus thuringiensis Al Hakam (BtAH) spores and MS2 bacteriophages to ozone at 0 and 150 ppb, and relative humidities (RH) at 10%, 50%, and 80+%. Fluorescence spectra and intensities of the aerosols as a function of time in the reaction chamber were measured with a single particle fluorescence spectrometer (SPFS) and an Ultra-Violet Aerodynamic Particle Sizer® Spectrometer (UV-APS). Losses in biological activity were measured by culture and quantitative polymerase chain reaction (q-PCR) assay. For both types of aerosols the largest change in fluorescence emission was between 280 and 400 nm when excited at 263 nm followed by fluorescence emission between 380 and 700 nm when excited at 351 nm. The fluorescence for both BtAH and MS2 were observed to decrease significantly at high ozone concentration and high RH when excited at 263 nm excitation. The decreases in 263 nm excited fluorescence are indicative of hydrolysis and oxidation of tryptophan in the aerosols. Fluorescence measured with the UV-APS (355-nm excitation) increased with time for both BtAH and MS2 aerosols. A two log loss of MS2 bacteriophage infectivity was observed in the presence of ozone at ~50% and 80% RH when measured by culture and normalized for physical losses by q-PCR. Viability of BtAH spores after exposure could not be measured due to the loss of genomic material during experiments, suggesting degradation of extracelluar DNA attributable to oxidation. The results of these studies indicate that the physical and biological properties of bioaerosols change significantly after exposure to ozone and water vapor.

  5. Fluorescence spectra and biological activity of aerosolized bacillus spores and MS2 bacteriophage exposed to ozone at different relative humidities in a rotating drum

    DOE PAGES

    Ratnesar-Shumate, Shanna; Pan, Yong-Le; Hill, Steven C.; Kinahan, Sean; Corson, Elizabeth; Eshbaugh, Jonathan; Santarpia, Joshua L.

    2015-10-14

    Biological aerosols (bioaerosols) released into the environment may undergo physical and chemical transformations when exposed to atmospheric constituents such as solar irradiation, reactive oxygenated species, ozone, free radicals, water vapor and pollutants. Aging experiments were performed in a rotating drum chamber subjecting bioaerosols, Bacillus thuringiensis Al Hakam (BtAH) spores and MS2 bacteriophages to ozone at 0 and 150 ppb, and relative humidities (RH) at 10%, 50%, and 80+%. Fluorescence spectra and intensities of the aerosols as a function of time in the reaction chamber were measured with a single particle fluorescence spectrometer (SPFS) and an Ultra-Violet Aerodynamic Particle Sizer® Spectrometermore » (UV-APS). Losses in biological activity were measured by culture and quantitative polymerase chain reaction (q-PCR) assay. For both types of aerosols the largest change in fluorescence emission was between 280 and 400 nm when excited at 263 nm followed by fluorescence emission between 380 and 700 nm when excited at 351 nm. The fluorescence for both BtAH and MS2 were observed to decrease significantly at high ozone concentration and high RH when excited at 263 nm excitation. The decreases in 263 nm excited fluorescence are indicative of hydrolysis and oxidation of tryptophan in the aerosols. Fluorescence measured with the UV-APS (355-nm excitation) increased with time for both BtAH and MS2 aerosols. A two log loss of MS2 bacteriophage infectivity was observed in the presence of ozone at ~50% and 80% RH when measured by culture and normalized for physical losses by q-PCR. Viability of BtAH spores after exposure could not be measured due to the loss of genomic material during experiments, suggesting degradation of extracelluar DNA attributable to oxidation. The results of these studies indicate that the physical and biological properties of bioaerosols change significantly after exposure to ozone and water vapor.« less

  6. Fluorescence spectra and biological activity of aerosolized bacillus spores and MS2 bacteriophage exposed to ozone at different relative humidities in a rotating drum

    SciTech Connect

    Ratnesar-Shumate, Shanna; Pan, Yong-Le; Hill, Steven C.; Kinahan, Sean; Corson, Elizabeth; Eshbaugh, Jonathan; Santarpia, Joshua L.

    2015-10-14

    Biological aerosols (bioaerosols) released into the environment may undergo physical and chemical transformations when exposed to atmospheric constituents such as solar irradiation, reactive oxygenated species, ozone, free radicals, water vapor and pollutants. Aging experiments were performed in a rotating drum chamber subjecting bioaerosols, Bacillus thuringiensis Al Hakam (BtAH) spores and MS2 bacteriophages to ozone at 0 and 150 ppb, and relative humidities (RH) at 10%, 50%, and 80+%. Fluorescence spectra and intensities of the aerosols as a function of time in the reaction chamber were measured with a single particle fluorescence spectrometer (SPFS) and an Ultra-Violet Aerodynamic Particle Sizer® Spectrometer (UV-APS). Losses in biological activity were measured by culture and quantitative polymerase chain reaction (q-PCR) assay. For both types of aerosols the largest change in fluorescence emission was between 280 and 400 nm when excited at 263 nm followed by fluorescence emission between 380 and 700 nm when excited at 351 nm. The fluorescence for both BtAH and MS2 were observed to decrease significantly at high ozone concentration and high RH when excited at 263 nm excitation. The decreases in 263 nm excited fluorescence are indicative of hydrolysis and oxidation of tryptophan in the aerosols. Fluorescence measured with the UV-APS (355-nm excitation) increased with time for both BtAH and MS2 aerosols. A two log loss of MS2 bacteriophage infectivity was observed in the presence of ozone at ~50% and 80% RH when measured by culture and normalized for physical losses by q-PCR. Viability of BtAH spores after exposure could not be measured due to the loss of genomic material during experiments, suggesting degradation of extracelluar DNA attributable to oxidation. The results of these studies indicate that the physical and biological properties of bioaerosols change significantly after exposure to ozone and water vapor.

  7. Efficacy Projection of Obiltoxaximab for Treatment of Inhalational Anthrax across a Range of Disease Severity

    PubMed Central

    Yamamoto, Brent J.; Shadiack, Annette M.; Carpenter, Sarah; Sanford, Daniel; Henning, Lisa N.; O'Connor, Edward; Gonzales, Nestor; Mondick, John; French, Jonathan; Stark, Gregory V.; Fisher, Alan C.; Casey, Leslie S.

    2016-01-01

    Inhalational anthrax has high mortality even with antibiotic treatment, and antitoxins are now recommended as an adjunct to standard antimicrobial regimens. The efficacy of obiltoxaximab, a monoclonal antibody against anthrax protective antigen (PA), was examined in multiple studies conducted in two animal models of inhalational anthrax. A single intravenous bolus of 1 to 32 mg/kg of body weight obiltoxaximab or placebo was administered to New Zealand White rabbits (two studies) and cynomolgus macaques (4 studies) at disease onset (significant body temperature increase or detection of serum PA) following lethal challenge with aerosolized Bacillus anthracis spores. The primary endpoint was survival. The relationship between efficacy and disease severity, defined by pretreatment bacteremia and toxemia levels, was explored. In rabbits, single doses of 1 to 16 mg/kg obiltoxaximab led to 17 to 93% survival. In two studies, survival following 16 mg/kg obiltoxaximab was 93% and 62% compared to 0% and 0% for placebo (P = 0.0010 and P = 0.0013, respectively). Across four macaque studies, survival was 6.3% to 78.6% following 4 to 32 mg/kg obiltoxaximab. In two macaque studies, 16 mg/kg obiltoxaximab reduced toxemia and led to survival rates of 31%, 35%, and 47% versus 0%, 0%, and 6.3% with placebo (P = 0.0085, P = 0.0053, P = 0.0068). Pretreatment bacteremia and toxemia levels inversely correlated with survival. Overall, obiltoxaximab monotherapy neutralized PA and increased survival across the range of disease severity, indicating clinical benefit of toxin neutralization with obiltoxaximab in both early and late stages of inhalational anthrax. PMID:27431222

  8. Efficacy Projection of Obiltoxaximab for Treatment of Inhalational Anthrax across a Range of Disease Severity.

    PubMed

    Yamamoto, Brent J; Shadiack, Annette M; Carpenter, Sarah; Sanford, Daniel; Henning, Lisa N; O'Connor, Edward; Gonzales, Nestor; Mondick, John; French, Jonathan; Stark, Gregory V; Fisher, Alan C; Casey, Leslie S; Serbina, Natalya V

    2016-10-01

    Inhalational anthrax has high mortality even with antibiotic treatment, and antitoxins are now recommended as an adjunct to standard antimicrobial regimens. The efficacy of obiltoxaximab, a monoclonal antibody against anthrax protective antigen (PA), was examined in multiple studies conducted in two animal models of inhalational anthrax. A single intravenous bolus of 1 to 32 mg/kg of body weight obiltoxaximab or placebo was administered to New Zealand White rabbits (two studies) and cynomolgus macaques (4 studies) at disease onset (significant body temperature increase or detection of serum PA) following lethal challenge with aerosolized Bacillus anthracis spores. The primary endpoint was survival. The relationship between efficacy and disease severity, defined by pretreatment bacteremia and toxemia levels, was explored. In rabbits, single doses of 1 to 16 mg/kg obiltoxaximab led to 17 to 93% survival. In two studies, survival following 16 mg/kg obiltoxaximab was 93% and 62% compared to 0% and 0% for placebo (P = 0.0010 and P = 0.0013, respectively). Across four macaque studies, survival was 6.3% to 78.6% following 4 to 32 mg/kg obiltoxaximab. In two macaque studies, 16 mg/kg obiltoxaximab reduced toxemia and led to survival rates of 31%, 35%, and 47% versus 0%, 0%, and 6.3% with placebo (P = 0.0085, P = 0.0053, P = 0.0068). Pretreatment bacteremia and toxemia levels inversely correlated with survival. Overall, obiltoxaximab monotherapy neutralized PA and increased survival across the range of disease severity, indicating clinical benefit of toxin neutralization with obiltoxaximab in both early and late stages of inhalational anthrax. PMID:27431222

  9. Determination of Antibiotic Efficacy against Bacillus anthracis in a Mouse Aerosol Challenge Model▿

    PubMed Central

    Heine, Henry S.; Bassett, Jennifer; Miller, Lynda; Hartings, Justin M.; Ivins, Bruce E.; Pitt, M. Louise; Fritz, David; Norris, Sarah L.; Byrne, W. Russell

    2007-01-01

    An anthrax spore aerosol infection mouse model was developed as a first test of in vivo efficacy of antibiotics identified as active against Bacillus anthracis. Whole-body, 50% lethal dose (LD50) aerosol challenge doses in a range of 1.9 × 103 to 3.4 × 104 CFU with spores of the fully virulent Ames strain were established for three inbred and one outbred mouse strain (A/J, BALB/c, C57BL, and Swiss Webster). The BALB/c strain was further developed as a model for antibiotic efficacy. Time course microbiological examinations of tissue burdens in mice after challenge showed that spores could remain dormant in the lungs while vegetative cells disseminated to the mediastinal lymph nodes and then to the spleen, accompanied by bacteremia. For antibiotic efficacy studies, BALB/c mice were challenged with 50 to 100 LD50 of spores followed by intraperitoneal injection of either ciprofloxacin at 30 mg/kg of body weight (every 12 h [q12h]) or doxycycline at 40 mg/kg (q6h). A control group was treated with phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) q6h. Treatment was begun 24 h after challenge with groups of 10 mice for 14 or 21 days. The PBS-treated control mice all succumbed (10/10) to inhalation anthrax infection within 72 h. Sixty-day survival rates for ciprofloxacin and doxycycline-treated groups were 8/10 and 9/10, respectively, for 14-day treatment and 10/10 and 7/10 for 21-day treatment. Delayed treatment with ciprofloxacin initiated 36 and 48 h postexposure resulted in 80% survival and was statistically no different than early (24 h) postexposure treatment. Results using this mouse model correlate closely with clinical observations of inhalational anthrax in humans and with earlier antibiotic studies in the nonhuman primate inhalational anthrax model. PMID:17296745

  10. Recent Developments in Anti-dotes Against Anthrax.

    PubMed

    Dhasmana, Neha; Singh, Lalit K; Bhaduri, Asani; Misra, Richa; Singh, Yogendra

    2014-01-01

    The etiologic agent of disease anthrax, Bacillus anthracis, causes recurrent outbreaks among the livestock and intermittent infections in humans across the world. Controlling animal infections by vaccination can minimize the incidence of disease in humans. Prevention of anthrax in occupationally exposed personnel is achieved through vaccination with either live spores or precipitates of culture supernatants from attenuated strains of B. anthracis. However, anthrax vaccination of the large human population is impractical as well as inappropriate. Broad-range antibiotics like amoxicillin, ciprofloxacin, clindamycin, streptomycin, and penicillin G are recommended for the treatment of human anthrax infections, but the threat of antibiotic resistant strains always remains. Moreover, in the absence of any specific symptom (s) during early infection, the diagnosis of anthrax is delayed causing elevated levels of anthrax toxin component which could be fatal. For these reasons, there is a need to develop new antimicrobial agents against virulent B. anthracis to effectively combat this fatal pathogen. Over the last two decades, extensive studies have been carried out to develop specific inhibitors against virulence factors of B. anthracis such as capsule, protective antigen, lethal factor and edema factor. Research has also been focused in developing inhibitors of anthrax toxin receptors (including the use of receptor decoys) and host furin endoproteases which are required for activation of toxin. This review highlights the recent progress made in developing the diverse countermeasures for anthrax infections targeting B. anthracis virulence factors and their counterparts in host.

  11. [The problem of heat activation of bacterial spores after disinfection with regard to an aerosol method of decontaminating equipment and rooms].

    PubMed

    Fuhrmann, H; Floerke, I; Böhm, K H

    1986-10-01

    This paper describes investigations on disinfection of germ carriers, contaminated with an alcoholic suspension of Bacillus cereus or Bacillus subtilis. Result of disinfection is compared with that of an additional heat treatment (80 degrees C, 60 min) after disinfection. Besides Formalin, Tegodor forte (Th. Goldschmidt, Essen) and P 3 oxonia active (Henkel KG, Düsseldorf) are tested with different concentration and duration. Heat activation was possible with all three disinfectants. For illuminating the conditions of activation, circumstances of heat action after disinfection with formaldehyde-aerosol have been varied. Heat activation in dry air, moist air and distilled water was not successful. Only in Nutrient Broth (Standard I-Bouillon; Merck, Darmstadt) spores were viable again, after activation. Addition of serum as a protective cover had no influence on the result. Consequences of the results on a disinfection method with formaldehyde-aerosol are discussed.

  12. Recombinant Protective Antigen Anthrax Vaccine Improves Survival when Administered as a Postexposure Prophylaxis Countermeasure with Antibiotic in the New Zealand White Rabbit Model of Inhalation Anthrax

    PubMed Central

    Bourdage, James S.; Williamson, E. Diane; Duchars, Matthew; Fuerst, Thomas R.; Fusco, Peter C.

    2012-01-01

    Inhalation anthrax is a potentially lethal form of disease resulting from exposure to aerosolized Bacillus anthracis spores. Over the last decade, incidents spanning from the deliberate mailing of B. anthracis spores to incidental exposures in users of illegal drugs have highlighted the importance of developing new medical countermeasures to protect people who have been exposed to “anthrax spores” and are at risk of developing disease. The New Zealand White rabbit (NZWR) is a well-characterized model that has a pathogenesis and clinical presentation similar to those seen in humans. This article reports how the NZWR model was adapted to evaluate postexposure prophylaxis using a recombinant protective antigen (rPA) vaccine in combination with an oral antibiotic, levofloxacin. NZWRs were exposed to multiples of the 50% lethal dose (LD50) of B. anthracis spores and then vaccinated immediately (day 0) and again on day 7 postexposure. Levofloxacin was administered daily beginning at 6 to 12 h postexposure for 7 treatments. Rabbits were evaluated for clinical signs of disease, fever, bacteremia, immune response, and survival. A robust immune response (IgG anti-rPA and toxin-neutralizing antibodies) was observed in all vaccinated groups on days 10 to 12. Levofloxacin plus either 30 or 100 μg rPA vaccine resulted in a 100% survival rate (18 of 18 per group), and a vaccine dose as low as 10 μg rPA resulted in an 89% survival rate (16 of 18) when used in combination with levofloxacin. In NZWRs that received antibiotic alone, the survival rate was 56% (10 of 18). There was no adverse effect on the development of a specific IgG response to rPA in unchallenged NZWRs that received the combination treatment of vaccine plus antibiotic. This study demonstrated that an accelerated two-dose regimen of rPA vaccine coadministered on days 0 and 7 with 7 days of levofloxacin therapy results in a significantly greater survival rate than with antibiotic treatment alone. Combination of

  13. Risk-Based Decision Making for Reoccupation of Contaminated Areas Following a Wide-Area Anthrax Release.

    PubMed

    Hamilton, Michael A; Hong, Tao; Casman, Elizabeth; Gurian, Patrick L

    2015-07-01

    This article presents an analysis of postattack response strategies to mitigate the risks of reoccupying contaminated areas following a release of Bacillus anthracis spores (the bacterium responsible for causing anthrax) in an urban setting. The analysis is based on a hypothetical attack scenario in which individuals are exposed to B. anthracis spores during an initial aerosol release and then placed on prophylactic antibiotics that successfully protect them against the initial aerosol exposure. The risk from reoccupying buildings contaminated with spores due to their reaerosolization and inhalation is then evaluated. The response options considered include: decontamination of the buildings, vaccination of individuals reoccupying the buildings, extended evacuation of individuals from the contaminated buildings, and combinations of these options. The study uses a decision tree to estimate the costs and benefits of alternative response strategies across a range of exposure risks. Results for best estimates of model inputs suggest that the most cost-effective response for high-risk scenarios (individual chance of infection exceeding 11%) consists of evacuation and building decontamination. For infection risks between 4% and 11%, the preferred option is to evacuate for a short period, vaccinate, and then reoccupy once the vaccine has taken effect. For risks between 0.003% and 4%, the preferred option is to vaccinate only. For risks below 0.003%, none of the mitigation actions have positive expected monetary benefits. A sensitivity analysis indicates that for high-infection-likelihood scenarios, vaccination is recommended in the case where decontamination efficacy is less than 99.99%.

  14. A CpG-Ficoll Nanoparticle Adjuvant for Anthrax Protective Antigen Enhances Immunogenicity and Provides Single-Immunization Protection against Inhaled Anthrax in Monkeys.

    PubMed

    Kachura, Melissa A; Hickle, Colin; Kell, Sariah A; Sathe, Atul; Calacsan, Carlo; Kiwan, Radwan; Hall, Brian; Milley, Robert; Ott, Gary; Coffman, Robert L; Kanzler, Holger; Campbell, John D

    2016-01-01

    Nanoparticulate delivery systems for vaccine adjuvants, designed to enhance targeting of secondary lymphoid organs and activation of APCs, have shown substantial promise for enhanced immunopotentiation. We investigated the adjuvant activity of synthetic oligonucleotides containing CpG-rich motifs linked to the sucrose polymer Ficoll, forming soluble 50-nm particles (DV230-Ficoll), each containing >100 molecules of the TLR9 ligand, DV230. DV230-Ficoll was evaluated as an adjuvant for a candidate vaccine for anthrax using recombinant protective Ag (rPA) from Bacillus anthracis. A single immunization with rPA plus DV230-Ficoll induced 10-fold higher titers of toxin-neutralizing Abs in cynomolgus monkeys at 2 wk compared with animals immunized with equivalent amounts of monomeric DV230. Monkeys immunized either once or twice with rPA plus DV230-Ficoll were completely protected from challenge with 200 LD50 aerosolized anthrax spores. In mice, DV230-Ficoll was more potent than DV230 for the induction of innate immune responses at the injection site and draining lymph nodes. DV230-Ficoll was preferentially colocalized with rPA in key APC populations and induced greater maturation marker expression (CD69 and CD86) on these cells and stronger germinal center B and T cell responses, relative to DV230. DV230-Ficoll was also preferentially retained at the injection site and draining lymph nodes and produced fewer systemic inflammatory responses. These findings support the development of DV230-Ficoll as an adjuvant platform, particularly for vaccines such as for anthrax, for which rapid induction of protective immunity and memory with a single injection is very important. PMID:26608924

  15. A CpG-Ficoll Nanoparticle Adjuvant for Anthrax Protective Antigen Enhances Immunogenicity and Provides Single-Immunization Protection against Inhaled Anthrax in Monkeys.

    PubMed

    Kachura, Melissa A; Hickle, Colin; Kell, Sariah A; Sathe, Atul; Calacsan, Carlo; Kiwan, Radwan; Hall, Brian; Milley, Robert; Ott, Gary; Coffman, Robert L; Kanzler, Holger; Campbell, John D

    2016-01-01

    Nanoparticulate delivery systems for vaccine adjuvants, designed to enhance targeting of secondary lymphoid organs and activation of APCs, have shown substantial promise for enhanced immunopotentiation. We investigated the adjuvant activity of synthetic oligonucleotides containing CpG-rich motifs linked to the sucrose polymer Ficoll, forming soluble 50-nm particles (DV230-Ficoll), each containing >100 molecules of the TLR9 ligand, DV230. DV230-Ficoll was evaluated as an adjuvant for a candidate vaccine for anthrax using recombinant protective Ag (rPA) from Bacillus anthracis. A single immunization with rPA plus DV230-Ficoll induced 10-fold higher titers of toxin-neutralizing Abs in cynomolgus monkeys at 2 wk compared with animals immunized with equivalent amounts of monomeric DV230. Monkeys immunized either once or twice with rPA plus DV230-Ficoll were completely protected from challenge with 200 LD50 aerosolized anthrax spores. In mice, DV230-Ficoll was more potent than DV230 for the induction of innate immune responses at the injection site and draining lymph nodes. DV230-Ficoll was preferentially colocalized with rPA in key APC populations and induced greater maturation marker expression (CD69 and CD86) on these cells and stronger germinal center B and T cell responses, relative to DV230. DV230-Ficoll was also preferentially retained at the injection site and draining lymph nodes and produced fewer systemic inflammatory responses. These findings support the development of DV230-Ficoll as an adjuvant platform, particularly for vaccines such as for anthrax, for which rapid induction of protective immunity and memory with a single injection is very important.

  16. In vivo murine and in vitro M-like cell models of gastrointestinal anthrax.

    PubMed

    Tonry, Jessica H; Popov, Serguei G; Narayanan, Aarthi; Kashanchi, Fatah; Hakami, Ramin M; Carpenter, Calvin; Bailey, Charles; Chung, Myung-Chul

    2013-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis is the causative agent of anthrax and is acquired by three routes of infection: inhalational, gastrointestinal and cutaneous. Gastrointestinal (GI) anthrax is rare, but can rapidly result in severe, systemic disease that is fatal in 25%-60% of cases. Disease mechanisms of GI anthrax remain unclear due to limited numbers of clinical cases and the lack of experimental animal models. Here, we developed an in vivo murine model of GI anthrax where spore survival was maximized through the neutralization of stomach acid followed by an intragastric administration of a thiabendazole paste spore formulation. Infected mice showed a dose-dependent mortality rate and pathological features closely mimicking human GI anthrax. Since Peyer's patches in the murine intestine are the primary sites of B. anthracis growth, we developed a human M (microfold)-like-cell model using a Caco-2/Raji B-cell co-culturing system to study invasive mechanisms of GI anthrax across the intestinal epithelium. Translocation of B. anthracis spores was higher in M-like cells than Caco-2 monolayers, suggesting that M-like cells may serve as an initial entry site for spores. Here, we developed an in vivo murine model of GI anthrax and an in vitro M-like cell model that could be used to further our knowledge of GI anthrax pathogenesis.

  17. Inhibitors of the Metalloproteinase Anthrax Lethal Factor.

    PubMed

    Goldberg, Allison B; Turk, Benjamin E

    2016-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis, a rod shaped, spore forming, gram positive bacteria, is the etiological agent of anthrax. B. anthracis virulence is partly attributable to two secreted bipartite protein toxins, which act inside host cells to disrupt signaling pathways important for host defense against infection. These toxins may also directly contribute to mortality in late stage infection. The zinc-dependent metalloproteinase anthrax lethal factor (LF) is a critical component of one of these protein toxins and a prime target for inhibitor development to produce anthrax therapeutics. Here, we describe recent efforts to identify specific and potent LF inhibitors. Derivatization of peptide substrate analogs bearing zinc-binding groups has produced potent and specific LF inhibitors, and X-ray crystallography of LFinhibitor complexes has provided insight into features required for high affinity binding. Novel inhibitor scaffolds have been identified through several approaches, including fragment-based drug discovery, virtual screening, and highthroughput screening of diverse compound libraries. Lastly, efforts to discover LF inhibitors have led to the development of new screening strategies, such as the use of full-length proteins as substrates, that may prove useful for other proteases as well. Overall, these efforts have led to a collection of chemically and mechanistically diverse molecules capable of inhibiting LF activity in vitro and in cells, as well as in animal models of anthrax infection. PMID:27072692

  18. Anthrax prophylaxis: recent advances and future directions

    PubMed Central

    Williamson, E. Diane; Dyson, Edward Hugh

    2015-01-01

    Anthrax is a serious, potentially fatal disease that can present in four distinct clinical patterns depending on the route of infection (cutaneous, gastrointestinal, pneumonic, or injectional); effective strategies for prophylaxis and therapy are therefore required. This review addresses the complex mechanisms of pathogenesis employed by the bacterium and describes how, as understanding of these has developed over many years, so too have current strategies for vaccination and therapy. It covers the clinical and veterinary use of live attenuated strains of anthrax and the subsequent identification of protein sub-units for incorporation into vaccines, as well as combinations of protein sub-units with spore or other components. It also addresses the application of these vaccines for conventional prophylactic use, as well as post-exposure use in conjunction with antibiotics. It describes the licensed acellular vaccines AVA and AVP and discusses the prospects for a next generation of recombinant sub-unit vaccines for anthrax, balancing the regulatory requirement and current drive for highly defined vaccines, against the risk of losing the “danger” signals required to induce protective immunity in the vaccinee. It considers novel approaches to reduce time to immunity by means of combining, for example, dendritic cell vaccination with conventional approaches and considers current opportunities for the immunotherapy of anthrax. PMID:26441934

  19. ENVIRONMENTAL RESPONSE TO INTENTIONAL DISSEMINATION OF BACILLUS ANTHRACIS SPORES IN THE UNITED STATES--2001

    EPA Science Inventory

    The intentional dissemination of Bacillus anthracis (anthrax) spores at multiple locations in the United States in the Fall of 2001 resulted not only in several deaths and illnesses (including psychological effects), but likely changed lifestyles and attitudes, and increased the ...

  20. Differentiating bacterial spores from hoax materials by Raman spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Farquharson, Stuart; Smith, Wayne W.

    2004-03-01

    The bioterrorism of October 2001 caused by the distribution of anthrax through the U.S. postal system was compounded by the significant delay associated with positive identification of the Bacillus anthracis spores and the unknown extent of their distribution along the eastern seaboard. In the ensuing two years, literally thousands of hoaxes, letters containing harmless powders, have been mailed creating additional anxiety. Thus, there is a need for instruments and/or methods that can not only identify anthrax-causing spores to save lives, but also identify hoax materials to eliminate costly shutdowns. Here we present Raman spectra of Bacillus cereus spores, an anthrax surrogate, as well as of 30 common substances that might be used as hoax materials. We also examine the choice of laser excitation, 785 nm or 1064 nm, and its impact on the ability to measure visible particles in 5 minutes or less, and to provide a complete answer to the question of suspicious material identity.

  1. Coordinated response to reports of possible anthrax contamination, Idaho, 2001.

    PubMed

    Tengelsen, Leslie; Hudson, Richard; Barnes, Shana; Hahn, Christine

    2002-10-01

    In 2001, the intentional release of anthrax spores in the eastern United States increased concern about exposure to anthrax nationwide, and residents of Idaho sought assistance. Response from state and local agencies was required, increasing the strain on epidemiologists, laboratorians, and communications personnel. In late 2001, Idaho's public health communications system handled 133 calls about suspicious powders. For each call, a multiagency bridge call was established, and participants (public health officials, epidemiologists, police, Federal Bureau of Investigation personnel, hazardous materials officials, and others) determined which samples would be tested by the state public health laboratory. A triage system for calls helped relieve the burden on public safety and health systems. PMID:12396922

  2. Anthrax-associated shock.

    PubMed

    Goldman, David L; Casadevall, Arturo

    2008-01-01

    Recent events have brought attention to the potential of Bacillus anthracis as an agent of bioterrorism. The shock like state of anthrax is invariably associated with high mortality, despite anti-microbial and supportive therapy. Multi-system dysfunction is typical, including: enhanced vascular permeability, hemorrhage and inflammation. Important questions concerning the pathophysiology of anthrax-associated shock remain unanswered, including the effects of B. anthracis infection on cardiac function. This review discusses the current state of knowledge regarding the pathophysiology of anthrax-associated shock. PMID:18508494

  3. Immunomagnetic capture of Bacillus anthracis spores from food.

    PubMed

    Shields, Michael J; Hahn, Kristen R; Janzen, Timothy W; Goji, Noriko; Thomas, Matthew C; Kingombe, Cesar Bin I; Paquet, Chantal; Kell, Arnold J; Amoako, Kingsley K

    2012-07-01

    Food is a vulnerable target for potential bioterrorist attacks; therefore, a critical mitigation strategy is needed for the rapid concentration and detection of biothreat agents from food matrices. Magnetic beads offer a unique advantage in that they have a large surface area for efficient capture of bacteria. We have demonstrated the efficient capture and concentration of Bacillus anthracis (Sterne) spores using immunomagnetic beads for a potential food application. Magnetic beads from three different sources, with varying sizes and surface chemistries, were functionalized with monoclonal antibodies and polyclonal antibodies from commercial sources and used to capture and concentrate anthrax spores from spiked food matrices, including milk, apple juice, bagged salad, processed meat, and bottled water. The results indicated that the Pathatrix beads were more effective in the binding and capture of anthrax spores than the other two bead types investigated. Furthermore, it was observed that the use of polyclonal antibodies resulted in a more efficient recovery of anthrax spores than the use of monoclonal antibodies. Three different magnetic capture methods, inversion, the Pathatrix Auto system, and the new i CropTheBug system, were investigated. The i CropTheBug system yielded a much higher recovery of spores than the Pathatrix Auto system. Spore recoveries ranged from 80 to 100% for the i CropTheBug system when using pure spore preparations, whereas the Pathatrix Auto system had recoveries from 20 to 30%. Spore capture from food samples inoculated at a level of 1 CFU/ml resulted in 80 to 100% capture for milk, bottled water, and juice samples and 60 to 80% for processed meat and bagged salad when using the i CropTheBug system. This efficient capture of anthrax spores at very low concentrations without enrichment has the potential to enhance the sensitivity of downstream detection technologies and will be a useful method in a foodborne bioterrorism response. PMID

  4. ANTHRAX REMEDIATION RESEARCH NEEDS

    EPA Science Inventory

    The Environmental Protection Agency has initiated a research program to respond to the immediate needs arising from the recent Bacillus anthracis bioterrorism events. Although the program has a strong emphasis on anthrax, other pathogens and chemical agents, including toxic indu...

  5. The anthrax attacks 10 years later.

    PubMed

    Bush, Larry M; Perez, Maria T

    2012-01-01

    Ten years ago, just weeks after the September 11 attacks, the United States experienced a deliberate act of bioterrorism. Through use of the postal service, anthrax spores were widely disseminated, including to homes, the Senate, and major newsrooms, resulting in morbidity and mortality and effectively disrupting our way of life and revealing our vulnerability. Even though such attacks had been the subject of much writing and had been planned for, detection of and the appropriate response to an attack with an agent from the so-called "Category 'A' List" had only been considered in theoretical terms. What transpired during the following difficult weeks, including how public health and federal government agencies performed, has been both praised and criticized. An intertwined epidemiologic and criminal investigation of such magnitude was unprecedented in U.S. history. To address the question of whether we as a nation are now better prepared for future threats involving biologic agents, it is important to learn from the lessons of the 2001 anthrax attacks, including the critical role of clinicians in surveillance. As physicians involved in diagnosing anthrax in the index case and alerting authorities, we offer our perspective on these events a decade after their occurrence. PMID:21969275

  6. Bacillus anthracis Spore Surface Protein BclA Mediates Complement Factor H Binding to Spores and Promotes Spore Persistence.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yanyu; Jenkins, Sarah A; Gu, Chunfang; Shree, Ankita; Martinez-Moczygemba, Margarita; Herold, Jennifer; Botto, Marina; Wetsel, Rick A; Xu, Yi

    2016-06-01

    Spores of Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax, are known to persist in the host lungs for prolonged periods of time, however the underlying mechanism is poorly understood. In this study, we demonstrated that BclA, a major surface protein of B. anthracis spores, mediated direct binding of complement factor H (CFH) to spores. The surface bound CFH retained its regulatory cofactor activity resulting in C3 degradation and inhibition of downstream complement activation. By comparing results from wild type C57BL/6 mice and complement deficient mice, we further showed that BclA significantly contributed to spore persistence in the mouse lungs and dampened antibody responses to spores in a complement C3-dependent manner. In addition, prior exposure to BclA deletion spores (ΔbclA) provided significant protection against lethal challenges by B. anthracis, whereas the isogenic parent spores did not, indicating that BclA may also impair protective immunity. These results describe for the first time an immune inhibition mechanism of B. anthracis mediated by BclA and CFH that promotes spore persistence in vivo. The findings also suggested an important role of complement in persistent infections and thus have broad implications. PMID:27304426

  7. Bacillus anthracis Spore Surface Protein BclA Mediates Complement Factor H Binding to Spores and Promotes Spore Persistence

    PubMed Central

    Gu, Chunfang; Martinez-Moczygemba, Margarita; Herold, Jennifer; Botto, Marina; Wetsel, Rick A.; Xu, Yi

    2016-01-01

    Spores of Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax, are known to persist in the host lungs for prolonged periods of time, however the underlying mechanism is poorly understood. In this study, we demonstrated that BclA, a major surface protein of B. anthracis spores, mediated direct binding of complement factor H (CFH) to spores. The surface bound CFH retained its regulatory cofactor activity resulting in C3 degradation and inhibition of downstream complement activation. By comparing results from wild type C57BL/6 mice and complement deficient mice, we further showed that BclA significantly contributed to spore persistence in the mouse lungs and dampened antibody responses to spores in a complement C3-dependent manner. In addition, prior exposure to BclA deletion spores (ΔbclA) provided significant protection against lethal challenges by B. anthracis, whereas the isogenic parent spores did not, indicating that BclA may also impair protective immunity. These results describe for the first time an immune inhibition mechanism of B. anthracis mediated by BclA and CFH that promotes spore persistence in vivo. The findings also suggested an important role of complement in persistent infections and thus have broad implications. PMID:27304426

  8. Space Technology to Device that Destroys Pathogens Such As Anthrax

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

    This is a photo of a technician at KES Science and Technology Inc., in Kernesaw, Georgia, assembling the AiroCide Ti02, an anthrax-killing device about the size of a small coffee table. The anthrax-killing air scrubber, AiroCide Ti02, is a tabletop-size metal box that bolts to office ceilings or walls. Its fans draw in airborne spores and airflow forces them through a maze of tubes. Inside, hydroxyl radicals (OH-) attack and kill pathogens. Most remaining spores are destroyed by high-energy ultraviolet photons. Building miniature greenhouses for experiments on the International Space Station has led to the invention of this device that annihilates anthrax, a bacteria that can be deadly when inhaled. The research enabling the invention started at the University of Wisconsin's (Madison) Center for Space Automation and Robotics (WCSAR), one of 17 NASA Commercial Space Centers. A special coating technology used in this anthrax-killing invention is also being used inside WCSAR-built plant growth units on the International Space Station. This commercial research is managed by the Space Product Development Program at the Marshall Space Flight Center.

  9. Growth medium for the rapid isolation and identification of anthrax

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kiel, Johnathan L.; Parker, Jill E.; Grubbs, Teri R.; Alls, John L.

    2000-07-01

    Anthrax has been recognized as a highly likely biological warfare or terrorist agent. The purpose of this work was to design a culture technique to rapidly isolate and identify `live' anthrax. In liquid or solid media form, 3AT medium (3-amino-L-tyrosine, the main ingredient) accelerated germination and growth of anthrax spores in 5 to 6 hours to a point expected at 18 to 24 hours with ordinary medium. During accelerated growth, standard definitive diagnostic tests such as sensitivity to lysis by penicillin or bacteriophage can be run. During this time, the bacteria synthesized a fluorescent and thermochemiluminescent polymer. Bacteria captured by specific antibody are, therefore, already labeled. Because living bacteria are required to generate the polymer, the test converts immunoassays for anthrax into viability assays. Furthermore, the polymer formation leads to the death of the vegetative form and non-viability of the spores produced in the medium. By altering the formulation of the medium, other microbes and even animal and human cells can be grown in it and labeled (including viruses grown in the animal or human cells).

  10. Real-time detection of bacterial spores using coherent anti-Stokes Raman spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dogariu, A.; Goltsov, A.; Pestov, D.; Sokolov, A. V.; Scully, M. O.

    2008-02-01

    We demonstrate a realistic method for detection of anthrax-type spores in real time based on their chemical fingerprints using coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering. Specifically, we demonstrate that coherent Raman scattering can be used to successfully identify spores with high accuracy and high selectivity in less than 50ms.

  11. Immunoproteomically identified GBAA_0345, alkyl hydroperoxide reductase subunit C is a potential target for multivalent anthrax vaccine.

    PubMed

    Kim, Yeon Hee; Kim, Kyung Ae; Kim, Yu-Ri; Choi, Min Kyung; Kim, Hye Kyeong; Choi, Ki Ju; Chun, Jeong-Hoon; Cha, Kiweon; Hong, Kee-Jong; Lee, Na Gyong; Yoo, Cheon-Kwon; Oh, Hee-Bok; Kim, Tae Sung; Rhie, Gi-eun

    2014-01-01

    Anthrax is caused by the spore-forming bacterium Bacillus anthracis, which has been used as a weapon for bioterrorism. Although current vaccines are effective, they involve prolonged dose regimens and often cause adverse reactions. High rates of mortality associated with anthrax have made the development of an improved vaccine a top priority. To identify novel vaccine candidates, we applied an immunoproteomics approach. Using sera from convalescent guinea pigs or from human patients with anthrax, we identified 34 immunogenic proteins from the virulent B. anthracis H9401. To evaluate vaccine candidates, six were expressed as recombinant proteins and tested in vivo. Two proteins, rGBAA_0345 (alkyl hydroperoxide reductase subunit C) and rGBAA_3990 (malonyl CoA-acyl carrier protein transacylase), have afforded guinea pigs partial protection from a subsequent virulent-spore challenge. Moreover, combined vaccination with rGBAA_0345 and rPA (protective antigen) exhibited an enhanced ability to protect against anthrax mortality. Finally, we demonstrated that GBAA_0345 localizes to anthrax spores and bacilli. Our results indicate that rGBAA_0345 may be a potential component of a multivalent anthrax vaccine, as it enhances the efficacy of rPA vaccination. This is the first time that sera from patients with anthrax have been used to interrogate the proteome of virulent B. anthracis vegetative cells.

  12. Crystallographic studies of the Anthrax lethal toxin. Annual report

    SciTech Connect

    Frederick, C.A.

    1996-07-01

    The lethal form of Anthrax results from the inhalation of anthrax spores. Death is primarily due to the effects of the lethal toxin (Protective Antigen (PA) + Lethal Factor) from the causative agent, Bacillus anthracis. All the Anthrax vaccines currently in use or under development contain or produce PA, the major antigenic component of anthrax toxin, and there is a clear need for an improved vaccine for human use. In the previous report we described the first atomic resolution structure of PA, revealing that the molecule is composed largely of beta-sheets organized into four domains. This information can be used in the design. of recombinant PA vaccines. In this report we describe additional features of the full-length PA molecule derived from further crystallographic refinement and careful examination of the structure. We compare two crystal forms of PA grown at different pH values and discuss the functional implications. A complete definition of the function of each domain must await the crystal structure of the PA63 heptamer. We have grown crystals of the heptamer under both detergent and detergent-free conditions, and made substantial progress towards the crystal structure. The mechanism of anthrax intoxication in the light of our results is reviewed.

  13. Monte Carlo N-particle simulation of neutron-based sterilisation of anthrax contamination

    PubMed Central

    Liu, B; Xu, J; Liu, T; Ouyang, X

    2012-01-01

    Objective To simulate the neutron-based sterilisation of anthrax contamination by Monte Carlo N-particle (MCNP) 4C code. Methods Neutrons are elementary particles that have no charge. They are 20 times more effective than electrons or γ-rays in killing anthrax spores on surfaces and inside closed containers. Neutrons emitted from a 252Cf neutron source are in the 100 keV to 2 MeV energy range. A 2.5 MeV D–D neutron generator can create neutrons at up to 1013 n s−1 with current technology. All these enable an effective and low-cost method of killing anthrax spores. Results There is no effect on neutron energy deposition on the anthrax sample when using a reflector that is thicker than its saturation thickness. Among all three reflecting materials tested in the MCNP simulation, paraffin is the best because it has the thinnest saturation thickness and is easy to machine. The MCNP radiation dose and fluence simulation calculation also showed that the MCNP-simulated neutron fluence that is needed to kill the anthrax spores agrees with previous analytical estimations very well. Conclusion The MCNP simulation indicates that a 10 min neutron irradiation from a 0.5 g 252Cf neutron source or a 1 min neutron irradiation from a 2.5 MeV D–D neutron generator may kill all anthrax spores in a sample. This is a promising result because a 2.5 MeV D–D neutron generator output >1013 n s−1 should be attainable in the near future. This indicates that we could use a D–D neutron generator to sterilise anthrax contamination within several seconds. PMID:22573293

  14. Public health and bioterrorism: renewed threat of anthrax and smallpox.

    PubMed

    Wallin, Arūne; Luksiene, Zivile; Zagminas, Kestutis; Surkiene, Gene

    2007-01-01

    Bioterrorism is one of the main public health categorical domains. According to sociological analytics, in postmodern society terrorism is one of the real threats of the 21st century. While rare, the use of biological weapons has a long history. Recently, anthrax has been evaluated as one of the most dangerous biological weapons. Naturally occurring anthrax in humans is a disease acquired from contact with anthrax-infected animals or anthrax-contaminated animal products. Usually anthrax infection occurs in humans by three major routes: inhalational, cutaneous, and gastrointestinal. Inhalational anthrax is expected to account for most serious morbidity and most mortality. The clinical presentation of inhalation anthrax has been described as a two-stage illness. Many factors contribute to the pathogenesis of Bacillus anthracis. Antibiotics, anthrax globulin, corticosteroids, mechanical ventilation, vaccine are possible tools of therapy. Smallpox existed in two forms: variola major, which accounted for most morbidity and mortality, and a milder form, variola minor. Smallpox spreads from person to person primarily by droplet nuclei or aerosols expelled from the oropharynx of infected persons and by direct contact. In the event of limited outbreak with few cases, patients should be admitted to the hospital and confined to rooms that are under negative pressure and equipped with high-efficiency particulate air filtration. In larger outbreaks, home isolation and care should be the objective for most patients. Progress in detection, suitable vaccines, postexposure prophylaxis, infection control, and decontamination might be serious tools in fight against the most powerful biological weapon. To assure that the public health and healthcare system can respond to emergencies, the government should direct resources to strengthen the emergency-response system, create medication stockpiles, and improve the public health infrastructure. PMID:17485954

  15. Investigation of Anthrax Cases in North-East China, 2010-2014

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, Wei; Sun, Yang; Zhu, Lingwei; Zhou, Bo; Liu, Jun; Ji, Xue; Wang, Xiaofeng; Wang, Nan; Gu, Guibo; Feng, Shuzhang; Qian, Jun; Guo, Xuejun

    2015-01-01

    We determined the genotypes of seven Bacillus anthracis strains that were recovered from nine anthrax outbreaks in North-East China from 2010 to 2014, and two approved vaccine strains that are currently in use in China. The causes of these cases were partly due to local farmers being unaware of the presence of anthrax, and butchers with open wounds having direct contact with anthrax-contaminated meat products. The genotype of five of the seven recovered strains was A.Br.001/002 sub-lineage, which was concordant with previously published research. The remaining two cases belongs to the A.Br.Ames sub-lineage. Both of these strains displayed an identical SNR pattern, which was the first time that this genotype was identified in North-East China. Strengthening education in remote villages of rural China is an important activity aimed at fostering attempts to prevent and control anthrax. The genotype of the vaccine strain Anthrax Spore Vaccine No.II was A.Br.008/009 and A.Br.001/002 for the vaccine strain Anthrax Spore Vaccine Non-capsulated. Further studies of their characteristics are clearly warranted. PMID:26308449

  16. Investigation of Anthrax Cases in North-East China, 2010-2014.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Wei; Sun, Yang; Zhu, Lingwei; Zhou, Bo; Liu, Jun; Ji, Xue; Wang, Xiaofeng; Wang, Nan; Gu, Guibo; Feng, Shuzhang; Qian, Jun; Guo, Xuejun

    2015-01-01

    We determined the genotypes of seven Bacillus anthracis strains that were recovered from nine anthrax outbreaks in North-East China from 2010 to 2014, and two approved vaccine strains that are currently in use in China. The causes of these cases were partly due to local farmers being unaware of the presence of anthrax, and butchers with open wounds having direct contact with anthrax-contaminated meat products. The genotype of five of the seven recovered strains was A.Br.001/002 sub-lineage, which was concordant with previously published research. The remaining two cases belongs to the A.Br.Ames sub-lineage. Both of these strains displayed an identical SNR pattern, which was the first time that this genotype was identified in North-East China. Strengthening education in remote villages of rural China is an important activity aimed at fostering attempts to prevent and control anthrax. The genotype of the vaccine strain Anthrax Spore Vaccine No.II was A.Br.008/009 and A.Br.001/002 for the vaccine strain Anthrax Spore Vaccine Non-capsulated. Further studies of their characteristics are clearly warranted.

  17. Risk-Based Decision Making for Reoccupation of Contaminated Areas Following a Wide-Area Anthrax Release.

    PubMed

    Hamilton, Michael A; Hong, Tao; Casman, Elizabeth; Gurian, Patrick L

    2015-07-01

    This article presents an analysis of postattack response strategies to mitigate the risks of reoccupying contaminated areas following a release of Bacillus anthracis spores (the bacterium responsible for causing anthrax) in an urban setting. The analysis is based on a hypothetical attack scenario in which individuals are exposed to B. anthracis spores during an initial aerosol release and then placed on prophylactic antibiotics that successfully protect them against the initial aerosol exposure. The risk from reoccupying buildings contaminated with spores due to their reaerosolization and inhalation is then evaluated. The response options considered include: decontamination of the buildings, vaccination of individuals reoccupying the buildings, extended evacuation of individuals from the contaminated buildings, and combinations of these options. The study uses a decision tree to estimate the costs and benefits of alternative response strategies across a range of exposure risks. Results for best estimates of model inputs suggest that the most cost-effective response for high-risk scenarios (individual chance of infection exceeding 11%) consists of evacuation and building decontamination. For infection risks between 4% and 11%, the preferred option is to evacuate for a short period, vaccinate, and then reoccupy once the vaccine has taken effect. For risks between 0.003% and 4%, the preferred option is to vaccinate only. For risks below 0.003%, none of the mitigation actions have positive expected monetary benefits. A sensitivity analysis indicates that for high-infection-likelihood scenarios, vaccination is recommended in the case where decontamination efficacy is less than 99.99%. PMID:25946233

  18. Space Technology to Device That Destroys Pathogens Such as Anthrax

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

    AiroCide Ti02, an anthrax-killing air scrubber manufactured by KES Science and Technology Inc., in Kernesaw, Georgia, looks like a square metal box when it is installed on an office wall. Its fans draw in airborne spores and airflow forces them through a maze of tubes. Inside, hydroxyl radicals (OH-) attack and kill pathogens. Most remaining spores are destroyed by high-energy ultraviolet photons. Building miniature greenhouses for experiments on the International Space Station (ISS) has led to the invention of this device that annihilates anthrax-a bacteria that can be deadly when inhaled. The research enabling the invention started at the University of Wisconsin (Madison) Center for Space Automation and Robotics (WCSAR), one of 17 NASA Commercial Space Centers. A special coating technology used in the anthrax-killing invention is also being used inside WCSAR-built plant growth units on the ISS. This commercial research is managed by the Space Product Development Program at the Marshall Space Flight Center.

  19. Anthrax of the lower lip.

    PubMed

    Veraldi, Stefano; Nazzaro, Gianluca; Çuka, Ermira; Drago, Lorenzo

    2013-12-01

    Anthrax of the oral cavity and oropharynx is well known, whereas anthrax of the lips is very rare. We present a case of anthrax of the lower lip in a 57-year-old man. The infection was characterized by a wide, black eschar, surrounded by vesicles, crusts, and erythematous-edematous halo, with submandibular and laterocervical lymphadenopathy. The oral cavity, oropharynx, and tonsils were normal. Laboratory examinations revealed leukocytosis and increased inflammatory markers. Otolaryngologic, gastrointestinal, lung, and neurologic examinations were negative. The patient was successfully treated with oral ciprofloxacin. Although rare, anthrax should be considered in the differential clinical diagnosis in patients returning from areas where this disease is endemic. PMID:24120906

  20. Outbreak of anthrax in Thailand.

    PubMed

    Kunanusont, C; Limpakarnjanarat, K; Foy, H M

    1990-10-01

    An outbreak of anthrax occurred among 14 persons exposed to the meat of two water buffalo which had died from anthrax, in two neighbouring villages in the northeastern region of Thailand. All but one case had typical eschars or blisters. Three had eaten raw meat; one of them died from gastric anthrax with severe haematemesis. All the others were successfully treated with penicillin. The incubation period varied between two and 11 days. Sporadic outbreaks of human and animal anthrax still occur in Southeast Asia.

  1. Pediatric Anthrax Clinical Management

    PubMed Central

    Bradley, John S.; Peacock, Georgina; Krug, Steven E.; Bower, William A.; Cohn, Amanda C.; Meaney-Delman, Dana; Pavia, Andrew T.

    2015-01-01

    Anthrax is a zoonotic disease caused by Bacillus anthracis, which has multiple routes of infection in humans, manifesting in different initial presentations of disease. Because B anthracis has the potential to be used as a biological weapon and can rapidly progress to systemic anthrax with high mortality in those who are exposed and untreated, clinical guidance that can be quickly implemented must be in place before any intentional release of the agent. This document provides clinical guidance for the prophylaxis and treatment of neonates, infants, children, adolescents, and young adults up to the age of 21 (referred to as “children”) in the event of a deliberate B anthracis release and offers guidance in areas where the unique characteristics of children dictate a different clinical recommendation from adults. PMID:24777226

  2. Pediatric anthrax clinical management.

    PubMed

    Bradley, John S; Peacock, Georgina; Krug, Steven E; Bower, William A; Cohn, Amanda C; Meaney-Delman, Dana; Pavia, Andrew T

    2014-05-01

    Anthrax is a zoonotic disease caused by Bacillus anthracis, which has multiple routes of infection in humans, manifesting in different initial presentations of disease. Because B anthracis has the potential to be used as a biological weapon and can rapidly progress to systemic anthrax with high mortality in those who are exposed and untreated, clinical guidance that can be quickly implemented must be in place before any intentional release of the agent. This document provides clinical guidance for the prophylaxis and treatment of neonates, infants, children, adolescents, and young adults up to the age of 21 (referred to as "children") in the event of a deliberate B anthracis release and offers guidance in areas where the unique characteristics of children dictate a different clinical recommendation from adults.

  3. Keeping the Air Clean and Safe: An Anthrax Smoke Detector

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2005-01-01

    Scientists at work in the Planetary Protection division at NASA s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) sterilize everything before blasting it to the Red Planet. They take great pains to ensure that all spacecraft are void of bacterial life, especially the microscopic bacteria that can live hundreds of years in their spore states. No one is quite sure what Earthly germs would do on Mars, but scientists agree that it is safest to keep the Martian terrain as undisturbed as possible. Errant Earth germs would also render useless the instruments placed on exploration rovers to look for signs of life, as the life that they registered would be life that came with them from Earth. A team at JPL, headed by Dr. Adrian Ponce, developed a bacterial spore-detection system that uses a simple and robust chemical reaction that visually alerts Planetary Protection crews. It is a simple air filter that traps micron-sized bacterial spores and then submits them to the chemical reaction. When the solution is then viewed under an ultraviolet light, the mixture will glow green if it is contaminated by bacteria. Scientists can then return to the scrubbing and cleaning stages of the sterilization process to remove these harmful bacteria. The detection system is the space-bound equivalent of having your hands checked for cleanliness before being allowed to the table; and although intended to keep terrestrial germs from space, this technology has awesome applications here on Mother Earth. The bacterial spore-detection unit can recognize anthrax and other harmful, spore-forming bacteria and alert people of the impending danger. As evidenced in the anthrax mailings of fall 2001 in the United States, the first sign of anthrax exposure was when people experienced flu-like symptoms, which unfortunately, can take as much as a week to develop after contamination. Anthrax cost 5 people their lives and infected 19 others; and the threat of bioterrorism became a routine concern, with new threats popping up

  4. SERS of meso-droplets supported on superhydrophobic wires allows exquisitely sensitive detection of dipicolinic acid, an anthrax biomarker, considerably below the infective dose.

    PubMed

    Cheung, Melody; Lee, Wendy W Y; Cowcher, David P; Goodacre, Royston; Bell, Steven E J

    2016-08-01

    Surface-enhanced Raman measurements of <1 μL analyte/colloid meso-droplets on superhydrophobic wires with hydrophilic tips allowed dipicolinic acid, a spore biomarker for Bacillus anthracis (anthrax), to be detected at 10(-6) mol dm(-3). This is equivalent to 18 spores, significantly below the infective dose of 10(4) spores and 2 orders of magnitude better than previous measurements. PMID:27432481

  5. Responding to the threat of bioterrorism: a microbial ecology perspective--the case of anthrax.

    PubMed

    Atlas, R M

    2002-12-01

    Anthrax is a disease of herbivores caused by the gram-positive bacterium Bacillus anthracis. It can affect cattle, sheep, swine, horses and various species of wildlife. The routes for the spread among wildlife are reviewed. There are three kinds of human anthrax--inhalation, cutaneous, and intestinal anthrax--which differ in their routes of infection and outcomes. In the United States, confirmation of cases is made by the isolation of B. anthracis and by biochemical tests. Vaccination is not recommended for the general public; civilians who should be vaccinated include those who, in their work places, come in contact with products potentially contaminated with B. anthracis spores, and people engaged in research or diagnostic activities. After September 11, 2001, there were bioterrorism anthrax attacks in the United States: anthrax-laced letters sent to multiple locations were the source of infectious B. anthracis. The US Postal Service issued recommendations to prevent the danger of hazardous exposure to the bacterium. B. anthracis spores can spread easily and persist for very long times, which makes decontamination of buildings very difficult. Early detection, rapid diagnosis, and well-coordinated public health response are the key to minimizing casualties. The US Government is seeking new ways to deter bioterrorism, including a tighter control of research on infectious agents, even though pathogens such as B. anthracis are widely spread in nature and easy to grow. It is necessary to define the boundary between defensive and offensive biological weapons research. Deterring bioterrorism should not restrict critical scientific research. PMID:12497181

  6. Immunoassay for B. globigii spores as a model for detecting B. anthracis spores in finished water.

    PubMed

    Farrell, Svetlana; Halsall, H Brian; Heineman, William R

    2005-04-01

    The 2001 anthrax alarm in the US raised concerns about the Nation's preparedness to the threat of bioterrorism, and the demand for early warning systems that might be used in the case of a biological attack continues to grow. Here we develop an ultra-sensitive rapid detection method for B. globigii(BG) spores, the simulant of B. anthracis(BA) spores. BG spores were detected by a bead-based sandwich immunoassay with fluorescence detection. Paramagnetic Dynal beads were used as a solid support, primary antibody was attached to the beads by streptavidin-biotin coupling and the secondary antibody had an alkaline phosphatase (AP) enzyme label. Enzymatic conversion of fluorescein diphosphate (FDP) to fluorescein by AP was measured in real time with lambda(ex)= 490 nm and lambda(em)= 520 nm. The assay was linear from 2.6 x 10(3)-5.6 x 10(5) BG spores mL(-1), and the detection limit was 2.6 x 10(3) spores mL(-1) or 78 spores. All reagent concentrations and incubation times were optimized. The assay time from the moment the spores were introduced to the system was 30 min, and real-time fluorescence detection was done in less than 1 min. Formation of the BG spores-capture beads complex was confirmed by environmental scanning electron microscopy (ESEM). BG spores were detected successfully when doped into Cincinnati tap water to demonstrate the applicability of the developed method to detect the spores in non-buffered media. PMID:15776158

  7. Three eyelid localized cutaneous anthrax cases.

    PubMed

    Esmer, Oktay; Karadag, Remzi; Bilgili, Serap Gunes; Gultepe, Bilge; Bayramlar, Huseyin; Karadag, Ayse Serap

    2014-12-01

    Anthrax is primarily seen in the developing countries, but it can be a worldwide medical concern due to bioterrorism threats. Palpebral anthrax is a rare form of cutaneous anthrax. Untreated cutaneous anthrax can be lethal. Patients with palpebral anthrax can develop complications including cicatrisation and ectropion. Thus, anthrax should be considered in differential diagnosis for patients presenting with preseptal cellulitis in high-risk regions. Herein, we report three anthrax cases (with different age) involving eyelids that were cured without any complications due to early diagnosis and treatment.

  8. Application of gaseous ozone for inactivation of Bacillus subtilis spores.

    PubMed

    Aydogan, Ahmet; Gurol, Mirat D

    2006-02-01

    The effectiveness of gaseous ozone (O3) as a disinfectant was tested on Bacillus subtilis spores, which share the same physiological characteristics as Bacillus anthracis spores that cause the anthrax disease. Spores dried on surfaces of different carrier material were exposed to O3 gas in the range of 500-5000 ppm and at relative humidity (RH) of 70-95%. Gaseous O3 was found to be very effective against the B. subtilis spores, and at O3 concentrations as low as 3 mg/L (1500 ppm), approximately 3-log inactivation was obtained within 4 hr of exposure. The inactivation curves consisted of a short lag phase followed by an exponential decrease in the number of surviving spores. Prehydration of the bacterial spores has eliminated the initial lag phase. The inactivation rate increased with increasing O3 concentration but not >3 mg/L. The inactivation rate also increased with increase in RH. Different survival curves were obtained for various surfaces used to carry spores. Inactivation rates of spores on glass, a vinyl floor tile, and office paper were nearly the same. Whereas cut pile carpet and hardwood flooring surfaces resulted in much lower inactivation rates, another type of carpet (loop pile) showed significant enhancement in the inactivation of the spores. PMID:16568801

  9. 9 CFR 113.66 - Anthrax Spore Vaccine-Nonencapsulated.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... in 9 CFR 113.64 and the requirements in this paragraph. Any serial or subserial found unsatisfactory... serial or first subserial shall be tested for safety in sheep or goats by the methods described in 9 CFR.... Only Master Seed which has been established as pure, safe, and immunogenic shall be used for...

  10. Polarization resolved angular optical scattering of aerosol particles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Redding, B.; Pan, Y.; Wang, C.; Videen, G.; Cao, Hui

    2014-05-01

    Real-time detection and identification of bio-aerosol particles are crucial for the protection against chemical and biological agents. The strong elastic light scattering properties of airborne particles provides a natural means for rapid, non-invasive aerosol characterization. Recent theoretical predictions suggested that variations in the polarization dependent angular scattering cross section could provide an efficient means of classifying different airborne particles. In particular, the polarization dependent scattering cross section of aggregate particles is expected to depend on the shape of the primary particles. In order to experimentally validate this prediction, we built a high throughput, sampling system, capable of measuring the polarization resolved angular scattering cross section of individual aerosol particles flowing through an interrogating volume with a single shot of laser pulse. We calibrated the system by comparing the polarization dependent scattering cross section of individual polystyrene spheres with that predicted by Mie theory. We then used the system to study different particles types: Polystyrene aggregates composed 500 nm spheres and Bacillus subtilis (BG, Anthrax simulant) spores composed of elongated 500 nm × 1000 nm cylinder-line particles. We found that the polarization resolved scattering cross section depends on the shape of the constituent elements of the aggregates. This work indicates that the polarization resolved scattering cross section could be used for rapid discrimination between different bio-aerosol particles.

  11. Pathogenic ecology: Where have all the pathogens gone? Anthrax: a classic case

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kiel, Johnathan; Walker, Wes W.; Andrews, Carrie J.; De Los Santos, Amy; Adams, Roy N.; Bucholz, Matthew W.; McBurnett, Shelly D.; Fuentes, Vladimir; Rizner, Karon E.; Blount, Keith W.

    2009-05-01

    Pathogenic ecology is the natural relationship to animate and inanimate components of the environment that support the sustainment of a pathogen in the environment or prohibit its sustainment, or their interactions with an introduced pathogen that allow for the establishment of disease in a new environment. The anthrax bacterium in the spore form has been recognized as a highly likely biological warfare or terrorist agent. The purpose of this work was to determine the environmental reservoir of Bacillus anthracis between outbreaks of anthrax and to examine the potential factors influencing the conversion of the Bacillus anthracis from a quiescent state to the disease causing state. Here we provide environmental and laboratory data for the cycling of Bacillus anthracis in plants to reconcile observations that contradict the soil borne hypothesis of anthrax maintenance in the environment.

  12. Interactions between Bacillus anthracis and Plants May Promote Anthrax Transmission

    PubMed Central

    Ganz, Holly H.; Turner, Wendy C.; Brodie, Eoin L.; Kusters, Martina; Shi, Ying; Sibanda, Heniritha; Torok, Tamas; Getz, Wayne M.

    2014-01-01

    Environmental reservoirs are essential in the maintenance and transmission of anthrax but are poorly characterized. The anthrax agent, Bacillus anthracis was long considered an obligate pathogen that is dormant and passively transmitted in the environment. However, a growing number of laboratory studies indicate that, like some of its close relatives, B. anthracis has some activity outside of its vertebrate hosts. Here we show in the field that B. anthracis has significant interactions with a grass that could promote anthrax spore transmission to grazing hosts. Using a local, virulent strain of B. anthracis, we performed a field experiment in an enclosure within a grassland savanna. We found that B. anthracis increased the rate of establishment of a native grass (Enneapogon desvauxii) by 50% and that grass seeds exposed to blood reached heights that were 45% taller than controls. Further we detected significant effects of E. desvauxii, B. anthracis, and their interaction on soil bacterial taxa richness and community composition. We did not find any evidence for multiplication or increased longevity of B. anthracis in bulk soil associated with grass compared to controls. Instead interactions between B. anthracis and plants may result in increased host grazing and subsequently increased transmission to hosts. PMID:24901846

  13. HEPA/vaccine plan for indoor anthrax remediation.

    PubMed

    Wein, Lawrence M; Liu, Yifan; Leighton, Terrance J

    2005-01-01

    We developed a mathematical model to compare 2 indoor remediation strategies in the aftermath of an outdoor release of 1.5 kg of anthrax spores in lower Manhattan. The 2 strategies are the fumigation approach used after the 2001 postal anthrax attack and a HEPA/vaccine plan, which relies on HEPA vacuuming, HEPA air cleaners, and vaccination of reoccupants. The HEPA/vaccine approach leads to few anthrax cases among reoccupants if applied to all but the most heavily contaminated buildings, and recovery is much faster than under the decades-long fumigation plan. Only modest environmental sampling is needed. A surge capacity of 10,000 to 20,000 Hazmat workers is required to perform remediation within 6 to 12 months and to avoid permanent mass relocation. Because of the possibility of a campaign of terrorist attacks, serious consideration should be given to allowing or encouraging voluntary self-service cleaning of lightly contaminated rooms by age-appropriate, vaccinated, partially protected (through masks or hoods) reoccupants or owners. PMID:15705325

  14. Spore Resistance Properties.

    PubMed

    Setlow, Peter

    2014-10-01

    Spores of various Bacillus and Clostridium species are among the most resistant life forms known. Since the spores of some species are causative agents of much food spoilage, food poisoning, and human disease, and the spores of Bacillus anthracis are a major bioweapon, there is much interest in the mechanisms of spore resistance and how these spores can be killed. This article will discuss the factors involved in spore resistance to agents such as wet and dry heat, desiccation, UV and γ-radiation, enzymes that hydrolyze bacterial cell walls, and a variety of toxic chemicals, including genotoxic agents, oxidizing agents, aldehydes, acid, and alkali. These resistance factors include the outer layers of the spore, such as the thick proteinaceous coat that detoxifies reactive chemicals; the relatively impermeable inner spore membrane that restricts access of toxic chemicals to the spore core containing the spore's DNA and most enzymes; the low water content and high level of dipicolinic acid in the spore core that protect core macromolecules from the effects of heat and desiccation; the saturation of spore DNA with a novel group of proteins that protect the DNA against heat, genotoxic chemicals, and radiation; and the repair of radiation damage to DNA when spores germinate and return to life. Despite their extreme resistance, spores can be killed, including by damage to DNA, crucial spore proteins, the spore's inner membrane, and one or more components of the spore germination apparatus.

  15. Spores Disperse, Too!

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schumann, Donna N.

    1981-01-01

    Suggests the use of spores and spore-producing structures to show adaptations facilitating spore dispersal and dispersal to favorable environments. Describes several activities using horsetails, ferns, and mosses. Lists five safety factors related to use of mold spores in the classroom. (DS)

  16. Immunoaffinity-based phosphorescent sensor platform for the detection of bacterial spores

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scholl, Peter F.; Bargeron, C. Brent; Phillips, Terry E.; Wong, Tommy; Abubaker, Sala; Groopman, John D.; Strickland, Paul T.; Benson, Richard C.

    2000-04-01

    Consideration of emergency response plans to an attack with biological weapons such as anthrax spores has spawned renewed interest in the development of inexpensive, rapid, and sensitive field portable sensors for use by non- specialists. The conceptual feasibility of such a device is demonstrated via the immunoaffinity capture of spores of the anthrax simulant B. globigii on a column followed by their washing, elution and phosphorescent detection. Spores are generically detected via the rapid extraction of dipicolinic acid (DPA) followed by its chelation with terbium to yield a phosphorescent complex. Chemical, thermal and mechanical methods of DPA extraction were evaluated. Simple extraction in HNO3 released up to 5 percent of the spore weight as DPA within 60 seconds. Extraction in H2O liberated 7 percent of the spore weight as DPA. Sonication with glass beads in H2O for 45 seconds released up to 4 percent of the spore weight as DPA. It is estimated that implementation of these techniques will permit development of a device requiring 3-5 minutes per analysis with a limit of detection on the order of 500 ng spore/mL. This approach is not intended to replace more specific methods of analysis. However, it is proposed for consideration as an inexpensive, simple and rapid means of spore detection by non-specialists in emergency situations.

  17. Anthrax Vaccine and Public Health Policy

    PubMed Central

    Weiss, Martin Meyer; Weiss, Peter D.; Weiss, Joseph B.

    2007-01-01

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has classified Bacillus anthracis, the causative organism of anthrax, as a category A potential bioterrorism agent. There are critical shortcomings in the US anthrax vaccine program. Rather than depending on the private sector, the government must assume direct production of anthrax vaccine. The development of a capacity capable of preemptive immunization of the public against anthrax should be considered. PMID:17901434

  18. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde: a short history of anthrax.

    PubMed

    Schwartz, Maxime

    2009-12-01

    The anthrax letters crisis, following the discovery of a major bacterial warfare program in the USSR and the realization that Irak had been on the verge of using anthrax as a weapon during the first Gulf war, had the consequence of putting anthrax back on the agenda of scientists. Fortunately, although it was mostly unknown by the public before these events, it was far from unknown by microbiologists. Already mentioned in the bible as a disease of herbivores, it remained a major cause of death for animals all over the planet until the end of the 19th century, with occasional, sometimes extensive, contamination of human beings. The aetiological agent, Bacillus anthracis, was identified by French and German scientists in the 1860s and 1870s. This was the first time that a disease could be attributed to a specific microorganism. The discovery by Koch that this bacterium formed spores greatly contributed to the understanding of the disease epidemiology. Studies on the pathophysiology of anthrax led to the identification of two major virulence factors, the capsule, protecting the bacilli against phagocytosis, and a tripartite toxin. The latter consists of two toxins with a common component (protecting antigen, PA) that allows the binding to and penetration into cells of two enzymes, the oedema factor EF, a calmodulin dependent adenylate cyclase, and the lethal factor LF, a specific zinc metalloprotease. The primary targets of these toxins would seem to be cells of innate immunity that would otherwise impair multiplication of the bacilli. If detected early enough, B. anthracis infections can be stopped by using antibiotics such as ciprofloxacin. Infection of animals can be prevented by the administration of vaccines, the first of which was developed by Pasteur after an historical testing at Pouilly-le-Fort which marked the beginning of the science of vaccines. PMID:19577591

  19. Added benefit of raxibacumab to antibiotic treatment of inhalational anthrax.

    PubMed

    Migone, Thi-Sau; Bolmer, Sally; Zhong, John; Corey, Al; Vasconcelos, Daphne; Buccellato, Matthew; Meister, Gabriel

    2015-02-01

    Although antibiotics treat bacteremia in inhalational anthrax, pathogenesis is mainly driven by bacterial exotoxins. Raxibacumab, an IgG1 monoclonal antibody, binds the protective antigen (PA) of Bacillus anthracis, thus blocking toxin effects and leading to improved survival in the rabbit and monkey models of inhalational anthrax. To assess raxibacumab's added benefit over levofloxacin (LVX) alone, rabbits surviving to 84 h after a challenge with 200 times the median (50%) lethal dose of B. anthracis spores were randomized to receive 3 daily intragastric LVX doses of 50 mg/kg of body weight, with the first LVX dose administered just prior to administration of a single intravenous dose of placebo or 40 mg/kg raxibacumab. The percentages of animals alive at 28 days following the last LVX dose were compared between the 2 treatment groups using a two-sided likelihood-ratio chi-square test. The 82% survival rate for the LVX-raxibacumab combination was higher than the 65% survival rate for LVX alone (P=0.0874). There were nearly 2-fold fewer deaths for the combination (7 deaths; n=39) than for LVX alone (13 deaths; n=37), and the survival time was prolonged for the combination (P=0.1016). Toxin-neutralizing-activity titers were similar for both treatment groups, suggesting that survivors in both groups were able to mount a toxin-neutralizing immune response. Microscopic findings considered consistent with anthrax were present in animals that died or became moribund on study in both treatment groups, and there were no anthrax-related findings in animals that survived. Overall, raxibacumab provided a meaningful benefit over antibiotic alone when administered late in the disease course.

  20. Investigation of inhalation anthrax case, United States.

    PubMed

    Griffith, Jayne; Blaney, David; Shadomy, Sean; Lehman, Mark; Pesik, Nicki; Tostenson, Samantha; Delaney, Lisa; Tiller, Rebekah; DeVries, Aaron; Gomez, Thomas; Sullivan, Maureen; Blackmore, Carina; Stanek, Danielle; Lynfield, Ruth

    2014-02-01

    Inhalation anthrax occurred in a man who vacationed in 4 US states where anthrax is enzootic. Despite an extensive multi-agency investigation, the specific source was not detected, and no additional related human or animal cases were found. Although rare, inhalation anthrax can occur naturally in the United States.

  1. Anthrax - Multiple Languages: MedlinePlus

    MedlinePlus

    ... Are Here: Home → Multiple Languages → All Health Topics → Anthrax URL of this page: https://medlineplus.gov/languages/anthrax.html Other topics A-Z A B C ... V W XYZ List of All Topics All Anthrax - Multiple Languages To use the sharing features on ...

  2. Airborne myxomycete spores: detection using molecular techniques

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kamono, Akiko; Kojima, Hisaya; Matsumoto, Jun; Kawamura, Kimitaka; Fukui, Manabu

    2009-01-01

    Myxomycetes are organisms characterized by a life cycle that includes a fruiting body stage. Myxomycete fruiting bodies contain spores, and wind dispersal of the spores is considered important for this organism to colonize new areas. In this study, the presence of airborne myxomycetes and the temporal changes in the myxomycete composition of atmospheric particles (aerosols) were investigated with a polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based method for Didymiaceae and Physaraceae. Twenty-one aerosol samples were collected on the roof of a three-story building located in Sapporo, Hokkaido Island, northern Japan. PCR analysis of DNA extracts from the aerosol samples indicated the presence of airborne myxomycetes in all the samples, except for the one collected during the snowfall season. Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) analysis of the PCR products showed seasonally varying banding patterns. The detected DGGE bands were subjected to sequence analyses, and four out of nine obtained sequences were identical to those of fruiting body samples collected in Hokkaido Island. It appears that the difference in the fruiting period of each species was correlated with the seasonal changes in the myxomycete composition of the aerosols. Molecular evidence shows that newly formed spores are released and dispersed in the air, suggesting that wind-driven dispersal of spores is an important process in the life history of myxomycetes. This study is the first to detect airborne myxomycetes with the use of molecular ecological analyses and to characterize their seasonal distribution.

  3. Airing Out Anthrax

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

    The AiroCide TiO2 is an air-purifier that kills 93.3 percent of airborne pathogens that pass through it, including Bacillus anthraci, more commonly known as anthrax. It is essentially a spinoff of KES Science & Technology, Inc.'s Bio-KES system, a highly effective device used by the produce industry for ethylene gas removal to aid in preserving the freshness of fruits, vegetables, and flowers. The TiO2-based ethylene removal technology that is incorporated into the company's AiroCide TiO2 and Bio-KES products was first integrated into a pair of plant-growth chambers known as ASTROCULTURE(TM) and ADVANCED ASTROCULTURE(TM). Both chambers have housed commercial plant growth experiments in space on either the Space Shuttle or the International Space Station. The AiroCide TiO2 also has a proven record of destroying 98 percent of other airborne pathogens, such as microscopic dust mites, molds, and fungi. Moreover, the device is a verified killer of Influenza A (flu), E. coli, Staphylococcus aureas, Streptococcus pyogenes, and Mycoplasma pneumoniae, among many other harmful viruses.

  4. Detection of Bacillus subtilis spores in water by means of broadband coherent anti-Stokes Raman spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Petrov, Georgi I.; Yakovlev, Vladislav V.; Sokolov, Alexei V.; Scully, Marlan O.

    2005-11-01

    Broadband coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering (CARS) spectroscopy is used for detection of bacterial spores in aqueous solution. Polarization CARS spectroscopy is employed to suppress the non-resonant background. CARS spectrum recorded in the spectral region from 700 to 1900 cm-1 exhibits all the characteristic features of spontaneous Raman spectrum taken for a solid powder and resembles that one of the dipicolinic acid, which is considered to be the major component of bacterial spores, including anthrax.

  5. Detection of anthrax protective antigen (PA) using europium labeled anti-PA monoclonal antibody and time-resolved fluorescence.

    PubMed

    Stoddard, Robyn A; Quinn, Conrad P; Schiffer, Jarad M; Boyer, Anne E; Goldstein, Jason; Bagarozzi, Dennis A; Soroka, Stephen D; Dauphin, Leslie A; Hoffmaster, Alex R

    2014-06-01

    Inhalation anthrax is a rare but acute infectious disease following adsorption of Bacillus anthracis spores through the lungs. The disease has a high fatality rate if untreated, but early and correct diagnosis has a significant impact on case patient recovery. The early symptoms of inhalation anthrax are, however, non-specific and current anthrax diagnostics are primarily dependent upon culture and confirmatory real-time PCR. Consequently, there may be a significant delay in diagnosis and targeted treatment. Rapid, culture-independent diagnostic tests are therefore needed, particularly in the context of a large scale emergency response. The aim of this study was to evaluate the ability of monoclonal antibodies to detect anthrax toxin proteins that are secreted early in the course of B. anthracis infection using a time-resolved fluorescence (TRF) immunoassay. We selected monoclonal antibodies that could detect protective antigen (PA), as PA83 and also PA63 and LF in the lethal toxin complex. The assay reliable detection limit (RDL) was 6.63×10(-6)μM (0.551ng/ml) for PA83 and 2.51×10(-5)μM (1.58ng/ml) for PA63. Despite variable precision and accuracy of the assay, PA was detected in 9 out of 10 sera samples from anthrax confirmed case patients with cutaneous (n=7), inhalation (n=2), and gastrointestinal (n=1) disease. Anthrax Immune Globulin (AIG), which has been used in treatment of clinical anthrax, interfered with detection of PA. This study demonstrates a culture-independent method of diagnosing anthrax through the use of monoclonal antibodies to detect PA and LF in the lethal toxin complex.

  6. Whole Genome Analysis of Injectional Anthrax Identifies Two Disease Clusters Spanning More Than 13 Years

    PubMed Central

    Keim, Paul; Grunow, Roland; Vipond, Richard; Grass, Gregor; Hoffmaster, Alex; Birdsell, Dawn N.; Klee, Silke R.; Pullan, Steven; Antwerpen, Markus; Bayer, Brittany N.; Latham, Jennie; Wiggins, Kristin; Hepp, Crystal; Pearson, Talima; Brooks, Tim; Sahl, Jason; Wagner, David M.

    2015-01-01

    Government of Germany. This work was supported by funds from the German Ministry of Defense (Sonderforschungsprojekt 25Z1-S-431,214). Support for sequencing was also obtained from Illumina, Inc. These sources had no role in the data generation or interpretation, and had not role in the manuscript preparation. Panel 1: Research in Context Systematic Review We searched PubMed for any article published before Jun. 17, 2015, with the terms “Bacillus anthracis” and “heroin”, or “injectional anthrax”. Other than our previously published work (Price et al., 2012), we found no other relevant studies on elucidating the global phylogenetic relationships of B. anthracis strains associated with injectional anthrax caused by recreational heroin consumption of spore-contaminated drug. There were, however, publically available genome sequences of two strains involved (Price et al., 2012, Grunow et al., 2013) and the draft genome sequence of Bacillus anthracis UR-1, isolated from a German heroin user (Ruckert et al., 2012) with only limited information on the genotyping of closely related strains (Price et al., 2012, Grunow et al., 2013). Lay Person Interpretation Injectional anthrax has been plaguing heroin drug users across Europe for more than 10 years. In order to better understand this outbreak, we assessed genomic relationships of all available injectional anthrax strains from four countries spanning a > 12 year period. Very few differences were identified using genome-based analysis, but these differentiated the isolates into two distinct clusters. This strongly supports a hypothesis of at least two separate anthrax spore contamination events perhaps during the drug production processes. Identification of two events would not have been possible from standard epidemiological analysis. These comprehensive data will be invaluable for classifying future injectional anthrax isolates and for future geographic attribution. PMID:26870786

  7. Bacillus cereus G9241 makes anthrax toxin and capsule like highly virulent B. anthracis Ames but behaves like attenuated toxigenic nonencapsulated B. anthracis Sterne in rabbits and mice.

    PubMed

    Wilson, Melissa K; Vergis, James M; Alem, Farhang; Palmer, John R; Keane-Myers, Andrea M; Brahmbhatt, Trupti N; Ventura, Christy L; O'Brien, Alison D

    2011-08-01

    Bacillus cereus G9241 was isolated from a welder with a pulmonary anthrax-like illness. The organism contains two megaplasmids, pBCXO1 and pBC218. These plasmids are analogous to the Bacillus anthracis Ames plasmids pXO1 and pXO2 that encode anthrax toxins and capsule, respectively. Here we evaluated the virulence of B. cereus G9241 as well as the contributions of pBCXO1 and pBC218 to virulence. B. cereus G9241 was avirulent in New Zealand rabbits after subcutaneous inoculation and attenuated 100-fold compared to the published 50% lethal dose (LD(50)) values for B. anthracis Ames after aerosol inoculation. A/J and C57BL/6J mice were comparably susceptible to B. cereus G9241 by both subcutaneous and intranasal routes of infection. However, the LD(50)s for B. cereus G9241 in both mouse strains were markedly higher than those reported for B. anthracis Ames and more like those of the toxigenic but nonencapsulated B. anthracis Sterne. Furthermore, B. cereus G9241 spores could germinate and disseminate after intranasal inoculation into A/J mice, as indicated by the presence of vegetative cells in the spleen and blood of animals 48 h after infection. Lastly, B. cereus G9241 derivatives cured of one or both megaplasmids were highly attenuated in A/J mice. We conclude that the presence of the toxin- and capsule-encoding plasmids pBCXO1 and pBC218 in B. cereus G9241 alone is insufficient to render the strain as virulent as B. anthracis Ames. However, like B. anthracis, full virulence of B. cereus G9241 for mice requires the presence of both plasmids.

  8. Human Cutaneous Anthrax, the East Anatolian Region of Turkey 2008-2014.

    PubMed

    Parlak, Emine; Parlak, Mehmet

    2016-01-01

    Anthrax is a zoonotic infectious disease caused by Bacillus anthracis. While anthrax is rare in developed countries, it is endemic in Turkey. The names of the different forms of the disease refer to the manner of entry of the spores into the body-cutaneous, gastrointestinal, inhalation, and injection. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the clinical characteristics, epidemiological history, treatment, and outcomes of patients with anthrax. Eighty-two cases of anthrax hospitalized at Atatürk University Faculty of Medicine Department of Infectious Diseases and Clinical Microbiology in 2008-2014 were examined retrospectively. Gender, age, occupation, year, history, clinical characteristics, character of lesions, length of hospitalization, and outcomes were recorded. Thirty (36.6%) patients were female and 52 (63.4%) patients were male; ages were 18-69 and mean age was 43.77 ± 13.05. The mean incubation period was 4.79 ± 3.76 days. Cases were largely identified in August (41.5%) and September (25.6%). Sixty-nine (84.1%) of the 82 patients had been given antibiotics before presentation. Lesions were most common on the fingers and arms. The most common occupational groups were housewives (36.6%) and people working in animal husbandry (31.7%). All patients had histories of contact with diseased animals and animal products. Penicillin-group antibiotics (78%) were most commonly used in treatment. One patient (1.2%) died from anthrax meningitis. The mean length of hospitalization was 8.30 ± 5.36 days. Anthrax is an endemic disease of economic and social significance for the region. Effective public health control measures, risk group education, vaccination of animals, and decontamination procedures will reduce the number of cases. PMID:26720232

  9. Human Cutaneous Anthrax, the East Anatolian Region of Turkey 2008-2014.

    PubMed

    Parlak, Emine; Parlak, Mehmet

    2016-01-01

    Anthrax is a zoonotic infectious disease caused by Bacillus anthracis. While anthrax is rare in developed countries, it is endemic in Turkey. The names of the different forms of the disease refer to the manner of entry of the spores into the body-cutaneous, gastrointestinal, inhalation, and injection. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the clinical characteristics, epidemiological history, treatment, and outcomes of patients with anthrax. Eighty-two cases of anthrax hospitalized at Atatürk University Faculty of Medicine Department of Infectious Diseases and Clinical Microbiology in 2008-2014 were examined retrospectively. Gender, age, occupation, year, history, clinical characteristics, character of lesions, length of hospitalization, and outcomes were recorded. Thirty (36.6%) patients were female and 52 (63.4%) patients were male; ages were 18-69 and mean age was 43.77 ± 13.05. The mean incubation period was 4.79 ± 3.76 days. Cases were largely identified in August (41.5%) and September (25.6%). Sixty-nine (84.1%) of the 82 patients had been given antibiotics before presentation. Lesions were most common on the fingers and arms. The most common occupational groups were housewives (36.6%) and people working in animal husbandry (31.7%). All patients had histories of contact with diseased animals and animal products. Penicillin-group antibiotics (78%) were most commonly used in treatment. One patient (1.2%) died from anthrax meningitis. The mean length of hospitalization was 8.30 ± 5.36 days. Anthrax is an endemic disease of economic and social significance for the region. Effective public health control measures, risk group education, vaccination of animals, and decontamination procedures will reduce the number of cases.

  10. BioAerosol Mass Spectrometry: Reagentless Detection of Individual Airborne Spores and Other Bioagent Particles Based on Laser Desorption/Ionization Mass Spectrometry

    SciTech Connect

    Steele, Paul Thomas

    2004-09-01

    Better devices are needed for the detection of aerosolized biological warfare agents. Advances in the ongoing development of one such device, the BioAerosol Mass Spectrometry (BAMS) system, are described here in detail. The system samples individual, micrometer-sized particles directly from the air and analyzes them in real-time without sample preparation or use of reagents. At the core of the BAMS system is a dual-polarity, single-particle mass spectrometer with a laser based desorption and ionization (DI) system. The mass spectra produced by early proof-of-concept instruments were highly variable and contained limited information to differentiate certain types of similar biological particles. The investigation of this variability and subsequent changes to the DI laser system are described. The modifications have reduced the observed variability and thereby increased the usable information content in the spectra. These improvements would have little value without software to analyze and identify the mass spectra. Important improvements have been made to the algorithms that initially processed and analyzed the data. Single particles can be identified with an impressive level of accuracy, but to obtain significant reductions in the overall false alarm rate of the BAMS instrument, alarm decisions must be made dynamically on the basis of multiple analyzed particles. A statistical model has been developed to make these decisions and the resulting performance of a hypothetical BAMS system is quantitatively predicted. The predictions indicate that a BAMS system, with reasonably attainable characteristics, can operate with a very low false alarm rate (orders of magnitude lower than some currently fielded biodetectors) while still being sensitive to small concentrations of biological particles in a large range of environments. Proof-of-concept instruments, incorporating some of the modifications described here, have already performed well in independent testing.

  11. Dormant Bacillus spores protect their DNA in crystalline nucleoids against environmental stress.

    PubMed

    Dittmann, Christin; Han, Hong-Mei; Grabenbauer, Markus; Laue, Michael

    2015-08-01

    Bacterial spores of the genera Bacillus and Clostridium are extremely resistant against desiccation, heat and radiation and involved in the spread and pathogenicity of health relevant species such as Bacillus anthracis (anthrax) or Clostridium botulinum. While the resistance of spores is very well documented, underlying mechanisms are not fully understood. In this study we show, by cryo-electron microscopy of vitreous sections and particular resin thin section electron microscopy, that dormant Bacillus spores possess highly ordered crystalline core structures, which contain the DNA, but only if small acid soluble proteins (SASPs) are present. We found those core structures in spores of all Bacillus species investigated, including spores of anthrax. Similar core structures were detected in Geobacillus and Clostridium species which suggest that highly ordered, at least partially crystalline core regions represent a general feature of bacterial endospores. The crystalline core structures disintegrate in a period during spore germination, when resistance against most stresses is lost. Our results suggest that the DNA is tightly packed into a crystalline nucleoid by binding SASPs, which stabilizes DNA fibrils and protects them against modification. Thus, the crystalline nucleoid seems to be the structural and functional correlate for the remarkable stability of the DNA in bacterial endospores. PMID:26094877

  12. Determination of the carbon content of airborne fungal spores.

    PubMed

    Bauer, Heidi; Kasper-Giebl, Anne; Zibuschka, Franziska; Hitzenberger, Regina; Kraus, Gunther F; Puxbaum, Hans

    2002-01-01

    Airborne fungal spores contribute potentially to the organic carbon of the atmospheric aerosol, mainly in the "coarse aerosol" size range 2.5-10 microm aerodynamic equivalent diameter (aed). Here, we report about a procedure to determine the organic carbon content of fungal spores frequently observed in the atmosphere. Furthermore, we apply a new (carbon/individual) factor to quantify the amount of fungal-spores-derived organic carbon in aerosol collected at a mountain site in Austria. Spores of representatives of Cladosporium sp., Aspergillus sp., Penicillium sp., and Alternaria sp., the four predominant airborne genera, were analyzed for their carbon content using two different analytical procedures. The result was an average carbon content of 13 pg C/spore (RSD, 46%), or expressed as a carbon-per-volume ratio, 0.38 pg C/microm3 (RSD, 30%). These values are comparable to conversion factors for bacteria and some representatives of the zooplankton. Because biopolymers are suspected of interfering with elemental carbon determination by thermal methods, the amount of "fungal carbon" that might be erroneously mistaken for soot carbon was determined using the "two-step combustion" method of Cachier et al. and termed as "apparent elemental carbon" (AEC). This fraction amounted to up to 46% of the initial fungal carbon content. Although the aerosol samples were collected in March under wintry conditions, the organic carbon from fungal spores amounted to 2.9-5.4% of organic carbon in the "coarse mode" size fraction.

  13. Designing Inhibitors of Anthrax Toxin

    PubMed Central

    Nestorovich, Ekaterina M.; Bezrukov, Sergey M.

    2014-01-01

    Introduction Present-day rational drug design approaches are based on exploiting unique features of the target biomolecules, small- or macromolecule drug candidates, and physical forces that govern their interactions. The 2013 Nobel Prize in chemistry awarded “for the development of multiscale models for complex chemical systems” once again demonstrated the importance of the tailored drug discovery that reduces the role of the trial and error approach to a minimum. The “rational drug design” term is rather comprehensive as it includes all contemporary methods of drug discovery where serendipity and screening are substituted by the information-guided search for new and existing compounds. Successful implementation of these innovative drug discovery approaches is inevitably preceded by learning the physics, chemistry, and physiology of functioning of biological structures under normal and pathological conditions. Areas covered This article provides an overview of the recent rational drug design approaches to discover inhibitors of anthrax toxin. Some of the examples include small-molecule and peptide-based post-exposure therapeutic agents as well as several polyvalent compounds. The review also directs the reader to the vast literature on the recognized advances and future possibilities in the field. Expert opinion Existing options to combat anthrax toxin lethality are limited. With the only anthrax toxin inhibiting therapy (PA-targeting with a monoclonal antibody, raxibacumab) approved to treat inhalational anthrax, in our view, the situation is still insecure. The FDA’s animal rule for drug approval, which clears compounds without validated efficacy studies on humans, creates a high level of uncertainty, especially when a well-characterized animal model does not exist. Besides, unlike PA, which is known to be unstable, LF remains active in cells and in animal tissues for days. Therefore, the effectiveness of the post-exposure treatment of the individuals

  14. The pitfalls of bioterrorism preparedness: the anthrax and smallpox experiences.

    PubMed

    Cohen, Hillel W; Gould, Robert M; Sidel, Victor W

    2004-10-01

    Bioterrorism preparedness programs have contributed to death, illness, and waste of public health resources without evidence of benefit. Several deaths and many serious illnesses have resulted from the smallpox vaccination program; yet there is no clear evidence that a threat of smallpox exposure ever existed. The anthrax spores released in 2001 have been linked to secret US military laboratories-the resultant illnesses and deaths might not have occurred if those laboratories were not in operation. The present expansion of bioterrorism preparedness programs will continue to squander health resources, increase the dangers of accidental or purposeful release of dangerous pathogens, and further undermine efforts to enforce international treaties to ban biological and chemical weapons. The public health community should acknowledge the substantial harm that bioterrorism preparedness has already caused and develop mechanisms to increase our public health resources and to allocate them to address the world's real health needs. PMID:15451727

  15. Molecular Epidemiologic Investigation of an Anthrax Outbreak among Heroin Users, Europe

    PubMed Central

    Price, Erin P.; Seymour, Meagan L.; Sarovich, Derek S.; Latham, Jennie; Wolken, Spenser R.; Mason, Joanne; Vincent, Gemma; Drees, Kevin P.; Beckstrom-Sternberg, Stephen M.; Phillippy, Adam M.; Koren, Sergey; Okinaka, Richard T.; Chung, Wai-Kwan; Schupp, James M.; Wagner, David M.; Vipond, Richard; Foster, Jeffrey T.; Bergman, Nicholas H.; Burans, James; Pearson, Talima; Brooks, Tim

    2012-01-01

    In December 2009, two unusual cases of anthrax were diagnosed in heroin users in Scotland. A subsequent anthrax outbreak in heroin users emerged throughout Scotland and expanded into England and Germany, sparking concern of nefarious introduction of anthrax spores into the heroin supply. To better understand the outbreak origin, we used established genetic signatures that provided insights about strain origin. Next, we sequenced the whole genome of a representative Bacillus anthracis strain from a heroin user (Ba4599), developed Ba4599-specific single-nucleotide polymorphism assays, and genotyped all available material from other heroin users with anthrax. Of 34 case-patients with B. anthracis–positive PCR results, all shared the Ba4599 single-nucleotide polymorphism genotype. Phylogeographic analysis demonstrated that Ba4599 was closely related to strains from Turkey and not to previously identified isolates from Scotland or Afghanistan, the presumed origin of the heroin. Our results suggest accidental contamination along the drug trafficking route through a cutting agent or animal hides used to smuggle heroin into Europe. PMID:22840345

  16. Small-molecule inhibitors of lethal factor protease activity protect against anthrax infection.

    PubMed

    Moayeri, Mahtab; Crown, Devorah; Jiao, Guan-Sheng; Kim, Seongjin; Johnson, Alan; Leysath, Clinton; Leppla, Stephen H

    2013-09-01

    Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax, manifests its pathogenesis through the action of two secreted toxins. The bipartite lethal and edema toxins, a combination of lethal factor or edema factor with the protein protective antigen, are important virulence factors for this bacterium. We previously developed small-molecule inhibitors of lethal factor proteolytic activity (LFIs) and demonstrated their in vivo efficacy in a rat lethal toxin challenge model. In this work, we show that these LFIs protect against lethality caused by anthrax infection in mice when combined with subprotective doses of either antibiotics or neutralizing monoclonal antibodies that target edema factor. Significantly, these inhibitors provided protection against lethal infection when administered as a monotherapy. As little as two doses (10 mg/kg) administered at 2 h and 8 h after spore infection was sufficient to provide a significant survival benefit in infected mice. Administration of LFIs early in the infection was found to inhibit dissemination of vegetative bacteria to the organs in the first 32 h following infection. In addition, neutralizing antibodies against edema factor also inhibited bacterial dissemination with similar efficacy. Together, our findings confirm the important roles that both anthrax toxins play in establishing anthrax infection and demonstrate the potential for small-molecule therapeutics targeting these proteins.

  17. Efficacy of Single and Combined Antibiotic Treatments of Anthrax in Rabbits.

    PubMed

    Weiss, Shay; Altboum, Zeev; Glinert, Itai; Schlomovitz, Josef; Sittner, Assa; Bar-David, Elad; Kobiler, David; Levy, Haim

    2015-12-01

    Respiratory anthrax is a fatal disease in the absence of early treatment with antibiotics. Rabbits are highly susceptible to infection with Bacillus anthracis spores by intranasal instillation, succumbing within 2 to 4 days postinfection. This study aims to test the efficiency of antibiotic therapy to treat systemic anthrax in this relevant animal model. Delaying the initiation of antibiotic administration to more than 24 h postinfection resulted in animals with systemic anthrax in various degrees of bacteremia and toxemia. As the onset of symptoms in humans was reported to start on days 1 to 7 postexposure, delaying the initiation of treatment by 24 to 48 h (time frame for mass distribution of antibiotics) may result in sick populations. We evaluated the efficacy of antibiotic administration as a function of bacteremia levels at the time of treatment initiation. Here we compare the efficacy of treatment with clarithromycin, amoxicillin-clavulanic acid (Augmentin), imipenem, vancomycin, rifampin, and linezolid to the previously reported efficacy of doxycycline and ciprofloxacin. We demonstrate that treatment with amoxicillin-clavulanic acid, imipenem, vancomycin, and linezolid were as effective as doxycycline and ciprofloxacin, curing rabbits exhibiting bacteremia levels of up to 10(5) CFU/ml. Clarithromycin and rifampin were shown to be effective only as a postexposure prophylactic treatment but failed to treat the systemic (bacteremic) phase of anthrax. Furthermore, we evaluate the contribution of combined treatment of clindamycin and ciprofloxacin, which demonstrated improvement in efficacy compared to ciprofloxacin alone.

  18. Arabitol and mannitol as tracers for the quantification of airborne fungal spores

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bauer, Heidi; Claeys, Magda; Vermeylen, Reinhilde; Schueller, Elisabeth; Weinke, Gert; Berger, Anna; Puxbaum, Hans

    Fungal spores constitute a sizeable fraction of coarse organic carbon (OC) in the atmospheric aerosol. In order to avoid tedious spore count methods, tracers for quantifying the spore-OC in atmospheric aerosol are sought. Arabitol and mannitol have been proposed as such tracers, since no other emission sources for these compounds have been reported. By parallel investigations of spore counts and tracer determinations from PM 10 filter samples we could derive quantitative relationships between the amounts of tracer compounds and the numbers of spores in the atmosphere for different sites in the area of Vienna. We obtained over all average relationships of 1.2 pg arabitol spore -1, with a range of 0.8-1.8, and 1.7 pg mannitol spore -1, with a range of 1.2-2.4, with a clear site dependence. Thus, using these conversion factors from spore counts to spore-OC and spore-mass, along with analytical data for arabitol or mannitol in filter samples, the contribution of fungal spores to the OC and to the mass balance of atmospheric aerosol particles can be estimated.

  19. Species-Specific Peptide Ligands for the Detection of Bacillus anthracis Spores

    PubMed Central

    Williams, David D.; Benedek, Orsolya; Turnbough, Charles L.

    2003-01-01

    Currently available detectors for spores of Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax, are inadequate for frontline use and general monitoring. There is a critical need for simple, rugged, and inexpensive detectors capable of accurate and direct identification of B. anthracis spores. Necessary components in such detectors are stable ligands that bind tightly and specifically to target spores. By screening a phage display peptide library, we identified a family of peptides, with the consensus sequence TYPXPXR, that bind selectively to B. anthracis spores. We extended this work by identifying a peptide variant, ATYPLPIR, with enhanced ability to bind to B. anthracis spores and an additional peptide, SLLPGLP, that preferentially binds to spores of species phylogenetically similar to, but distinct from, B. anthracis. These two peptides were used in tandem in simple assays to rapidly and unambiguously identify B. anthracis spores. We envision that these peptides can be used as sensors in economical and portable B. anthracis spore detectors that are essentially free of false-positive signals due to other environmental Bacillus spores. PMID:14532093

  20. An Optical Biosensor for Bacillus Cereus Spore Detection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Chengquan; Tom, Harry W. K.

    2005-03-01

    We demonstrate a new transduction scheme for optical biosensing. Bacillus cereus is a pathogen that may be found in food and dairy products and is able to produce toxins and cause food poisoning. It is related to Bacillus anthracis (anthrax). A CCD array covered with micro-structured glass coverslip is used to detect the optical resonant shift due to the binding of the antigen (bacillus cereus spore) to the antibody (polyclonal antibody). This novel optical biosensor scheme has the potential for detecting 10˜100 bioagents in a single device as well as the potential to test for antigens with multiple antibody tests to avoid ``false positives.''

  1. Aerosolized Bacillus anthracis Infection in New Zealand White Rabbits: Natural History and Intravenous Levofloxacin Treatment

    PubMed Central

    Yee, Steven B; Hatkin, Joshua M; Dyer, David N; Orr, Steven A; Pitt, M Louise M

    2010-01-01

    The natural history for inhalational Bacillus anthracis (Ames strain) exposure in New Zealand white rabbits was investigated to better identify potential, early biomarkers of anthrax. Twelve SPF Bordetella-free rabbits were exposed to 150 LD50 aerosolized B. anthracis spores, and clinical signs, body temperature, complete blood count, bacteremia, and presence of protective antigen in the blood (that is, antigenemia) were examined. The development of antigenemia and bacteremia coincided and preceded both pyrexia and inversion of the heterophil:lymphocyte ratio, an indicator of infection. Antigenemia was determined within 1 h by electrochemiluminescence immunoassay, compared with the 24-h traditional culture needed for bacteremia determination. Rabbits appeared clinically normal until shortly before succumbing to anthrax approximately 47 h after challenge or approximately 22 h after antigenemia, which suggests a relatively narrow therapeutic window of opportunity. To evaluate the therapeutic rabbit model, B. anthracis-exposed rabbits were treated (after determination of antigenemia and later confirmed to be bacteremic) intravenously with the fluoroquinolone antibiotic levofloxacin for 5 d at a total daily dose of 25 or 12.5 mg/kg, resulting in nearly 90% and 70% survival, respectively, to the study end (28 d after challenge). The peak level for 12.5 mg/kg was equivalent to that observed for a 500-mg daily levofloxacin dose in humans. These results suggest that intravenous levofloxacin is an effective therapeutic against inhalational anthrax. Taken together, our findings indicate that antigenemia is a viable and early biomarker for B. anthracis infection that can be used as a treatment trigger to allow for timely intervention against this highly pathogenic disease. PMID:21262133

  2. Transient lipopolysaccharide-induced resistance to aerosolized Bacillus anthracis in New Zealand white rabbits.

    PubMed

    Yee, Steven B; Dyer, David N; Twenhafel, Nancy A; Pitt, M Louise M

    2013-06-01

    Previous studies have demonstrated that prior infection by various bacterial pathogens induces nonspecific resistance to subsequent infection by other gram-negative and gram-positive bacterial pathogens. In the present study, we evaluated whether underlying inflammation enhanced host resistance to inhalational Bacillus anthracis infection in New Zealand White rabbits (SPF; Bordetella- and Pasteurella-free). Accordingly, rabbits were pretreated with either the inflammagen bacterial LPS (60,000 EU/kg), a component of the outer membrane of gram-negative bacteria, or saline (vehicle). Administration of LPS resulted in brief pyrexia and a significant increase in the proinflammatory cytokine TNFα, thus confirming LPS-induced inflammation. At 24 h after LPS treatment, rabbits were exposed to aerosolized B. anthracis spores (Ames strain; approximately 300 LD50). Blood samples collected at various times after challenge were cultured. Compared with their saline-pretreated counterparts, LPS-pretreated, B. anthracis challenged rabbits exhibited delays in 2 biomarkers of B. anthracis infection-anthrax-induced pyrexia (25 h versus 66 h after challenge, respectively) and bacteremia (26 h versus 63 h, respectively)-and survived longer (41 h versus 90 h, respectively). Similar to control animals, all LPS-pretreated, B. anthracis-challenged rabbits exhibited pathology consistent with inhalational anthrax. Taken together, these results suggest that prior or underlying stimulation of the innate immune system induces transient host resistance to subsequent B. anthracis infection in SPF New Zealand white rabbits. In particular, our results emphasize the importance of using animals that are free of underlying infections to prevent confounding data in studies for inhalational anthrax characterization and medical countermeasure evaluation.

  3. Scanning Surface Potential Microscopy of Spore Adhesion on Surfaces

    SciTech Connect

    Lee, Ida; Chung, Eunhyea; Kweon, Hyojin; Yiacoumi, Sotira; Tsouris, Costas

    2012-01-01

    The adhesion of spores of Bacillus anthracis - the cause of anthrax and a likely biological threat - to solid surfaces is an important consideration in cleanup after an accidental or deliberate release. However, because of safety concerns, directly studying B. anthracis spores with advanced instrumentation is problematic. As a first step, we are examining the electrostatic potential of Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), which is a closely related species that is often used as a simulant to study B. anthracis. Scanning surface potential microscopy (SSPM), also known as Kelvin probe force microscopy (KPFM), was used to investigate the influence of relative humidity (RH) on the surface electrostatic potential of Bt that had adhered to silica, mica, or gold substrates. AFM/SSPM side-by-side images were obtained separately in air, at various values of RH, after an aqueous droplet with spores was applied on each surface and allowed to dry before measurements. In the SSPM images, a negative potential on the surface of the spores was observed compared with that of the substrates. The surface potential decreased as the humidity increased. Spores were unable to adhere to a surface with an extremely negative potential, such as mica.

  4. Efficacy and safety of AVP-21D9, an anthrax monoclonal antibody, in animal models and humans.

    PubMed

    Malkevich, Nina V; Hopkins, Robert J; Bernton, Edward; Meister, Gabriel T; Vela, Eric M; Atiee, George; Johnson, Virginia; Nabors, Gary S; Aimes, Ronald T; Ionin, Boris; Skiadopoulos, Mario H

    2014-07-01

    Anthrax is an acute infectious disease caused by the spore-forming bacterium Bacillus anthracis. Timely administration of antibiotics approved for the treatment of anthrax disease may prevent associated morbidity and mortality. However, any delay in initiating antimicrobial therapy may result in increased mortality, as inhalational anthrax progresses rapidly to the toxemic phase of disease. An anthrax antitoxin, AVP-21D9, also known as Thravixa (fully human anthrax monoclonal antibody), is being developed as a therapeutic agent against anthrax toxemia. The efficacy of AVP-21D9 in B. anthracis-infected New Zealand White rabbits and in cynomolgus macaques was evaluated, and its safety and pharmacokinetics were assessed in healthy human volunteers. The estimated mean elimination half-life values of AVP-21D9 in surviving anthrax-challenged rabbits and nonhuman primates (NHPs) ranged from approximately 2 to 4 days and 6 to 11 days, respectively. In healthy humans, the mean elimination half-life was in the range of 20 to 27 days. Dose proportionality was observed for the maximum serum concentration (Cmax) of AVP-21D9 and the area under the concentration-time curve (AUC). In therapeutic efficacy animal models, treatment with AVP-21D9 resulted in survival of up to 92% of the rabbits and up to 67% of the macaques. Single infusions of AVP-21D9 were well tolerated in healthy adult volunteers across all doses evaluated, and no serious adverse events were reported. (This study has been registered at ClinicalTrials.gov under registration no. NCT01202695.).

  5. Advax-adjuvanted recombinant protective antigen provides protection against inhalational anthrax that is further enhanced by addition of murabutide adjuvant.

    PubMed

    Feinen, Brandon; Petrovsky, Nikolai; Verma, Anita; Merkel, Tod J

    2014-04-01

    Subunit vaccines against anthrax based on recombinant protective antigen (PA) potentially offer more consistent and less reactogenic anthrax vaccines but require adjuvants to achieve optimal immunogenicity. This study sought to determine in a murine model of pulmonary anthrax infection whether the polysaccharide adjuvant Advax or the innate immune adjuvant murabutide alone or together could enhance PA immunogenicity by comparison to an alum adjuvant. A single immunization with PA plus Advax adjuvant afforded significantly greater protection against aerosolized Bacillus anthracis Sterne strain 7702 than three immunizations with PA alone. Murabutide had a weaker adjuvant effect than Advax when used alone, but when murabutide was formulated together with Advax, an additive effect on immunogenicity and protection was observed, with complete protection after just two doses. The combined adjuvant formulation stimulated a robust, long-lasting B-cell memory response that protected mice against an aerosol challenge 18 months postimmunization with acceleration of the kinetics of the anamnestic IgG response to B. anthracis as reflected by ∼4-fold-higher anti-PA IgG titers by day 2 postchallenge versus mice that received PA with Alhydrogel. In addition, the combination of Advax plus murabutide induced approximately 3-fold-less inflammation than Alhydrogel as measured by in vivo imaging of cathepsin cleavage resulting from injection of ProSense 750. Thus, the combination of Advax and murabutide provided enhanced protection against inhalational anthrax with reduced localized inflammation, making this a promising next-generation anthrax vaccine adjuvanting strategy.

  6. Human cutaneous anthrax, Georgia 2010-2012.

    PubMed

    Kracalik, Ian; Malania, Lile; Tsertsvadze, Nikoloz; Manvelyan, Julietta; Bakanidze, Lela; Imnadze, Paata; Tsanava, Shota; Blackburn, Jason K

    2014-02-01

    We assessed the occurrence of human cutaneous anthrax in Georgia during 2010--2012 by examining demographic and spatial characteristics of reported cases. Reporting increased substantially, as did clustering of cases near urban centers. Control efforts, including education about anthrax and livestock vaccination, can be directed at areas of high risk.

  7. Deposition in the Respiratory Tract of Cattle of Spores of Bacillus subtilis var niger by Inhalation and by Nasal Instillation

    PubMed Central

    Jericho, K. W. F.; O'Connell, D. C.

    1974-01-01

    Spores of Bacillus subtilis var niger were deposited in the lungs, tracheae and nasal cavities of four calves by aerosol inhalation and in three calves by intranasal instillation. From each calf 20 specimens of lung tissue, each weighing one gm, three of trachea and three of nasal mucosa were examined for spore content. The average numbers of spores per gm of lung tissue from animals exposed to aerosols were 3.05 and 4.84, 2.35 and 2.02 x 104. Lungs from animals exposed intranasally contained only 747, 62 and 1424 spores per gm of tissue respectively. Animals exposed intranasally had a hundred to a thousand fold more spores on nasal mucosa than animals exposed by aerosol and the latter had a thousand fold more spores on tracheal mucosa than calves exposed intranasally. Aerosol inhalation exposed the lung and trachea more densely and uniformly than did intranasal instillation. PMID:4277431

  8. Anthrax in America 2001-2003.

    PubMed Central

    Joshi, Shivang G.; Cymet, Holly Berkovits; Kerkvliet, Gary; Cymet, Tyler

    2004-01-01

    Anthrax caused by Bacillus anthracis in humans is rare. Two recent outbreaks that were intentionally caused occurred among postal employees, politicians, and journalists in the United States. This has caused tremendous fear, and our experience with these "anthrax incidents" has changed our views on the natural history of this disease in people. In this paper, we review the lifecycle and biology of this micro-organism. Anthrax that occurs from a weaponized form of this micro-organism has a specific clinical presentation that requires a suspicion of anthrax exposure to be diagnosed. New methods of testing for anthrax have been developed and may simplify diagnosis in the future. The range of illness caused by B. anthracis from the molecular level to the clinical symptoms is discussed. We also review the diagnostic criteria and differential diagnosis as well as treatment of this condition. PMID:15040516

  9. Serum adenosine deaminase activity in cutaneous anthrax

    PubMed Central

    Sunnetcioglu, Mahmut; Karadas, Sevdegul; Aslan, Mehmet; Ceylan, Mehmet Resat; Demir, Halit; Oncu, Mehmet Resit; Karahocagil, Mustafa Kasım; Sunnetcioglu, Aysel; Aypak, Cenk

    2014-01-01

    Background Adenosine deaminase (ADA) activity has been discovered in several inflammatory conditions; however, there are no data associated with cutaneous anthrax. The aim of this study was to investigate serum ADA activity in patients with cutaneous anthrax. Material/Methods Sixteen patients with cutaneous anthrax and 17 healthy controls were enrolled. We measured ADA activity; peripheral blood leukocyte, lymphocyte, neutrophil, and monocyte counts; erythrocyte sedimentation rate; and C reactive protein levels. Results Serum ADA activity was significantly higher in patients with cutaneous anthrax than in the controls (p<0.001). A positive correlation was observed between ADA activity and lymphocyte counts (r=0.589, p=0.021) in the patient group. Conclusions This study suggests that serum ADA could be used as a biochemical marker in cutaneous anthrax. PMID:24997584

  10. Identifying experimental surrogates for Bacillus anthracis spores: a review

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax, is a proven biological weapon. In order to study this threat, a number of experimental surrogates have been used over the past 70 years. However, not all surrogates are appropriate for B. anthracis, especially when investigating transport, fate and survival. Although B. atrophaeus has been widely used as a B. anthracis surrogate, the two species do not always behave identically in transport and survival models. Therefore, we devised a scheme to identify a more appropriate surrogate for B. anthracis. Our selection criteria included risk of use (pathogenicity), phylogenetic relationship, morphology and comparative survivability when challenged with biocides. Although our knowledge of certain parameters remains incomplete, especially with regards to comparisons of spore longevity under natural conditions, we found that B. thuringiensis provided the best overall fit as a non-pathogenic surrogate for B. anthracis. Thus, we suggest focusing on this surrogate in future experiments of spore fate and transport modelling. PMID:21092338

  11. Cryopreservation of fern spores

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Spore banks for ferns are analogous to seed banks for angiosperms and provide a promising ex situ conservation tool because large quantities of germplasm with high genetic variation can be conserved in a small space with low economic and technical costs. Ferns produce two types of spores with very ...

  12. First Case of Bioterrorism-Related Inhalational Anthrax, Florida, 2001: North Carolina Investigation

    PubMed Central

    Maillard, Jean-Marie; McKee, Kelly T.; Turner, Lou F.; Cline, J. Steven

    2002-01-01

    The index case of inhalational anthrax in October 2001 was in a man who lived and worked in Florida. However, during the 3 days before illness onset, the patient had traveled through North Carolina, raising the possibility that exposure to Bacillus anthracis spores could have occurred there. The rapid response in North Carolina included surveillance among hospital intensive-care units, microbiology laboratories, medical examiners, and veterinarians, and site investigations at locations visited by the index patient to identify the naturally occurring or bioterrorism-related source of his exposure. PMID:12396911

  13. Development of a highly efficacious vaccinia-based dual vaccine against smallpox and anthrax, two important bioterror entities.

    PubMed

    Merkel, Tod J; Perera, Pin-Yu; Kelly, Vanessa K; Verma, Anita; Llewellyn, Zara N; Waldmann, Thomas A; Mosca, Joseph D; Perera, Liyanage P

    2010-10-19

    Bioterrorism poses a daunting challenge to global security and public health in the 21st century. Variola major virus, the etiological agent of smallpox, and Bacillus anthracis, the bacterial pathogen responsible for anthrax, remain at the apex of potential pathogens that could be used in a bioterror attack to inflict mass casualties. Although licensed vaccines are available for both smallpox and anthrax, because of inadequacies associated with each of these vaccines, serious concerns remain as to the deployability of these vaccines, especially in the aftermath of a bioterror attack involving these pathogens. We have developed a single vaccine (Wyeth/IL-15/PA) using the licensed Wyeth smallpox vaccine strain that is efficacious against both smallpox and anthrax due to the integration of immune-enhancing cytokine IL-15 and the protective antigen (PA) of B. anthracis into the Wyeth vaccinia virus. Integration of IL-15 renders Wyeth vaccinia avirulent in immunodeficient mice and enhances anti-vaccinia immune responses. Wyeth/IL-15/PA conferred sterile protection against a lethal challenge of B. anthracis Ames strain spores in rabbits. A single dose of Wyeth/IL-15/PA protected 33% of the vaccinated A/J mice against a lethal spore challenge 72 h later whereas a single dose of licensed anthrax vaccine protected only 10%. Our dual vaccine Wyeth/IL-15/PA remedies the inadequacies associated with the licensed vaccines, and the inherent ability of Wyeth vaccinia virus to be lyophilized without loss of potency makes it cold-chain independent, thus simplifying the logistics of storage, stockpiling, and field delivery in the event of a bioterror attack involving smallpox or anthrax. PMID:20921397

  14. Mushrooms as Rainmakers: How Spores Act as Nuclei for Raindrops.

    PubMed

    Hassett, Maribeth O; Fischer, Mark W F; Money, Nicholas P

    2015-01-01

    Millions of tons of fungal spores are dispersed in the atmosphere every year. These living cells, along with plant spores and pollen grains, may act as nuclei for condensation of water in clouds. Basidiospores released by mushrooms form a significant proportion of these aerosols, particularly above tropical forests. Mushroom spores are discharged from gills by the rapid displacement of a droplet of fluid on the cell surface. This droplet is formed by the condensation of water on the spore surface stimulated by the secretion of mannitol and other hygroscopic sugars. This fluid is carried with the spore during discharge, but evaporates once the spore is airborne. Using environmental electron microscopy, we have demonstrated that droplets reform on spores in humid air. The kinetics of this process suggest that basidiospores are especially effective as nuclei for the formation of large water drops in clouds. Through this mechanism, mushroom spores may promote rainfall in ecosystems that support large populations of ectomycorrhizal and saprotrophic basidiomycetes. Our research heightens interest in the global significance of the fungi and raises additional concerns about the sustainability of forests that depend on heavy precipitation. PMID:26509436

  15. Mushrooms as Rainmakers: How Spores Act as Nuclei for Raindrops.

    PubMed

    Hassett, Maribeth O; Fischer, Mark W F; Money, Nicholas P

    2015-01-01

    Millions of tons of fungal spores are dispersed in the atmosphere every year. These living cells, along with plant spores and pollen grains, may act as nuclei for condensation of water in clouds. Basidiospores released by mushrooms form a significant proportion of these aerosols, particularly above tropical forests. Mushroom spores are discharged from gills by the rapid displacement of a droplet of fluid on the cell surface. This droplet is formed by the condensation of water on the spore surface stimulated by the secretion of mannitol and other hygroscopic sugars. This fluid is carried with the spore during discharge, but evaporates once the spore is airborne. Using environmental electron microscopy, we have demonstrated that droplets reform on spores in humid air. The kinetics of this process suggest that basidiospores are especially effective as nuclei for the formation of large water drops in clouds. Through this mechanism, mushroom spores may promote rainfall in ecosystems that support large populations of ectomycorrhizal and saprotrophic basidiomycetes. Our research heightens interest in the global significance of the fungi and raises additional concerns about the sustainability of forests that depend on heavy precipitation.

  16. Mushrooms as Rainmakers: How Spores Act as Nuclei for Raindrops

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Millions of tons of fungal spores are dispersed in the atmosphere every year. These living cells, along with plant spores and pollen grains, may act as nuclei for condensation of water in clouds. Basidiospores released by mushrooms form a significant proportion of these aerosols, particularly above tropical forests. Mushroom spores are discharged from gills by the rapid displacement of a droplet of fluid on the cell surface. This droplet is formed by the condensation of water on the spore surface stimulated by the secretion of mannitol and other hygroscopic sugars. This fluid is carried with the spore during discharge, but evaporates once the spore is airborne. Using environmental electron microscopy, we have demonstrated that droplets reform on spores in humid air. The kinetics of this process suggest that basidiospores are especially effective as nuclei for the formation of large water drops in clouds. Through this mechanism, mushroom spores may promote rainfall in ecosystems that support large populations of ectomycorrhizal and saprotrophic basidiomycetes. Our research heightens interest in the global significance of the fungi and raises additional concerns about the sustainability of forests that depend on heavy precipitation. PMID:26509436

  17. Responding to detection of aerosolized Bacillus anthracis by autonomous detection systems in the workplace.

    PubMed

    Meehan, Patrick J; Rosenstein, Nancy E; Gillen, Matthew; Meyer, Richard F; Kiefer, Max J; Deitchman, Scott; Besser, Richard E; Ehrenberg, Richard L; Edwards, Kathleen M; Martinez, Kenneth F

    2004-06-01

    Autonomous detection systems (ADSs) are under development to detect agents of biologic and chemical terror in the environment. These systems will eventually be able to detect biologic and chemical hazards reliably and provide approximate real-time alerts that an agent is present. One type of ADS that tests specifically for Bacillus anthracis is being deployed in hundreds of postal distribution centers across the United States. Identification of aerosolized B. anthracis spores in an air sample can facilitate prompt on-site decontamination of workers and subsequent administration of postexposure prophylaxis to prevent inhalational anthrax. Every employer who deploys an ADS should develop detailed plans for responding to a positive signal. Responding to ADS detection of B. anthracis involves coordinating responses with community partners and should include drills and exercises with these partners. This report provides guidelines in the following six areas: 1) response and consequence management planning, including the minimum components of a facility response plan; 2) immediate response and evacuation; 3) decontamination of potentially exposed workers to remove spores from clothing and skin and prevent introduction of B. anthracis into the worker's home and conveyances; 4) laboratory confirmation of an ADS signal; 5) steps for evaluating potentially contaminated environments; and 6) postexposure prophylaxis and follow-up. PMID:15179360

  18. Model simulations of fungal spore distribution over the Indian region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ansari, Tabish U.; Valsan, Aswathy E.; Ojha, N.; Ravikrishna, R.; Narasimhan, Balaji; Gunthe, Sachin S.

    2015-12-01

    Fungal spores play important role in the health of humans, animals, and plants by constituting a class of the primary biological aerosol particles (PBAPs). Additionally, these could mediate the hydrological cycle by acting as nuclei for ice and cloud formation (IN and CCN respectively). Various processes in the biosphere and the variations in the meteorological conditions control the releasing mechanism of spores through active wet and dry discharge. In the present paper, we simulate the concentration of fungal spores over the Indian region during three distinct meteorological seasons by combining a numerical model (WRF-Chem) with the fungal spore emissions based on land-use type. Maiden high-resolution regional simulations revealed large spatial gradient and strong seasonal dependence in the concentration of fungal spores over the Indian region. The fungal spore concentrations are found to be the highest during winter (0-70 μg m-3 in December), moderately higher during summer (0-35 μg m-3 in May) and lowest during the monsoon (0-25 μg m-3 in July). The elevated concentrations during winter are attributed to the shallower boundary layer trapping the emitted fungal spores in smaller volume. In contrast, the deeper boundary layer mixing in May and stronger monsoonal-convection in July distribute the fungal spores throughout the lower troposphere (∼5 km). We suggest that the higher fungal spore concentrations during winter could have potential health impacts. While, stronger vertical mixing could enable fungal spores to influence the cloud formation during summer and monsoon. Our study provides the first information about the distribution and seasonal variation of fungal spores over the densely populated and observationally sparse Indian region.

  19. Advances in Anthrax Detection: Overview of Bioprobes and Biosensors.

    PubMed

    Kim, Joungmok; Gedi, Vinayakumar; Lee, Sang-Choon; Cho, Jun-Haeng; Moon, Ji-Young; Yoon, Moon-Young

    2015-06-01

    Anthrax is an infectious disease caused by Bacillus anthracis. Although anthrax commonly affects domestic and wild animals, it causes a rare but lethal infection in humans. A variety of techniques have been introduced and evaluated to detect anthrax using cultures, polymerase chain reaction, and immunoassays to address the potential threat of anthrax being used as a bioweapon. The high-potential harm of anthrax in bioterrorism requires sensitive and specific detection systems that are rapid, field-ready, and real-time monitoring. Here, we provide a systematic overview of anthrax detection probes with their potential applications in various ultra-sensitive diagnostic systems. PMID:25987133

  20. Advances in Anthrax Detection: Overview of Bioprobes and Biosensors.

    PubMed

    Kim, Joungmok; Gedi, Vinayakumar; Lee, Sang-Choon; Cho, Jun-Haeng; Moon, Ji-Young; Yoon, Moon-Young

    2015-06-01

    Anthrax is an infectious disease caused by Bacillus anthracis. Although anthrax commonly affects domestic and wild animals, it causes a rare but lethal infection in humans. A variety of techniques have been introduced and evaluated to detect anthrax using cultures, polymerase chain reaction, and immunoassays to address the potential threat of anthrax being used as a bioweapon. The high-potential harm of anthrax in bioterrorism requires sensitive and specific detection systems that are rapid, field-ready, and real-time monitoring. Here, we provide a systematic overview of anthrax detection probes with their potential applications in various ultra-sensitive diagnostic systems.

  1. List of Contractors to Support Anthrax Remediation

    SciTech Connect

    Judd, Kathleen S.; Lesperance, Ann M.

    2010-05-14

    This document responds to a need identified by private sector businesses for information on contractors that may be qualified to support building remediation efforts following a wide-area anthrax release.

  2. Anthrax in cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus) in Namibia.

    PubMed

    Jäger, H G; Booker, H H; Hübschle, O J

    1990-07-01

    Bacillus anthracis caused the death of five cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus) on a farm in the Gobabis district in Namibia. The mode of infection was believed to be a freshly shot baboon (Papio ursinus) with a cutaneous anthrax lesion.

  3. Parenteral Administration of Capsule Depolymerase EnvD Prevents Lethal Inhalation Anthrax Infection.

    PubMed

    Negus, David; Vipond, Julia; Hatch, Graham J; Rayner, Emma L; Taylor, Peter W

    2015-12-01

    Left untreated, inhalation anthrax is usually fatal. Vegetative forms of Bacillus anthracis survive in blood and tissues during infection due to elaboration of a protective poly-γ-D-glutamic acid (PDGA) capsule that permits uncontrolled bacterial growth in vivo, eventually leading to overwhelming bacillosis and death. As a measure to counter threats from multidrug-resistant strains, we are evaluating the prophylactic and therapeutic potential of the PDGA depolymerase EnvD, a stable and potent enzyme which rapidly and selectively removes the capsule from the surface of vegetative cells. Repeated intravenous administration of 10 mg/kg recombinant EnvD (rEnvD) to mice infected with lethal doses of B. anthracis Ames spores by inhalation prevented the emergence of symptoms of anthrax and death; all animals survived the 5-day treatment period, and 70% survived to the end of the 14-day observation period. In contrast to results in sham-treated animals, the lungs and spleen of rEnvD-dosed animals were free of gross pathological changes. We conclude that rEnvD has potential as an agent to prevent the emergence of inhalation anthrax in infected animals and is likely to be effective against drug-resistant forms of the pathogen.

  4. Detecting invisible bacillus spores on surfaces using a portable surface-enhanced Raman analyzer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Farquharson, Stuart; Inscore, Frank; Sperry, Jay F.

    2006-10-01

    Since the distribution of anthrax causing spores through the U.S. Postal System in the autumn of 2001, numerous methods have been developed to detect spores with the goal of minimizing casualties. During and following an attack it is also important to detect spores on surfaces, to assess extent of an attack, to quantify risk of infection by contact, as well as to evaluate post-attack clean-up. To perform useful measurements, analyzers and/or methods must be capable of detecting as few as 10 spores/cm2, in under 5-minutes, with little or no sample preparation or false-positive responses, using a portable device. In an effort to develop such a device, we have been investigating the ability of surfaceenhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) to detect dipicolinic acid (DPA) as a chemical signature of bacilli spores. In 2003 we employed SERS to measure DPA extracted from a 10,000 spores per μL sample using hot dodecylamine. Although the entire measurement was performed in 2 minutes, the need to heat the dodecylamine limits field portability of the method. Here we describe the use of a room temperature digesting agent in combination with SERS to detect 220 spores collected from a surface in a 1 μL sample within 3 minutes.

  5. Adenoviral Expression of a Bispecific VHH-Based Neutralizing Agent That Targets Protective Antigen Provides Prophylactic Protection from Anthrax in Mice

    PubMed Central

    Moayeri, Mahtab; Tremblay, Jacqueline M.; Debatis, Michelle; Dmitriev, Igor P.; Kashentseva, Elena A.; Yeh, Anthony J.; Cheung, Gordon Y. C.; Curiel, David T.; Leppla, Stephen

    2016-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax, secretes three polypeptides, which form the bipartite lethal and edema toxins (LT and ET, respectively). The common component in these toxins, protective antigen (PA), is responsible for binding to cellular receptors and translocating the lethal factor (LF) and edema factor (EF) enzymatic moieties to the cytosol. Antibodies against PA protect against anthrax. We previously isolated toxin-neutralizing variable domains of camelid heavy-chain-only antibodies (VHHs) and demonstrated their in vivo efficacy. In this work, gene therapy with an adenoviral (Ad) vector (Ad/VNA2-PA) (VNA, VHH-based neutralizing agents) promoting the expression of a bispecific VHH-based neutralizing agent (VNA2-PA), consisting of two linked VHHs targeting different PA-neutralizing epitopes, was tested in two inbred mouse strains, BALB/cJ and C57BL/6J, and found to protect mice against anthrax toxin challenge and anthrax spore infection. Two weeks after a single treatment with Ad/VNA2-PA, serum VNA2-PA levels remained above 1 μg/ml, with some as high as 10 mg/ml. The levels were 10- to 100-fold higher and persisted longer in C57BL/6J than in BALB/cJ mice. Mice were challenged with a lethal dose of LT or spores at various times after Ad/VNA2-PA administration. The majority of BALB/cJ mice having serum VNA2-PA levels of >0.1 μg/ml survived LT challenge, and 9 of 10 C57BL/6J mice with serum levels of >1 μg/ml survived spore challenge. Our findings demonstrate the potential for genetic delivery of VNAs as an effective method for providing prophylactic protection from anthrax. We also extend prior findings of mouse strain-based differences in transgene expression and persistence by adenoviral vectors. PMID:26740390

  6. Anthrax in transit; practical experience and intellectual exchange.

    PubMed

    Jones, Susan D; Teigen, Philip M

    2008-09-01

    Focusing on three Anglo-American outbreaks of industrial anthrax, this essay engages the question of how local circumstances influenced the transmission of scientific knowledge in the late nineteenth century. Walpole (Massachusetts), Glasgow, and Bradford (Yorkshire) served as important nodes of transnational investigation into anthrax. Knowledge about the morphology and behavior of Bacillus anthracis changed little while in transit between these nodes, even during complex debates about the nature of bacterial morphology, disease causation, and spontaneous generation. Working independently of their more famous counterparts (Robert Koch and Louis Pasteur), Anglo-American anthrax investigators used visual representations of anthrax bacilli to persuade their peers that a specific, identifiable cause produced all forms of anthrax-malignant pustule (cutaneous anthrax), intestinal anthrax, and woolsorter's disease (pneumonic anthrax). By the late 1870s, this point of view also supported what we would today call an ecological notion of the disease's origins in the interactions of people, animals, and microorganisms in the context of global commerce.

  7. Laboratories Face Crackdown in Wake of Anthrax Scare.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Southwick, Ron

    2001-01-01

    Explores the after-effects on college laboratories of the anthrax mail scare; scientists say the anthrax scare justifies tougher rules on biological agents, but some fear that Congress may go too far. (EV)

  8. Detection and fate of Bacillus anthracis (Sterne) vegetative cells and spores added to bulk tank milk.

    PubMed

    Perdue, Michael L; Karns, Jeff; Higgins, Jim; Van Kessel, Jo Ann

    2003-12-01

    A preparation of Bacillus anthracis (Sterne strain) spores was used to evaluate commercially available reagents and portable equipment for detecting anthrax contamination by using real-time PCR and was used to assess the fate of spores added directly to bulk tank milk. The Ruggedized Advanced Pathogen Identification Device (RAPID) was employed to detect spores in raw milk down to a concentration of 2,500 spores per ml. Commercially available primers and probes developed to detect either the protective antigen gene or the lethal factor gene both provided easily read positive signals with the RAPID following extraction from milk with a commercially available DNA extraction kit. Nucleotide sequence analysis of the vrrA gene with the use of DNA extracted from spiked milk provided molecular data that readily identified the spores as B. anthracis with a 100% BLAST match to the Sterne and Ames strains and easily distinguished them from B. cereus. Physical-fate and thermal-stability studies demonstrated that spores and vegetative cells have a strong affinity for the cream fraction of whole milk. A single treatment at standard pasteurization temperatures, while 100% lethal to vegetative cells, had no effect on spore viability even 14 days after the treatment. Twenty-four hours after the first treatment, a second treatment at 72 degrees C for 15 s reduced the viability of the population by ca. 99% but still did not kill all of the spores. From these studies, we conclude that standard pasteurization techniques for milk would have little effect on the viability of B. anthracis spores and that raw or pasteurized milk poses no obstacles to the rapid detection of the spores by molecular techniques.

  9. Bacillus subtilis Spore Coat

    PubMed Central

    Driks, Adam

    1999-01-01

    In response to starvation, bacilli and clostridia undergo a specialized program of development that results in the production of a highly resistant dormant cell type known as the spore. A proteinacious shell, called the coat, encases the spore and plays a major role in spore survival. The coat is composed of over 25 polypeptide species, organized into several morphologically distinct layers. The mechanisms that guide coat assembly have been largely unknown until recently. We now know that proper formation of the coat relies on the genetic program that guides the synthesis of spore components during development as well as on morphogenetic proteins dedicated to coat assembly. Over 20 structural and morphogenetic genes have been cloned. In this review, we consider the contributions of the known coat and morphogenetic proteins to coat function and assembly. We present a model that describes how morphogenetic proteins direct coat assembly to the specific subcellular site of the nascent spore surface and how they establish the coat layers. We also discuss the importance of posttranslational processing of coat proteins in coat morphogenesis. Finally, we review some of the major outstanding questions in the field. PMID:10066829

  10. Comprehensive analysis and selection of anthrax vaccine adsorbed immune correlates of protection in rhesus macaques.

    PubMed

    Chen, Ligong; Schiffer, Jarad M; Dalton, Shannon; Sabourin, Carol L; Niemuth, Nancy A; Plikaytis, Brian D; Quinn, Conrad P

    2014-11-01

    Humoral and cell-mediated immune correlates of protection (COP) for inhalation anthrax in a rhesus macaque (Macaca mulatta) model were determined. The immunological and survival data were from 114 vaccinated and 23 control animals exposed to Bacillus anthracis spores at 12, 30, or 52 months after the first vaccination. The vaccinated animals received a 3-dose intramuscular priming series (3-i.m.) of anthrax vaccine adsorbed (AVA) (BioThrax) at 0, 1, and 6 months. The immune responses were modulated by administering a range of vaccine dilutions. Together with the vaccine dilution dose and interval between the first vaccination and challenge, each of 80 immune response variables to anthrax toxin protective antigen (PA) at every available study time point was analyzed as a potential COP by logistic regression penalized by least absolute shrinkage and selection operator (LASSO) or elastic net. The anti-PA IgG level at the last available time point before challenge (last) and lymphocyte stimulation index (SI) at months 2 and 6 were identified consistently as a COP. Anti-PA IgG levels and lethal toxin neutralization activity (TNA) at months 6 and 7 (peak) and the frequency of gamma interferon (IFN-γ)-secreting cells at month 6 also had statistically significant positive correlations with survival. The ratio of interleukin 4 (IL-4) mRNA to IFN-γ mRNA at month 6 also had a statistically significant negative correlation with survival. TNA had lower accuracy as a COP than did anti-PA IgG response. Following the 3-i.m. priming with AVA, the anti-PA IgG responses at the time of exposure or at month 7 were practicable and accurate metrics for correlating vaccine-induced immunity with protection against inhalation anthrax.

  11. Clostridium difficile spore biology: sporulation, germination, and spore structural proteins

    PubMed Central

    Paredes-Sabja, Daniel; Shen, Aimee; Sorg, Joseph A.

    2014-01-01

    Clostridium difficile is a Gram-positive, spore-forming obligate anaerobe and a major nosocomial pathogen of world-wide concern. Due to its strict anaerobic requirements, the infectious and transmissible morphotype is the dormant spore. In susceptible patients, C. difficile spores germinate in the colon to form the vegetative cells that initiate Clostridium difficile infections (CDI). During CDI, C. difficile induces a sporulation pathway that produces more spores; these spores are responsible for the persistence of C. difficile in patients and horizontal transmission between hospitalized patients. While important to the C. difficile lifecycle, the C. difficile spore proteome is poorly conserved when compared to members of the Bacillus genus. Further, recent studies have revealed significant differences between C. difficile and B. subtilis at the level of sporulation, germination and spore coat and exosporium morphogenesis. In this review, the regulation of the sporulation and germination pathways and the morphogenesis of the spore coat and exosporium will be discussed. PMID:24814671

  12. Anthrax toxin-induced rupture of artificial lipid bilayer membranes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nablo, Brian J.; Panchal, Rekha G.; Bavari, Sina; Nguyen, Tam L.; Gussio, Rick; Ribot, Wil; Friedlander, Art; Chabot, Donald; Reiner, Joseph E.; Robertson, Joseph W. F.; Balijepalli, Arvind; Halverson, Kelly M.; Kasianowicz, John J.

    2013-08-01

    We demonstrate experimentally that anthrax toxin complexes rupture artificial lipid bilayer membranes when isolated from the blood of infected animals. When the solution pH is temporally acidified to mimic that process in endosomes, recombinant anthrax toxin forms an irreversibly bound complex, which also destabilizes membranes. The results suggest an alternative mechanism for the translocation of anthrax toxin into the cytoplasm.

  13. Theory of femtosecond coherent anti-Stokes Raman backscattering enhanced by quantum coherence for standoff detection of bacterial spores

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ooi, C. H. Raymond; Beadie, Guy; Kattawar, George W.; Reintjes, John F.; Rostovtsev, Yuri; Zubairy, M. Suhail; Scully, Marlan O.

    2005-08-01

    Backscattered signal of coherent anti-Stokes Raman spectroscopy can be an extremely useful tool for remote identification of airborne particles, provided the signal is sufficiently large. We formulate a semiclassical theory of nonlinear scattering to estimate the number of detectable photons from a bacterial spore at a distance. For the first time, the theory incorporates enhanced quantum coherence via femtosecond pulses and a nonlinear process into the classical scattering problem. Our result shows a large backscattered signal in the far field, using typical parameters of an anthrax spore with maximally prepared vibrational coherence. Using train pulses of 1 kHz of repetition rate each with energy of 10 mJ, we estimate that about 107 photons can be detected by a 1 m diameter detector placed 1 km away from the spore in the backward scattering direction. The result shows the feasibility of developing a real time remote detection of hazardous microparticles in the atmosphere, particularly biopathogenic spores.

  14. Theory of femtosecond coherent anti-Stokes Raman backscattering enhanced by quantum coherence for standoff detection of bacterial spores

    SciTech Connect

    Ooi, C.H. Raymond; Rostovtsev, Yuri; Scully, Marlan O.; Beadie, Guy; Reintjes, John F.; Kattawar, George W.; Zubairy, M. Suhail

    2005-08-15

    Backscattered signal of coherent anti-Stokes Raman spectroscopy can be an extremely useful tool for remote identification of airborne particles, provided the signal is sufficiently large. We formulate a semiclassical theory of nonlinear scattering to estimate the number of detectable photons from a bacterial spore at a distance. For the first time, the theory incorporates enhanced quantum coherence via femtosecond pulses and a nonlinear process into the classical scattering problem. Our result shows a large backscattered signal in the far field, using typical parameters of an anthrax spore with maximally prepared vibrational coherence. Using train pulses of 1 kHz of repetition rate each with energy of 10 mJ, we estimate that about 10{sup 7} photons can be detected by a 1 m diameter detector placed 1 km away from the spore in the backward scattering direction. The result shows the feasibility of developing a real time remote detection of hazardous microparticles in the atmosphere, particularly biopathogenic spores.

  15. Fifth international fungus spore conference

    SciTech Connect

    Timberlake, W.E.

    1993-04-01

    This folio contains the proceedings of the Fifth International Fungal Spore Conference held August 17-21, 1991 at the Unicoi State Park at Helen, Georgia. The volume contains abstracts of each oral presentation as well as a collection of abstracts describing the poster sessions. Presentations were organized around the themes (1) Induction of Sporulation, (2) Nuclear Division, (3) Spore Formation, (4) Spore Release and Dispersal, and (4) Spore Germination.

  16. The Use of Germinants to Potentiate the Sensitivity of Bacillus anthracis Spores to Peracetic Acid

    PubMed Central

    Celebi, Ozgur; Buyuk, Fatih; Pottage, Tom; Crook, Ant; Hawkey, Suzanna; Cooper, Callum; Bennett, Allan; Sahin, Mitat; Baillie, Leslie

    2016-01-01

    Elimination of Bacillus anthracis spores from the environment is a difficult and costly process due in part to the toxicity of current sporicidal agents. For this reason we investigated the ability of the spore germinants L-alanine (100 mM) and inosine (5 mM) to reduce the concentration of peracetic acid (PAA) required to inactivate B. anthracis spores. While L-alanine significantly enhanced (p = 0.0085) the bactericidal activity of 500 ppm PAA the same was not true for inosine suggesting some form of negative interaction. In contrast the germinant combination proved most effective at 100 ppm PAA (p = 0.0009). To determine if we could achieve similar results in soil we treated soil collected from the burial site of an anthrax infected animal which had been supplemented with spores of the Sterne strain of B. anthracis to increase the level of contamination to 104 spores/g. Treatment with germinants followed 1 h later by 5000 ppm PAA eliminated all of the spores. In contrast direct treatment of the animal burial site using this approach delivered using a back pack sprayer had no detectable effect on the level of B. anthracis contamination or on total culturable bacterial numbers over the course of the experiment. It did trigger a significant, but temporary, reduction (p < 0.0001) in the total spore count suggesting that germination had been triggered under real world conditions. In conclusion, we have shown that the application of germinants increase the sensitivity of bacterial spores to PAA. While the results of the single field trial were inconclusive, the study highlighted the potential of this approach and the challenges faced when attempting to perform real world studies on B. anthracis spores contaminated sites. PMID:26858699

  17. The Use of Germinants to Potentiate the Sensitivity of Bacillus anthracis Spores to Peracetic Acid.

    PubMed

    Celebi, Ozgur; Buyuk, Fatih; Pottage, Tom; Crook, Ant; Hawkey, Suzanna; Cooper, Callum; Bennett, Allan; Sahin, Mitat; Baillie, Leslie

    2016-01-01

    Elimination of Bacillus anthracis spores from the environment is a difficult and costly process due in part to the toxicity of current sporicidal agents. For this reason we investigated the ability of the spore germinants L-alanine (100 mM) and inosine (5 mM) to reduce the concentration of peracetic acid (PAA) required to inactivate B. anthracis spores. While L-alanine significantly enhanced (p = 0.0085) the bactericidal activity of 500 ppm PAA the same was not true for inosine suggesting some form of negative interaction. In contrast the germinant combination proved most effective at 100 ppm PAA (p = 0.0009). To determine if we could achieve similar results in soil we treated soil collected from the burial site of an anthrax infected animal which had been supplemented with spores of the Sterne strain of B. anthracis to increase the level of contamination to 10(4) spores/g. Treatment with germinants followed 1 h later by 5000 ppm PAA eliminated all of the spores. In contrast direct treatment of the animal burial site using this approach delivered using a back pack sprayer had no detectable effect on the level of B. anthracis contamination or on total culturable bacterial numbers over the course of the experiment. It did trigger a significant, but temporary, reduction (p < 0.0001) in the total spore count suggesting that germination had been triggered under real world conditions. In conclusion, we have shown that the application of germinants increase the sensitivity of bacterial spores to PAA. While the results of the single field trial were inconclusive, the study highlighted the potential of this approach and the challenges faced when attempting to perform real world studies on B. anthracis spores contaminated sites. PMID:26858699

  18. Interferon-Inducible CXC Chemokines Directly Contribute to Host Defense against Inhalational Anthrax in a Murine Model of Infection

    PubMed Central

    Crawford, Matthew A.; Burdick, Marie D.; Glomski, Ian J.; Boyer, Anne E.; Barr, John R.; Mehrad, Borna; Strieter, Robert M.; Hughes, Molly A.

    2010-01-01

    Chemokines have been found to exert direct, defensin-like antimicrobial activity in vitro, suggesting that, in addition to orchestrating cellular accumulation and activation, chemokines may contribute directly to the innate host response against infection. No observations have been made, however, demonstrating direct chemokine-mediated promotion of host defense in vivo. Here, we show that the murine interferon-inducible CXC chemokines CXCL9, CXCL10, and CXCL11 each exert direct antimicrobial effects in vitro against Bacillus anthracis Sterne strain spores and bacilli including disruptions in spore germination and marked reductions in spore and bacilli viability as assessed using CFU determination and a fluorometric assay of metabolic activity. Similar chemokine-mediated antimicrobial activity was also observed against fully virulent Ames strain spores and encapsulated bacilli. Moreover, antibody-mediated neutralization of these CXC chemokines in vivo was found to significantly increase host susceptibility to pulmonary B. anthracis infection in a murine model of inhalational anthrax with disease progression characterized by systemic bacterial dissemination, toxemia, and host death. Neutralization of the shared chemokine receptor CXCR3, responsible for mediating cellular recruitment in response to CXCL9, CXCL10, and CXCL11, was not found to increase host susceptibility to inhalational anthrax. Taken together, our data demonstrate a novel, receptor-independent antimicrobial role for the interferon-inducible CXC chemokines in pulmonary innate immunity in vivo. These data also support an immunomodulatory approach for effectively treating and/or preventing pulmonary B. anthracis infection, as well as infections caused by pathogenic and potentially, multi-drug resistant bacteria including other spore-forming organisms. PMID:21124994

  19. Serological anthrax surveillance in wild boar (Sus scrofa) in Ukraine.

    PubMed

    Bagamian, Karoun H; Skrypnyk, Artem; Rodina, Yana; Bezymennyi, Maksym; Nevolko, Oleg; Skrypnyk, Valeriy; Blackburn, Jason K

    2014-08-01

    Anthrax, caused by Bacillus anthracis, is an acute disease affecting wildlife, livestock, and humans worldwide, although its impact on these populations is underappreciated. In Ukraine, surveillance is passive, and anthrax is often detected in livestock. However, wildlife is not subject to surveillance, although anthrax deaths (such as in wild boar, Sus scrofa) have been documented. The wild boar is a plentiful and widespread species in Ukraine and is frequently hunted. We initiated a screening study testing Ukrainian wild boar blood samples for antibodies to B. anthracis. We mapped results relative to known livestock anthrax hotspots. We discovered evidence of exposure in wild boar up to 35 km from livestock anthrax hotspots and over 400 km from previous anthrax reports in boars. We make recommendations about using wildlife species as biosentinels for anthrax in Ukraine.

  20. Indigenous human cutaneous anthrax in Texas.

    PubMed

    Taylor, J P; Dimmitt, D C; Ezzell, J W; Whitford, H

    1993-01-01

    In December 1988 an indigenous case of cutaneous anthrax was identified in Texas. The patient, a 63-year-old male Hispanic from southwest Texas, was a sheep shearer and had a recent history of dissecting sheep that had died suddenly. He experienced an illness characterized by left arm pain and edema. A necrotic lesion developed on his left forearm, with cellulitis and lymphadenopathy. After treatment with oral and intravenous penicillins, the patient fully recovered. Western blot testing revealed a fourfold or greater rise in antibody titer to Bacillus anthracis protective antigen and lethal factor. This represents the first case of indigenous anthrax in Texas in more than 20 years. PMID:8420007

  1. [Current status of anthrax or black fever].

    PubMed

    Chantal, J

    1997-01-01

    Although anthrax is one of the oldest recognized infectious diseases in the world, it remains widespread particularly in tropical zones such as Africa. The impact of this major zoonoses is further enhanced by the fact that the pulmonary form can be used for biological warfare. Recently there has been a revival of interest in anthrax and research has benefited greatly from advances in molecular biology. The main factors accounting for the virulence of Bacillus anthracis have been elucidated. The author reports current data concerning pathogenesis, epidemiology and diagnosis and reviews progress made in the field of prophylaxis especially with regard to vaccines. PMID:9513179

  2. Development of a Rapid and Sensitive Immunoassay for Detection and Subsequent Recovery of Bacillus anthracis Spores in Environmental Samples

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Bacillus anthracis is considered a major threat as an agent of bioterrorism. B. anthracis spores are readily dispersed as aerosols, are very persistent, and are resistant to normal disinfection treatments. Immunoassays have been developed to rapidly detect B. anthracis spores at high concentration...

  3. Spore: Spawning Evolutionary Misconceptions?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bean, Thomas E.; Sinatra, Gale M.; Schrader, P. G.

    2010-10-01

    The use of computer simulations as educational tools may afford the means to develop understanding of evolution as a natural, emergent, and decentralized process. However, special consideration of developmental constraints on learning may be necessary when using these technologies. Specifically, the essentialist (biological forms possess an immutable essence), teleological (assignment of purpose to living things and/or parts of living things that may not be purposeful), and intentionality (assumption that events are caused by an intelligent agent) biases may be reinforced through the use of computer simulations, rather than addressed with instruction. We examine the video game Spore for its depiction of evolutionary content and its potential to reinforce these cognitive biases. In particular, we discuss three pedagogical strategies to mitigate weaknesses of Spore and other computer simulations: directly targeting misconceptions through refutational approaches, targeting specific principles of scientific inquiry, and directly addressing issues related to models as cognitive tools.

  4. Thermal Spore Exposure Vessels

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Beaudet, Robert A.; Kempf, Michael; Kirschner, Larry

    2006-01-01

    Thermal spore exposure vessels (TSEVs) are laboratory containers designed for use in measuring rates of death or survival of microbial spores at elevated temperatures. A major consideration in the design of a TSEV is minimizing thermal mass in order to minimize heating and cooling times. This is necessary in order to minimize the number of microbes killed before and after exposure at the test temperature, so that the results of the test accurately reflect the effect of the test temperature. A typical prototype TSEV (see figure) includes a flat-bottomed stainless-steel cylinder 4 in. (10.16 cm) long, 0.5 in. (1.27 cm) in diameter, having a wall thickness of 0.010 plus or minus 0.002 in. (0.254 plus or minus 0.051 mm). Microbial spores are deposited in the bottom of the cylinder, then the top of the cylinder is closed with a sterile rubber stopper. Hypodermic needles are used to puncture the rubber stopper to evacuate the inside of the cylinder or to purge the inside of the cylinder with a gas. In a typical application, the inside of the cylinder is purged with dry nitrogen prior to a test. During a test, the lower portion of the cylinder is immersed in a silicone-oil bath that has been preheated to and maintained at the test temperature. Test temperatures up to 220 C have been used. Because the spores are in direct contact with the thin cylinder wall, they quickly become heated to the test temperature.

  5. New Rapid Spore Assay

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kminek, Gerhard; Conley, Catharine

    2012-07-01

    The presentation will detail approved Planetary Protection specifications for the Rapid Spore Assay for spacecraft components and subsystems. Outlined will be the research and studies on which the specifications were based. The research, funded by ESA and NASA/JPL, was conducted over a period of two years and was followed by limited cleanroom studies to assess the feasibility of this assay during spacecraft assembly.

  6. Periorbital cellulitis due to cutaneous anthrax.

    PubMed

    Gilliland, Grant; Starks, Victoria; Vrcek, Ivan; Gilliland, Connor

    2015-12-01

    Virgil's plague of the ancient world, Bacillus anthracis, is rare in developed nations. Unfortunately rural communities across the globe continue to be exposed to this potentially lethal bacterium. Herein we report a case of periorbital cutaneous anthrax infection in a 3-year-old girl from the rural area surrounding Harare, Zimbabwe with a brief review of the literature.

  7. Remediating office environments of spore-forming bacteria.

    PubMed

    Johnson, Luke; Smith, Myron L; Begin, Melissa; Fraser, Bruce; Miller, J David

    2010-10-01

    This study examines decontamination processes that were developed on an emergency basis to eliminate Bacillus anthracis spores from deliberately contaminated buildings. The recommended steps include a survey with sampling, the removal of sensitive items, and HEPA vacuuming of all readily available surfaces, followed by biocide treatment and subsequent analyses for viable cells. There are several analytical challenges posed by this approach. These include the ability to discriminate the added strain from naturally occurring resident microbes, determining detection limits for anthrax spores in settled dusts, and detecting viable but nonculturable spores. There are also logistical issues relating to the various skill sets required from investigation to reconstruction. In the present study, a model office was constructed, and a strain of Bacillus pumilus was isolated from the carpet and reintroduced to the office in excess. The abundance of the B. pumilus strain was monitored in settled dust using a strain-specific, quantitative polymerase chain reaction (QPCR)-based detection method following repeated HEPA vacuum cleanings. The QPCR method had a limit of detection corresponding to < or = 10(2) colony forming units per gram of settled dust. QPCR results were compared with measures of dust recoveries and fungal glucan and endotoxin levels in the dust samples. The largest fraction (ca. 81%) of added spores was recovered during the first HEPA cleaning. Subsequent cleanings resulted in incrementally lower recoveries, with removal of 93% of the initial inoculum by the third HEPA vacuuming. HEPA vacuuming prior to removal of items such as office contents and furnishings would result in much less resuspension of dust and limiting the extent of contamination. This approach also ensures that residual contaminants are as low as can be reasonably achieved.

  8. Molecular determinants for a cardiovascular collapse in anthrax.

    PubMed

    Brojatsch, Jurgen; Casadevall, Arturo; Goldman, David L

    2014-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis releases two bipartite proteins, lethal toxin and edema factor, that contribute significantly to the progression of anthrax-associated shock. As blocking the anthrax toxins prevents disease, the toxins are considered the main virulence factors of the bacterium. The anthrax bacterium and the anthrax toxins trigger multi-organ failure associated with enhanced vascular permeability, hemorrhage and cardiac dysfunction in animal challenge models. A recent study using mice that either lacked the anthrax toxin receptor in specific cells and corresponding mice expressing the receptor in specific cell types demonstrated that cardiovascular cells are critical for disease mediated by anthrax lethal toxin. These studies are consistent with involvement of the cardiovascular system, and with an increase of cardiac failure markers observed in human anthrax and in animal models using B. anthracis and anthrax toxins. This review discusses the current state of knowledge regarding the pathophysiology of anthrax and tries to provide a mechanistic model and molecular determinants for the circulatory shock in anthrax.

  9. Spore collection and elimination apparatus and method

    DOEpatents

    Czajkowski, Carl; Warren, Barbara Panessa

    2007-04-03

    The present invention is for a spore collection apparatus and its method of use. The portable spore collection apparatus includes a suction source, a nebulizer, an ionization chamber and a filter canister. The suction source collects the spores from a surface. The spores are activated by heating whereby spore dormancy is broken. Moisture is then applied to the spores to begin germination. The spores are then exposed to alpha particles causing extinction.

  10. Inactivation of Bacillus anthracis Spores during Laboratory-Scale Composting of Feedlot Cattle Manure.

    PubMed

    Xu, Shanwei; Harvey, Amanda; Barbieri, Ruth; Reuter, Tim; Stanford, Kim; Amoako, Kingsley K; Selinger, Leonard B; McAllister, Tim A

    2016-01-01

    Anthrax outbreaks in livestock have social, economic and health implications, altering farmer's livelihoods, impacting trade and posing a zoonotic risk. Our study investigated the survival of Bacillus thuringiensis and B. anthracis spores sporulated at 15, 20, or 37°C, over 33 days of composting. Spores (∼7.5 log10 CFU g(-1)) were mixed with manure and composted in laboratory scale composters. After 15 days, the compost was mixed and returned to the composter for a second cycle. Temperatures peaked at 71°C on day 2 and remained ≥55°C for an average of 7 days in the first cycle, but did not exceed 55°C in the second. For B. thuringiensis, spores generated at 15 and 21°C exhibited reduced (P < 0.05) viability of 2.7 and 2.6 log10 CFU g(-1) respectively, as compared to a 0.6 log10 CFU g(-1) reduction for those generated at 37°C. For B. anthracis, sporulation temperature did not impact spore survival as there was a 2.5, 2.2, and 2.8 log10 CFU g(-1) reduction after composting for spores generated at 15, 21, and 37°C, respectively. For both species, spore viability declined more rapidly (P < 0.05) in the first as compared to the second composting cycle. Our findings suggest that the duration of thermophilic exposure (≥55°C) is the main factor influencing survival of B. anthracis spores in compost. As sporulation temperature did not influence survival of B. anthracis, composting may lower the viability of spores associated with carcasses infected with B. anthracis over a range of sporulation temperatures. PMID:27303388

  11. Inactivation of Bacillus anthracis Spores during Laboratory-Scale Composting of Feedlot Cattle Manure

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Shanwei; Harvey, Amanda; Barbieri, Ruth; Reuter, Tim; Stanford, Kim; Amoako, Kingsley K.; Selinger, Leonard B.; McAllister, Tim A.

    2016-01-01

    Anthrax outbreaks in livestock have social, economic and health implications, altering farmer’s livelihoods, impacting trade and posing a zoonotic risk. Our study investigated the survival of Bacillus thuringiensis and B. anthracis spores sporulated at 15, 20, or 37°C, over 33 days of composting. Spores (∼7.5 log10 CFU g-1) were mixed with manure and composted in laboratory scale composters. After 15 days, the compost was mixed and returned to the composter for a second cycle. Temperatures peaked at 71°C on day 2 and remained ≥55°C for an average of 7 days in the first cycle, but did not exceed 55°C in the second. For B. thuringiensis, spores generated at 15 and 21°C exhibited reduced (P < 0.05) viability of 2.7 and 2.6 log10 CFU g-1 respectively, as compared to a 0.6 log10 CFU g-1 reduction for those generated at 37°C. For B. anthracis, sporulation temperature did not impact spore survival as there was a 2.5, 2.2, and 2.8 log10 CFU g-1 reduction after composting for spores generated at 15, 21, and 37°C, respectively. For both species, spore viability declined more rapidly (P < 0.05) in the first as compared to the second composting cycle. Our findings suggest that the duration of thermophilic exposure (≥55°C) is the main factor influencing survival of B. anthracis spores in compost. As sporulation temperature did not influence survival of B. anthracis, composting may lower the viability of spores associated with carcasses infected with B. anthracis over a range of sporulation temperatures. PMID:27303388

  12. Clostridium difficile Spore-Macrophage Interactions: Spore Survival

    PubMed Central

    Paredes-Sabja, Daniel; Cofre-Araneda, Glenda; Brito-Silva, Christian; Pizarro-Guajardo, Marjorie; Sarker, Mahfuzur R.

    2012-01-01

    Background Clostridium difficile is the main cause of nosocomial infections including antibiotic associated diarrhea, pseudomembranous colitis and toxic megacolon. During the course of Clostridium difficile infections (CDI), C. difficile undergoes sporulation and releases spores to the colonic environment. The elevated relapse rates of CDI suggest that C. difficile spores has a mechanism(s) to efficiently persist in the host colonic environment. Methodology/Principal Findings In this work, we provide evidence that C. difficile spores are well suited to survive the host’s innate immune system. Electron microscopy results show that C. difficile spores are recognized by discrete patchy regions on the surface of macrophage Raw 264.7 cells, and phagocytosis was actin polymerization dependent. Fluorescence microscopy results show that >80% of Raw 264.7 cells had at least one C. difficile spore adhered, and that ∼60% of C. difficile spores were phagocytosed by Raw 264.7 cells. Strikingly, presence of complement decreased Raw 264.7 cells’ ability to phagocytose C. difficile spores. Due to the ability of C. difficile spores to remain dormant inside Raw 264.7 cells, they were able to survive up to 72 h of macrophage infection. Interestingly, transmission electron micrographs showed interactions between the surface proteins of C. difficile spores and the phagosome membrane of Raw 264.7 cells. In addition, infection of Raw 264.7 cells with C. difficile spores for 48 h produced significant Raw 264.7 cell death as demonstrated by trypan blue assay, and nuclei staining by ethidium homodimer-1. Conclusions/Significance These results demonstrate that despite efficient recognition and phagocytosis of C. difficile spores by Raw 264.7 cells, spores remain dormant and are able to survive and produce cytotoxic effects on Raw 264.7 cells. PMID:22952726

  13. Anthrax Susceptibility: Human Genetic Polymorphisms Modulating ANTXR2 Expression.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Zhang; Zhang, Yan; Shi, Minglei; Ye, Bingyu; Shen, Wenlong; Li, Ping; Xing, Lingyue; Zhang, Xiaopeng; Hou, Lihua; Xu, Junjie; Zhao, Zhihu; Chen, Wei

    2015-12-22

    Anthrax toxin causes anthrax pathogenesis and expression levels of ANTXR2 (anthrax toxin receptor 2) are strongly correlated with anthrax toxin susceptibility. Previous studies found that ANTXR2 transcript abundance varies considerably in individuals of different ethnic/geographical groups, but no eQTLs (expression quantitative trait loci) have been identified. By using 3C (chromatin conformation capture), CRISPR-mediated genomic deletion and dual-luciferase reporter assay, gene loci containing cis-regulatory elements of ANTXR2 were localized. Two SNPs (single nucleotide polymorphism) at the conserved CREB-binding motif, rs13140055 and rs80314910 in the promoter region of the gene, modulating ANTXR2 promoter activity were identified. Combining these two regulatory SNPs with a previously reported SNP, rs12647691, for the first time, a statistically significant correlation between human genetic variations and anthrax toxin sensitivity was observed. These findings further our understanding of human variability in ANTXR2 expression and anthrax toxin susceptibility.

  14. Generation of protective immune response against anthrax by oral immunization with protective antigen plant-based vaccine.

    PubMed

    Gorantala, Jyotsna; Grover, Sonam; Rahi, Amit; Chaudhary, Prerna; Rajwanshi, Ravi; Sarin, Neera Bhalla; Bhatnagar, Rakesh

    2014-04-20

    In concern with frequent recurrence of anthrax in endemic areas and inadvertent use of its spores as biological weapon, the development of an effective anthrax vaccine suitable for both human and veterinary needs is highly desirable. A simple oral delivery through expression in plant system could offer promising alternative to the current methods that rely on injectable vaccines extracted from bacterial sources. In the present study, we have expressed protective antigen (PA) gene in Indian mustard by Agrobacterium-mediated transformation and in tobacco by plastid transformation. Putative transgenic lines were verified for the presence of transgene and its expression by molecular analysis. PA expressed in transgenic lines was biologically active as evidenced by macrophage lysis assay. Intraperitoneal (i.p.) and oral immunization with plant PA in murine model indicated high serum PA specific IgG and IgA antibody titers. PA specific mucosal immune response was noted in orally immunized groups. Further, antibodies indicated lethal toxin neutralizing potential in-vitro and conferred protection against in-vivo toxin challenge. Oral immunization experiments demonstrated generation of immunoprotective response in mice. Thus, our study examines the feasibility of oral PA vaccine expressed in an edible plant system against anthrax.

  15. Exogenous Interferon-α and Interferon-γ Increase Lethality of Murine Inhalational Anthrax

    PubMed Central

    Gold, Jeffrey A.; Hoshino, Yoshihiko; Jones, Marcus B.; Hoshino, Satomi; Nolan, Anna; Weiden, Michael D.

    2007-01-01

    Background Bacillus anthracis, the etiologic agent of inhalational anthrax, is a facultative intracellular pathogen. Despite appropriate antimicrobial therapy, the mortality from inhalational anthrax approaches 45%, underscoring the need for better adjuvant therapies. The variable latency between exposure and development of disease suggests an important role for the host's innate immune response. Type I and Type II Interferons (IFN) are prominent members of the host innate immune response and are required for control of intracellular pathogens. We have previously described a protective role for exogenous Type I and Type II IFNs in attenuating intracellular B.anthracis germination and macrophage cell death in vitro. Methodology and Principal Findings We sought to extend these findings in an in vivo model of inhalational anthrax, utilizing the Sterne strain (34F2) of B.anthracis. Mice devoid of STAT1, a component of IFN-α and IFN-γ signaling, had a trend towards increased mortality, bacterial germination and extrapulmonary spread of B.anthracis at 24 hrs. This was associated with impaired IL-6, IL-10 and IL-12 production. However, administration of exogenous IFN-γ, and to a lesser extent IFN-α, at the time of infection, markedly increased lethality. While IFNs were able to reduce the fraction of germinated spores within the lung, they increased both the local and systemic inflammatory response manifest by increases in IL-12 and reductions in IL-10. This was associated with an increase in extrapulmonary dissemination. The mechanism of IFN mediated inflammation appears to be in part due to STAT1 independent signaling. Conclusions In conclusion, while endogenous IFNs are essential for control of B.anthracis germination and lethality, administration of exogenous IFNs appear to increase the local inflammatory response, thereby increasing mortality. PMID:17710136

  16. Decontamination after a release of B. anthracis spores.

    PubMed

    Campbell, Chris G; Kirvel, Robert D; Love, Adam H; Bailey, Christopher G; Miles, Robin; Schweickert, Jerry; Sutton, Mark; Raber, Ellen

    2012-03-01

    Decontaminating civilian facilities or large urban areas following an attack with Bacillus anthracis poses daunting challenges because of the lack of resources and proven technologies. Nevertheless, lessons learned from the 2001 cleanups together with advances derived from recent research have improved our understanding of what is required for effective decontamination. This article reviews current decontamination technologies appropriate for use in outdoor environments, on material surfaces, within large enclosed spaces, in water, and on waste contaminated with aerosolized B. anthracis spores. PMID:22352747

  17. Decontamination after a release of B. anthracis spores.

    PubMed

    Campbell, Chris G; Kirvel, Robert D; Love, Adam H; Bailey, Christopher G; Miles, Robin; Schweickert, Jerry; Sutton, Mark; Raber, Ellen

    2012-03-01

    Decontaminating civilian facilities or large urban areas following an attack with Bacillus anthracis poses daunting challenges because of the lack of resources and proven technologies. Nevertheless, lessons learned from the 2001 cleanups together with advances derived from recent research have improved our understanding of what is required for effective decontamination. This article reviews current decontamination technologies appropriate for use in outdoor environments, on material surfaces, within large enclosed spaces, in water, and on waste contaminated with aerosolized B. anthracis spores.

  18. Fluorescent europium-modified polymer nanoparticles for rapid and sensitive anthrax sensors.

    PubMed

    Oh, Wan-Kyu; Jeong, Yoon Seon; Song, Jooyoung; Jang, Jyongsik

    2011-11-15

    Novel fluorescent polyacrylonitrile nanoparticles were synthesized by microemulsion polymerization and Schiff base modification. By further modification with europium, the polyacrylonitrile nanoparticles could be used as a highly sensitive and rapid sensor for Bacillus anthracis spore detection in aqueous solution. The europium-modified polyacrylonitrile nanoparticles were readily combined with dipicolinic acid as a unique biomarker of B. anthracis, leading to high fluorescence emission. These nanoparticles enabled ratiometric detection without instrument-specific calibration due to the internal fluorescence reference. Additionally, the europium-modified polyacrylonitrile nanoparticle sensors exhibited a remarkable limit of detection (10pM) for dipicolinic acid and outstanding selectivity (160×) over aromatic ligands in aqueous solution. The ultrafine nanoparticle sensor showed a high capability for detecting anthrax due to the increased surface area-to-volume ratio and enhanced dispersibility. PMID:21893406

  19. Immunization of Mice with Anthrax Protective Antigen Limits Cardiotoxicity but Not Hepatotoxicity Following Lethal Toxin Challenge.

    PubMed

    Devera, T Scott; Prusator, Dawn K; Joshi, Sunil K; Ballard, Jimmy D; Lang, Mark L

    2015-06-25

    Protective immunity against anthrax is inferred from measurement of vaccine antigen-specific neutralizing antibody titers in serum samples. In animal models, in vivo challenges with toxin and/or spores can also be performed. However, neither of these approaches considers toxin-induced damage to specific organ systems. It is therefore important to determine to what extent anthrax vaccines and existing or candidate adjuvants can provide organ-specific protection against intoxication. We therefore compared the ability of Alum, CpG DNA and the CD1d ligand α-galactosylceramide (αGC) to enhance protective antigen-specific antibody titers, to protect mice against challenge with lethal toxin, and to block cardiotoxicity and hepatotoxicity. By measurement of serum cardiac Troponin I (cTnI), and hepatic alanine aminotransferase (ALT), and aspartate aminotransferase (AST), it was apparent that neither vaccine modality prevented hepatic intoxication, despite high Ab titers and ultimate survival of the subject. In contrast, cardiotoxicity was greatly diminished by prior immunization. This shows that a vaccine that confers survival following toxin exposure may still have an associated morbidity. We propose that organ-specific intoxication should be monitored routinely during research into new vaccine modalities.

  20. Virulence Plasmids of Spore-Forming Bacteria.

    PubMed

    Adams, Vicki; Li, Jihong; Wisniewski, Jessica A; Uzal, Francisco A; Moore, Robert J; McClane, Bruce A; Rood, Julian I

    2014-12-01

    Plasmid-encoded virulence factors are important in the pathogenesis of diseases caused by spore-forming bacteria. Unlike many other bacteria, the most common virulence factors encoded by plasmids in Clostridium and Bacillus species are protein toxins. Clostridium perfringens causes several histotoxic and enterotoxin diseases in both humans and animals and produces a broad range of toxins, including many pore-forming toxins such as C. perfringens enterotoxin, epsilon-toxin, beta-toxin, and NetB. Genetic studies have led to the determination of the role of these toxins in disease pathogenesis. The genes for these toxins are generally carried on large conjugative plasmids that have common core replication, maintenance, and conjugation regions. There is considerable functional information available about the unique tcp conjugation locus carried by these plasmids, but less is known about plasmid maintenance. The latter is intriguing because many C. perfringens isolates stably maintain up to four different, but closely related, toxin plasmids. Toxin genes may also be plasmid-encoded in the neurotoxic clostridia. The tetanus toxin gene is located on a plasmid in Clostridium tetani, but the botulinum toxin genes may be chromosomal, plasmid-determined, or located on bacteriophages in Clostridium botulinum. In Bacillus anthracis it is well established that virulence is plasmid determined, with anthrax toxin genes located on pXO1 and capsule genes on a separate plasmid, pXO2. Orthologs of these plasmids are also found in other members of the Bacillus cereus group such as B. cereus and Bacillus thuringiensis. In B. thuringiensis these plasmids may carry genes encoding one or more insecticidal toxins.

  1. NanoSIMS analysis of Bacillus spores for forensics

    SciTech Connect

    Weber, P K; Davisson, M L; Velsko, S P

    2010-02-23

    The threat associated with the potential use of radiological, nuclear, chemical and biological materials in terrorist acts has resulted in new fields of forensic science requiring the application of state-of-the-science analytical techniques. Since the anthrax letter attacks in the United States in the fall of 2001, there has been increased interest in physical and chemical characterization of bacterial spores. While molecular methods are powerful tools for identifying genetic differences, other methods may be able to differentiate genetically identical samples based on physical and chemical properties, as well as provide complimentary information, such as methods of production and approximate date of production. Microanalysis has the potential to contribute significantly to microbial forensics. Bacillus spores are highly structured, consisting of a core, cortex, coat, and in some species, an exosporium. This structure provides a template for constraining elemental abundance differences at the nanometer scale. The primary controls on the distribution of major elements in spores are likely structural and physiological. For example, P and Ca are known to be abundant in the spore core because that is where P-rich nucleic acids and Cadipicolinic acid are located, respectively. Trace elements are known to bind to the spore coat but the controls on these elements are less well understood. Elemental distributions and abundances may be directly related to spore production, purification and stabilization methodologies, which are of particular interest for forensic investigation. To this end, we are developing a high-resolution secondary ion mass spectrometry method using a Cameca NanoSIMS 50 to study the distribution and abundance of trace elements in bacterial spores. In this presentation we will review and compare methods for preparing and analyzing samples, as well as review results on the distribution and abundance of elements in bacterial spores. We use NanoSIMS to

  2. Challenges in Disposing of Anthrax Waste

    SciTech Connect

    Lesperance, Ann M.; Stein, Steven L.; Upton, Jaki F.; Toomey, Christopher

    2011-09-01

    Disasters often create large amounts of waste that must be managed as part of both immediate response and long-term recovery. While many federal, state, and local agencies have debris management plans, these plans often do not address chemical, biological, and radiological contamination. The Interagency Biological Restoration Demonstration’s (IBRD) purpose was to holistically assess all aspects of an anthrax incident and assist the development of a plan for long-term recovery. In the case of wide-area anthrax contamination and the follow-on response and recovery activities, a significant amount of material will require decontamination and disposal. Accordingly, IBRD facilitated the development of debris management plans to address contaminated waste through a series of interviews and workshops with local, state, and federal representatives. The outcome of these discussion was the identification of three primary topical areas that must be addressed: 1) Planning; 2) Unresolved research questions, and resolving regulatory issues.

  3. New insights into gastrointestinal anthrax infection.

    PubMed

    Owen, Jennifer L; Yang, Tao; Mohamadzadeh, Mansour

    2015-03-01

    Bacterial infections are the primary cause of gastrointestinal (GI) disorders in both developing and developed countries, and are particularly dangerous for infants and children. Bacillus anthracis is the 'archetype zoonotic' pathogen; no other infectious disease affects such a broad range of species, including humans. Importantly, there are more case reports of GI anthrax infection in children than inhalational disease. Early diagnosis is difficult and widespread systemic disease develops rapidly. This review highlights new findings concerning the roles of the gut epithelia, commensal microbiota, and innate lymphoid cells (ILCs) in initiation of disease and systemic dissemination in animal models of GI anthrax, the understanding of which is crucial to designing alternative therapies that target the establishment of infection.

  4. Cutaneous anthrax in a school teacher.

    PubMed

    Nandi, A K; Kamal, M M; Alam, M A; Rahman, F; Uddin, M J; Baidya, N R; Mostafa, S M

    2014-04-01

    Cutaneous anthrax is an infection of the skin caused by Bacillus anthracis. This is a report of a case of cutaneous anthrax attending outpatients of Mymensingh Medical College Hospital in October, 2010. The infected person was a retired school teacher with a very good body build. He reported to handle cow flesh about 4-5 days ago, developed few painless papules over shin of right leg, which gradually became large bullae and blackish eschar developed over the lesion. Smears from the lesions were investigated which confirmed the causative agent B. anthracis. The patient was treated with oral Ciprofloxacin (500mg) twice daily for seven days which cured the infection as observed on his subsequent follow up visits on 7 and 14 days later. Oral Ciprofloxacin is found effective as recommended by the World Health Organization.

  5. "Spore" and the Sociocultural Moment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Meyer, W. Max

    2012-01-01

    Analyses of the game "Spore" have centered on the important issues of accuracy of evolution content and engendering interest in science. This paper suggests that examination of the degree of scaffolding necessary to use the game in pedagogy is a missing part of the discussion, and then questions the longevity of the "Spore" discussion relative to…

  6. Unusual cause of fatal anthrax meningitis.

    PubMed

    Parlak, Emine; Parlak, Mehmet; Atli, Seval Bilgiç

    2015-03-01

    We report the case of fatal anthrax meningoencephalitis in the province of Muş located in eastern Anatolia, Turkey. The organism isolated from cerebrospinal fluid was identified as Bacillus anthracis. The patient was treated with crystallized penicillin G (24 MU/day IV) and ciprofloxacin (2 × 400/day IV), but died 5 days after hospitalization. Although it is a rare case, we consider that the patients who have skin, respiratory and neurological systems might also have hemorrhagic meningitis.

  7. Comprehensive Laboratory Evaluation of a Highly Specific Lateral Flow Assay for the Presumptive Identification of Bacillus anthracis Spores in Suspicious White Powders and Environmental Samples

    PubMed Central

    Ramage, Jason G.; Prentice, Kristin W.; DePalma, Lindsay; Venkateswaran, Kodumudi S.; Chivukula, Sruti; Chapman, Carol; Bell, Melissa; Datta, Shomik; Singh, Ajay; Hoffmaster, Alex; Sarwar, Jawad; Parameswaran, Nishanth; Joshi, Mrinmayi; Thirunavkkarasu, Nagarajan; Krishnan, Viswanathan; Morse, Stephen; Avila, Julie R.; Sharma, Shashi; Estacio, Peter L.; Stanker, Larry; Hodge, David R.

    2016-01-01

    We conducted a comprehensive, multiphase laboratory evaluation of the Anthrax BioThreat Alert® test strip, a lateral flow immunoassay (LFA) for the rapid detection of Bacillus anthracis spores. The study, conducted at 2 sites, evaluated this assay for the detection of spores from the Ames and Sterne strains of B. anthracis, as well as those from an additional 22 strains. Phylogenetic near neighbors, environmental background organisms, white powders, and environmental samples were also tested. The Anthrax LFA demonstrated a limit of detection of about 106 spores/mL (ca. 1.5 × 105 spores/assay). In this study, overall sensitivity of the LFA was 99.3%, and the specificity was 98.6%. The results indicated that the specificity, sensitivity, limit of detection, dynamic range, and repeatability of the assay support its use in the field for the purpose of qualitatively evaluating suspicious white powders and environmental samples for the presumptive presence of B. anthracis spores. PMID:27661796

  8. Comprehensive Laboratory Evaluation of a Highly Specific Lateral Flow Assay for the Presumptive Identification of Bacillus anthracis Spores in Suspicious White Powders and Environmental Samples.

    PubMed

    Ramage, Jason G; Prentice, Kristin W; DePalma, Lindsay; Venkateswaran, Kodumudi S; Chivukula, Sruti; Chapman, Carol; Bell, Melissa; Datta, Shomik; Singh, Ajay; Hoffmaster, Alex; Sarwar, Jawad; Parameswaran, Nishanth; Joshi, Mrinmayi; Thirunavkkarasu, Nagarajan; Krishnan, Viswanathan; Morse, Stephen; Avila, Julie R; Sharma, Shashi; Estacio, Peter L; Stanker, Larry; Hodge, David R; Pillai, Segaran P

    2016-01-01

    We conducted a comprehensive, multiphase laboratory evaluation of the Anthrax BioThreat Alert(®) test strip, a lateral flow immunoassay (LFA) for the rapid detection of Bacillus anthracis spores. The study, conducted at 2 sites, evaluated this assay for the detection of spores from the Ames and Sterne strains of B. anthracis, as well as those from an additional 22 strains. Phylogenetic near neighbors, environmental background organisms, white powders, and environmental samples were also tested. The Anthrax LFA demonstrated a limit of detection of about 10(6) spores/mL (ca. 1.5 × 10(5) spores/assay). In this study, overall sensitivity of the LFA was 99.3%, and the specificity was 98.6%. The results indicated that the specificity, sensitivity, limit of detection, dynamic range, and repeatability of the assay support its use in the field for the purpose of qualitatively evaluating suspicious white powders and environmental samples for the presumptive presence of B. anthracis spores. PMID:27661796

  9. On the role of macrophages in anthrax.

    PubMed Central

    Hanna, P C; Acosta, D; Collier, R J

    1993-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax, produces systemic shock and death in susceptible animals, primarily through the action of its lethal toxin. This toxin, at high concentrations, induces lysis of macrophages in vitro but shows little or no effect on other cells. We found that when mice were specifically depleted of macrophages by silica injections, they became resistant to the toxin. Sensitivity could be restored by coinjection of toxin-sensitive cultured macrophages (RAW 264.7 cells) but not by coinjection of other cell lines tested. These results implied that macrophages mediate the action of lethal toxin in vivo and led us to investigate their role in death of the mammalian host. Sublytic concentrations of lethal toxin, orders of magnitude lower than those required to induce lysis of RAW 264.7 cells, were found to induce these cells to express interleukin 1 (IL-1) and tumor necrosis factor in vitro. Passive immunization against IL-1 or injection of an IL-1 receptor antagonist protected mice from toxin challenge, whereas anti-tumor necrosis factor provided little, if any, protection. These results imply that systemic shock and death from anthrax result primarily from the effects of high levels of cytokines, principally IL-1, produced by macrophages that have been stimulated by the anthrax lethal toxin. PMID:8234277

  10. Ratcheting up protein translocation with anthrax toxin

    PubMed Central

    Feld, Geoffrey K; Brown, Michael J; Krantz, Bryan A

    2012-01-01

    Energy-consuming nanomachines catalyze the directed movement of biopolymers in the cell. They are found both dissolved in the aqueous cytosol as well as embedded in lipid bilayers. Inquiries into the molecular mechanism of nanomachine-catalyzed biopolymer transport have revealed that these machines are equipped with molecular parts, including adjustable clamps, levers, and adaptors, which interact favorably with substrate polypeptides. Biological nanomachines that catalyze protein transport, known as translocases, often require that their substrate proteins unfold before translocation. An unstructured protein chain is likely entropically challenging to bind, push, or pull in a directional manner, especially in a way that produces an unfolding force. A number of ingenious solutions to this problem are now evident in the anthrax toxin system, a model used to study protein translocation. Here we highlight molecular ratchets and current research on anthrax toxin translocation. A picture is emerging of proton-gradient-driven anthrax toxin translocation, and its associated ratchet mechanism likely applies broadly to other systems. We suggest a cyclical thermodynamic order-to-disorder mechanism (akin to a heat-engine cycle) is central to underlying protein translocation: peptide substrates nonspecifically bind to molecular clamps, which possess adjustable affinities; polypeptide substrates compress into helical structures; these clamps undergo proton-gated switching; and the substrate subsequently expands regaining its unfolded state conformational entropy upon translocation. PMID:22374876

  11. Prevalence and airborne spore levels of Stachybotrys spp. in 200 houses with water incursions in Houston, Texas.

    PubMed

    Kuhn, Ryan C; Trimble, Mingyi W; Hofer, Vasanthi; Lee, Michael; Nassof, Russell S

    2005-01-01

    Two hundred homes with a history of water incursion were sampled for fungi to determine the prevalence and airborne spore levels of Stachybotrys spp. Sampling methods included room air, surface, and wall cavity air sampling. Stachybotrys spp. were detected with at least one of the methods in 58.5% of the houses tested, but only 9.6% of the room air samples contained Stachybotrys spores. Aerosolization of Stachybotrys spores was correlated with both wall cavity and surface contamination. However, after adjustment for the surface effect, Stachybotrys spores detected in wall cavities were not a significant factor contributing to spores detected in room air samples. We conclude that Stachybotrys spp. are commonly found on water-damaged building materials. In addition, the observations made in this study suggest that the impact on the living space air is low if the fungal spores are contained within a wall cavity.

  12. Anthrax in transit; practical experience and intellectual exchange.

    PubMed

    Jones, Susan D; Teigen, Philip M

    2008-09-01

    Focusing on three Anglo-American outbreaks of industrial anthrax, this essay engages the question of how local circumstances influenced the transmission of scientific knowledge in the late nineteenth century. Walpole (Massachusetts), Glasgow, and Bradford (Yorkshire) served as important nodes of transnational investigation into anthrax. Knowledge about the morphology and behavior of Bacillus anthracis changed little while in transit between these nodes, even during complex debates about the nature of bacterial morphology, disease causation, and spontaneous generation. Working independently of their more famous counterparts (Robert Koch and Louis Pasteur), Anglo-American anthrax investigators used visual representations of anthrax bacilli to persuade their peers that a specific, identifiable cause produced all forms of anthrax-malignant pustule (cutaneous anthrax), intestinal anthrax, and woolsorter's disease (pneumonic anthrax). By the late 1870s, this point of view also supported what we would today call an ecological notion of the disease's origins in the interactions of people, animals, and microorganisms in the context of global commerce. PMID:18959192

  13. Hydrazine vapor inactivates Bacillus spores

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schubert, Wayne W.; Engler, Diane L.; Beaudet, Robert A.

    2016-05-01

    NASA policy restricts the total number of bacterial spores that can remain on a spacecraft traveling to any planetary body which might harbor life or have evidence of past life. Hydrazine, N2H4, is commonly used as a propellant on spacecraft. Hydrazine as a liquid is known to inactivate bacterial spores. We have now verified that hydrazine vapor also inactivates bacterial spores. After Bacillus atrophaeus ATCC 9372 spores deposited on stainless steel coupons were exposed to saturated hydrazine vapor in closed containers, the spores were recovered from the coupons, serially diluted, pour plated and the surviving bacterial colonies were counted. The exposure times required to reduce the spore population by a factor of ten, known as the D-value, were 4.70 ± 0.50 h at 25 °C and 2.85 ± 0.13 h at 35 °C. These inactivation rates are short enough to ensure that the bioburden of the surfaces and volumes would be negligible after prolonged exposure to hydrazine vapor. Thus, all the propellant tubing and internal tank surfaces exposed to hydrazine vapor do not contribute to the total spore count.

  14. A Comparison of the Adaptive Immune Response between Recovered Anthrax Patients and Individuals Receiving Three Different Anthrax Vaccines

    PubMed Central

    Laws, Thomas R.; Kuchuloria, Tinatin; Chitadze, Nazibriola; Little, Stephen F.; Webster, Wendy M.; Debes, Amanda K.; Saginadze, Salome; Tsertsvadze, Nikoloz; Chubinidze, Mariam; Rivard, Robert G.; Tsanava, Shota; Dyson, Edward H.; Simpson, Andrew J. H.; Hepburn, Matthew J.; Trapaidze, Nino

    2016-01-01

    Several different human vaccines are available to protect against anthrax. We compared the human adaptive immune responses generated by three different anthrax vaccines or by previous exposure to cutaneous anthrax. Adaptive immunity was measured by ELISPOT to count cells that produce interferon (IFN)-γ in response to restimulation ex vivo with the anthrax toxin components PA, LF and EF and by measuring circulating IgG specific to these antigens. Neutralising activity of antisera against anthrax toxin was also assayed. We found that the different exposures to anthrax antigens promoted varying immune responses. Cutaneous anthrax promoted strong IFN-γ responses to all three antigens and antibody responses to PA and LF. The American AVA and Russian LAAV vaccines induced antibody responses to PA only. The British AVP vaccine produced IFN-γ responses to EF and antibody responses to all three antigens. Anti-PA (in AVA and LAAV vaccinees) or anti-LF (in AVP vaccinees) antibody titres correlated with toxin neutralisation activities. Our study is the first to compare all three vaccines in humans and show the diversity of responses against anthrax antigens. PMID:27007118

  15. A Comparison of the Adaptive Immune Response between Recovered Anthrax Patients and Individuals Receiving Three Different Anthrax Vaccines.

    PubMed

    Laws, Thomas R; Kuchuloria, Tinatin; Chitadze, Nazibriola; Little, Stephen F; Webster, Wendy M; Debes, Amanda K; Saginadze, Salome; Tsertsvadze, Nikoloz; Chubinidze, Mariam; Rivard, Robert G; Tsanava, Shota; Dyson, Edward H; Simpson, Andrew J H; Hepburn, Matthew J; Trapaidze, Nino

    2016-01-01

    Several different human vaccines are available to protect against anthrax. We compared the human adaptive immune responses generated by three different anthrax vaccines or by previous exposure to cutaneous anthrax. Adaptive immunity was measured by ELISPOT to count cells that produce interferon (IFN)-γ in response to restimulation ex vivo with the anthrax toxin components PA, LF and EF and by measuring circulating IgG specific to these antigens. Neutralising activity of antisera against anthrax toxin was also assayed. We found that the different exposures to anthrax antigens promoted varying immune responses. Cutaneous anthrax promoted strong IFN-γ responses to all three antigens and antibody responses to PA and LF. The American AVA and Russian LAAV vaccines induced antibody responses to PA only. The British AVP vaccine produced IFN-γ responses to EF and antibody responses to all three antigens. Anti-PA (in AVA and LAAV vaccinees) or anti-LF (in AVP vaccinees) antibody titres correlated with toxin neutralisation activities. Our study is the first to compare all three vaccines in humans and show the diversity of responses against anthrax antigens. PMID:27007118

  16. A Comparison of the Adaptive Immune Response between Recovered Anthrax Patients and Individuals Receiving Three Different Anthrax Vaccines.

    PubMed

    Laws, Thomas R; Kuchuloria, Tinatin; Chitadze, Nazibriola; Little, Stephen F; Webster, Wendy M; Debes, Amanda K; Saginadze, Salome; Tsertsvadze, Nikoloz; Chubinidze, Mariam; Rivard, Robert G; Tsanava, Shota; Dyson, Edward H; Simpson, Andrew J H; Hepburn, Matthew J; Trapaidze, Nino

    2016-01-01

    Several different human vaccines are available to protect against anthrax. We compared the human adaptive immune responses generated by three different anthrax vaccines or by previous exposure to cutaneous anthrax. Adaptive immunity was measured by ELISPOT to count cells that produce interferon (IFN)-γ in response to restimulation ex vivo with the anthrax toxin components PA, LF and EF and by measuring circulating IgG specific to these antigens. Neutralising activity of antisera against anthrax toxin was also assayed. We found that the different exposures to anthrax antigens promoted varying immune responses. Cutaneous anthrax promoted strong IFN-γ responses to all three antigens and antibody responses to PA and LF. The American AVA and Russian LAAV vaccines induced antibody responses to PA only. The British AVP vaccine produced IFN-γ responses to EF and antibody responses to all three antigens. Anti-PA (in AVA and LAAV vaccinees) or anti-LF (in AVP vaccinees) antibody titres correlated with toxin neutralisation activities. Our study is the first to compare all three vaccines in humans and show the diversity of responses against anthrax antigens.

  17. Fungal spores as potential ice nuclei in fog/cloud water and snow

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bauer, Heidi; Goncalves, Fabio L. T.; Schueller, Elisabeth; Puxbaum, Hans

    2010-05-01

    INTRODUCTION: In discussions about climate change and precipitation frequency biological ice nucleation has become an issue. While bacterial ice nucleation (IN) is already well characterized and even utilized in industrial processes such as the production of artificial snow or to improve freezing processes in food industry, less is known about the IN potential of fungal spores which are also ubiquitous in the atmosphere. A recent study performed at a mountain top in the Rocky Mountains suggests that fungal spores and/or pollen might play a role in increased IN abundance during periods of cloud cover (Bowers et al. 2009). In the present work concentrations of fungal spores in fog/cloud water and snow were determined. EXPERIMENTAL: Fog samples were taken with an active fog sampler in 2008 in a traffic dominated area and in a national park in São Paulo, Brazil. The number concentrations of fungal spores were determined by microscopic by direct enumeration by epifluorescence microscopy after staining with SYBR Gold nucleic acid gel stain (Bauer et al. 2008). RESULTS: In the fog water collected in the polluted area at a junction of two highly frequented highways around 22,000 fungal spores mL-1 were counted. Fog in the national park contained 35,000 spores mL-1. These results were compared with cloud water and snow samples from Mt. Rax, situated at the eastern rim of the Austrian Alps. Clouds contained on average 5,900 fungal spores mL-1 cloud water (1,300 - 11,000) or 2,200 spores m-3 (304 - 5,000). In freshly fallen snow spore concentrations were lower than in cloud water, around 1,000 fungal spores mL-1 were counted (Bauer et al. 2002). In both sets of samples representatives of the ice nucleating genus Fusarium could be observed. REFERENCES: Bauer, H., Kasper-Giebl, A., Löflund, M., Giebl, H., Hitzenberger, R., Zibuschka, F., Puxbaum, H. (2002). The contribution of bacteria and fungal spores to the organic carbon content of cloud water, precipitation and aerosols

  18. Effect of relative humidity on the aerodynamic diameter and respiratory deposition of fungal spores

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reponen, Tiina; Willeke, Klaus; Ulevicius, Vidmantas; Reponen, Auvo; Grinshpun, Sergey A.

    Exposure to airborne fungal spores may cause respiratory symptoms. The hygroscopicity of airborne spores may significantly affect their aerodynamic diameter, and thus change their deposition pattern in the human respiratory tract. We have investigated the change in aerodynamic diameter of five different fungal species as a function of relative humidity. Liquid and dry dispersion methods were explored for the aerosolization of the fungal spores. A new system that produces non-aggregated spore aerosol directly from a moldy surface was designed and found suitable for this study. The spores were aerosolized from a mold growth on agar by ducting dry air over the surface, and spore chains in the flow were broken up by passing the entire flow through a critical orifice. Size-spectrometric measurements with an Aerodynamic Particle Sizer showed that the aerodynamic diameter of the tested fungal spores does not change significantly when the relative humidity increases from 30% to 90%. A more distinct spore size increase was found at a relative humidity of ˜ 100%. The highest change of the aerodynamic diameter was found with Cladosporium cladosporioides: it increased from 1.8 μm to 2.3 μm when the relative humidity increased from 30% to ˜ 100%. The size increase corresponds to an approximate doubling of the particle volume. In order to estimate the effect of hygroscopic growth on the respiratory deposition of spores, the mean depositions in the human respiratory tract were calculated for fungal spores with various size changes due to hygroscopic growth. A recently developed model of the International Commission of Radiological Protection was used for the respiratory deposition calculations. We found that the 27% increase in Cladosporium size results in a 20-30% increase in the respiratory deposition of these spores. We conclude that most fungal spores are only slightly hygroscopic and the hygroscopic increase does not significantly affect their respiratory deposition. Our

  19. Spore Coat Architecture of Clostridium novyi-NT spores

    SciTech Connect

    Plomp, M; McCafferey, J; Cheong, I; Huang, X; Bettegowda, C; Kinzler, K; Zhou, S; Vogelstein, B; Malkin, A

    2007-05-07

    Spores of the anaerobic bacterium Clostridium novyi-NT are able to germinate in and destroy hypoxic regions of tumors in experimental animals. Future progress in this area will benefit from a better understanding of the germination and outgrowth processes that are essential for the tumorilytic properties of these spores. Towards this end, we have used both transmission electron microscopy and atomic force microscopy to determine the structure of dormant as well as germinating spores. We found that the spores are surrounded by an amorphous layer intertwined with honeycomb parasporal layers. Moreover, the spore coat layers had apparently self-assembled and this assembly was likely to be governed by crystal growth principles. During germination and outgrowth, the honeycomb layers as well as the underlying spore coat and undercoat layers sequentially dissolved until the vegetative cell was released. In addition to their implications for understanding the biology of C. novyi-NT, these studies document the presence of proteinaceous growth spirals in a biological organism.

  20. Sugars in Antarctic aerosol

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barbaro, Elena; Kirchgeorg, Torben; Zangrando, Roberta; Vecchiato, Marco; Piazza, Rossano; Barbante, Carlo; Gambaro, Andrea

    2015-10-01

    The processes and transformations occurring in the Antarctic aerosol during atmospheric transport were described using selected sugars as source tracers. Monosaccharides (arabinose, fructose, galactose, glucose, mannose, ribose, xylose), disaccharides (sucrose, lactose, maltose, lactulose), alcohol-sugars (erythritol, mannitol, ribitol, sorbitol, xylitol, maltitol, galactitol) and anhydrosugars (levoglucosan, mannosan and galactosan) were measured in the Antarctic aerosol collected during four different sampling campaigns. For quantification, a sensitive high-pressure anion exchange chromatography was coupled with a single quadrupole mass spectrometer. The method was validated, showing good accuracy and low method quantification limits. This study describes the first determination of sugars in the Antarctic aerosol. The total mean concentration of sugars in the aerosol collected at the "Mario Zucchelli" coastal station was 140 pg m-3; as for the aerosol collected over the Antarctic plateau during two consecutive sampling campaigns, the concentration amounted to 440 and 438 pg m-3. The study of particle-size distribution allowed us to identify the natural emission from spores or from sea-spray as the main sources of sugars in the coastal area. The enrichment of sugars in the fine fraction of the aerosol collected on the Antarctic plateau is due to the degradation of particles during long-range atmospheric transport. The composition of sugars in the coarse fraction was also investigated in the aerosol collected during the oceanographic cruise.

  1. The Ice Nucleation Ability of Selected Atmospherically Abundant Fungal Spores

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Iannone, R.; Chernoff, D. I.; Bertram, A. K.

    2010-12-01

    Ice clouds are widely recognized for their roles in the earth’s radiation budget and climate systems. However, their formation mechanisms are poorly understood thus constituting an uncertainty in the evaluation of the global radiation budget. An important mechanism of ice cloud formation is heterogeneous nucleation on aerosol particles. The surface properties of these particles, called ice nuclei (IN), directly affect the temperature at which ice nucleation occurs. There is a growing emphasis on the study of bioaerosols (e.g., bacteria, fungi, pollen) as IN since they are ubiquitous in the atmosphere. The focus of the current study is to determine the ice nucleation properties of spores obtained from a variety of fungi. Aerosolized spores were impacted onto a hydrophobic glass substrate and immersed in ultrapure water. A technique involving an optical light microscope coupled to a flow cell was used to precisely control temperature and humidity within the cell. A digital camera captured high-resolution video of the particles undergoing ice nucleation, allowing for the analyses of freezing events and particle sizes. The first experimental results using spores obtained from the fungal genera Cladosporium and Penicillium reveal an average temperature increase of ~1-5 K in the ice nucleation temperature compared to homogeneous nucleation (i.e., freezing of pure liquid water). Furthermore, there appears to be a relationship between the amount of spores present per droplet and the freezing temperature of water. These results are presented and discussed, and the potential contribution of these data to further the understanding of heterogeneous nucleation in the atmosphere is provided. Box plot summarizing freezing data for homogeneous nucleation experiments (leftmost box) and binned data from heterogeneous nucleation experiments involving spores of Cladosporium. Freezing data are distributed into 200 µm2 bins that represent the total area of all observable inclusions

  2. Identification and validation of specific markers of Bacillus anthracis spores by proteomics and genomics approaches.

    PubMed

    Chenau, Jérôme; Fenaille, François; Caro, Valérie; Haustant, Michel; Diancourt, Laure; Klee, Silke R; Junot, Christophe; Ezan, Eric; Goossens, Pierre L; Becher, François

    2014-03-01

    Bacillus anthracis is the causative bacteria of anthrax, an acute and often fatal disease in humans. The infectious agent, the spore, represents a real bioterrorism threat and its specific identification is crucial. However, because of the high genomic relatedness within the Bacillus cereus group, it is still a real challenge to identify B. anthracis spores confidently. Mass spectrometry-based tools represent a powerful approach to the efficient discovery and identification of such protein markers. Here we undertook comparative proteomics analyses of Bacillus anthracis, cereus and thuringiensis spores to identify proteoforms unique to B. anthracis. The marker discovery pipeline developed combined peptide- and protein-centric approaches using liquid chromatography coupled to tandem mass spectrometry experiments using a high resolution/high mass accuracy LTQ-Orbitrap instrument. By combining these data with those from complementary bioinformatics approaches, we were able to highlight a dozen novel proteins consistently observed across all the investigated B. anthracis spores while being absent in B. cereus/thuringiensis spores. To further demonstrate the relevance of these markers and their strict specificity to B. anthracis, the number of strains studied was extended to 55, by including closely related strains such as B. thuringiensis 9727, and above all the B. cereus biovar anthracis CI, CA strains that possess pXO1- and pXO2-like plasmids. Under these conditions, the combination of proteomics and genomics approaches confirms the pertinence of 11 markers. Genes encoding these 11 markers are located on the chromosome, which provides additional targets complementary to the commonly used plasmid-encoded markers. Last but not least, we also report the development of a targeted liquid chromatography coupled to tandem mass spectrometry method involving the selection reaction monitoring mode for the monitoring of the 4 most suitable protein markers. Within a proof

  3. Identification and Validation of Specific Markers of Bacillus anthracis Spores by Proteomics and Genomics Approaches*

    PubMed Central

    Chenau, Jérôme; Fenaille, François; Caro, Valérie; Haustant, Michel; Diancourt, Laure; Klee, Silke R.; Junot, Christophe; Ezan, Eric; Goossens, Pierre L.; Becher, François

    2014-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis is the causative bacteria of anthrax, an acute and often fatal disease in humans. The infectious agent, the spore, represents a real bioterrorism threat and its specific identification is crucial. However, because of the high genomic relatedness within the Bacillus cereus group, it is still a real challenge to identify B. anthracis spores confidently. Mass spectrometry-based tools represent a powerful approach to the efficient discovery and identification of such protein markers. Here we undertook comparative proteomics analyses of Bacillus anthracis, cereus and thuringiensis spores to identify proteoforms unique to B. anthracis. The marker discovery pipeline developed combined peptide- and protein-centric approaches using liquid chromatography coupled to tandem mass spectrometry experiments using a high resolution/high mass accuracy LTQ-Orbitrap instrument. By combining these data with those from complementary bioinformatics approaches, we were able to highlight a dozen novel proteins consistently observed across all the investigated B. anthracis spores while being absent in B. cereus/thuringiensis spores. To further demonstrate the relevance of these markers and their strict specificity to B. anthracis, the number of strains studied was extended to 55, by including closely related strains such as B. thuringiensis 9727, and above all the B. cereus biovar anthracis CI, CA strains that possess pXO1- and pXO2-like plasmids. Under these conditions, the combination of proteomics and genomics approaches confirms the pertinence of 11 markers. Genes encoding these 11 markers are located on the chromosome, which provides additional targets complementary to the commonly used plasmid-encoded markers. Last but not least, we also report the development of a targeted liquid chromatography coupled to tandem mass spectrometry method involving the selection reaction monitoring mode for the monitoring of the 4 most suitable protein markers. Within a proof

  4. Setting risk-informed environmental standards for Bacillus anthracis spores.

    PubMed

    Hong, Tao; Gurian, Patrick L; Ward, Nicholas F Dudley

    2010-10-01

    In many cases, human health risk from biological agents is associated with aerosol exposures. Because air concentrations decline rapidly after a release, it may be necessary to use concentrations found in other environmental media to infer future or past aerosol exposures. This article presents an approach for linking environmental concentrations of Bacillus. anthracis (B. anthracis) spores on walls, floors, ventilation system filters, and in human nasal passages with human health risk from exposure to B. anthracis spores. This approach is then used to calculate example values of risk-informed concentration standards for both retrospective risk mitigation (e.g., prophylactic antibiotics) and prospective risk mitigation (e.g., environmental clean up and reoccupancy). A large number of assumptions are required to calculate these values, and the resulting values have large uncertainties associated with them. The values calculated here suggest that documenting compliance with risks in the range of 10(-4) to 10(-6) would be challenging for small diameter (respirable) spore particles. For less stringent risk targets and for releases of larger diameter particles (which are less respirable and hence less hazardous), environmental sampling would be more promising.

  5. NASA Facts: SporeSat

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Martinez, Andres; Cappuccio, Gelsomina; Tomko, David

    2013-01-01

    SporeSat is an autonomous, free-flying three-unit (3U) spacecraft that will be used to conduct scientific experiments to gain a deeper knowledge of the mechanisms of plant cell gravity sensing. SporeSat is being developed through a partnership between NASAs Ames Research Center and the Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering at Purdue University. Amani Salim and Jenna L. Rickus are the Purdue University Principal Investigators. The SporeSat mission will be flown using a 3U nanosatellite weighing approximately 12 pounds and measuring 14 inches long by 4 inches wide by 4 inches tall. SporeSat will utilize flight-proven spacecraft technologies demonstrated on prior Ames nanosatellite missions such as PharmaSat and OrganismOrganic Exposure to Orbital Stresses (OOREOS) as well as upgrades that increase the hardware integration capabilities with SporeSat science instrumentation. In addition, the SporeSat science payload will serve as a technology platform to evaluate new microsensor technologies for enabling future fundamental biology missions.

  6. Identifying and Inactivating Bacterial Spores

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Newcombe, David; Dekas, Anne; Venkateswaran, Kasthuri

    2009-01-01

    Problems associated with, and new strategies for, inactivating resistant organisms like Bacillus canaveralius (found at Kennedy Space Center during a survey of three NASA cleanrooms) have been defined. Identifying the particular component of the spore that allows its heightened resistance can guide the development of sterilization procedures that are targeted to the specific molecules responsible for resistance, while avoiding using unduly harsh methods that jeopardize equipment. The key element of spore resistance is a multilayered protein shell that encases the spore called the spore coat. The coat of the best-studied spore-forming microbe, B. subtilis, consists of at least 45 proteins, most of which are poorly characterized. Several protective roles for the coat are well characterized including resistance to desiccation, large toxic molecules, ortho-phthalaldehyde, and ultraviolet (UV) radiation. One important long-term specific goal is an improved sterilization procedure that will enable NASA to meet planetary protection requirements without a terminal heat sterilization step. This would support the implementation of planetary protection policies for life-detection missions. Typically, hospitals and government agencies use biological indicators to ensure the quality control of sterilization processes. The spores of B. canaveralius that are more resistant to osmotic stress would serve as a better biological indicator for potential survival than those in use currently.

  7. [The ABCs on anthrax for health personnel].

    PubMed

    Valdespino-Gómez, J L; García-García, M L

    2001-01-01

    The purpose of this series of articles is to present to health personnel an updated summary on bioterrorism associated agents. In this first article an updated summary on anthrax is presented. Emphasis has been placed on the characteristics of cases which occurred during October in the United States of America and on the experience of governmental agencies of that country to face the emergency. Measures implemented in Mexico are described as well. The authors are convinced that the best arm against terror is timely and updated information.

  8. Bacillus anthracis spore interactions with mammalian cells: Relationship between germination state and the outcome of in vitro

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background During inhalational anthrax, internalization of Bacillus anthracis spores by host cells within the lung is believed to be a key step for initiating the transition from the localized to disseminated stages of infection. Despite compelling in vivo evidence that spores remain dormant within the bronchioalveolar spaces of the lungs, and germinate only after uptake into host cells, most in vitro studies of infection have been conducted under conditions that promote rapid germination of spores within the culture medium. Results Using an in vitro model of infection, we evaluated the influence of the germination state of B. anthracis spores, as controlled by defined culture conditions, on the outcome of infection. Spores prepared from B. anthracis Sterne 7702 germinated in a variety of common cell culture media supplemented with fetal bovine serum (FBS) while, in the absence of FBS, germination was strictly dependent on medium composition. RAW264.7 macrophage-like cells internalized spores to the same extent in either germinating or non-germinating media. However, significantly more viable, intracellular B. anthracis were recovered from cells infected under non-germinating conditions compared to germinating conditions. At the same time, RAW264.7 cells demonstrated a significant loss in viability when infected under non-germinating conditions. Conclusions These results suggest that the outcome of host cell infection is sensitive to the germination state of spores at the time of uptake. Moreover, this study demonstrates the efficacy of studying B. anthracis spore infection of host cells within a defined, non-germinating, in vitro environment. PMID:21356113

  9. Injectional anthrax - new presentation of an old disease.

    PubMed

    Berger, T; Kassirer, M; Aran, A A

    2014-08-14

    Bacillus anthracis infection (anthrax) has three distinct clinical presentations depending on the route of exposure: cutaneous, gastrointestinal and inhalational anthrax. Each of these can lead to secondary bacteraemia and anthrax meningitis. Since 2009,anthrax has emerged among heroin users in Europe,presenting a novel clinical manifestation, 'injectional anthrax', which has been attributed to contaminated heroin distributed throughout Europe; before 2009 only one case was reported. During 2012 and 2013,new cases of injectional anthrax were diagnosed in Denmark, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom.Here we present a comprehensive review of the literature and information derived from different reporting systems until 31 December 2013. Overall 70 confirmed cases were reported, with 26 fatalities (37% case fatality rate).The latest two confirmed cases occurred in March 2013. Thirteen case reports have been published,describing 18 confirmed cases. Sixteen of these presented as a severe soft tissue infection that differed clinically from cutaneous anthrax, lacked the characteristic epidemiological history of animal contact and ten cases required complimentary surgical debridement. These unfamiliar characteristics have led to delays of three to 12 days in diagnosis, inadequate treatment and a high fatality rate. Clinicians' awareness of this recently described clinical entity is key for early 'and successful management of patients.

  10. Effects of meteorological conditions on spore plumes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burch, M.; Levetin, E.

    2002-05-01

    Fungal spores are an ever-present component of the atmosphere, and have long been known to trigger asthma and hay fever symptoms in sensitive individuals. The atmosphere around Tulsa has been monitored for airborne spores and pollen with Burkard spore traps at several sampling stations. This study involved the examination of the hourly spore concentrations on days that had average daily concentrations near 50,000 spores/m3 or greater. Hourly concentrations of Cladosporium, Alternaria, Epicoccum, Curvularia, Pithomyces, Drechslera, smut spores, ascospores, basidiospores, other, and total spores were determined on 4 days at three sites and then correlated with hourly meteorological data including temperature, rainfall, wind speed, dew point, air pressure, and wind direction. On each of these days there was a spore plume, a phenomenon in which spore concentrations increased dramatically over a very short period of time. Spore plumes generally occurred near midday, and concentrations were seen to increase from lows around 20,000 total spores/m3 to highs over 170,000 total spores/m3 in 2 h. Multiple regression analysis of the data indicated that increases in temperature, dew point, and air pressure correlated with the increase in spore concentrations, but no single weather variable predicted the appearance of a spore plume. The proper combination of changes in these meteorological parameters that result in a spore plume may be due to the changing weather conditions associated with thunderstorms, as on 3 of the 4 days when spore plumes occurred there were thunderstorms later that evening. The occurrence of spore plumes may have clinical significance, because other studies have shown that sensitization to certain spore types can occur during exposure to high spore concentrations.

  11. Epidemic Anthrax in the Eighteenth Century, the Americas

    PubMed Central

    Morens, David M.

    2002-01-01

    Anthrax has been described as a veterinary disease of minor importance to clinical medicine, causing occasional occupational infections in single cases or clusters. Its potential for rapid and widespread epidemic transmission under natural circumstances has not been widely appreciated. A little-known 1770 epidemic that killed 15,000 people in Saint-Domingue (modern Haiti) was probably intestinal anthrax. The epidemic spread rapidly throughout the colony in association with consumption of uncooked beef. Large-scale, highly fatal epidemics of anthrax may occur under unusual but natural circumstances. Historical information may not only provide important clues about epidemic development but may also raise awareness about bioterrorism potential. PMID:12396933

  12. Calls about anthrax to the Texas Poison Center Network in relation to the anthrax bioterrorism attack in 2001.

    PubMed

    Forrester, Mathias B; Stanley, Sharilyn K

    2003-10-01

    Between October 4, 2001 and November 20, 2001, 22 cases of anthrax were identified in a bioterrorism attack on the US. This study examined the patterns of anthrax calls before and after the bioterrorist attack based on calls received by poison centers in Texas, a state that reported no anthrax cases as a result of the attack. During 1998-2002, 553 calls about anthrax were received. The majority of the anthrax calls occurred in 2001 (n = 489, 88.4%) and 2002 (n = 52, 9.4%). The number of calls increased greatly in the days after October 4, 2001, reaching a peak of 31 anthrax calls in 1 d and then declining sharply in succeeding months. However, by December 2002 the number of calls about anthrax still had not returned to pre-attack levels. This study demonstrated the value of poison centers in documenting public need for information on biological agents used in a terrorist attack, even if the attack did not occur in the area serviced by the poison center. Poison centers may expect to receive calls regarding a bioterrorist attack shortly after the public became aware of the attack and will continue to receive related calls for months afterward. Poison centers need to be prepared with appropriate information prior to such attacks to provide to the public upon request.

  13. Anthrax Toxin Entry into Polarized Epithelial Cells

    PubMed Central

    Beauregard, Kathryn E.; Wimer-Mackin, Susan; Collier, R. John; Lencer, Wayne I.

    1999-01-01

    We examined the entry of anthrax edema toxin (EdTx) into polarized human T84 epithelial cells using cyclic AMP-regulated Cl− secretion as an index of toxin entry. EdTx is a binary A/B toxin which self assembles at the cell surface from anthrax edema factor and protective antigen (PA). PA binds to cell surface receptors and delivers EF, an adenylate cyclase, to the cytosol. EdTx elicited a strong Cl− secretory response when it was applied to the basolateral surface of T84 cells but no response when it was applied to the apical surface. PA alone had no effect when it was applied to either surface. T84 cells exposed basolaterally bound at least 30-fold-more PA than did T84 cells exposed apically, indicating that the PA receptor is largely or completely restricted to the basolateral membrane of these cells. The PA receptor did not fractionate with detergent-insoluble caveola-like membranes as cholera toxin receptors do. These findings have implications regarding the nature of the PA receptor and confirm the view that EdTx and CT coopt fundamentally different subcellular systems to enter the cell and cause disease. PMID:10338515

  14. [Epidemiology studies regarding anthrax epidemic in Romania].

    PubMed

    Neguţ, M; Caplan, Dana Magdalena

    2002-01-01

    Antrax infection, a major bacterial zoonosis caused by B. anthracis, affects animals, particulary the herbivores. The infection can be accidentally transmitted to man, in whom it has two forms. Cutaneous anthrax, more frequently encountered (95%), the transmission being favoured by the contact with contaminated animal or, after the sacrifice of the animal, with various contaminated products (skin, wool, hair, especially of goat, as well as bones, meat, blood); the evolution is favourable following treatment. Internal (visceral)--pulmonary, gastro-intestinal, meningo-encephalytic--anthrax causes quasi-total mortality, despite treatment. Transmission is conditioned by the presence of sporulated forms. The bacteriological diagnosis is based on the detection of the germ on smears or cultures for various pathological specimens (skin lesions, blood, tissues, exudates, c.s.f., sputum, etc), rapid results being obtained by immunofluorescence. The serological diagnosis is indicated by the elevated titer of antibodies, detectable by immunological methods (ELISA). 81 pathological specimens and 16 soil samples suspected of B. anthracis were received by our laboratory in 2000 and were investigated for their morpho-cultural characteristics, under the microscope and using pathogenecity tests. Of the total number of samples investigated, B. anthracis was confirmed in 12 (12.37%) cases.

  15. Identification of capsule-forming Bacillus anthracis spores with the PCR and a novel dual-probe hybridization format.

    PubMed Central

    Reif, T C; Johns, M; Pillai, S D; Carl, M

    1994-01-01

    Anthrax is a fatal infection of humans and livestock that is caused by the gram-positive bacterium Bacillus anthracis. The virulent strains of B. anthracis are encapsulated and toxigenic. In this paper we describe the development of a PCR technique for identifying spores of B. anthracis. Two 20-mer oligonucleotide primers specific for the capB region of 60-MDa plasmid pXO2 were used for amplification. The amplification products were detected by using biotin- and fluorescein-labeled probes in a novel dual-probe hybridization format. Using the combination of PCR amplification and dual-probe hybridization, we detected two copies of the bacterial genome. Because the PCR assay could detect a minimum of 100 unprocessed spores per PCR mixture, we attempted to facilitate the release of DNA by comparing the effect of limited spore germination with the effect of mechanical spore disruption prior to PCR amplification. The two methods were equally effective and allowed us to identify single spores of B. anthracis in PCR mixtures. Images PMID:8017940

  16. Measuring Total and Germinable Spore Populations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Noell, A.C.; Yung, P.T.; Yang, W.; Lee, C.; Ponce, A.

    2011-01-01

    It has been shown that bacterial endospores can be enumerated using a microscopy based assay that images the luminescent halos from terbium ions bound to dipicolinic acid, a spore specific chemical marker released upon spore germination. Further development of the instrument has simplified it towards automation while at the same time improving image quality. Enumeration of total spore populations has also been developed allowing measurement of the percentage of viable spores in any population by comparing the germinable/culturable spores to the total. Percentage viability will allow a more quantitative comparison of the ability of spores to survive across a wide range of extreme environments.

  17. Biochemical properties of Clostridium bifermentans spores.

    PubMed Central

    Hausenbauer, J M; Waites, W M; Setlow, P

    1977-01-01

    As previously found for spores of Bacillus species, dormant spores of Clostridium bifermentans contained essentially no adenosine triphosphate, a high level of adenosine monophosphate, a high level of 3-phosphoglyceric acid, and much transfer ribonucleic acid lacking a 3'-terminal adenosine monophosphate residue. As in spores of Bacillus species, germination of C. bifermentans spores was accompanied by utilization of the 3-phosphoglyceric acid, a large increase in the adenosine triphosphate level, and the disappearance of defective transfer ribonucleic acid. In contrast to spores of Bacillus species, dormant spores of C. bifermentans contained little free amino acid. PMID:402349

  18. Identification of anthrax toxin genes in a Bacillus cereus associated with an illness resembling inhalation anthrax

    PubMed Central

    Hoffmaster, Alex R.; Ravel, Jacques; Rasko, David A.; Chapman, Gail D.; Chute, Michael D.; Marston, Chung K.; De, Barun K.; Sacchi, Claudio T.; Fitzgerald, Collette; Mayer, Leonard W.; Maiden, Martin C. J.; Priest, Fergus G.; Barker, Margaret; Jiang, Lingxia; Cer, Regina Z.; Rilstone, Jennifer; Peterson, Scott N.; Weyant, Robbin S.; Galloway, Darrell R.; Read, Timothy D.; Popovic, Tanja; Fraser, Claire M.

    2004-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis is the etiologic agent of anthrax, an acute fatal disease among mammals. It was thought to differ from Bacillus cereus, an opportunistic pathogen and cause of food poisoning, by the presence of plasmids pXO1 and pXO2, which encode the lethal toxin complex and the poly-γ-d-glutamic acid capsule, respectively. This work describes a non-B. anthracis isolate that possesses the anthrax toxin genes and is capable of causing a severe inhalation anthrax-like illness. Although initial phenotypic and 16S rRNA analysis identified this isolate as B. cereus, the rapid generation and analysis of a high-coverage draft genome sequence revealed the presence of a circular plasmid, named pBCXO1, with 99.6% similarity with the B. anthracis toxin-encoding plasmid, pXO1. Although homologues of the pXO2 encoded capsule genes were not found, a polysaccharide capsule cluster is encoded on a second, previously unidentified plasmid, pBC218. A/J mice challenged with B. cereus G9241 confirmed the virulence of this strain. These findings represent an example of how genomics could rapidly assist public health experts responding not only to clearly identified select agents but also to novel agents with similar pathogenic potentials. In this study, we combined a public health approach with genome analysis to provide insight into the correlation of phenotypic characteristics and their genetic basis. PMID:15155910

  19. Anthrax infection in bone meal from various countries of origin

    PubMed Central

    Davies, D. G.; Harvey, R. W. S.

    1972-01-01

    Using animal inoculation, three out of six Lebanese and three out of nine Argentinian and two out of two Pakistan separate commercial consignments of bone meal imported during 1970 were found to be infected with anthrax. PMID:4627264

  20. Human anthrax outbreak associated with livestock exposure: Georgia, 2012.

    PubMed

    Navdarashvili, A; Doker, T J; Geleishvili, M; Haberling, D L; Kharod, G A; Rush, T H; Maes, E; Zakhashvili, K; Imnadze, P; Bower, W A; Walke, H T; Shadomy, S V

    2016-01-01

    Human anthrax cases reported in the country of Georgia increased 75% from 2011 (n = 81) to 2012 (n = 142). This increase prompted a case-control investigation using 67 culture- or PCR-confirmed cases and 134 controls matched by residence and gender to investigate risk factor(s) for infection during the month before case onset. Independent predictors most strongly associated with disease in the multivariable modelling were slaughtering animals [odds ratio (OR) 7·3, 95% confidence interval (CI) 2·9-18·1, P 1 km; 15 (12%) of 125 had sick livestock; and 11 (9%) of 128 respondents reported finding dead livestock. We recommend joint public health and veterinary anthrax case investigations to identify areas of increased risk for livestock anthrax outbreaks, annual anthrax vaccination of livestock in those areas, and public awareness education.

  1. Identification of anthrax-specific signature sequence from Bacillus anthracis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rastogi, Vipin K.; Cheng, Tu-chen

    2001-08-01

    The primary objective was to identify and clone novel chromosomal DNA fragments for use as B. anthracis-specific markers. Towards this goal, 300 random primers (RAPD technology, randomly amplified polymorphic DNA) were screened to identify polymorphic loci on the anthrax chromosome. Five such DNA fragments uniquely amplifying from anthrax chromosome were identified and isolated. These fragments were cloned in pCR vector and sequenced. Database (genebank) analysis of one of the cloned probe, VRTC899, revealed the presence of specific chromosomal DNA probe, Ba813 from anthrax. This prove also contains flanking DNA with no homology to known sequences. Availability of signature DNA probes for detection of antrax-causing agent in environmental samples is critical for field application of DNA-based sensor technologies. In conclusion, we have demonstrated application of RAPD technology for identification of anthrax-specific signature sequences. This strategy can be extended to identify signature sequences from other BW agents.

  2. Profile and Morphology of Fungal Aerosols Characterized by Field Emission Scanning Electron Microscopy (FESEM)

    PubMed Central

    Afanou, Komlavi Anani; Straumfors, Anne; Skogstad, Asbjørn; Skaar, Ida; Hjeljord, Linda; Skare, Øivind; Green, Brett James; Tronsmo, Arne; Eduard, Wijnand

    2016-01-01

    Fungal aerosols consist of spores and fragments with diverse array of morphologies; however, the size, shape, and origin of the constituents require further characterization. In this study, we characterize the profile of aerosols generated from Aspergillus fumigatus, A. versicolor, and Penicillium chrysogenum grown for 8 weeks on gypsum boards. Fungal particles were aerosolized at 12 and 20 L min−1 using the Fungal Spore Source Strength Tester (FSSST) and the Stami particle generator (SPG). Collected particles were analyzed with field emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM). We observed spore particle fraction consisting of single spores and spore aggregates in four size categories, and a fragment fraction that contained submicronic fragments and three size categories of larger fragments. Single spores dominated the aerosols from A. fumigatus (median: 53%), while the submicronic fragment fraction was the highest in the aerosols collected from A. versicolor (median: 34%) and P. chrysogenum (median: 31%). Morphological characteristics showed near spherical particles that were only single spores, oblong particles that comprise some spore aggregates and fragments (<3.5 μm), and fiber-like particles that regroup chained spore aggregates and fragments (>3.5 μm). Further, the near spherical particles dominated the aerosols from A. fumigatus (median: 53%), while oblong particles were dominant in the aerosols from A. versicolor (68%) and P. chrysogenum (55%). Fiber-like particles represented 21% and 24% of the aerosols from A. versicolor and P. chrysogenum, respectively. This study shows that fungal particles of various size, shape, and origin are aerosolized, and supports the need to include a broader range of particle types in fungal exposure assessment. PMID:26855468

  3. Antitoxin Treatment of Inhalation Anthrax: A Systematic Review

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Eileen; Pillai, Satish K.; Bower, William A.; Hendricks, Katherine A.; Guarnizo, Julie T.; Hoyle, Jamechia D.; Gorman, Susan E.; Boyer, Anne E.; Quinn, Conrad P.; Meaney-Delman, Dana

    2016-01-01

    Concern about use of anthrax as a bioweapon prompted development of novel anthrax antitoxins for treatment. Clinical guidelines for the treatment of anthrax recommend antitoxin therapy in combination with intravenous antimicrobials; however, a large-scale or mass anthrax incident may exceed antitoxin availability and create a need for judicious antitoxin use. We conducted a systematic review of antitoxin treatment of inhalation anthrax in humans and experimental animals to inform antitoxin recommendations during a large-scale or mass anthrax incident. A comprehensive search of 11 databases and the FDA website was conducted to identify relevant animal studies and human reports: 28 animal studies and 3 human cases were identified. Antitoxin monotherapy at or shortly after symptom onset demonstrates increased survival compared to no treatment in animals. With early treatment, survival did not differ between antimicrobial monotherapy and antimicrobial-antitoxin therapy in nonhuman primates and rabbits. With delayed treatment, antitoxin-antimicrobial treatment increased rabbit survival. Among human cases, addition of antitoxin to combination antimicrobial treatment was associated with survival in 2 of the 3 cases treated. Despite the paucity of human data, limited animal data suggest that adjunctive antitoxin therapy may improve survival. Delayed treatment studies suggest improved survival with combined antitoxin-antimicrobial therapy, although a survival difference compared with antimicrobial therapy alone was not demonstrated statistically. In a mass anthrax incident with limited antitoxin supplies, antitoxin treatment of individuals who have not demonstrated a clinical benefit from antimicrobials, or those who present with more severe illness, may be warranted. Additional pathophysiology studies are needed, and a point-of-care assay correlating toxin levels with clinical status may provide important information to guide antitoxin use during a large-scale anthrax

  4. Antitoxin Treatment of Inhalation Anthrax: A Systematic Review.

    PubMed

    Huang, Eileen; Pillai, Satish K; Bower, William A; Hendricks, Katherine A; Guarnizo, Julie T; Hoyle, Jamechia D; Gorman, Susan E; Boyer, Anne E; Quinn, Conrad P; Meaney-Delman, Dana

    2015-01-01

    Concern about use of anthrax as a bioweapon prompted development of novel anthrax antitoxins for treatment. Clinical guidelines for the treatment of anthrax recommend antitoxin therapy in combination with intravenous antimicrobials; however, a large-scale or mass anthrax incident may exceed antitoxin availability and create a need for judicious antitoxin use. We conducted a systematic review of antitoxin treatment of inhalation anthrax in humans and experimental animals to inform antitoxin recommendations during a large-scale or mass anthrax incident. A comprehensive search of 11 databases and the FDA website was conducted to identify relevant animal studies and human reports: 28 animal studies and 3 human cases were identified. Antitoxin monotherapy at or shortly after symptom onset demonstrates increased survival compared to no treatment in animals. With early treatment, survival did not differ between antimicrobial monotherapy and antimicrobial-antitoxin therapy in nonhuman primates and rabbits. With delayed treatment, antitoxin-antimicrobial treatment increased rabbit survival. Among human cases, addition of antitoxin to combination antimicrobial treatment was associated with survival in 2 of the 3 cases treated. Despite the paucity of human data, limited animal data suggest that adjunctive antitoxin therapy may improve survival. Delayed treatment studies suggest improved survival with combined antitoxin-antimicrobial therapy, although a survival difference compared with antimicrobial therapy alone was not demonstrated statistically. In a mass anthrax incident with limited antitoxin supplies, antitoxin treatment of individuals who have not demonstrated a clinical benefit from antimicrobials, or those who present with more severe illness, may be warranted. Additional pathophysiology studies are needed, and a point-of-care assay correlating toxin levels with clinical status may provide important information to guide antitoxin use during a large-scale anthrax

  5. Revisiting the Concept of Targeting Only Bacillus anthracis Toxins as a Treatment for Anthrax.

    PubMed

    Glinert, Itai; Bar-David, Elad; Sittner, Assa; Weiss, Shay; Schlomovitz, Josef; Ben-Shmuel, Amir; Mechaly, Adva; Altboum, Zeev; Kobiler, David; Levy, Haim

    2016-08-01

    Protective antigen (PA)-based vaccines are effective in preventing the development of fatal anthrax disease both in humans and in relevant animal models. The Bacillus anthracis toxins lethal toxin (lethal factor [LF] plus PA) and edema toxin (edema factor [EF] plus PA) are essential for the establishment of the infection, as inactivation of these toxins results in attenuation of the pathogen. Since the toxins reach high toxemia levels at the bacteremic stages of the disease, the CDC's recommendations include combining antibiotic treatment with antitoxin (anti-PA) immunotherapy. We demonstrate here that while treatment with a highly potent neutralizing monoclonal antibody was highly efficient as postexposure prophylaxis treatment, it failed to protect rabbits with any detectable bacteremia (≥10 CFU/ml). In addition, we show that while PA vaccination was effective against a subcutaneous spore challenge, it failed to protect rabbits against systemic challenges (intravenous injection of vegetative bacteria) with the wild-type Vollum strain or a toxin-deficient mutant. To test the possibility that additional proteins, which are secreted by the bacteria under pathogenicity-stimulating conditions in vitro, may contribute to the vaccine's potency, we immunized rabbits with a secreted protein fraction from a toxin-null mutant. The antiserum raised against the secreted fraction reacts with the bacteria in an immunofluorescence assay. Immunization with the secreted protein fraction did not protect the rabbits against a systemic challenge with the fully pathogenic bacteria. Full protection was obtained only by a combined vaccination with PA and the secreted protein fraction. Therefore, these results indicate that an effective antiserum treatment in advanced stages of anthrax must include toxin-neutralizing antibodies in combination with antibodies against bacterial cell targets.

  6. Revisiting the Concept of Targeting Only Bacillus anthracis Toxins as a Treatment for Anthrax.

    PubMed

    Glinert, Itai; Bar-David, Elad; Sittner, Assa; Weiss, Shay; Schlomovitz, Josef; Ben-Shmuel, Amir; Mechaly, Adva; Altboum, Zeev; Kobiler, David; Levy, Haim

    2016-08-01

    Protective antigen (PA)-based vaccines are effective in preventing the development of fatal anthrax disease both in humans and in relevant animal models. The Bacillus anthracis toxins lethal toxin (lethal factor [LF] plus PA) and edema toxin (edema factor [EF] plus PA) are essential for the establishment of the infection, as inactivation of these toxins results in attenuation of the pathogen. Since the toxins reach high toxemia levels at the bacteremic stages of the disease, the CDC's recommendations include combining antibiotic treatment with antitoxin (anti-PA) immunotherapy. We demonstrate here that while treatment with a highly potent neutralizing monoclonal antibody was highly efficient as postexposure prophylaxis treatment, it failed to protect rabbits with any detectable bacteremia (≥10 CFU/ml). In addition, we show that while PA vaccination was effective against a subcutaneous spore challenge, it failed to protect rabbits against systemic challenges (intravenous injection of vegetative bacteria) with the wild-type Vollum strain or a toxin-deficient mutant. To test the possibility that additional proteins, which are secreted by the bacteria under pathogenicity-stimulating conditions in vitro, may contribute to the vaccine's potency, we immunized rabbits with a secreted protein fraction from a toxin-null mutant. The antiserum raised against the secreted fraction reacts with the bacteria in an immunofluorescence assay. Immunization with the secreted protein fraction did not protect the rabbits against a systemic challenge with the fully pathogenic bacteria. Full protection was obtained only by a combined vaccination with PA and the secreted protein fraction. Therefore, these results indicate that an effective antiserum treatment in advanced stages of anthrax must include toxin-neutralizing antibodies in combination with antibodies against bacterial cell targets. PMID:27270276

  7. Vaccine-induced protection against anthrax in cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) and black rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis).

    PubMed

    Turnbull, P C B; Tindall, B W; Coetzee, J D; Conradie, C M; Bull, R L; Lindeque, P M; Huebschle, O J B

    2004-09-01

    Institution of a policy of vaccination in endangered species with a vaccine not previously administered to it cannot be undertaken lightly. This applies even more in the case of cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) with their unusually monomorphic gene pool and the potential restrictions this places on their immune responses. However, the recently observed mortalities from anthrax in these animals in the Etosha National Park, Namibia, made it imperative to evaluate vaccination. Black rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis), another endangered species in the park, have been vaccinated for over three decades but the effectiveness of this has never been evaluated. Passive protection tests in A/J mice using sera from 12 cheetahs together with enzyme immunoassay indicated that cheetah are able to mount seemingly normal primary and secondary humoral immune responses to the Sterne 34F2 live spore livestock vaccine. Overall protection rates in mice injected with the sera rose and fell in concert with rises and declines in antibody titres, although fine analysis showed that the correlation between titre and protection was complex. Once a high level of protection (96% of mice 1 month after a second booster in the cheetahs) had been achieved, the duration of substantial protection appeared good (60% of the mice 5 months after the second booster). Protection conferred on mice by sera from three of four vaccinated rhino was almost complete, but, obscurely, none of the mice receiving serum from the fourth rhino were protected. Sera from three park lions with naturally acquired high antibody titres, included as controls, also conferred high levels of protection. For the purposes of wildlife management, the conclusions were that vaccination of cheetah with the standard animal anthrax vaccine causes no observable ill effect in the animals and does appear to confer protective immunity. At least one well-separated booster does appear to be desirable. Vaccination of rhino also appears to be justified

  8. Bacillus anthracis Capsular Conjugates Elicit Chimpanzee Polyclonal Antibodies That Protect Mice from Pulmonary Anthrax.

    PubMed

    Chen, Zhaochun; Schneerson, Rachel; Lovchik, Julie A; Dai, Zhongdong; Kubler-Kielb, Joanna; Agulto, Liane; Leppla, Stephen H; Purcell, Robert H

    2015-08-01

    The immunogenicity of Bacillus anthracis capsule (poly-γ-D-glutamic acid [PGA]) conjugated to recombinant B. anthracis protective antigen (rPA) or to tetanus toxoid (TT) was evaluated in two anthrax-naive juvenile chimpanzees. In a previous study of these conjugates, highly protective monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) against PGA were generated. This study examines the polyclonal antibody response of the same animals. Preimmune antibodies to PGA with titers of >10(3) were detected in the chimpanzees. The maximal titer of anti-PGA was induced within 1 to 2 weeks following the 1st immunization, with no booster effects following the 2nd and 3rd immunizations. Thus, the anti-PGA response in the chimpanzees resembled a secondary immune response. Screening of sera from nine unimmunized chimpanzees and six humans revealed antibodies to PGA in all samples, with an average titer of 10(3). An anti-PA response was also observed following immunization with PGA-rPA conjugate, similar to that seen following immunization with rPA alone. However, in contrast to anti-PGA, preimmune anti-PA antibody titers and those following the 1st immunization were ≤300, with the antibodies peaking above 10(4) following the 2nd immunization. The polyclonal anti-PGA shared the MAb 11D epitope and, similar to the MAbs, exerted opsonophagocytic killing of B. anthracis. Most important, the PGA-TT-induced antibodies protected mice from a lethal challenge with virulent B. anthracis spores. Our data support the use of PGA conjugates, especially PGA-rPA targeting both toxin and capsule, as expanded-spectrum anthrax vaccines.

  9. Fungal spores: hazardous to health?

    PubMed Central

    Sorenson, W G

    1999-01-01

    Fungi have long been known to affect human well being in various ways, including disease of essential crop plants, decay of stored foods with possible concomitant production of mycotoxins, superficial and systemic infection of human tissues, and disease associated with immune stimulation such as hypersensitivity pneumonitis and toxic pneumonitis. The spores of a large number of important fungi are less than 5 microm aerodynamic diameter, and therefore are able to enter the lungs. They also may contain significant amounts of mycotoxins. Diseases associated with inhalation of fungal spores include toxic pneumonitis, hypersensitivity pneumonitis, tremors, chronic fatigue syndrome, kidney failure, and cancer. PMID:10423389

  10. Rapid Detection of Viable Bacillus anthracis Spores in Environmental Samples by Using Engineered Reporter Phages.

    PubMed

    Sharp, Natasha J; Molineux, Ian J; Page, Martin A; Schofield, David A

    2016-04-01

    Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax, was utilized as a bioterrorism agent in 2001 when spores were distributed via the U.S. postal system. In responding to this event, the Federal Bureau of Investigation used traditional bacterial culture viability assays to ascertain the extent of contamination of the postal facilities within 24 to 48 h of environmental sample acquisition. Here, we describe a low-complexity, second-generation reporter phage assay for the rapid detection of viableB. anthracis spores in environmental samples. The assay uses an engineered B. anthracis reporter phage (Wβ::luxAB-2) which transduces bioluminescence to infected cells. To facilitate low-level environmental detection and maximize the signal response, expression of luxABin an earlier version of the reporter phage (Wβ::luxAB-1) was optimized. These alterations prolonged signal kinetics, increased light output, and improved assay sensitivity. Using Wβ::luxAB-2, detection of B. anthracis spores was 1 CFU in 8 h from pure cultures and as low as 10 CFU/g in sterile soil but increased to 10(5)CFU/g in unprocessed soil due to an unstable signal and the presence of competing bacteria. Inclusion of semiselective medium, mediated by a phage-expressed antibiotic resistance gene, maintained signal stability and enabled the detection of 10(4)CFU/g in 6 h. The assay does not require spore extraction and relies on the phage infecting germinating cells directly in the soil sample. This reporter phage displays promise for the rapid detection of low levels of spores on clean surfaces and also in grossly contaminated environmental samples from complex matrices such as soils. PMID:26873316

  11. Rapid Detection of Viable Bacillus anthracis Spores in Environmental Samples by Using Engineered Reporter Phages

    PubMed Central

    Sharp, Natasha J.; Molineux, Ian J.; Page, Martin A.

    2016-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax, was utilized as a bioterrorism agent in 2001 when spores were distributed via the U.S. postal system. In responding to this event, the Federal Bureau of Investigation used traditional bacterial culture viability assays to ascertain the extent of contamination of the postal facilities within 24 to 48 h of environmental sample acquisition. Here, we describe a low-complexity, second-generation reporter phage assay for the rapid detection of viable B. anthracis spores in environmental samples. The assay uses an engineered B. anthracis reporter phage (Wβ::luxAB-2) which transduces bioluminescence to infected cells. To facilitate low-level environmental detection and maximize the signal response, expression of luxAB in an earlier version of the reporter phage (Wβ::luxAB-1) was optimized. These alterations prolonged signal kinetics, increased light output, and improved assay sensitivity. Using Wβ::luxAB-2, detection of B. anthracis spores was 1 CFU in 8 h from pure cultures and as low as 10 CFU/g in sterile soil but increased to 105 CFU/g in unprocessed soil due to an unstable signal and the presence of competing bacteria. Inclusion of semiselective medium, mediated by a phage-expressed antibiotic resistance gene, maintained signal stability and enabled the detection of 104 CFU/g in 6 h. The assay does not require spore extraction and relies on the phage infecting germinating cells directly in the soil sample. This reporter phage displays promise for the rapid detection of low levels of spores on clean surfaces and also in grossly contaminated environmental samples from complex matrices such as soils. PMID:26873316

  12. Online monitoring of Escherichia coli and Bacillus thuringiensis spore inactivation after advanced oxidation treatment.

    PubMed

    Sherchan, Samendra P; Snyder, Shane A; Gerba, Charles P; Pepper, Ian L

    2014-01-01

    Various studies have shown that advanced oxidation processes (AOPs) such as UV light in combination with hydrogen peroxide is an efficient process for the removal of a large variety of emerging contaminants including microorganisms. The mechanism of destruction in the presence of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) is the enhanced formation of hydroxyl (·OH) radicals, which have a high oxidation potential. The goal of this study was to utilize in-line advanced oxidation to inactivate microbes, and document the inactivation via an in-line, real-time sensor. Escherichia coli cells and Bacillus thuringiensis spores were exposed to UV/H2O2 treatment in DI water, and the online sensor BioSentry(®) was evaluated for its potential to monitor inactivation in real-time. B. thuringiensis was selected as a non-pathogenic surrogate for B. anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax and a proven biological weapon. UV radiation and UV/H2O2 exposure resulted in a >6 log10 reduction of the viable culturable counts of E. coli vegetative cells, and a 3 log10 reduction of B. thuringiensis spores. Scanning electron microscopy of the treated samples revealed severe damage on the surface of most E. coli cells, yet there was no significant change observed in the morphology of the B. thuringiensis spores. Following AOP exposure, the BioSentry sensor showed an increase in the categories of unknown, rod and spores counts, but overall, did not correspond well with viable count assays. Data from this study show that advanced oxidation processes effectively inactivate E. coli vegetative cells, but not B. thuringiensis spores, which were more resistant to AOP. Further, the BioSentry in-line sensor was not successful in documenting destruction of the microbial cells in real-time.

  13. Proteomic profiling and identification of immunodominant spore antigens of Bacillus anthracis, Bacillus cereus, and Bacillus thuringiensis.

    PubMed

    Delvecchio, Vito G; Connolly, Joseph P; Alefantis, Timothy G; Walz, Alexander; Quan, Marian A; Patra, Guy; Ashton, John M; Whittington, Jessica T; Chafin, Ryan D; Liang, Xudong; Grewal, Paul; Khan, Akbar S; Mujer, Cesar V

    2006-09-01

    Differentially expressed and immunogenic spore proteins of the Bacillus cereus group of bacteria, which includes Bacillus anthracis, Bacillus cereus, and Bacillus thuringiensis, were identified. Comparative proteomic profiling of their spore proteins distinguished the three species from each other as well as the virulent from the avirulent strains. A total of 458 proteins encoded by 232 open reading frames were identified by matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time-of-flight mass spectrometry analysis for all the species. A number of highly expressed proteins, including elongation factor Tu (EF-Tu), elongation factor G, 60-kDa chaperonin, enolase, pyruvate dehydrogenase complex, and others exist as charge variants on two-dimensional gels. These charge variants have similar masses but different isoelectric points. The majority of identified proteins have cellular roles associated with energy production, carbohydrate transport and metabolism, amino acid transport and metabolism, posttranslational modifications, and translation. Novel vaccine candidate proteins were identified using B. anthracis polyclonal antisera from humans postinfected with cutaneous anthrax. Fifteen immunoreactive proteins were identified in B. anthracis spores, whereas 7, 14, and 7 immunoreactive proteins were identified for B. cereus and in the virulent and avirulent strains of B. thuringiensis spores, respectively. Some of the immunodominant antigens include charge variants of EF-Tu, glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase, dihydrolipoamide acetyltransferase, Delta-1-pyrroline-5-carboxylate dehydrogenase, and a dihydrolipoamide dehydrogenase. Alanine racemase and neutral protease were uniquely immunogenic to B. anthracis. Comparative analysis of the spore immunome will be of significance for further nucleic acid- and immuno-based detection systems as well as next-generation vaccine development.

  14. [First research work by Robert Koch on etiology of anthrax-in cooperation with Józef Knechtel, Polish apothecary].

    PubMed

    Bednarski, Zenobiusz; Bednarska, Hanna

    2003-01-01

    Terroristic attack on United States of America 11 September 2001 and just after many cases of anthrax spores employment as biological warfare called our attention to Robert Koch. He determined anthrax etiology and enclosed it in his first research work: Die Aetiologie der Milzbrand-Kranheit begrundet auf die Entwicklungsgeschichte des Bacillus Anthracis. The results of this research are widely described. In the scientific researches participated J. Knechtel, Pole, pharmacist, pharmacy owner in Wolsztyn. His adjacent laboratory near pharmacy was provided with microscope, camera, table and two chairs. Many slides and above mentioned article / without J. Knechtel as joint author/were the results of this findings. About cooperation Pole with R. Koch we found out from two letters doctor Brinkmann' s authorship and three reports explored by A. Skrobacki in Central Register Office in Merseburg. The objects mentioned above were delivered by J. Knechtel's widow as the gift to Institute of Infectious Diseases in Berlin in 1905. Robert Koch' s cooperation with a Polish pharmacist was concealed. It was caused by a historic background and the policy of Prussia - an invader state in relation to Polish people. The official demonstration of cooperation with a Polish pharmacist under these circumstances could not take place.

  15. Development of a Sterne-Based Complement Fixation Test to Monitor the Humoral Response Induced by Anthrax Vaccines

    PubMed Central

    Adone, Rosanna; Sali, Michela; Francia, Massimiliano; Iatarola, Michela; Donatiello, Adelia; Fasanella, Antonio

    2016-01-01

    Anthrax is a zoonotic disease caused by Bacillus anthracis spore-forming bacterium. Since it is primarily a disease of animals, the control in animals, and humans depend on the prevention in livestock, principally cattle, sheep, and goats. Most veterinary vaccines utilize the toxigenic, uncapsulated (pXO1+/pXO2–) B. anthracis strain 34F2 which affords protection through the production of neutralizing antibodies directed to the toxin components Protective Antigen (PA), Lethal Factor (LF), and Edema Factor (EF). The titration of specific antibodies in sera of vaccinated animals is crucial to evaluate the efficacy of the vaccination and to obtain epidemiological information for an effective anthrax surveillance. In this study, we developed a Sterne-based Complement Fixation Test (CFT) to detect specific antibodies induced in animals vaccinated with Sterne 34F2. We assessed its efficacy in laboratory animals and under field conditions by monitoring the humoral response induced by vaccination in cattle. The results indicated that the Sterne-based CFT is able to correctly identify vaccinated animals. It proved to be a very sensitive and specific test. Moreover, the Sterne-based CFT offers many benefits with regard to costs, standardization and reproducibility of the assay procedure. PMID:26858700

  16. An anthrax subunit vaccine candidate based on protective regions of Bacillus anthracis protective antigen and lethal factor.

    PubMed

    Baillie, Les W; Huwar, Theresa B; Moore, Stephen; Mellado-Sanchez, Gabriela; Rodriguez, Liliana; Neeson, Brendan N; Flick-Smith, Helen C; Jenner, Dominic C; Atkins, Helen S; Ingram, Rebecca J; Altmann, Danny M; Nataro, James P; Pasetti, Marcela F

    2010-09-24

    Studies have confirmed the key role of Bacillus anthracis protective antigen (PA) in the US and UK human anthrax vaccines. However, given the tripartite nature of the toxin, other components, including lethal factor (LF), are also likely to contribute to protection. We examined the antibody and T cell responses to PA and LF in human volunteers immunized with the UK anthrax vaccine (AVP). Individual LF domains were assessed for immunogenicity in mice when given alone or with PA. Based on the results obtained, a novel fusion protein comprising D1 of LF and the host cell-binding domain of PA (D4) was assessed for protective efficacy. Murine protection studies demonstrated that both full-length LF and D1 of LF conferred complete protection against a lethal intraperitoneal challenge with B. anthracis STI spores. Subsequent studies with the LFD1-PAD4 fusion protein showed a similar level of protection. LF is immunogenic in humans and is likely to contribute to the protection stimulated by AVP. A single vaccine comprising protective regions from LF and PA would simplify production and confer a broader spectrum of protection than that seen with PA alone. PMID:20691267

  17. An anthrax subunit vaccine candidate based on protective regions of Bacillus anthracis protective antigen and lethal factor.

    PubMed

    Baillie, Les W; Huwar, Theresa B; Moore, Stephen; Mellado-Sanchez, Gabriela; Rodriguez, Liliana; Neeson, Brendan N; Flick-Smith, Helen C; Jenner, Dominic C; Atkins, Helen S; Ingram, Rebecca J; Altmann, Danny M; Nataro, James P; Pasetti, Marcela F

    2010-09-24

    Studies have confirmed the key role of Bacillus anthracis protective antigen (PA) in the US and UK human anthrax vaccines. However, given the tripartite nature of the toxin, other components, including lethal factor (LF), are also likely to contribute to protection. We examined the antibody and T cell responses to PA and LF in human volunteers immunized with the UK anthrax vaccine (AVP). Individual LF domains were assessed for immunogenicity in mice when given alone or with PA. Based on the results obtained, a novel fusion protein comprising D1 of LF and the host cell-binding domain of PA (D4) was assessed for protective efficacy. Murine protection studies demonstrated that both full-length LF and D1 of LF conferred complete protection against a lethal intraperitoneal challenge with B. anthracis STI spores. Subsequent studies with the LFD1-PAD4 fusion protein showed a similar level of protection. LF is immunogenic in humans and is likely to contribute to the protection stimulated by AVP. A single vaccine comprising protective regions from LF and PA would simplify production and confer a broader spectrum of protection than that seen with PA alone.

  18. Recovery of Bacillus Spore Contaminants from Rough Surfaces: a Challenge to Space Mission Cleanliness Control▿

    PubMed Central

    Probst, Alexander; Facius, Rainer; Wirth, Reinhard; Wolf, Marco; Moissl-Eichinger, Christine

    2011-01-01

    Microbial contaminants on spacecraft can threaten the scientific integrity of space missions due to probable interference with life detection experiments. Therefore, space agencies measure the cultivable spore load (“bioburden”) of a spacecraft. A recent study has reported an insufficient recovery of Bacillus atrophaeus spores from Vectran fabric, a typical spacecraft airbag material (A. Probst, R. Facius, R. Wirth, and C. Moissl-Eichinger, Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 76:5148-5158, 2010). Here, 10 different sampling methods were compared for B. atrophaeus spore recovery from this rough textile, revealing significantly different efficiencies (0.5 to 15.4%). The most efficient method, based on the wipe-rinse technique (foam-spatula protocol; 13.2% efficiency), was then compared to the current European Space Agency (ESA) standard wipe assay in sampling four different kinds of spacecraft-related surfaces. Results indicate that the novel protocol out-performed the standard method with an average efficiency of 41.1% compared to 13.9% for the standard method. Additional experiments were performed by sampling Vectran fabric seeded with seven different spore concentrations and five different Bacillus species (B. atrophaeus, B. anthracis Sterne, B. megaterium, B. thuringiensis, and B. safensis). Among these, B. atrophaeus spores were recovered with the highest (13.2%) efficiency and B. anthracis Sterne spores were recovered with the lowest (0.3%) efficiency. Different inoculation methods of seeding spores on test surfaces (spotting and aerosolization) resulted in different spore recovery efficiencies. The results of this study provide a step forward in understanding the spore distribution on and recovery from rough surfaces. The results presented will contribute relevant knowledge to the fields of astrobiology and B. anthracis research. PMID:21216908

  19. Deletion modification enhances anthrax specific immunity and protective efficacy of a hepatitis B core particle-based anthrax epitope vaccine.

    PubMed

    Yin, Ying; Zhang, Sheng; Cai, Chenguang; Zhang, Jun; Dong, Dayong; Guo, Qiang; Fu, Ling; Xu, Junjie; Chen, Wei

    2014-02-01

    Protective antigen (PA) is one of the major virulence factors of anthrax and is also the major constituent of the current anthrax vaccine. Previously, we found that the 2β2-2β3 loop of PA contains a dominant neutralizing epitope, the SFFD. We successfully inserted the 2β2-2β3 loop of PA into the major immunodominant region (MIR) of hepatitis B virus core (HBc) protein. The resulting fusion protein, termed HBc-N144-PA-loop2 (HBcL2), can effectively produce anthrax specific protective antibodies in an animal model. However, the protective immunity caused by HBcL2 could still be improved. In this research, we removed amino acids 79-81 from the HBc MIR of the HBcL2. This region was previously reported to be the major B cell epitope of HBc, and in keeping with this finding, we observed that the short deletion in the MIR not only diminished the intrinsic immunogenicity of HBc but also stimulated a higher titer of anthrax specific immunity. Most importantly, this deletion led to the full protection of the immunized mice against a lethal dose anthrax toxin challenge. We supposed that the conformational changes which occurred after the short deletion and foreign insertion in the MIR of HBc were the most likely reasons for the improvement in the immunogenicity of the HBc-based anthrax epitope vaccine.

  20. Deletion modification enhances anthrax specific immunity and protective efficacy of a hepatitis B core particle-based anthrax epitope vaccine.

    PubMed

    Yin, Ying; Zhang, Sheng; Cai, Chenguang; Zhang, Jun; Dong, Dayong; Guo, Qiang; Fu, Ling; Xu, Junjie; Chen, Wei

    2014-02-01

    Protective antigen (PA) is one of the major virulence factors of anthrax and is also the major constituent of the current anthrax vaccine. Previously, we found that the 2β2-2β3 loop of PA contains a dominant neutralizing epitope, the SFFD. We successfully inserted the 2β2-2β3 loop of PA into the major immunodominant region (MIR) of hepatitis B virus core (HBc) protein. The resulting fusion protein, termed HBc-N144-PA-loop2 (HBcL2), can effectively produce anthrax specific protective antibodies in an animal model. However, the protective immunity caused by HBcL2 could still be improved. In this research, we removed amino acids 79-81 from the HBc MIR of the HBcL2. This region was previously reported to be the major B cell epitope of HBc, and in keeping with this finding, we observed that the short deletion in the MIR not only diminished the intrinsic immunogenicity of HBc but also stimulated a higher titer of anthrax specific immunity. Most importantly, this deletion led to the full protection of the immunized mice against a lethal dose anthrax toxin challenge. We supposed that the conformational changes which occurred after the short deletion and foreign insertion in the MIR of HBc were the most likely reasons for the improvement in the immunogenicity of the HBc-based anthrax epitope vaccine. PMID:24054942

  1. Modelling the impact of fungal spore ice nuclei on clouds and precipitation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sesartic, Ana; Lohmann, Ulrike; Storelvmo, Trude

    2013-04-01

    Fungal spores are part of the atmospheric bioaerosols such as pollen or bacteria. Interest in bioaerosols is mainly related to their health effects, impacts on agriculture, ice nucleation and cloud droplet activation, as well as atmospheric chemistry (Morris et al. 2011). Spores of some fungal species have been found to be very efficient ice nuclei, e.g. in laboratory studies by Pouleur et al. (1992). Recent field studies by Poehlker et al. (2012) found that fungal spores are important contributors to the development of mist and clouds in rainforest ecosystems. In our study we investigated the impact of fungal spores acting as ice nuclei on clouds and precipitation on a global scale. Fungal spores as a new aerosol species were introduced into the global climate model ECHAM5-HAM (Sesartic et al. 2012) using observational fungal spore data compiled by Sesartic & Dallafior (2011). The addition of fungal spores lead to only minor changes in cloud formation and precipitation on a global level, however, changes in the liquid water path and ice water path as well as stratiform precipitation in the model were observed in the boreal regions where tundra and forests act as sources of fungal spores. This goes hand in hand with a decreased ice crystal number concentration and increased effective radius of ice crystals. An increase in stratiform precipitation and snowfall can be observed in those regions as well. Although fungal spores contribute to heterogeneous freezing, their impact in the model was reduced by their low numbers compared to other heterogeneous ice nuclei. These results for fungal spores are comparable to the ones achieved with bacteria (Sesartic et al. 2012). REFERENCES Morris, C. E. et al. 2011: Microbiology and atmospheric processes: research challenges concerning the impact of airborne micro-organisms on the atmosphere and climate, Biogeosciences, 8, 17-25. Poehlker, C. et al. 2012: Biogenic Potassium Salt Particles as Seeds for Secondary Organic Aerosol

  2. The Gonzo Scientist. Flunking Spore.

    PubMed

    Bohannon, John

    2008-10-24

    The blockbuster video game Spore is being marketed as a science-based adventure that brings evolution, cell biology, and even astrophysics to the masses. But after grading the game's science with a team of researchers, the Gonzo Scientist has some bad news. PMID:18948523

  3. Evaluation of Inhaled Versus Deposited Dose Using the Exponential Dose-Response Model for Inhalational Anthrax in Nonhuman Primate, Rabbit, and Guinea Pig.

    PubMed

    Gutting, Bradford W; Rukhin, Andrey; Mackie, Ryan S; Marchette, David; Thran, Brandolyn

    2015-05-01

    The application of the exponential model is extended by the inclusion of new nonhuman primate (NHP), rabbit, and guinea pig dose-lethality data for inhalation anthrax. Because deposition is a critical step in the initiation of inhalation anthrax, inhaled doses may not provide the most accurate cross-species comparison. For this reason, species-specific deposition factors were derived to translate inhaled dose to deposited dose. Four NHP, three rabbit, and two guinea pig data sets were utilized. Results from species-specific pooling analysis suggested all four NHP data sets could be pooled into a single NHP data set, which was also true for the rabbit and guinea pig data sets. The three species-specific pooled data sets could not be combined into a single generic mammalian data set. For inhaled dose, NHPs were the most sensitive (relative lowest LD50) species and rabbits the least. Improved inhaled LD50 s proposed for use in risk assessment are 50,600, 102,600, and 70,800 inhaled spores for NHP, rabbit, and guinea pig, respectively. Lung deposition factors were estimated for each species using published deposition data from Bacillus spore exposures, particle deposition studies, and computer modeling. Deposition was estimated at 22%, 9%, and 30% of the inhaled dose for NHP, rabbit, and guinea pig, respectively. When the inhaled dose was adjusted to reflect deposited dose, the rabbit animal model appears the most sensitive with the guinea pig the least sensitive species.

  4. Bioterrorism: Lessons Learned Since the Anthrax Mailings

    PubMed Central

    Casadevall, Arturo

    2011-01-01

    Abstract In the fall of 2001, Bacillus anthracis spores were spread through letters mailed in the United States. Twenty-two people are known to have been infected, and five of these individuals died. Together with the  September 11 attacks, this resulted in a reevaluation of the risks and benefits of life science research with the potential for misuse. In this editorial, we review some of the results of these discussions and their implications for the future. PMID:22027008

  5. Water absorption in a refractive index model for bacterial spores

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Siegrist, K. M.; Thrush, E.; Airola, M.; Carr, A. K.; Limsui, D. M.; Boggs, N. T.; Thomas, M. E.; Carter, C. C.

    2009-05-01

    The complexity of biological agents can make it difficult to identify the important factors impacting scattering characteristics among variables such as size, shape, internal structure and biochemical composition, particle aggregation, and sample additives. This difficulty is exacerbated by the environmentally interactive nature of biological organisms. In particular, bacterial spores equilibrate with environmental humidity by absorption/desorption of water which can affect both the complex refractive index and the size/shape distributions of particles - two factors upon which scattering characteristics depend critically. Therefore accurate analysis of experimental data for determination of refractive index must take account of particle water content. First, spectral transmission measurements to determine visible refractive index done on suspensions of bacterial spores must account for water (or other solvent) uptake. Second, realistic calculations of aerosol scattering cross sections should consider effects of atmospheric humidity on particle water content, size and shape. In this work we demonstrate a method for determining refractive index of bacterial spores bacillus atropheus (BG), bacillus thuringiensis (BT) and bacillus anthracis Sterne (BAs) which accounts for these effects. Visible index is found from transmission measurements on aqueous and DMSO suspensions of particles, using an anomalous diffraction approximation. A simplified version of the anomalous diffraction theory is used to eliminate the need for knowledge of particle size. Results using this approach indicate the technique can be useful in determining the visible refractive index of particles when size and shape distributions are not well known but fall within the region of validity of anomalous dispersion theory.

  6. Optimizing Bacillus subtilis spore isolation and quantifying spore harvest purity.

    PubMed

    Harrold, Zoë R; Hertel, Mikaela R; Gorman-Lewis, Drew

    2011-12-01

    Investigating the biochemistry, resilience and environmental interactions of bacterial endospores often requires a pure endospore biomass free of vegetative cells. Numerous endospore isolation methods, however, neglect to quantify the purity of the final endospore biomass. To ensure low vegetative cell contamination we developed a quality control technique that enables rapid quantification of endospore harvest purity. This method quantifies spore purity using bright-field and fluorescence microscopy imaging in conjunction with automated cell counting software. We applied this method to Bacillus subtilis endospore harvests isolated using a two-phase separation method that utilizes mild chemicals. The average spore purity of twenty-two harvests was 88±11% (error is 1σ) with a median value of 93%. A spearman coefficient of 0.97 correlating automated and manual bacterial counts confirms the accuracy of software generated data. PMID:21989299

  7. An overview of anthrax infection including the recently identified form of disease in injection drug users

    PubMed Central

    Hicks, Caitlin W.; Sweeney, Daniel A.; Cui, Xizhong; Li, Yan

    2012-01-01

    Purpose 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. Methods This review summarizes the microbiology, pathogenesis, diagnosis, and management of anthrax. Results and conclusions 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. PMID:22527064

  8. Investigation and control of anthrax outbreak at the human-animal interface, Bhutan, 2010.

    PubMed

    Thapa, Nirmal K; Tenzin; Wangdi, Karma; Dorji, Tshering; Migma; Dorjee, Jambay; Marston, Chung K; Hoffmaster, Alex R

    2014-09-01

    In 2010, we investigated anthrax outbreak in Bhutan. A total of 43 domestic animals died, and cutaneous anthrax developed in 9 persons, and 1 died. All affected persons had contact with the carcasses of infected animals. Comprehensive preparedness and response guidelines are needed to increase public awareness of anthrax in Bhutan.

  9. 76 FR 34994 - Vaccine To Protect Children From Anthrax-Public Engagement Workshop

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-06-15

    ... HUMAN SERVICES Vaccine To Protect Children From Anthrax--Public Engagement Workshop AGENCY: Office of... Biodefense Science Board's (NBSB) Anthrax Vaccine (AV) Working Group (WG) will hold a public engagement workshop on July 7, 2011, to discuss vaccine to protect children from anthrax. This meeting is open to...

  10. Isolating and Purifying Clostridium difficile Spores.

    PubMed

    Edwards, Adrianne N; McBride, Shonna M

    2016-01-01

    The ability for the obligate anaerobe, Clostridium difficile to form a metabolically dormant spore is critical for the survival of this organism outside of the host. This spore form is resistant to a myriad of environmental stresses, including heat, desiccation, and exposure to disinfectants and antimicrobials. These intrinsic properties of spores allow C. difficile to survive long-term in an oxygenated environment, to be easily transmitted from host-to-host, and to persist within the host following antibiotic treatment. Because of the importance of the spore form to the C. difficile life cycle and treatment and prevention of C. difficile infection (CDI), the isolation and purification of spores are necessary to study the mechanisms of sporulation and germination, investigate spore properties and resistances, and for use in animal models of CDI. Here we provide basic protocols, in vitro growth conditions, and additional considerations for purifying C. difficile spores for a variety of downstream applications. PMID:27507337

  11. Comparison of four commercial DNA extraction kits for the recovery of Bacillus spp. spore DNA from spiked powder samples.

    PubMed

    Mölsä, Markos; Kalin-Mänttäri, Laura; Tonteri, Elina; Hemmilä, Heidi; Nikkari, Simo

    2016-09-01

    Bacillus spp. include human pathogens such as Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax and a biothreat agent. Bacillus spp. form spores that are physically highly resistant and may remain active over sample handling. We tested four commercial DNA extraction kits (QIAamp DNA Mini Kit, RTP Pathogen Kit, ZR Fungal/Bacterial DNA MiniPrep, and genesig Easy DNA/RNA Extraction kit) for sample inactivation and DNA recovery from two powders (icing sugar and potato flour) spiked with Bacillus thuringiensis spores. The DNA was analysed using a B. thuringiensis-specific real-time PCR assay. The detection limit was 3×10(1)CFU of spiked B. thuringiensis spores with the QIAamp DNA Mini, RTP Pathogen, and genesig Easy DNA/RNA Extraction kits, and 3×10(3)CFU with the ZR Fungal/Bacterial DNA MiniPrep kit. The results showed that manual extraction kits are effective and safe for fast and easy DNA extraction from powder samples even in field conditions. Adding a DNA filtration step to the extraction protocol ensures the removal of Bacillus spp. spores from DNA samples without affecting sensitivity. PMID:27435532

  12. Measurement of 100 B. anthracis Ames spores within 15 minutes by SERS at the US Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Ctr.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Farquharson, Stuart; Shende, Chetan; Smith, Wayne; Huang, Hermes; Sperry, Jay; Sickler, Todd; Prugh, Amber; Guicheteau, Jason

    2014-05-01

    Since the distribution of Bacillus anthracis-Ames spores through the US Postal System, there has been a persistent fear that biological warfare agents will be used by terrorists against our military abroad and our civilians at home. While there has been substantial effort since the anthrax attack of 2001 to develop analyzers to detect this and other biological warfare agents, the analyzers remain either too slow, lack sensitivity, produce high false-positive rates, or cannot be fielded. In an effort to overcome these limitations we have been developing a surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy system. Here we describe the use of silver nanoparticles functionalized with a short peptide to selectively capture Bacillus anthracis spores and produce SER scattering. Specifically, measurements of 100 B. anthracis-Ames spores/mL in ~25 minutes performed at the US Army's Edgewood Chemical Biological Center are presented. The measurements provide a basis for the development of systems that can detect spores collected from the air or water supplies with the potential of saving lives during a biological warfare attack.

  13. Public response to an anthrax attack: reactions to mass prophylaxis in a scenario involving inhalation anthrax from an unidentified source.

    PubMed

    SteelFisher, Gillian; Blendon, Robert; Ross, Laura J; Collins, Blanche C; Ben-Porath, Eran N; Bekheit, Mark M; Mailhot, Johanna R

    2011-09-01

    An attack with Bacillus anthracis ("anthrax") is a known threat to the United States. When weaponized, it can cause inhalation anthrax, the deadliest form of the disease. Due to the rapid course of inhalation anthrax, delays in initiation of antibiotics may decrease survival chances. Because a rapid response would require cooperation from the public, there is a need to understand the public's response to possible mass dispensing programs. To examine the public's response to a mass prophylaxis program, this study used a nationally representative poll of 1,092 adults, supplemented by a targeted focus on 3 metropolitan areas where anthrax attacks occurred in 2001: New York City (n=517), Washington, DC (n=509), and Trenton/Mercer County, NJ (n=507). The poll was built around a "worst-case scenario" in which cases of inhalation anthrax are discovered without an identified source and the entire population of a city or town is asked to receive antibiotic prophylaxis within a 48-hour period. Findings from this poll provide important signs of public willingness to comply with public health recommendations for obtaining antibiotics from a dispensing site, although they also indicate that public health officials may face several challenges to compliance, including misinformation about the contagiousness of inhalation anthrax; fears about personal safety in crowds; distrust of government agencies to provide sufficient, safe, and effective medicine; and hesitation about ingesting antibiotic pills after receiving them. In general, people living in areas where anthrax attacks occurred in 2001 had responses similar to those of the nation as a whole.

  14. High-sensitivity MALDI-TOF MS quantification of anthrax lethal toxin for diagnostics and evaluation of medical countermeasures.

    PubMed

    Boyer, Anne E; Gallegos-Candela, Maribel; Quinn, Conrad P; Woolfitt, Adrian R; Brumlow, Judith O; Isbell, Katherine; Hoffmaster, Alex R; Lins, Renato C; Barr, John R

    2015-04-01

    Inhalation anthrax has a rapid progression and high fatality rate. Pathology and death from inhalation of Bacillus anthracis spores are attributed to the actions of secreted protein toxins. Protective antigen (PA) binds and imports the catalytic component lethal factor (LF), a zinc endoprotease, and edema factor (EF), an adenylyl cyclase, into susceptible cells. PA-LF is termed lethal toxin (LTx) and PA-EF, edema toxin. As the universal transporter for both toxins, PA is an important target for vaccination and immunotherapeutic intervention. However, its quantification has been limited to methods of relatively low analytic sensitivity. Quantification of LTx may be more clinically relevant than LF or PA alone because LTx is the toxic form that acts on cells. A method was developed for LTx-specific quantification in plasma using anti-PA IgG magnetic immunoprecipitation of PA and quantification of LF activity that co-purified with PA. The method was fast (<4 h total time to detection), sensitive at 0.033 ng/mL LTx in plasma for the fast analysis (0.0075 ng/mL LTx in plasma for an 18 h reaction), precise (6.3-9.9% coefficient of variation), and accurate (0.1-12.7%error; n ≥ 25). Diagnostic sensitivity was 100% (n = 27 animal/clinical cases). Diagnostic specificity was 100% (n = 141). LTx was detected post-antibiotic treatment in 6/6 treated rhesus macaques and 3/3 clinical cases of inhalation anthrax and as long as 8 days post-treatment. Over the course of infection in two rhesus macaques, LTx was first detected at 0.101 and 0.237 ng/mL at 36 h post-exposure and increased to 1147 and 12,107 ng/mL in late-stage anthrax. This demonstrated the importance of LTx as a diagnostic and therapeutic target. This method provides a sensitive, accurate tool for anthrax toxin detection and evaluation of PA-directed therapeutics.

  15. Tumor Targeting and Drug Delivery by Anthrax Toxin.

    PubMed

    Bachran, Christopher; Leppla, Stephen H

    2016-01-01

    Anthrax toxin is a potent tripartite protein toxin from Bacillus anthracis. It is one of the two virulence factors and causes the disease anthrax. The receptor-binding component of the toxin, protective antigen, needs to be cleaved by furin-like proteases to be activated and to deliver the enzymatic moieties lethal factor and edema factor to the cytosol of cells. Alteration of the protease cleavage site allows the activation of the toxin selectively in response to the presence of tumor-associated proteases. This initial idea of re-targeting anthrax toxin to tumor cells was further elaborated in recent years and resulted in the design of many modifications of anthrax toxin, which resulted in successful tumor therapy in animal models. These modifications include the combination of different toxin variants that require activation by two different tumor-associated proteases for increased specificity of toxin activation. The anthrax toxin system has proved to be a versatile system for drug delivery of several enzymatic moieties into cells. This highly efficient delivery system has recently been further modified by introducing ubiquitin as a cytosolic cleavage site into lethal factor fusion proteins. This review article describes the latest developments in this field of tumor targeting and drug delivery. PMID:27376328

  16. Tumor Targeting and Drug Delivery by Anthrax Toxin

    PubMed Central

    Bachran, Christopher; Leppla, Stephen H.

    2016-01-01

    Anthrax toxin is a potent tripartite protein toxin from Bacillus anthracis. It is one of the two virulence factors and causes the disease anthrax. The receptor-binding component of the toxin, protective antigen, needs to be cleaved by furin-like proteases to be activated and to deliver the enzymatic moieties lethal factor and edema factor to the cytosol of cells. Alteration of the protease cleavage site allows the activation of the toxin selectively in response to the presence of tumor-associated proteases. This initial idea of re-targeting anthrax toxin to tumor cells was further elaborated in recent years and resulted in the design of many modifications of anthrax toxin, which resulted in successful tumor therapy in animal models. These modifications include the combination of different toxin variants that require activation by two different tumor-associated proteases for increased specificity of toxin activation. The anthrax toxin system has proved to be a versatile system for drug delivery of several enzymatic moieties into cells. This highly efficient delivery system has recently been further modified by introducing ubiquitin as a cytosolic cleavage site into lethal factor fusion proteins. This review article describes the latest developments in this field of tumor targeting and drug delivery. PMID:27376328

  17. Ultraviolet-Resistant Bacterial Spores

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Venkateswaran, Kasthuri; Newcombe, David; LaDuc, Myron T.; Osman, Shariff R.

    2007-01-01

    A document summarizes a study in which it was found that spores of the SAFR-032 strain of Bacillus pumilus can survive doses of ultraviolet (UV) radiation, radiation, and hydrogen peroxide in proportions much greater than those of other bacteria. The study was part of a continuing effort to understand the survivability of bacteria under harsh conditions and develop means of sterilizing spacecraft to prevent biocontamination of Mars that could interfere with the search for life there.

  18. Bedding disposal cabinet for containment of aerosols generated by animal cage cleaning procedures.

    PubMed

    Baldwin, C L; Sabel, F L; Henke, C B

    1976-02-01

    Laboratory tests with aerosolized spores and animal room tests with uranine dye indicate the effectiveness of a prototype bedding disposal cabinet in reducing airborne contamination generated by cage cleaning procedures. PMID:826219

  19. Bedding disposal cabinet for containment of aerosols generated by animal cage cleaning procedures.

    PubMed Central

    Baldwin, C L; Sabel, F L; Henke, C B

    1976-01-01

    Laboratory tests with aerosolized spores and animal room tests with uranine dye indicate the effectiveness of a prototype bedding disposal cabinet in reducing airborne contamination generated by cage cleaning procedures. Images PMID:826219

  20. Anthrax Toxin-Expressing Bacillus cereus Isolated from an Anthrax-Like Eschar

    PubMed Central

    Marston, Chung K.; Ibrahim, Hisham; Lee, Philip; Churchwell, George; Gumke, Megan; Stanek, Danielle; Gee, Jay E.; Boyer, Anne E.; Gallegos-Candela, Maribel; Barr, John R.; Li, Han; Boulay, Darbi; Cronin, Li; Quinn, Conrad P.; Hoffmaster, Alex R.

    2016-01-01

    Bacillus cereus isolates have been described harboring Bacillus anthracis toxin genes, most notably B. cereus G9241, and capable of causing severe and fatal pneumonias. This report describes the characterization of a B. cereus isolate, BcFL2013, associated with a naturally occurring cutaneous lesion resembling an anthrax eschar. Similar to G9241, BcFL2013 is positive for the B. anthracis pXO1 toxin genes, has a multi-locus sequence type of 78, and a pagA sequence type of 9. Whole genome sequencing confirms the similarity to G9241. In addition to the chromosome having an average nucleotide identity of 99.98% when compared to G9241, BcFL2013 harbors three plasmids with varying homology to the G9241 plasmids (pBCXO1, pBC210 and pBFH_1). This is also the first report to include serologic testing of patient specimens associated with this type of B. cereus infection which resulted in the detection of anthrax lethal factor toxemia, a quantifiable serum antibody response to protective antigen (PA), and lethal toxin neutralization activity. PMID:27257909

  1. Anthrax Toxin-Expressing Bacillus cereus Isolated from an Anthrax-Like Eschar.

    PubMed

    Marston, Chung K; Ibrahim, Hisham; Lee, Philip; Churchwell, George; Gumke, Megan; Stanek, Danielle; Gee, Jay E; Boyer, Anne E; Gallegos-Candela, Maribel; Barr, John R; Li, Han; Boulay, Darbi; Cronin, Li; Quinn, Conrad P; Hoffmaster, Alex R

    2016-01-01

    Bacillus cereus isolates have been described harboring Bacillus anthracis toxin genes, most notably B. cereus G9241, and capable of causing severe and fatal pneumonias. This report describes the characterization of a B. cereus isolate, BcFL2013, associated with a naturally occurring cutaneous lesion resembling an anthrax eschar. Similar to G9241, BcFL2013 is positive for the B. anthracis pXO1 toxin genes, has a multi-locus sequence type of 78, and a pagA sequence type of 9. Whole genome sequencing confirms the similarity to G9241. In addition to the chromosome having an average nucleotide identity of 99.98% when compared to G9241, BcFL2013 harbors three plasmids with varying homology to the G9241 plasmids (pBCXO1, pBC210 and pBFH_1). This is also the first report to include serologic testing of patient specimens associated with this type of B. cereus infection which resulted in the detection of anthrax lethal factor toxemia, a quantifiable serum antibody response to protective antigen (PA), and lethal toxin neutralization activity. PMID:27257909

  2. Anthrax Toxin-Expressing Bacillus cereus Isolated from an Anthrax-Like Eschar.

    PubMed

    Marston, Chung K; Ibrahim, Hisham; Lee, Philip; Churchwell, George; Gumke, Megan; Stanek, Danielle; Gee, Jay E; Boyer, Anne E; Gallegos-Candela, Maribel; Barr, John R; Li, Han; Boulay, Darbi; Cronin, Li; Quinn, Conrad P; Hoffmaster, Alex R

    2016-01-01

    Bacillus cereus isolates have been described harboring Bacillus anthracis toxin genes, most notably B. cereus G9241, and capable of causing severe and fatal pneumonias. This report describes the characterization of a B. cereus isolate, BcFL2013, associated with a naturally occurring cutaneous lesion resembling an anthrax eschar. Similar to G9241, BcFL2013 is positive for the B. anthracis pXO1 toxin genes, has a multi-locus sequence type of 78, and a pagA sequence type of 9. Whole genome sequencing confirms the similarity to G9241. In addition to the chromosome having an average nucleotide identity of 99.98% when compared to G9241, BcFL2013 harbors three plasmids with varying homology to the G9241 plasmids (pBCXO1, pBC210 and pBFH_1). This is also the first report to include serologic testing of patient specimens associated with this type of B. cereus infection which resulted in the detection of anthrax lethal factor toxemia, a quantifiable serum antibody response to protective antigen (PA), and lethal toxin neutralization activity.

  3. Dances with anthrax: wolves (Canis lupus) kill anthrax bacteremic plains bison (Bison bison bison) in southwestern Montana.

    PubMed

    Blackburn, Jason K; Asher, Valpa; Stokke, Stephen; Hunter, David L; Alexander, Kathleen A

    2014-04-01

    Bacillus anthracis, the cause of anthrax, was recovered from two plains bison (Bison bison bison) cows killed by wolves (Canis lupus) in Montana, USA, without associated wolf mortality in July 2010. This bison herd experienced an epizootic in summer 2008, killing ∼ 8% of the herd, the first documented in the region in several decades. No wolf deaths were associated with the 2008 event. Surveillance has continued since 2008, with research, ranch, and wildlife personnel diligent during summer. As part of this, we tested wolf-killed bison and elk (Cervus elaphus) for anthrax during the 2010 summer using lateral flow immunochromatographic assays (LFIA). Two bison cows were positive for protective antigen, confirming active bacteremia. The LFIA results were confirmed with traditional bacteriology recovering viable B. anthracis. No wolf fatalities were associated with the bison deaths, despite consuming the meat. Low-level anthrax occurrence in large, rough terrain landscapes remains difficult to detect, particularly if mortality in the herbivore host is not a consequence of infection. In these instances, surveillance of predators with large home ranges may provide a more sensitive indicator of anthrax emergence or reemergence in such systems. Though speculative, it is also possible that anthrax infection in the bison increased predation risk. These results also suggest B. anthracis remains a threat to wildlife and associated livestock in southwestern Montana.

  4. The walk and jump of Equisetum spores.

    PubMed

    Marmottant, Philippe; Ponomarenko, Alexandre; Bienaimé, Diane

    2013-11-01

    Equisetum plants (horsetails) reproduce by producing tiny spherical spores that are typically 50 µm in diameter. The spores have four elaters, which are flexible ribbon-like appendages that are initially wrapped around the main spore body and that deploy upon drying or fold back in humid air. If elaters are believed to help dispersal, the exact mechanism for spore motion remains unclear in the literature. In this manuscript, we present observations of the 'walks' and 'jumps' of Equisetum spores, which are novel types of spore locomotion mechanisms compared to the ones of other spores. Walks are driven by humidity cycles, each cycle inducing a small step in a random direction. The dispersal range from the walk is limited, but the walk provides key steps to either exit the sporangium or to reorient and refold. Jumps occur when the spores suddenly thrust themselves after being tightly folded. They result in a very efficient dispersal: even spores jumping from the ground can catch the wind again, whereas non-jumping spores stay on the ground. The understanding of these movements, which are solely driven by humidity variations, conveys biomimetic inspiration for a new class of self-propelled objects. PMID:24026816

  5. The walk and jump of Equisetum spores

    PubMed Central

    Marmottant, Philippe; Ponomarenko, Alexandre; Bienaimé, Diane

    2013-01-01

    Equisetum plants (horsetails) reproduce by producing tiny spherical spores that are typically 50 µm in diameter. The spores have four elaters, which are flexible ribbon-like appendages that are initially wrapped around the main spore body and that deploy upon drying or fold back in humid air. If elaters are believed to help dispersal, the exact mechanism for spore motion remains unclear in the literature. In this manuscript, we present observations of the ‘walks’ and ‘jumps’ of Equisetum spores, which are novel types of spore locomotion mechanisms compared to the ones of other spores. Walks are driven by humidity cycles, each cycle inducing a small step in a random direction. The dispersal range from the walk is limited, but the walk provides key steps to either exit the sporangium or to reorient and refold. Jumps occur when the spores suddenly thrust themselves after being tightly folded. They result in a very efficient dispersal: even spores jumping from the ground can catch the wind again, whereas non-jumping spores stay on the ground. The understanding of these movements, which are solely driven by humidity variations, conveys biomimetic inspiration for a new class of self-propelled objects. PMID:24026816

  6. Wanted, an Anthrax vaccine: Dead or Alive?

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Kendall A

    2005-01-01

    It has been more than 100 years since the realization that microbes are capable of causing disease. In that time, we have learned a great deal as to how each organism has adapted to the immune system so as to avoid elimination. As well, we have also learned an immense amount since Louis Pasteur first proposed that the solution to infectious diseases was to culture the microbes and attenuate their virulence, so as to use them as vaccines. From the optimism and promise of the 19th century and immunization as the ultimate answer to the invasion by the microbial world, to the scientific realities of the 21st century, it is of interest to retrace the steps of the earliest microbiologists cum immunologists, to realize how far we've come, as well as how far we yet have to go. This editorial focuses on the history of anthrax as a microbial disease, and the earliest efforts at producing a vaccine for its prevention. PMID:15836780

  7. Sverdlovsk Anthrax Outbreak: An Educational Case Study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Steele, S. J.; van der Vink, G.

    2002-05-01

    In April and May of 1979 an Anthrax epidemic broke out in the city of Sverdlovsk (now Ekaterinburg) in the former Soviet Union. Sixty-four people were reported to have died from the outbreak, although there is still debate concerning the actual number of victims. While Soviet officials initially attributed this outbreak to contaminated meat, the US Government maintained that the outbreak was due to a leakage from a biological weapons facility. We have created and implemented an undergraduate educational exercise based on the forensic analysis of this event. Students were provided case data of the victims, area satellite images and meteorological data. One goal of the exercise was for students to reconstruct the most probable scenario of events through valid inference based on the limited information and uncertainties associated with the data set. Another goal was to make students sensitive to issues of biological weapons and bioterrorism. The exercise was highly rated by students even before the events of September 11. There is a clear need to educate students, particularly in the sciences, to be aware of the signatures of terrorist activities. Evidence of terrorist activities is more likely to appear from unintended discoveries than from active intelligence gathering. We believe our national security can be enhanced by sensitizing those that monitor the natural environment to the signatures of terrorist activities through the types of educational exercises that we have developed.

  8. Antimicrobial Postexposure Prophylaxis for Anthrax: Adverse Events and Adherence

    PubMed Central

    Soriano-Gabarro, Montse; Zell, Elizabeth R.; Hayslett, James; Lukacs, Susan; Goldstein, Susan; Factor, Stephanie; Jones, Joshua; Ridzon, Renee; Williams, Ian; Rosenstein, Nancy

    2002-01-01

    We collected data during postexposure antimicrobial prophylaxis campaigns and from a prophylaxis program evaluation 60 days after start of antimicrobial prophylaxis involving persons from six U.S. sites where Bacillus anthracis exposures occurred. Adverse events associated with antimicrobial prophylaxis to prevent anthrax were commonly reported, but hospitalizations and serious adverse events as defined by Food and Drug Administration criteria were rare. Overall adherence during 60 days of antimicrobial prophylaxis was poor (44%), ranging from 21% of persons exposed in the Morgan postal facility in New York City to 64% of persons exposed at the Brentwood postal facility in Washington, D.C. Adherence was highest among participants in an investigational new drug protocol to receive additional antibiotics with or without anthrax vaccine—a likely surrogate for anthrax risk perception. Adherence of <60 days was not consistently associated with adverse events. PMID:12396927

  9. Anthrax in wildlife in the Luangwa Valley, Zambia.

    PubMed

    Turnbull, P C; Bell, R H; Saigawa, K; Munyenyembe, F E; Mulenga, C K; Makala, L H

    1991-04-27

    An abnormally high mortality among hippos (Hippopotamus amphibius) in the Luangwa River valley between June and November 1987 and estimated to number more than 4000 deaths was attributed to anthrax. Several other species, particularly Cape buffalo (Syncerus caffer) and elephant (Loxodonta africana), appear to have been affected. A smaller outbreak of anthrax in hippos occurred between August and September 1988, approximately 100 km up-river. A field study was arranged in August 1989 to assess the extent of environmental contamination by Bacillus anthracis and the risks to people in the area, to study possible methods of control and to equip local laboratory staff for continued monitoring of the disease. The study confirmed the enzootic status of the region. The characteristics of the outbreaks of anthrax in 1987 and 1988, and the results of the field study are described.

  10. Antimicrobial effects of gold/copper sulphide (Gold/Copper monosulfide) core/shell nanoparticles on Bacillus anthracis spores and cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Addae, Ebenezer

    Bacillus anthracis is a gram positive, rod shaped and spore forming bacteria. It causes anthrax, a deadly human and animal disease that can kill its victims in three days. The spores of B. anthracis can survive extreme environmental conditions for decades and germinate when exposed to proper conditions. Due to its potential as a bio-weapon, effective disinfectants that pose less harm to the environment and animals are urgently needed. Metal nanoparticles have the potential of killing microbial cells and spores. We present here the effect of Gold/Copper Sulphide core/shell (Au/CuS) nanoparticles on B. anthracis cells and spores. The results indicated that the continuous presence of 0.83 microM during the spore growth in nutrient medium completely inhibited spore outgrowth. Au/CuS nanoparticles at concentration of 4.15 μM completely inactivated B. anthracis cells (x 107) after 30 min of pre-treatment in any of the three buffers including water, PBS, and nutrient broth. However, the same and even higher concentrations of nanoparticles produce no significant spore (x 105) killing after 24 h of pre-treatment. SEM imaging, EDS analysis, and DNA extrusion experiments revealed that nanoparticles damaged the cell membrane causing DNA and cytosolic content efflux and eventually cell death. The study demonstrated the strong antimicrobial activity of Au/CuS nanoparticles to B. anthracis cells and revealed that Au/CuS NPs showed more effective inactivation effect against the cells than they did against the spores.

  11. Recovery efficiency and limit of detection of aerosolized Bacillus anthracis Sterne from environmental surface samples.

    PubMed

    Estill, Cheryl Fairfield; Baron, Paul A; Beard, Jeremy K; Hein, Misty J; Larsen, Lloyd D; Rose, Laura; Schaefer, Frank W; Noble-Wang, Judith; Hodges, Lisa; Lindquist, H D Alan; Deye, Gregory J; Arduino, Matthew J

    2009-07-01

    After the 2001 anthrax incidents, surface sampling techniques for biological agents were found to be inadequately validated, especially at low surface loadings. We aerosolized Bacillus anthracis Sterne spores within a chamber to achieve very low surface loading (ca. 3, 30, and 200 CFU per 100 cm(2)). Steel and carpet coupons seeded in the chamber were sampled with swab (103 cm(2)) or wipe or vacuum (929 cm(2)) surface sampling methods and analyzed at three laboratories. Agar settle plates (60 cm(2)) were the reference for determining recovery efficiency (RE). The minimum estimated surface concentrations to achieve a 95% response rate based on probit regression were 190, 15, and 44 CFU/100 cm(2) for sampling steel surfaces and 40, 9.2, and 28 CFU/100 cm(2) for sampling carpet surfaces with swab, wipe, and vacuum methods, respectively; however, these results should be cautiously interpreted because of high observed variability. Mean REs at the highest surface loading were 5.0%, 18%, and 3.7% on steel and 12%, 23%, and 4.7% on carpet for the swab, wipe, and vacuum methods, respectively. Precision (coefficient of variation) was poor at the lower surface concentrations but improved with increasing surface concentration. The best precision was obtained with wipe samples on carpet, achieving 38% at the highest surface concentration. The wipe sampling method detected B. anthracis at lower estimated surface concentrations and had higher RE and better precision than the other methods. These results may guide investigators to more meaningfully conduct environmental sampling, quantify contamination levels, and conduct risk assessment for humans.

  12. Spores of most common airborne fungi reveal no ice nucleation activity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pummer, B. G.; Atanasova, L.; Bauer, H.; Bernardi, J.; Druzhinina, I. S.; Grothe, H.

    2013-06-01

    Fungal spores are ubiquitous biological aerosols, which are considered to show ice nucleation (IN) activity. In this study the respective IN activity was tested in oil emulsion in the immersion freezing mode. The focus was laid on species of economical, ecological or sanitary significance. For the first time, not only common moulds, but also edible mushrooms (Basidiomycota, Agaricomycetes) were investigated, as they contribute massively to the total amount of fungal spores in the atmosphere. Only Fusarium avenaceum showed freezing events at low subzero-temperatures, while the other investigated fungal spores showed no significant IN activity. Furthermore, we selected a set of fungal strains from different sites and exposed them to occasional freezing stress during cultivation. Although the total protein expression was altered by this treatment, it had no significant impact on the IN activity.

  13. Potent inhibitors of anthrax lethal factor from green tea

    PubMed Central

    Dell'Aica, Isabella; Donà, Massimo; Tonello, Fiorella; Piris, Alejandro; Mock, Michèle; Montecucco, Cesare; Garbisa, Spiridione

    2004-01-01

    The anthrax lethal factor (LF) has a major role in the development of anthrax. LF is delivered by the protective antigen (PA) inside the cell, where it exerts its metalloprotease activity on the N-terminus of MAPK-kinases. PA+LF are cytotoxic to macrophages in culture and kill the Fischer 344 rat when injected intravenously. We describe here the properties of some polyphenols contained in green tea as powerful inhibitors of LF metalloproteolytic activity, and how the main catechin of green tea, (−)epigallocatechin-3-gallate, prevents the LF-induced death of macrophages and Fischer 344 rats. PMID:15031715

  14. Agar-Gel Precipitin Technique in Anthrax Antibody Determinations1

    PubMed Central

    Ray, John G.; Kadull, Paul J.

    1964-01-01

    A modification of the agar-gel precipitation inhibition technique of Thorne and Belton for detecting anthrax antibodies reduces inconsistency of visually determined end points on the same sera observed by different technicians. Determination of the minimal reacting concentrations of the anthrax antigen and antibody reagents, modifications of the visualization apparatus, methods for combining reagents, and length of incubation periods contribute to the ease of the end-point determinations and the uniformity of results. When compared with the previous technique, the modified procedure is less time-consuming while retaining satisfactory reproducibility, simplicity, specificity, and sensitivity. Images FIG. 1 FIG. 2 PMID:14201088

  15. Release of Bacterial Spores from the Inner Walls of a Stainless Steel Cup Subjected to Thermal Stresses and Mechanical Shock

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wolochow, H.; Chatigny, M.; Hebert, J.

    1973-01-01

    The release and fallout of particulates from surfaces afforded thermal or impact stress is of concern for control of contamination of Mars from planetary landing vehicles. A metal vessel contaminated by aerosols of spores was used as a model system and the fallout of spores as affected by various mechanisms was examined. Thermal stresses simulating those expected on the Mars lander dislodged approximately .01% of the aerosol deposited surface burden as did a landing shock of 8 to 10G deceleration. Spores imprinted by finger or swab contact yielded similar results. In all cases where repeated cycling of temperature, motion, or shock were employed the majority of fallout occurred in the first cycle. Particles released from the surface were predominantly in the size range 1 to 5 microns.

  16. Effects of inhaled fine dust on lung tissue changes and antibody response induced by spores of opportunistic fungi in goats

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The objective of this study was to compare the immunity and pathology induced by spores of Mucor ramosissimus and Trichoderma viride given by intratracheal inoculation of goats following exposure to sterile fine dust aerosol. Thirty-six weanling Boer-Spanish goats were used. A prospective randomize...

  17. On the fate of ingested Bacillus spores.

    PubMed

    Spinosa, M R; Braccini, T; Ricca, E; De Felice, M; Morelli, L; Pozzi, G; Oggioni, M R

    2000-06-01

    Spores of various Bacillus species, including B. subtilis, B. cereus and B. clausii, are used as probiotics, although they are generally absent from the normal microflora of man. We used two nonpathogenic Bacillus species, B. subtilis and B. clausii, to follow the fate of spores inoculated intragastrically in mice. We did not find detectable amounts of vegetative cells in intestinal samples, probably because of high toxicity of the conjugated bile salt taurodeoxycholic acid against Bacillus species. Both spores and cells were detected in the lymph nodes and spleen of one mouse. Our results indicate that Bacillus is present in the intestinal tract solely as spores and that nonpathogenic Bacillus spores may germinate in lymphoid organs, a finding reminiscent of B. anthracis germination in macrophages. These results indicate that any claimed probiotic effect of B. subtilis should be due to spores or, alternatively, to vegetative growth outside the intestine. PMID:10919516

  18. Experimental Technique for Studying Aerosols of Lyophilized Bacteria

    PubMed Central

    Cox, Christopher S.; Derr, John S.; Flurie, Eugene G.; Roderick, Roger C.

    1970-01-01

    An experimental technique is presented for studying aerosols generated from lyophilized bacteria by using Escherichia coli B, Bacillus subtilis var. niger, Enterobacter aerogenes, and Pasteurella tularensis. An aerosol generator capable of creating fine particle aerosols of small quantities (10 mg) of lyophilized powder under controlled conditions of exposure to the atmosphere is described. The physical properties of the aerosols are investigated as to the distribution of number of aerosol particles with particle size as well as to the distribution of number of bacteria with particle size. Biologically unstable vegetative cells were quantitated physically by using 14C and Europium chelate stain as tracers, whereas the stable heat-shocked B. subtilis spores were assayed biologically. The physical persistence of the lyophilized B. subtilis aerosol is investigated as a function of size of spore-containing particles. The experimental result that physical persistence of the aerosol in a closed aerosol chamber increases as particle size is decreased is satisfactorily explained on the bases of electrostatic, gravitational, inertial, and diffusion forces operating to remove particles from the particular aerosol system. The net effect of these various forces is to provide, after a short time interval in the system (about 2 min), an aerosol of fine particles with enhanced physical stability. The dependence of physical stability of the aerosol on the species of organism and the nature of the suspending medium for lyophilization is indicated. Also, limitations and general applicability of both the technique and results are discussed. PMID:4992657

  19. Evaluation of fungal spore characteristics in Beijing, China, based on molecular tracer measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liang, Linlin; Engling, Guenter; He, Kebin; Du, Zhenyu; Cheng, Yuan; Duan, Fengkui

    2013-03-01

    PM2.5 (particulate matter with aerodynamic diameters less than 2.5 μm) and PM10 (particulate matter with aerodynamic diameters less than 10 μm) samples were collected by high-volume air samplers simultaneously at a rural site and an urban site in Beijing, China. Various carbohydrates were quantified by high-performance anion exchange chromatography with pulsed amperometric detection (HPAEC-PAD), including the sugar alcohols mannitol and arabitol, recently proposed as molecular tracers for fungal aerosol. The annual average concentrations of arabitol in PM2.5 and PM10 at the urban site were 7.4 ± 9.4 and 21.0 ± 20.4 ng m-3, and the respective mannitol concentrations were 10.3 ± 9.5 and 31.9 ± 26.9 ng m-3. During summer and autumn, higher arabitol and mannitol levels than during spring and winter were observed in coarse particles, probably due to different dominant sources of fungal spores in different seasons. In the dry season (i.e., winter and spring) in Beijing, probably only the suspension from exposed surfaces (e.g., soil resuspension, transported dust, etc) can be regarded as the main sources for fungal aerosols. On the other hand, in summer and autumn, fungal spores in the atmosphere can be derived from more complex sources, including plants, vegetation decomposition and agricultural activity, such as ploughing; these fungal spore sources may contribute more to coarse PM. Moreover, statistical analysis according to typical seasonal patterns, including a dry season (December 2010 to March 2011) and a wet season (July to September 2011), revealed different variations of fungal spores in different seasons. Although fungal spore levels at rural sites were reported to be consistently higher than those at urban sites in other studies, our findings showed the opposite pattern, indicating a high abundance of fungal spores in the urban area of this Chinese megacity.

  20. Inducing and Quantifying Clostridium difficile Spore Formation.

    PubMed

    Shen, Aimee; Fimlaid, Kelly A; Pishdadian, Keyan

    2016-01-01

    The Gram-positive nosocomial pathogen Clostridium difficile induces sporulation during growth in the gastrointestinal tract. Sporulation is necessary for this obligate anaerobe to form metabolically dormant spores that can resist antibiotic treatment, survive exit from the mammalian host, and transmit C. difficile infections. In this chapter, we describe a method for inducing C. difficile sporulation in vitro. This method can be used to study sporulation and maximize spore purification yields for a number of C. difficile strain backgrounds. We also describe procedures for visualizing spore formation using phase-contrast microscopy and for quantifying the efficiency of sporulation using heat resistance as a measure of functional spore formation. PMID:27507338

  1. Forecasting spore concentrations: A time series approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stephen, Elaine; Raffery, Adrian E.; Dowding, Paul

    1990-06-01

    Fungal basidiospores and Cladosporium spores are the two most numerous spore types in the air of Dublin and its surroundings. They are known to have allergenic components, and the aim of the study described here is to develop a predictive model for these spores. A very simple model, which combines an estimated diurnal rhythm with a simple, one-parameter time series model, provided golld short-term forecasts. The one-step prediction error variance was reduced by 88% for Cladosporium spores and by 98% for basidiospores.

  2. Electron Beam Irradiation Dose Dependently Damages the Bacillus Spore Coat and Spore Membrane

    PubMed Central

    Fiester, S. E.; Helfinstine, S. L.; Redfearn, J. C.; Uribe, R. M.; Woolverton, C. J.

    2012-01-01

    Effective control of spore-forming bacilli begs suitable physical or chemical methods. While many spore inactivation techniques have been proven effective, electron beam (EB) irradiation has been frequently chosen to eradicate Bacillus spores. Despite its widespread use, there are limited data evaluating the effects of EB irradiation on Bacillus spores. To study this, B. atrophaeus spores were purified, suspended in sterile, distilled water, and irradiated with EB (up to 20 kGy). Irradiated spores were found (1) to contain structural damage as observed by electron microscopy, (2) to have spilled cytoplasmic contents as measured by spectroscopy, (3) to have reduced membrane integrity as determined by fluorescence cytometry, and (4) to have fragmented genomic DNA as measured by gel electrophoresis, all in a dose-dependent manner. Additionally, cytometry data reveal decreased spore size, increased surface alterations, and increased uptake of propidium iodide, with increasing EB dose, suggesting spore coat alterations with membrane damage, prior to loss of spore viability. The present study suggests that EB irradiation of spores in water results in substantial structural damage of the spore coat and inner membrane, and that, along with DNA fragmentation, results in dose-dependent spore inactivation. PMID:22319535

  3. Distinction of broken cellular wall Ganoderma lucidum spores and G. lucidum spores using FTIR microspectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Xianliang; Liu, Xingcun; Sheng, Daping; Huang, Dake; Li, Weizu; Wang, Xin

    2012-11-01

    In this paper, FTIR microspectroscopy was used to identify broken cellular wall Ganoderma lucidum spores and G. lucidum spores. For IR spectra, broken cellular wall G. lucidum spores and G. lucidum spores were mainly different in the regions of 3000-2800, 1660-1600, 1400-1200 and 1100-1000 cm-1. For curve fitting, the results showed the differences in the protein secondary structures and the polysaccharide structures/content between broken cellular wall G. lucidum spores and G. lucidum spores. Moreover, the value of A1078/A1741 might be a potentially useful factor to distinguish broken cellular wall G. lucidum spores from G. lucidum spores. Additionally, FTIR microspectroscopy could identify broken cellular wall G. lucidum spores and G. lucidum spores accurately when it was combined with hierarchical cluster analysis. The result suggests FTIR microspectroscopy is very simple and efficient for distinction of broken cellular wall G. lucidum spores and G. lucidum spores. The result also indicates FTIR microspectroscopy may be useful for TCM identification.

  4. Role of spore coat proteins in the resistance of Bacillus subtilis spores to Caenorhabditis elegans predation.

    PubMed

    Laaberki, Maria-Halima; Dworkin, Jonathan

    2008-09-01

    Bacterial spores are resistant to a wide range of chemical and physical insults that are normally lethal for the vegetative form of the bacterium. While the integrity of the protein coat of the spore is crucial for spore survival in vitro, far less is known about how the coat provides protection in vivo against predation by ecologically relevant hosts. In particular, assays had characterized the in vitro resistance of spores to peptidoglycan-hydrolyzing enzymes like lysozyme that are also important effectors of innate immunity in a wide variety of hosts. Here, we use the bacteriovorous nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, a likely predator of Bacillus spores in the wild, to characterize the role of the spore coat in an ecologically relevant spore-host interaction. We found that ingested wild-type Bacillus subtilis spores were resistant to worm digestion, whereas vegetative forms of the bacterium were efficiently digested by the nematode. Using B. subtilis strains carrying mutations in spore coat genes, we observed a correlation between the degree of alteration of the spore coat assembly and the susceptibility to the worm degradation. Surprisingly, we found that the spores that were resistant to lysozyme in vitro can be sensitive to C. elegans digestion depending on the extent of the spore coat structure modifications.

  5. Portable Anthrax Testing with Lab-in-a-Pocket

    SciTech Connect

    Finley, Melissa; Koskelo, Markku; Edwards, Thayne; Kadner, Steve; Beckes-Talcot, Judy; Harper, Jason; Shawwa, Luay

    2014-10-24

    BaDx (Bacillus anthracis Diagnostics) is a lab-in-a-pocket device to sample, sense, and diagnose bacteria that cause anthrax. It accomplishes these tasks in environments with no power, refrigerated storage, or laboratory equipment. BaDx was designed to be used with minimal or no training, and to keep handlers safe.

  6. Increased Mitochondrial Activity in Anthrax-Induced Cell Death

    PubMed Central

    Li, Chi

    2009-01-01

    Pathogenesis of anthrax lethal toxin (LT) is attributed to its ability to cause death of infected cells. New work has demonstrated that increase of mitochondrial F1F0 ATPase activity and subsequent depletion of cellular ATP level are critical early events during LT-induced cell death. PMID:26124679

  7. Evaluation of surface sampling for Bacillus spores using commercially available cleaning robots.

    PubMed

    Lee, Sang Don; Calfee, M Worth; Mickelsen, Leroy; Wolfe, Stephen; Griffin, Jayson; Clayton, Matt; Griffin-Gatchalian, Nicole; Touati, Abderrahmane

    2013-03-19

    Five commercially available domestic cleaning robots were evaluated on their effectiveness for sampling aerosol-deposited Bacillus atrophaeus spores on different indoor material surfaces. The five robots tested include three vacuum types (R1, R2, and R3), one wet wipe (R4), and one wet vacuum (R5). Tests were conducted on two different surface types (carpet and laminate) with 10(6) colony forming units of B. atrophaeus spores deposited per coupon (35.5 cm × 35.5 cm). Spores were deposited on the center surface (30.5 × 30.5 cm) of the coupon's total surface area (71.5 × 71.5 cm), and the surfaces were sampled with an individual robot in an isolation chamber. Chamber air was sampled using a biofilter sampler to determine the potential for resuspension of spores during sampling. Robot test results were compared to currently used surface sampling methods (vacuum sock for carpet and sponge wipe for laminate). The test results showed that the average sampling efficacies for R1, R2, and R3 on carpet were 26, 162, and 92% of vacuum sock sampling efficacy, respectively. On laminate, R1, R2, R3, R4, and R5 average sampling efficacies were 8, 11, 2, 62, and 32% of sponge wipe sampling efficacy, respectively. We conclude that some robotic cleaners were as efficacious as the currently used surface sampling methods for B. atrophaeus spores on these surfaces.

  8. Centers for disease control and prevention expert panel meetings on prevention and treatment of anthrax in adults.

    PubMed

    Hendricks, Katherine A; Wright, Mary E; Shadomy, Sean V; Bradley, John S; Morrow, Meredith G; Pavia, Andy T; Rubinstein, Ethan; Holty, Jon-Erik C; Messonnier, Nancy E; Smith, Theresa L; Pesik, Nicki; Treadwell, Tracee A; Bower, William A

    2014-02-01

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention convened panels of anthrax experts to review and update guidelines for anthrax postexposure prophylaxis and treatment. The panels included civilian and military anthrax experts and clinicians with experience treating anthrax patients. Specialties represented included internal medicine, pediatrics, obstetrics, infectious disease, emergency medicine, critical care, pulmonology, hematology, and nephrology. Panelists discussed recent patients with systemic anthrax; reviews of published, unpublished, and proprietary data regarding antimicrobial drugs and anthrax antitoxins; and critical care measures of potential benefit to patients with anthrax. This article updates antimicrobial postexposure prophylaxis and antimicrobial and antitoxin treatment options and describes potentially beneficial critical care measures for persons with anthrax, including clinical procedures for infected nonpregnant adults. Changes from previous guidelines include an expanded discussion of critical care and clinical procedures and additional antimicrobial choices, including preferred antimicrobial drug treatment for possible anthrax meningitis.

  9. Protection of mice against challenge with Bacillus anthracis STI spores after DNA vaccination.

    PubMed

    Hahn, Ulrike K; Alex, Michaela; Czerny, Claus-Peter; Böhm, Reinhard; Beyer, Wolfgang

    2004-07-01

    Immune responses against the protective antigen (PA) of Bacillus anthracis are known to confer immunity against anthrax. We evaluated the efficacy of genetic vaccination with plasmid vectors encoding PA, in protecting mice from a lethal challenge with B. anthracis STI spores. BALB/c and A/J mice were immunized via gene gun inoculation, using eukaryotic expression vectors with different cellular targeting signals for the encoded antigen. The vector pSecTag PA83, encoding the full-length PA protein, has a signal sequence for secretion of the expressed protein. The plasmids pCMV/ER PA83 and pCMV/ER PA63, encoding the full-length and the physiologically active form of PA, respectively, target and retain the expressed antigen in the endoplasmic reticulum of transfected cells. All three plasmids induced PA-specific humoral immune responses, predominantly IgG1 antibodies, in mice. Spleen cells collected from plasmid-vaccinated BALB/c mice produced PA-specific interleukin-4, interleukin-5, and interferon-gamma in vitro. Vaccination with either pSecTag PA83 or pCMV/ER PA83 showed significant protection of A/J mice against infection with B. anthracis STI spores. PMID:15293452

  10. First Autochthonous Coinfected Anthrax in an Immunocompetent Patient.

    PubMed

    Afshar, Parvaneh; Hedayati, Mohammad Taghi; Aslani, Narges; Khodavaisy, Sadegh; Babamahmoodi, Farhang; Mahdavi, Mohammad Reza; Dolatabadi, Somayeh; Badali, Hamid

    2015-01-01

    Cutaneous anthrax has a mortality rate of 20% if no antibacterial treatment is applied. The clinical manifestations of cutaneous anthrax are obviously striking, but coinfection may produce atypical lesions and mask the clinical manifestations and proper laboratory diagnosis. Anthrax is known to be more common in the Middle East and Iran is one of the countries in which the zoonotic form of anthrax may still be encountered. We report a case of a 19-years-old male who used to apply Venetian ceruse on his skin. Venetian ceruse (also known as Spirits of Saturn) is an old cosmetic product used for skin whitening traditionally made from sheep's spinal cord. The patient referred to the Referral Laboratory, Mazandaran University of Medical Sciences, Sari, Iran, with atypical dermatosis, pronounced pain, and oedema of the affected tissue. It was confirmed by both conventional and molecular analysis that culture was a mixture of Bacillus anthracis and Trichophyton interdigitale. The patient was initially treated with ceftriaxone (1000 mg/day for two weeks), gentamicin (1.5-2 mg/kg/day), terbinafine (200 mg/week for one month), and 1% clotrimazole cream (5 weeks) two times per day which resulted in gradual improvement. No relapse could be detected after one-year follow-up. Anthrax infection might present a broader spectrum of symptoms than expected by clinicians. These unfamiliar characteristics may lead to delayed diagnosis, inadequate treatment, and higher mortality rate. Clinicians need to be aware of this issue in order to have successful management over this infection. PMID:26451148

  11. Sphagnum moss disperses spores with vortex rings.

    PubMed

    Whitaker, Dwight L; Edwards, Joan

    2010-07-23

    Sphagnum spores, which have low terminal velocities, are carried by turbulent wind currents to establish colonies many kilometers away. However, spores that are easily kept aloft are also rapidly decelerated in still air; thus, dispersal range depends strongly on release height. Vascular plants grow tall to lift spores into sufficient wind currents for dispersal, but nonvascular plants such as Sphagnum cannot grow sufficiently high. High-speed videos show that exploding capsules of Sphagnum generate vortex rings to efficiently carry spores high enough to be dispersed by turbulent air currents. Spores launched ballistically at similar speeds through still air would travel a few millimeters and not easily reach turbulent air. Vortex rings are used by animals; here, we report vortex rings generated by plants.

  12. Polyvalent Recognition of Biopolymers:The Design of Potent Inhibitors of Anthrax Toxin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kane, Ravi

    2007-03-01

    Polyvalency -- the simultaneous binding of multiple ligands on one entity to multiple receptors on another -- is a phenomenon that is ubiquitous in nature. We are using a biomimetic approach, inspired by polyvalency, to design potent inhibitors of anthrax toxin. Since the major symptoms and death from anthrax are due primarily to the action of anthrax toxin, the toxin is a prime target for therapeutic intervention. We describe the design of potent polyvalent anthrax toxin inhibitors, and will discuss the role of pattern matching in polyvalent recognition. Pattern-matched polyvalent inhibitors can neutralize anthrax toxin in vivo, and may enable the successful treatment of anthrax during the later stages of the disease, when antibiotic treatment is ineffective.

  13. Marked enhancement of the immune response to BioThrax® (Anthrax Vaccine Adsorbed) by the TLR9 agonist CPG 7909 in healthy volunteers.

    PubMed

    Rynkiewicz, Dianna; Rathkopf, Melinda; Sim, Iain; Waytes, A Thomas; Hopkins, Robert J; Giri, Lallan; DeMuria, Deborah; Ransom, Janet; Quinn, James; Nabors, Gary S; Nielsen, Carl J

    2011-08-26

    Immunization with BioThrax(®) (Anthrax Vaccine Adsorbed) is a safe and effective means of preventing anthrax. Animal studies have demonstrated that the addition of CpG DNA adjuvants to BioThrax can markedly increase the immunogenicity of the vaccine, increasing both serum anti-protective antigen (PA) antibody and anthrax toxin-neutralizing antibody (TNA) concentrations. The immune response to CpG-adjuvanted BioThrax in animals was not only stronger, but was also more rapid and led to higher levels of protection in spore challenge models. The B-class CpG DNA adjuvant CPG 7909, a 24-base synthetic, single-strand oligodeoxynucleotide, was evaluated for its safety profile and adjuvant properties in a Phase 1 clinical trial. A double-blind study was performed in which 69 healthy subjects, age 18-45 years, were randomized to receive three doses of either: (1) BioThrax alone, (2) 1 mg of CPG 7909 alone or (3) BioThrax plus 1 mg of CPG 7909, all given intramuscularly on study days 0, 14 and 28. Subjects were monitored for IgG to PA by ELISA and for TNA titers through study day 56 and for safety through month 6. CPG 7909 increased the antibody response by 6-8-fold at peak, and accelerated the response by 3 weeks compared to the response seen in subjects vaccinated with BioThrax alone. No serious adverse events related to study agents were reported, and the combination was considered to be reasonably well tolerated. The marked acceleration and enhancement of the immune response seen by combining BioThrax and CPG 7909 offers the potential to shorten the course of immunization and reduce the time to protection, and may be particularly useful in the setting of post-exposure prophylaxis. PMID:21624418

  14. Constructing Fluorogenic Bacillus Spores (F-Spores) via Hydrophobic Decoration of Coat Proteins

    PubMed Central

    Ferencko, Linda; Rotman, Boris

    2010-01-01

    Background Bacterial spores are protected by a coat consisting of about 60 different proteins assembled as a biochemically complex structure with intriguing morphological and mechanical properties. Historically, the coat has been considered a static structure providing rigidity and mainly acting as a sieve to exclude exogenous large toxic molecules, such as lytic enzymes. Over recent years, however, new information about the coat's architecture and function have emerged from experiments using innovative tools such as automated scanning microscopy, and high resolution atomic force microscopy. Principal Findings Using thin-section electron microscopy, we found that the coat of Bacillus spores has topologically specific proteins forming a layer that is identifiable because it spontaneously becomes decorated with hydrophobic fluorogenic probes from the milieu. Moreover, spores with decorated coat proteins (termed F-spores) have the unexpected attribute of responding to external germination signals by generating intense fluorescence. Fluorescence data from diverse experimental designs, including F-spores constructed from five different Bacilli species, indicated that the fluorogenic ability of F-spores is under control of a putative germination-dependent mechanism. Conclusions This work uncovers a novel attribute of spore-coat proteins that we exploited to decorate a specific layer imparting germination-dependent fluorogenicity to F-spores. We expect that F-spores will provide a model system to gain new insights into structure/function dynamics of spore-coat proteins. PMID:20174569

  15. Confirmation of Bacillus anthracis from flesh-eating flies collected during a West Texas anthrax season.

    PubMed

    Blackburn, Jason K; Curtis, Andrew; Hadfield, Ted L; O'Shea, Bob; Mitchell, Mark A; Hugh-Jones, Martin E

    2010-07-01

    This case study confirms the interaction between necrophilic flies and white-tailed deer, Odocoileus virginianus, during an anthrax outbreak in West Texas (summer 2005). Bacillus anthracis was identified by culture and PCR from one of eight pooled fly collections from deer carcasses on a deer ranch with a well-documented history of anthrax. These results provide the first known isolation of B. anthracis from flesh-eating flies associated with a wildlife anthrax outbreak in North America and are discussed in the context of wildlife ecology and anthrax epizootics. PMID:20688697

  16. Confirmation of Bacillus anthracis from flesh-eating flies collected during a West Texas anthrax season.

    PubMed

    Blackburn, Jason K; Curtis, Andrew; Hadfield, Ted L; O'Shea, Bob; Mitchell, Mark A; Hugh-Jones, Martin E

    2010-07-01

    This case study confirms the interaction between necrophilic flies and white-tailed deer, Odocoileus virginianus, during an anthrax outbreak in West Texas (summer 2005). Bacillus anthracis was identified by culture and PCR from one of eight pooled fly collections from deer carcasses on a deer ranch with a well-documented history of anthrax. These results provide the first known isolation of B. anthracis from flesh-eating flies associated with a wildlife anthrax outbreak in North America and are discussed in the context of wildlife ecology and anthrax epizootics.

  17. Integrated MOSFET-Embedded-Cantilever-Based Biosensor Characteristic for Detection of Anthrax Simulant

    SciTech Connect

    Mostafa, Salwa; Lee, Ida; Islam, Syed K; Eliza, Sazia A.; Shekhawat, Gajendra; Dravid, Vinayak; Tulip, Fahmida S

    2011-01-01

    In this work, MOSFET-embedded cantilevers are configured as microbial sensors for detection of anthrax simulants, Bacillus thuringiensis. Anthrax simulants attached to the chemically treated gold-coated cantilever cause changes in the MOSFET drain current due to the bending of the cantilever which indicates the detection of anthrax simulant. Electrical properties of the anthrax simulant are also responsible for the change in the drain current. The test results suggest a detection range of 10 L of stimulant test solution (a suspension population of 1.3 107 colony-forming units/mL diluted in 40% ethanol and 60% deionized water) with a linear response of 31 A/ L.

  18. Clinical and epidemiological investigation of a fatal anthrax case in China.

    PubMed

    Chen, Haiying; Bao, Wanguo; Wang, Yang; Zhang, Kaiyu; Wang, Feng

    2015-02-19

    Anthrax is a recessive infectious disease caused by the bacterium Bacillus anthracis, and is primarily a zoonotic disease. Until recently, Bacillus anthracis infections were relatively infrequent and confined to agrarian communities in underdeveloped countries. No anthrax cases were reported in Changchun City in the past few decades until a male patient from the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region presented the anthrax disease manifestation. This paper describes an anthrax patient's diagnosis, isolation and treatment which involved institutions in two different Chinese provinces; the foci epidemiological investigation alongside with the outbreak management process, which is of great significance to control the spread of the recessive infection is also described.

  19. Development of a simple method for the rapid identification of organisms causing anthrax by coagglutination test.

    PubMed

    Sumithra, T G; Chaturvedi, V K; Gupta, P K; Siju, S J; Susan, C; Bincy, J; Laxmi, U; Sunita, S C; Rai, A K

    2014-11-01

    A protective antigen (PA) based coagglutination test was optimized in the present study for the specific and sensitive identification of bacteria causing anthrax in a cost effective and less risky manner. The test showed 100% specificity and sensitivity up to 9 × 10(3) formalinized vegetative cells or 11 ng of PA. The optimized test also detected anthrax toxin directly from the serum as well as blood of anthrax infected animals indicating the potential application for direct diagnosis of anthrax under field conditions.

  20. Protection of Bacillus pumilus spores by catalases.

    PubMed

    Checinska, Aleksandra; Burbank, Malcolm; Paszczynski, Andrzej J

    2012-09-01

    Bacillus pumilus SAFR-032, isolated at spacecraft assembly facilities of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Jet Propulsion Laboratory, is difficult to kill by the sterilization method of choice, which uses liquid or vapor hydrogen peroxide. We identified two manganese catalases, YjqC and BPUM_1305, in spore protein extracts of several B. pumilus strains by using PAGE and mass spectrometric analyses. While the BPUM_1305 catalase was present in six of the B. pumilus strains tested, YjqC was not detected in ATCC 7061 and BG-B79. Furthermore, both catalases were localized in the spore coat layer along with laccase and superoxide dismutase. Although the initial catalase activity in ATCC 7061 spores was higher, it was less stable over time than the SAFR-032 enzyme. We propose that synergistic activity of YjqC and BPUM_1305, along with other coat oxidoreductases, contributes to the enhanced resistance of B. pumilus spores to hydrogen peroxide. We observed that the product of the catalase reaction, gaseous oxygen, forms expanding vesicles on the spore surface, affecting the mechanical integrity of the coat layer, resulting in aggregation of the spores. The accumulation of oxygen gas and aggregations may play a crucial role in limiting further exposure of Bacilli spore surfaces to hydrogen peroxide or other toxic chemicals when water is present. PMID:22752169

  1. Protection of Bacillus pumilus spores by catalases.

    PubMed

    Checinska, Aleksandra; Burbank, Malcolm; Paszczynski, Andrzej J

    2012-09-01

    Bacillus pumilus SAFR-032, isolated at spacecraft assembly facilities of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Jet Propulsion Laboratory, is difficult to kill by the sterilization method of choice, which uses liquid or vapor hydrogen peroxide. We identified two manganese catalases, YjqC and BPUM_1305, in spore protein extracts of several B. pumilus strains by using PAGE and mass spectrometric analyses. While the BPUM_1305 catalase was present in six of the B. pumilus strains tested, YjqC was not detected in ATCC 7061 and BG-B79. Furthermore, both catalases were localized in the spore coat layer along with laccase and superoxide dismutase. Although the initial catalase activity in ATCC 7061 spores was higher, it was less stable over time than the SAFR-032 enzyme. We propose that synergistic activity of YjqC and BPUM_1305, along with other coat oxidoreductases, contributes to the enhanced resistance of B. pumilus spores to hydrogen peroxide. We observed that the product of the catalase reaction, gaseous oxygen, forms expanding vesicles on the spore surface, affecting the mechanical integrity of the coat layer, resulting in aggregation of the spores. The accumulation of oxygen gas and aggregations may play a crucial role in limiting further exposure of Bacilli spore surfaces to hydrogen peroxide or other toxic chemicals when water is present.

  2. Protection of Bacillus pumilus Spores by Catalases

    PubMed Central

    Checinska, Aleksandra; Burbank, Malcolm

    2012-01-01

    Bacillus pumilus SAFR-032, isolated at spacecraft assembly facilities of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Jet Propulsion Laboratory, is difficult to kill by the sterilization method of choice, which uses liquid or vapor hydrogen peroxide. We identified two manganese catalases, YjqC and BPUM_1305, in spore protein extracts of several B. pumilus strains by using PAGE and mass spectrometric analyses. While the BPUM_1305 catalase was present in six of the B. pumilus strains tested, YjqC was not detected in ATCC 7061 and BG-B79. Furthermore, both catalases were localized in the spore coat layer along with laccase and superoxide dismutase. Although the initial catalase activity in ATCC 7061 spores was higher, it was less stable over time than the SAFR-032 enzyme. We propose that synergistic activity of YjqC and BPUM_1305, along with other coat oxidoreductases, contributes to the enhanced resistance of B. pumilus spores to hydrogen peroxide. We observed that the product of the catalase reaction, gaseous oxygen, forms expanding vesicles on the spore surface, affecting the mechanical integrity of the coat layer, resulting in aggregation of the spores. The accumulation of oxygen gas and aggregations may play a crucial role in limiting further exposure of Bacilli spore surfaces to hydrogen peroxide or other toxic chemicals when water is present. PMID:22752169

  3. Analysis of Bacillus globigii spores by CE.

    PubMed

    Chichester, Kimberly D; Silcott, David B; Colyer, Christa L

    2008-02-01

    It is imperative in today's world that harmful airborne or solution-based microbes can be detected quickly and efficiently. Bacillus globigii (Bg) spores are used as a simulant for Bacillus anthracis (Ba) due to their similar shape, size, and cellular makeup. The utility of CE to separate and detect low levels of Bg spore concentrations will be evaluated. To differentiate spores from background particulates, several dyes, including fluorescamine, C-10, NN-127, Red-1c, and indocyanine green (ICG), were utilized as noncovalent labels for proteins on the Bg spore surface, as well as for HSA and homoserine standards. On-column labeling, with dye present in the running buffer, was utilized to obtain greater sensitivity and better separation. CE with LIF detection enables interactions between the dye and spore surface proteins to be observed, with enhanced fluorescence occurring upon binding of the dye to surface protein. Resulting electropherograms showed unique fingerprints for each dye with Bg spores. Migration times were under 10 min for all dye-spore complexes, with net mobilities ranging from 3.5x10(-4) to 6.9x10(-4) cm(2) V(-1) s(-1), and calibration curves yielded correlation coefficients of 0.98 or better for four of the dyes studied. PMID:18203249

  4. Nanomechanical analysis of Clostridium tyrobutyricum spores.

    PubMed

    Andreeva, N; Bassi, D; Cappa, F; Cocconcelli, P S; Parmigiani, F; Ferrini, G

    2010-12-01

    In this work we report on the measurement of the Young modulus of the external surface of Clostridium tyrobutyricum spores in air with an atomic force microscope. The Young modulus can be reliably measured despite the strong tip-spore adhesion forces and the need to immobilize the spores due to their slipping on most substrates. Moreover, we investigate the disturbing factors and consider some practical aspects that influence the measurements of elastic properties of biological objects with the atomic force microscopy indentation techniques.

  5. Micro-sonicator for spore lysis

    DOEpatents

    Miles, Robin R.; Belgrader, Phillip; Nasarabadi, Shanavaz L.

    2000-01-01

    A micro-sonicator for spore lysis. Using micromachining technology, the micro-sonicator uses ultrasonic excitation of spores to perform spore and cell lysis. The micro-sonicator comprises a container with a cavity therein for retaining the sample in an ultrasonic transmission medium, the cavity being closed by a silicon membrane to which an electrode and piezoelectric material are attached, with the electrode and piezoelectric material being electrically connected to an AC signal generator which causes the membrane to flex and vibrate at the frequency of the applied voltage.

  6. Organic aerosols

    SciTech Connect

    Penner, J.E.

    1994-01-01

    Organic aerosols scatter solar radiation. They may also either enhance or decrease concentrations of cloud condensation nuclei. This paper summarizes observed concentrations of aerosols in remote continental and marine locations and provides estimates for the sources of organic aerosol matter. The anthropogenic sources of organic aerosols may be as large as the anthropogenic sources of sulfate aerosols, implying a similar magnitude of direct forcing of climate. The source estimates are highly uncertain and subject to revision in the future. A slow secondary source of organic aerosols of unknown origin may contribute to the observed oceanic concentrations. The role of organic aerosols acting as cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) is described and it is concluded that they may either enhance or decrease the ability of anthropogenic sulfate aerosols to act as CCN.

  7. Identification of the cellular receptor for anthrax toxin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bradley, Kenneth A.; Mogridge, Jeremy; Mourez, Michael; Collier, R. John; Young, John A. T.

    2001-11-01

    The tripartite toxin secreted by Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax, helps the bacterium evade the immune system and can kill the host during a systemic infection. Two components of the toxin enzymatically modify substrates within the cytosol of mammalian cells: oedema factor (OF) is an adenylate cyclase that impairs host defences through a variety of mechanisms including inhibiting phagocytosis; lethal factor (LF) is a zinc-dependent protease that cleaves mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase and causes lysis of macrophages. Protective antigen (PA), the third component, binds to a cellular receptor and mediates delivery of the enzymatic components to the cytosol. Here we describe the cloning of the human PA receptor using a genetic complementation approach. The receptor, termed ATR (anthrax toxin receptor), is a type I membrane protein with an extracellular von Willebrand factor A domain that binds directly to PA. In addition, a soluble version of this domain can protect cells from the action of the toxin.

  8. Evaluation of mucoadhesive carrier adjuvant: toward an oral anthrax vaccine.

    PubMed

    Mangal, Sharad; Pawar, Dilip; Agrawal, Udita; Jain, Arvind K; Vyas, Suresh P

    2014-02-01

    The aim of present study was to evaluate the potential of mucoadhesive alginate-coated chitosan microparticles (A-CHMp) for oral vaccine against anthrax. The zeta potential of A-CHMp was -29.7 mV, and alginate coating could prevent the burst release of antigen in simulated gastric fluid. The results indicated that A-CHMp was mucoadhesive in nature and transported it to the peyer's patch upon oral delivery. The immunization studies indicated that A-CHMp resulted in the induction of potent systemic and mucosal immune responses, whereas alum-adjuvanted rPA could induce only systemic immune response. Thus, A-CHMp represents a promising acid carrier adjuvant for oral immunization against anthrax.

  9. Development of a Zealand white rabbit deposition model to study inhalation anthrax.

    PubMed

    Asgharian, Bahman; Price, Owen; Kabilan, Senthil; Jacob, Richard E; Einstein, Daniel R; Kuprat, Andrew P; Corley, Richard A

    2016-01-01

    Despite using rabbits in several inhalation exposure experiments to study diseases such as anthrax, there is a lack of understanding regarding deposition characteristics and fate of inhaled particles (bio-aerosols and viruses) in the respiratory tracts of rabbits. Such information allows dosimetric extrapolation to humans to inform human outcomes. The lung geometry of the New Zealand white rabbit (referred to simply as rabbits throughout the article) was constructed using recently acquired scanned images of the conducting airways of rabbits and available information on its acinar region. In addition, functional relationships were developed for the lung and breathing parameters of rabbits as a function of body weight. The lung geometry and breathing parameters were used to extend the existing deposition model for humans and several other species to rabbits. Evaluation of the deposition model for rabbits was made by comparing predictions with available measurements in the literature. Deposition predictions in the lungs of rabbits indicated smaller deposition fractions compared to those found in humans across various particle diameter ranges. The application of the deposition model for rabbits was demonstrated by extrapolating deposition predictions in rabbits to find equivalent human exposure concentrations assuming the same dose-response relationship between the two species. Human equivalent exposure concentration levels were found to be much smaller than those for rabbits.

  10. Total decontamination cost of the anthrax letter attacks.

    PubMed

    Schmitt, Ketra; Zacchia, Nicholas A

    2012-03-01

    All of the costs associated with decontamination following the 2001 anthrax letter attacks were summarized, estimated, and aggregated based on existing literature and news media reports. A comprehensive list of all affected structures was compiled. Costs were analyzed by building class and decontamination type. Sampling costs and costs of worker relocation were also included. Our analysis indicates that the total cost associated with decontamination was about $320 million.

  11. Economic Impacts of a Wide Area Release of Anthrax

    SciTech Connect

    Judd, Kathleen S.; Olson, Jarrod; Stein, Steven L.; Lesperance, Ann M.

    2009-05-29

    This analysis explores economic impacts that might result from a wide-area release of anthrax. The intent is not to provide a quantitative analysis of such a disaster, but to: 1. Define the general categories of economic impacts that the region should be concerned about; and, 2. Explore what types of private sector businesses or industries, if any, may have the greatest impact on speeding the economic recovery of the region.

  12. Quantification and Single-Spore Detection of Phakopsora pachyrhizi

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The microscopic identification and quantification of Phakopsora pachyrhizi spores from environmental samples, spore traps, and laboratory specimens can represent a challenge. Such reports, especially from passive spore traps, commonly describe the number of “rust-like” spores; for other forensic sa...

  13. Bacterial spores survive electrospray charging and desolvation.

    PubMed

    Pratt, Sara N; Austin, Daniel E

    2014-05-01

    The survivability of Bacillus subtilis spores and vegetative Escherichia coli cells after electrospray from aqueous suspension was tested using mobility experiments at atmospheric pressure. E. coli did not survive electrospray charging and desolvation, but B. subtilis did. Experimental conditions ensured that any surviving bacteria were de-agglomerated, desolvated, and electrically charged. Based on mobility measurements, B. subtilis spores survived even with 2,000-20,000 positive charges. B. subtilis was also found to survive introduction into vacuum after either positive or negative electrospray. Attempts to measure the charge distribution of viable B. subtilis spores using electrostatic deflection in vacuum were inconclusive; however, viable spores with low charge states (less than 42 positive or less than 26 negative charges) were observed.

  14. Injectional anthrax at a Scottish district general hospital.

    PubMed

    Inverarity, D J; Forrester, V M; Cumming, J G R; Paterson, P J; Campbell, R J; Brooks, T J G; Carson, G L; Ruddy, J P

    2015-04-01

    This retrospective, descriptive case-series reviews the clinical presentations and significant laboratory findings of patients diagnosed with and treated for injectional anthrax (IA) since December 2009 at Monklands Hospital in Central Scotland and represents the largest series of IA cases to be described from a single location. Twenty-one patients who fulfilled National Anthrax Control Team standardized case definitions of confirmed, probable or possible IA are reported. All cases survived and none required limb amputation in contrast to an overall mortality of 28% being experienced for this condition in Scotland. We document the spectrum of presentations of soft tissue infection ranging from mild cases which were managed predominantly with oral antibiotics to severe cases with significant oedema, organ failure and coagulopathy. We describe the surgical management, intensive care management and antibiotic management including the first description of daptomycin being used to treat human anthrax. It is noted that some people who had injected heroin infected with Bacillus anthracis did not develop evidence of IA. Also highlighted are biochemical and haematological parameters which proved useful in identifying deteriorating patients who required greater levels of support and surgical debridement.

  15. Human Anthrax Transmission at the Urban-Rural Interface, Georgia.

    PubMed

    Kracalik, Ian; Malania, Lile; Imnadze, Paata; Blackburn, Jason K

    2015-12-01

    Human anthrax has increased dramatically in Georgia and was recently linked to the sale of meat in an urban market. We assessed epidemiological trends and risk factors for human anthrax at the urban-rural interface. We reviewed epidemiologic records (2000-2012) that included the place of residence (classified as urban, peri-urban, or rural), age, gender, and self-reported source of infection (handling or processing animal by-products and slaughtering or butchering livestock). To estimate risk, we used a negative binomial regression. The average incidence per 1 million population in peri-urban areas (24.5 cases) was > 2-fold higher compared with rural areas and > 3-fold higher compared with urban area. Risk from handling or purchasing meat was nearly 2-fold higher in urban areas and > 4-fold higher in peri-urban areas compared with rural area. Our findings suggest a high risk of anthrax in urban and peri-urban areas likely as a result of spillover from contaminated meat and animal by-products. Consumers should be warned to purchase meat only from licensed merchants.

  16. Appropriation and commercialization of the Pasteur anthrax vaccine.

    PubMed

    Cassier, Maurice

    2005-12-01

    Whereas Pasteur patented the biotechnological processes that he invented between 1857 and 1873 in the agro-food domain, he did not file any patents on the artificial vaccine preparation processes that he subsequently developed. This absence of patents can probably be explained by the 1844 patent law in France that established the non-patentable status of pharmaceutical preparations and remedies, including those for use in veterinary medicine. Despite the absence of patents, the commercial exploitation of the anthrax vaccine in the 1880s and 1890s led to a technical and commercial monopoly by Pasteur's laboratory as well as the founding of a commercial company to diffuse the vaccine abroad. Pasteur repeatedly refused to transfer his know-how and anthrax vaccine production methods to foreign laboratories, on the grounds that he wished to control the quality of the vaccines produced. Indeed, it was relatively difficult to transfer a method that was not yet perfectly stabilized in the early 1880s. Pasteur also wanted to maintain the monopoly of his commercial company and to increase the profits from vaccine sales so that the Institut Pasteur could be financially independent. The 'Pasteur anthrax vaccine' operating licences are described and analysed in detail in this article.

  17. Rapid onsite assessment of spore viability.

    SciTech Connect

    Branda, Steven; Lane, Todd W.; VanderNoot, Victoria A.; Gaucher, Sara P.; Jokerst, Amanda S.

    2005-12-01

    This one year LDRD addresses problems of threat assessment and restoration of facilities following a bioterror incident like the incident that closed down mail facilities in late 2001. Facilities that are contaminated with pathogenic spores such as B. anthracis spores must be shut down while they are treated with a sporicidal agent and the effectiveness of the treatment is ascertained. This process involves measuring the viability of spore test strips, laid out in a grid throughout the facility; the CDC accepted methodologies require transporting the samples to a laboratory and carrying out a 48 hr outgrowth experiment. We proposed developing a technique that will ultimately lead to a fieldable microfluidic device that can rapidly assess (ideally less than 30 min) spore viability and effectiveness of sporicidal treatment, returning facilities to use in hours not days. The proposed method will determine viability of spores by detecting early protein synthesis after chemical germination. During this year, we established the feasibility of this approach and gathered preliminary results that should fuel a future more comprehensive effort. Such a proposal is currently under review with the NIH. Proteomic signatures of Bacillus spores and vegetative cells were assessed by both slab gel electrophoresis as well as microchip based gel electrophoresis employing sensitive laser-induced fluorescence detection. The conditions for germination using a number of chemical germinants were evaluated and optimized and the time course of protein synthesis was ascertained. Microseparations were carried out using both viable spores and spores inactivated by two different methods. A select number of the early synthesis proteins were digested into peptides for analysis by mass spectrometry.

  18. 9 CFR 309.7 - Livestock affected with anthrax; cleaning and disinfection of infected livestock pens and driveways.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... 9 Animals and Animal Products 2 2014-01-01 2014-01-01 false Livestock affected with anthrax... INSPECTION § 309.7 Livestock affected with anthrax; cleaning and disinfection of infected livestock pens and driveways. (a) Any livestock found on ante-mortem inspection to be affected with anthrax shall be...

  19. 9 CFR 309.7 - Livestock affected with anthrax; cleaning and disinfection of infected livestock pens and driveways.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... 9 Animals and Animal Products 2 2011-01-01 2011-01-01 false Livestock affected with anthrax... INSPECTION § 309.7 Livestock affected with anthrax; cleaning and disinfection of infected livestock pens and driveways. (a) Any livestock found on ante-mortem inspection to be affected with anthrax shall be...

  20. 9 CFR 309.7 - Livestock affected with anthrax; cleaning and disinfection of infected livestock pens and driveways.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... 9 Animals and Animal Products 2 2012-01-01 2012-01-01 false Livestock affected with anthrax... INSPECTION § 309.7 Livestock affected with anthrax; cleaning and disinfection of infected livestock pens and driveways. (a) Any livestock found on ante-mortem inspection to be affected with anthrax shall be...

  1. 9 CFR 309.7 - Livestock affected with anthrax; cleaning and disinfection of infected livestock pens and driveways.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... 9 Animals and Animal Products 2 2013-01-01 2013-01-01 false Livestock affected with anthrax... INSPECTION § 309.7 Livestock affected with anthrax; cleaning and disinfection of infected livestock pens and driveways. (a) Any livestock found on ante-mortem inspection to be affected with anthrax shall be...

  2. 9 CFR 309.7 - Livestock affected with anthrax; cleaning and disinfection of infected livestock pens and driveways.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... 9 Animals and Animal Products 2 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Livestock affected with anthrax... INSPECTION § 309.7 Livestock affected with anthrax; cleaning and disinfection of infected livestock pens and driveways. (a) Any livestock found on ante-mortem inspection to be affected with anthrax shall be...

  3. Protective-antigen (PA) based anthrax vaccines confer protection against inhalation anthrax by precluding the establishment of a systemic infection.

    PubMed

    Merkel, Tod J; Perera, Pin-Yu; Lee, Gloria M; Verma, Anita; Hiroi, Toyoko; Yokote, Hiroyuki; Waldmann, Thomas A; Perera, Liyanage P

    2013-09-01

    An intense effort has been launched to develop improved anthrax vaccines that confer rapid, long lasting protection preferably with an extended stability profile amenable for stockpiling. Protective antigen (PA)-based vaccines are most favored as immune responses directed against PA are singularly protective, although the actual protective mechanism remains to be unraveled. Herein we show that contrary to the prevailing view, an efficacious PA-based vaccine confers protection against inhalation anthrax by preventing the establishment of a toxin-releasing systemic infection. Equally importantly, antibodies measured by the in vitro lethal toxin neutralization activity assay (TNA) that is considered as a reliable correlate of protection, especially for PA protein-based vaccines adjuvanted with aluminum salts appear to be not absolutely essential for this protective immune response.

  4. Bacterial spores in silage and raw milk.

    PubMed

    te Giffel, M C; Wagendorp, A; Herrewegh, A; Driehuis, F

    2002-08-01

    Spore-forming bacteria can survive food-processing treatments. In the dairy industry, Bacillus and Clostridium species determine the shelf-life of a variety of heat-treated milk products, mainly if the level of post-process contamination is low. In order to minimize problems caused by bacterial spores in foods and food production processes a chain management approach, from raw materials, ingredients and environmental sources to final product storage conditions, is most effective. Silage is considered to be a significant source of contamination of raw milk with spores. PCR-RAPD fingerprinting and heat resistance studies of populations of aerobic spore-formers isolated from grass and maize silage and from raw milk confirmed this assumption. Prevention of outgrowth of aerobic spores in silage will contribute to reduction of the total spore load of raw milk. Therefore, it is important that the silage fermentation process is controlled. Application of cultures of lactic acid bacteria or chemical additives can aid silage fermentation and improve aerobic stability. PMID:12448758

  5. Spores of many common airborne fungi reveal no ice nucleation activity in oil immersion freezing experiments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pummer, B. G.; Atanasova, L.; Bauer, H.; Bernardi, J.; Druzhinina, I. S.; Fröhlich-Nowoisky, J.; Grothe, H.

    2013-12-01

    Fungal spores are ubiquitous biological aerosols, which are considered to act as ice nuclei. In this study the ice nucleation (IN) activity of spores harvested from 29 fungal strains belonging to 21 different species was tested in the immersion freezing mode by microscopic observation of water-in-oil emulsions. Spores of 8 of these strains were also investigated in a microdroplet freezing array instrument. The focus was laid on species of economical, ecological or sanitary significance. Besides common molds (Ascomycota), some representatives of the widespread group of mushrooms (Basidiomycota) were also investigated. Fusarium avenaceum was the only sample showing IN activity at relatively high temperatures (about 264 K), while the other investigated fungal spores showed no freezing above 248 K. Many of the samples indeed froze at homogeneous ice nucleation temperatures (about 237 K). In combination with other studies, this suggests that only a limited number of species may act as atmospheric ice nuclei. This would be analogous to what is already known for the bacterial ice nuclei. Apart from that, we selected a set of fungal strains from different sites and exposed them to occasional freezing stress during their cultivation. This was in order to test if the exposure to a cold environment encourages the expression of ice nuclei during growth as a way of adaptation. Although the total protein expression was altered by this treatment, it had no significant impact on the IN activity.

  6. From structure to solutions: the role of basic research in developing anthrax countermeasures: Microbiology Graduate Program Seminar: Anthrax toxin.

    PubMed

    Hardiman, Camille A

    2012-06-01

    Dr. John Collier traced the discoveries that elucidated the structure and function of the anthrax toxin in his talk "Anthrax Toxin," which was part of the Microbiology Graduate Program Seminar Series at Yale School of Medicine on February 23, 2012. Dr. Collier, Professor of Microbiology and Immunobiology at Harvard University, began by noting the advantages to studying anthrax pathogenesis in a biosafety level-1 lab. This designation does not merely facilitate his research, but also reflects a larger trend of basic research being leveraged to develop translational applications. Basic research on toxin structure has led to the development of a vaccine by Dr. Collier's group. Next-generation prophylactics also may stem from recent discoveries uncovering a role for cellular cofactors that mediate toxin function. Finally, basic research into the toxin substructure has facilitated efforts to change the receptor tropism to target dysregulated cells for therapeutic purposes. The urgency around biodefense agents makes the choice of research priorities a salient issue. As such, this author submits that basic research occupies a unique and lucrative niche driving clinical applications.

  7. Anthracimycin, a potent anthrax antibiotic from a marine-derived actinomycete.

    PubMed

    Jang, Kyoung Hwa; Nam, Sang-Jip; Locke, Jeffrey B; Kauffman, Christopher A; Beatty, Deanna S; Paul, Lauren A; Fenical, William

    2013-07-22

    Licensed to kill: A new antibiotic, anthracimycin (see scheme), produced by a marine-derived actinomycete in saline culture, shows significant activity toward Bacillus anthracis, the bacterial pathogen responsible for anthrax infections. Chlorination of anthracimycin gives a dichloro derivative that retains activity against Gram-positive bacteria, such as anthrax, but also shows activity against selected Gram-negative bacteria.

  8. Use of medical simulation to teach bioterrorism preparedness: the anthrax example.

    PubMed

    Olsen, Martin E

    2013-01-01

    The 2001 anthrax bioterrorism attacks demonstrated vulnerability for future similar attacks. This article describes mechanisms that can be used to prepare the medical community and healthcare facilities for the diagnosis and management of a subsequent bioterrorism attack should such an event occur and the fundamentals of medical simulation and its use in teaching learners about the diagnosis of management of anthrax exposure.

  9. Case Report of an Anthrax Presentation Relevant to Special Operations Medicine.

    PubMed

    Winkler, Stephen; Enzenauer, Robert W; Karesh, James W; Pasteur, Nshimyimana; Eisnor, Derek L; Painter, Rex B; Calvano, Christopher J

    2016-01-01

    Special Operations Forces (SOF) medical personnel function worldwide in environments where endemic anthrax (caused by Bacillus anthracis infection) may present in one of three forms: cutaneous, pulmonary, or gastrointestinal. This report presents a rare periocular anthrax case from Haiti to emphasize the need for heightened diagnostic suspicion of unusual lesions likely to be encountered in SOF theaters. PMID:27450596

  10. Significant influence of fungi on coarse carbonaceous and potassium aerosols in a tropical rainforest

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Zhisheng; Engling, Guenter; Zhang, Leiming; Kawamura, Kimitaka; Yang, Yihong; Tao, Jun; Zhang, Renjian; Chan, Chuen-yu; Li, Yide

    2015-03-01

    Fungal spores are ubiquitous in the Earth’s atmosphere, especially in the environment of tropical rainforests with intense biological activities. To assess the impact of fungi on chemical components of atmospheric aerosols at a Chinese tropical rainforest site, size-segregated fungal spore tracers (i.e. arabitol and mannitol) were measured along with major aerosol components, including carbonaceous species and water-soluble inorganic ions. The fungal spore tracers were found to be predominately associated with coarse particles, in which organic carbon (OC) and potassium (K+) were also present at significant levels. Enhanced amounts of fungal spore tracers were closely linked to rainfall events. Moreover, fungal spore tracers exhibited positive correlations with relative humidity and negative correlations with wind speed, temperature or radiation. The relationships between fungal spore tracers and meteorological factors are consistent with the emission features of actively discharged fungal spores, which are generally associated with sugar alcohols and by-products such as the inorganic ion K+. The excellent correlations between fungal spore tracers and OC or K+ in the coarse particles further suggested their common emission sources. Absolute principal factor analysis further identified fungi as the largest contributor to coarse OC and K+ (both at ∼66%) in this rainforest.

  11. Rapid Detection and Identification of Biogenic Aerosol Releases and Sources

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wagner, J.; Macher, J.; Ghosal, S.; Ahmed, K.; Hemati, K.; Wall, S.; Kumagai, K.

    2011-12-01

    Biogenic aerosols can be important contributors to aerosol chemistry, cloud droplet and ice nucleation, absorption and scattering of radiation, human health and comfort, and plant, animal, and microbial ecology. Many types of bioaerosols, e.g., fungal spores, are released into the atmosphere in response to specific climatological and meteorological conditions. The rapid identification of bioaerosol releases is thus important for better characterization of the above phenomena, as well as enabling public officials to respond quickly and appropriately to releases of infectious agents or biological toxins. One approach to rapid and accurate bioaerosol detection is to employ sequential, automated samples that can be fed directly into an image acquisition and data analysis device. Raman spectroscopy-based identification of bioaerosols, automated analysis of microscopy images, and automated detection of near-monodisperse peaks in aerosol size-distribution data were investigated as complementary approaches to traditional, manual methods for the identification and counting of fungal and actinomycete spores. Manual light microscopy is a widely used analytical technique that is compatible with a number of air sample formats and requires minimal sample preparation. However, a major drawback is its dependence on a human analyst's ability to distinguish particles and accurately count, size, and identify them. Therefore, automated methods, such as those evaluated in this study, have the potential to provide cost-effective and rapid alternatives if demonstrated to be accurate and reliable. An exploratory examination of individual spores for several macro- and microfungi (those with and without large fruiting bodies) by Raman microspectroscopy found unique spectral features that were used to identify fungi to the genus level. Automated analyses of digital spore images accurately recognized and counted single fungal spores and clusters. An automated procedure to discriminate near

  12. Synthesis of potent inhibitors of anthrax toxin based on poly-L-glutamic acid.

    PubMed

    Joshi, Amit; Saraph, Arundhati; Poon, Vincent; Mogridge, Jeremy; Kane, Ravi S

    2006-01-01

    We report the synthesis of biodegradable polyvalent inhibitors of anthrax toxin based on poly-L-glutamic acid (PLGA). These biocompatible polyvalent inhibitors are at least 4 orders of magnitude more potent than the corresponding monovalent peptides in vitro and are comparable in potency to polyacrylamide-based inhibitors of anthrax toxin assembly. We have elucidated the influence of peptide density on inhibitory potency and demonstrated that these inhibitory potencies are limited by kinetics, with even higher activities seen when the inhibitors are preincubated with the heptameric receptor-binding subunit of anthrax toxin prior to exposure to cells. These polyvalent inhibitors are also effective at neutralizing anthrax toxin in vivo and represent attractive leads for designing biocompatible anthrax therapeutics.

  13. Protection of rhesus macaques against inhalational anthrax with a Bacillus anthracis capsule conjugate vaccine.

    PubMed

    Chabot, Donald J; Ribot, Wilson J; Joyce, Joseph; Cook, James; Hepler, Robert; Nahas, Debbie; Chua, Jennifer; Friedlander, Arthur M

    2016-07-25

    The efficacy of currently licensed anthrax vaccines is largely attributable to a single Bacillus anthracis immunogen, protective antigen. To broaden protection against possible strains resistant to protective antigen-based vaccines, we previously developed a vaccine in which the anthrax polyglutamic acid capsule was covalently conjugated to the outer membrane protein complex of Neisseria meningitidis serotype B and demonstrated that two doses of 2.5μg of this vaccine conferred partial protection of rhesus macaques against inhalational anthrax . Here, we demonstrate complete protection of rhesus macaques against inhalational anthrax with a higher 50μg dose of the same capsule conjugate vaccine. These results indicate that B. anthracis capsule is a highly effective vaccine component that should be considered for incorporation in future generation anthrax vaccines. PMID:27329184

  14. Synthesis of potent inhibitors of anthrax toxin based on poly-L-glutamic acid.

    PubMed

    Joshi, Amit; Saraph, Arundhati; Poon, Vincent; Mogridge, Jeremy; Kane, Ravi S

    2006-01-01

    We report the synthesis of biodegradable polyvalent inhibitors of anthrax toxin based on poly-L-glutamic acid (PLGA). These biocompatible polyvalent inhibitors are at least 4 orders of magnitude more potent than the corresponding monovalent peptides in vitro and are comparable in potency to polyacrylamide-based inhibitors of anthrax toxin assembly. We have elucidated the influence of peptide density on inhibitory potency and demonstrated that these inhibitory potencies are limited by kinetics, with even higher activities seen when the inhibitors are preincubated with the heptameric receptor-binding subunit of anthrax toxin prior to exposure to cells. These polyvalent inhibitors are also effective at neutralizing anthrax toxin in vivo and represent attractive leads for designing biocompatible anthrax therapeutics. PMID:16984137

  15. Spore Disruption Analysis and Detection Limit Determination at Low Volume Amplifications (2-10 uL) of Bacillus globigii Using eTags

    SciTech Connect

    Tracy, L E; Nasarabadi, S L

    2005-08-04

    In the post 9/11 world the threat of bioterrorism attacks in public venues has ignited a demand to develop a cost effective autonomous pathogen detection system capable of detecting the multitude of biological agents that can pose a threat to public safety. The major cost of such a pathogen detection system is the large volume of reagents it must expend. With the goal of reducing the reagent consumption, and therefore cost, of a pathogen detection system, we used the spore-forming bacteria Bacillus globigii (Bg) as a surrogate for the pathogen Bacillus anthracis (anthrax) to determine the lowest amplifiable volume and lowest concentration of amplified sonicated and unsonicated Bg spores that would still be detectable using capillary electrophoresis. We created a serial dilution of unsonicated Bg spores ranging in concentration from 10{sup 8} to 10{sup 1} cfu/mL. From each of these unsonicated spore dilutions we formed three aliquots that were sonicated to disrupt the spores. These sonicated aliquots were analyzed alongside the unsonicated spore samples for each dilution at reaction volumes of 25, 10, and 2 {micro}L. All samples were amplified through a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in the presence of small fluorescent molecules known as electrophoretic tags (eTags), which were analyzed with capillary electrophoresis to detect the presence of certain nucleic acid signatures. Using this process, Bg samples with concentrations as low as 10{sup 1} cfu/mL and total reaction volumes of amplification as small as 2 mL were readily detectable. Interestingly, detection was more consistent for Bg samples with initial spore concentrations between 10{sup 6} and 10{sup 3} cfu/mL, with the higher and lower concentrations yielding less compelling results. The volume of the sample also affected the efficacy of detection, with detection for 2 {micro}L samples compromised in relation to 25 and 10 {micro}L samples. Detection of sonicated Bg spores appeared to be just as efficient

  16. Sensitive, Rapid Detection of Bacterial Spores

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kern, Roger G.; Venkateswaran, Kasthuri; Chen, Fei; Pickett, Molly; Matsuyama, Asahi

    2009-01-01

    A method of sensitive detection of bacterial spores within delays of no more than a few hours has been developed to provide an alternative to a prior three-day NASA standard culture-based assay. A capability for relatively rapid detection of bacterial spores would be beneficial for many endeavors, a few examples being agriculture, medicine, public health, defense against biowarfare, water supply, sanitation, hygiene, and the food-packaging and medical-equipment industries. The method involves the use of a commercial rapid microbial detection system (RMDS) that utilizes a combination of membrane filtration, adenosine triphosphate (ATP) bioluminescence chemistry, and analysis of luminescence images detected by a charge-coupled-device camera. This RMDS has been demonstrated to be highly sensitive in enumerating microbes (it can detect as little as one colony-forming unit per sample) and has been found to yield data in excellent correlation with those of culture-based methods. What makes the present method necessary is that the specific RMDS and the original protocols for its use are not designed for discriminating between bacterial spores and other microbes. In this method, a heat-shock procedure is added prior to an incubation procedure that is specified in the original RMDS protocols. In this heat-shock procedure (which was also described in a prior NASA Tech Briefs article on enumerating sporeforming bacteria), a sample is exposed to a temperature of 80 C for 15 minutes. Spores can survive the heat shock, but nonspore- forming bacteria and spore-forming bacteria that are not in spore form cannot survive. Therefore, any colonies that grow during incubation after the heat shock are deemed to have originated as spores.

  17. The Influence of Sporulation Conditions on the Spore Coat Protein Composition of Bacillus subtilis Spores

    PubMed Central

    Abhyankar, Wishwas R.; Kamphorst, Kiki; Swarge, Bhagyashree N.; van Veen, Henk; van der Wel, Nicole N.; Brul, Stanley; de Koster, Chris G.; de Koning, Leo J.

    2016-01-01

    Spores are of high interest to the food and health sectors because of their extreme resistance to harsh conditions, especially against heat. Earlier research has shown that spores prepared on solid agar plates have a higher heat resistance than those prepared under a liquid medium condition. It has also been shown that the more mature a spore is, the higher is its heat resistance most likely mediated, at least in part, by the progressive cross-linking of coat proteins. The current study for the first time assesses, at the proteomic level, the effect of two commonly used sporulation conditions on spore protein presence. 14N spores prepared on solid Schaeffer’s-glucose (SG) agar plates and 15N metabolically labeled spores prepared in shake flasks containing 3-(N-morpholino) propane sulfonic acid (MOPS) buffered defined liquid medium differ in their coat protein composition as revealed by LC-FT-MS/MS analyses. The former condition mimics the industrial settings while the latter conditions mimic the routine laboratory environment wherein spores are developed. As seen previously in many studies, the spores prepared on the solid agar plates show a higher thermal resistance than the spores prepared under liquid culture conditions. The 14N:15N isotopic ratio of the 1:1 mixture of the spore suspensions exposes that most of the identified inner coat and crust proteins are significantly more abundant while most of the outer coat proteins are significantly less abundant for the spores prepared on solid SG agar plates relative to the spores prepared in the liquid MOPS buffered defined medium. Sporulation condition-specific differences and variation in isotopic ratios between the tryptic peptides of expected cross-linked proteins suggest that the coat protein cross-linking may also be condition specific. Since the core dipicolinic acid content is found to be similar in both the spore populations, it appears that the difference in wet heat resistance is connected to the

  18. Method for collecting spores from a mold

    DOEpatents

    Au, Frederick H. F.; Beckert, Werner F.

    1977-01-01

    A technique and apparatus used therewith for determining the uptake of plutonium and other contaminants by soil microorganisms which, in turn, gives a measure of the plutonium and/or other contaminants available to the biosphere at that particular time. A measured quantity of uncontaminated spores of a selected mold is added to a moistened sample of the soil to be tested. The mixture is allowed to sit a predetermined number of days under specified temperature conditions. An agar layer is then applied to the top of the sample. After three or more days, when spores of the mold growing in the sample have formed, the spores are collected by a miniature vacuum collection apparatus operated under preselected vacuum conditions, which collect only the spores with essentially no contamination by mycelial fragments or culture medium. After collection, the fungal spores are dried and analyzed for the plutonium and/or other contaminants. The apparatus is also suitable for collection of pollen, small insects, dust and other small particles, material from thin-layer chromatography plates, etc.

  19. Photophoretic trapping-Raman spectroscopy for single pollens and fungal spores trapped in air

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Chuji; Pan, Yong-Le; Hill, Steven C.; Redding, Brandon

    2015-03-01

    Photophoretic trapping-Raman spectroscopy (PTRS) is a new technique for measuring Raman spectra of particles that are held in air using photophoretic forces. It was initially demonstrated with Raman spectra of strongly-absorbing carbon nanoparticles (Pan et al. [44] (Opt Express 2012)). In the present paper we report the first demonstration of the use of PTRS to measure Raman spectra of absorbing and weakly-absorbing bioaerosol particles (pollens and spores). Raman spectra of three pollens and one smut spore in a size range of 6.2-41.8 μm illuminated at 488 nm are shown. Quality spectra were obtained in the Raman shift range of 1600-3400 cm-1 in this exploratory study. Distinguishable Raman scattering signals with one or a few clear Raman peaks for all four aerosol particles were observed within the wavenumber region 2940-3030 cm-1. Peaks in this region are consistent with previous reports of Raman peaks in the 1600-3400 cm-1 range for pollens and spores excited at 514 nm measured by a conventional Raman spectrometer. Noise in the spectra, the fluorescence background, and the weak Raman signals in most of the 1600-3400 cm-1 region make some of the spectral features barely discernable or not discernable for these bioaerosols except the strong signal within 2940-3030 cm-1. Up to five bands are identified in the three pollens and only two bands appear in the fungal spore, but this may be because the fungal spore is so much smaller than any of the pollens. The fungal spore signal relative to the air-nitrogen Raman band is approximately 10 times smaller than that ratio for the pollens. The five bands are tentatively assigned to the CH2 symmetric stretch at 2948 cm-1, CH2 Fermi resonance stretch at 2970 cm-1, CH3 symmetric stretch at 2990 cm-1, CH3 out-of-plane end asymmetric stretch at 3010 cm-1, and unsaturated =CH stretch at 3028 cm-1. The two dominant bands of the up-to-five Raman bands in the 2940-3030 cm-1 region have a consistent band spacing of 25 cm-1 in all

  20. Anthrax attack at the United States Capitol. Front line thoughts.

    PubMed

    Anderson, Andrea; Eisold, John F

    2002-04-01

    One great fear was realized on October 15, 2001 when United States citizens witnessed firsthand the unprecedented release of anthrax into a community. Although the office of the Attending Physician to Congress had been preparing for such an unthinkable act, lessons were learned as the events unfolded. The following is a summary of the findings: Preparation, planning, and frequent review of bioterrorism response procedures are essential. Effective communication remains the key to successful team performance. Briefings conducted daily and on an as needed basis shape the progress and performance of the team members. Electronic mail may not necessarily be the most effective way to disseminate critical information because not everyone can access the Internet outside of the work environment. Setting up a call center for answering client's questions is crucial. Clients potentially exposed to anthrax should be evacuated from the immediate area. Testing is not indicated for everyone, only those in the immediate areas. Allow health care personnel to decide whom should be tested. Such health care decisions must not be made based on anxiety or expediency. A data collection template should be set up in advance. This template should include, at least, the following: name, date of birth, social security number, the physical location of where the client might have been exposed, antibiotics administered and dosage, test results, and home and work phone number. This should be networked so a group can access and update data in real time. If the occupational health clinic has its own pharmacy, have a pill counter available to help with antibiotic distribution. The team should meet several times daily to ensure dissemination of a reliable and consistent message to the clients. Team members should be prepared to review the medical aspects of anthrax with clients on a frequent basis. A website with updated information might prove helpful for those with Internet access. This experience

  1. Destruction of Spores on Building Decontamination Residue in a Commercial Autoclave▿

    PubMed Central

    Lemieux, P.; Sieber, R.; Osborne, A.; Woodard, A.

    2006-01-01

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency conducted an experiment to evaluate the effectiveness of a commercial autoclave for treating simulated building decontamination residue (BDR). The BDR was intended to simulate porous materials removed from a building deliberately contaminated with biological agents such as Bacillus anthracis (anthrax) in a terrorist attack. The purpose of the tests was to assess whether the standard operating procedure for a commercial autoclave provided sufficiently robust conditions to adequately destroy bacterial spores bound to the BDR. In this study we investigated the effects of several variables related to autoclaving BDR, including time, temperature, pressure, item type, moisture content, packing density, packing orientation, autoclave bag integrity, and autoclave process sequence. The test team created simulated BDR from wallboard, ceiling tiles, carpet, and upholstered furniture, and embedded in the BDR were Geobacillus stearothermophilus biological indicator (BI) strips containing 106 spores and thermocouples to obtain time and temperature profile data associated with each BI strip. The results indicated that a single standard autoclave cycle did not effectively decontaminate the BDR. Autoclave cycles consisting of 120 min at 31.5 lb/in2 and 275°F and 75 min at 45 lb/in2 and 292°F effectively decontaminated the BDR material. Two sequential standard autoclave cycles consisting of 40 min at 31.5 lb/in2 and 275°F proved to be particularly effective, probably because the second cycle's evacuation step pulled the condensed water out of the pores of the materials, allowing better steam penetration. The results also indicated that the packing density and material type of the BDR in the autoclave could have a significant impact on the effectiveness of the decontamination process. PMID:17012597

  2. Destruction of spores on building decontamination residue in a commercial autoclave.

    PubMed

    Lemieux, P; Sieber, R; Osborne, A; Woodard, A

    2006-12-01

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency conducted an experiment to evaluate the effectiveness of a commercial autoclave for treating simulated building decontamination residue (BDR). The BDR was intended to simulate porous materials removed from a building deliberately contaminated with biological agents such as Bacillus anthracis (anthrax) in a terrorist attack. The purpose of the tests was to assess whether the standard operating procedure for a commercial autoclave provided sufficiently robust conditions to adequately destroy bacterial spores bound to the BDR. In this study we investigated the effects of several variables related to autoclaving BDR, including time, temperature, pressure, item type, moisture content, packing density, packing orientation, autoclave bag integrity, and autoclave process sequence. The test team created simulated BDR from wallboard, ceiling tiles, carpet, and upholstered furniture, and embedded in the BDR were Geobacillus stearothermophilus biological indicator (BI) strips containing 10(6) spores and thermocouples to obtain time and temperature profile data associated with each BI strip. The results indicated that a single standard autoclave cycle did not effectively decontaminate the BDR. Autoclave cycles consisting of 120 min at 31.5 lb/in2 and 275 degrees F and 75 min at 45 lb/in2 and 292 degrees F effectively decontaminated the BDR material. Two sequential standard autoclave cycles consisting of 40 min at 31.5 lb/in2 and 275 degrees F proved to be particularly effective, probably because the second cycle's evacuation step pulled the condensed water out of the pores of the materials, allowing better steam penetration. The results also indicated that the packing density and material type of the BDR in the autoclave could have a significant impact on the effectiveness of the decontamination process.

  3. Photocontrol of the Germination of Onoclea Spores

    PubMed Central

    Towill, Leslie R.; Ikuma, Hiroshi

    1975-01-01

    The changes in levels of metabolites during photoinduced germination of Onoclea sensibilis L. spores are described. Proteins and lipids, which constitute 25 and 20%, respectively, of the unimbibed spores on a dry weight basis, are hydrolyzed at the time of differentiation and elongation of the germling cells and may be utilized for these processes. Sucrose degradation, starch synthesis, and active respiration occur during dark imbibition, but these processes are accelerated by red or far red irradiation. Endogenous sucrose is the probable source of the carbon skeleton for starch synthesis. PMID:16659327

  4. Factors affecting spore germination in algae - review.

    PubMed

    Agrawal, S C

    2009-01-01

    This review surveys whatever little is known on the influence of different environmental factors like light, temperature, nutrients, chemicals (such as plant hormones, vitamins, etc.), pH of the medium, biotic factors (such as algal extracellular substances, algal concentration, bacterial extracellular products, animal grazing and animal extracellular products), water movement, water stress, antibiotics, UV light, X-rays, gamma-rays, and pollution on the spore germination in algae. The work done on the dormancy of algal spores and on the role of vegetative cells in tolerating environmental stress is also incorporated. PMID:19826917

  5. Bacterial spores and chemical sporicidal agents.

    PubMed Central

    Russell, A D

    1990-01-01

    Bacterial spores are among the most resistant of all living cells to biocides, although the response depends on the stage of sporulation. The development of resistance to some agents such as chlorhexidine occurs much earlier in sporulation than does resistance to glutaraldehyde, which is a very late event. During germination or outgrowth or both, resistance is lost and the cells become as susceptible to biocides as nonsporulating bacteria. Mechanisms of spore resistance to, and the action of, biocides are discussed, and possible means of enhancing antispore activity are considered. The clinical and other uses of sporicidal and sporostatic chemical agents are described. Images PMID:2187595

  6. The SPORES experiment of the EXPOSE-R mission: Bacillus subtilis spores in artificial meteorites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Panitz, Corinna; Horneck, Gerda; Rabbow, Elke; Rettberg, Petra; Moeller, Ralf; Cadet, Jean; Douki, Thierry

    2015-01-01

    The experiment SPORES `Spores in artificial meteorites' was part of European Space Agency's EXPOSE-R mission, which exposed chemical and biological samples for nearly 2 years (March 10, 2009 to February 21, 2011) to outer space, when attached to the outside of the Russian Zvezda module of the International Space Station. The overall objective of the SPORES experiment was to address the question whether the meteorite material offers enough protection against the harsh environment of space for spores to survive a long-term journey in space by experimentally mimicking the hypothetical scenario of Lithopanspermia, which assumes interplanetary transfer of life via impact-ejected rocks. For this purpose, spores of Bacillus subtilis 168 were exposed to selected parameters of outer space (solar ultraviolet (UV) radiation at λ>110 or >200 nm, space vacuum, galactic cosmic radiation and temperature fluctuations) either as a pure spore monolayer or mixed with different concentrations of artificial meteorite powder. Total fluence of solar UV radiation (100-400 nm) during the mission was 859 MJ m-2. After retrieval the viability of the samples was analysed. A Mission Ground Reference program was performed in parallel to the flight experiment. The results of SPORES demonstrate the high inactivating potential of extraterrestrial UV radiation as one of the most harmful factors of space, especially UV at λ>110 nm. The UV-induced inactivation is mainly caused by photodamaging of the DNA, as documented by the identification of the spore photoproduct 5,6-dihydro-5(α-thyminyl)thymine. The data disclose the limits of Lithopanspermia for spores located in the upper layers of impact-ejected rocks due to access of harmful extraterrestrial solar UV radiation.

  7. High-Resolution Spore Coat Architecture and Assembly of Bacillus Spores

    SciTech Connect

    Malkin, A J; Elhadj, S; Plomp, M

    2011-03-14

    Elucidating the molecular architecture of bacterial and cellular surfaces and its structural dynamics is essential to understanding mechanisms of pathogenesis, immune response, physicochemical interactions, environmental resistance, and provide the means for identifying spore formulation and processing attributes. I will discuss the application of in vitro atomic force microscopy (AFM) for studies of high-resolution coat architecture and assembly of several Bacillus spore species. We have demonstrated that bacterial spore coat structures are phylogenetically and growth medium determined. We have proposed that strikingly different species-dependent coat structures of bacterial spore species are a consequence of sporulation media-dependent nucleation and crystallization mechanisms that regulate the assembly of the outer spore coat. Spore coat layers were found to exhibit screw dislocations and two-dimensional nuclei typically observed on inorganic and macromolecular crystals. This presents the first case of non-mineral crystal growth patterns being revealed for a biological organism, which provides an unexpected example of nature exploiting fundamental materials science mechanisms for the morphogenetic control of biological ultrastructures. We have discovered and validated, distinctive formulation-specific high-resolution structural spore coat and dimensional signatures of B. anthracis spores (Sterne strain) grown in different formulation condition. We further demonstrated that measurement of the dimensional characteristics of B. anthracis spores provides formulation classification and sample matching with high sensitivity and specificity. I will present data on the development of an AFM-based immunolabeling technique for the proteomic mapping of macromolecular structures on the B. anthracis surfaces. These studies demonstrate that AFM can probe microbial surface architecture, environmental dynamics and the life cycle of bacterial and cellular systems at near

  8. Phylogenetic Characteristics of Anthrax Outbreaks in Liaoning Province, China, 2001-2015

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Zijiang; Li, Yan; Zhou, Hang; Liu, Xuesheng; Zhang, Huijuan; Cai, Hong; Liang, Xudong; Sun, Yingwei; Zhang, Zhikai; Li, Wei; Yao, Wenqing; Wei, Jianchun

    2016-01-01

    Anthrax is a continuous threat in China, especially in rural regions. In July 2015, an anthrax outbreak occurred in Xifeng County, Liaoning Province. A total of 10 cutaneous anthrax cases were reported, with 210 people under medical observation. In this study, the general characteristics of human anthrax outbreak occurred in Liaoning Province were described, and all cases were caused by butchering and contacting sick animal. Meanwhile, the phylogenetic relationship between outbreak-related isolates/samples of the year 2015 and previous Bacillus anthracis strains was analyzed by means of canonical single nucleotide polymorphisms (canSNP), multiple-locus variable-number tandem repeat analysis (MLVA) with 15 markers and single-nucleotide repeats (SNR) analysis. There are two canSNP subgroups found in Liaoning, A.Br.001/002 and A.Br.Ames, and a total of six MLVA 15 genotypes and five SNR genotypes were observed. The strain collected from anthrax outbreak in Xifeng County in 2015 was classified as A.Br.001/002 subgroup and identified as MLVA15-29 genotype, with same SNR profile (CL10: 17, CL12: 15, CL33: 29, and CL35: 13). So we conclude that the same clone of B.anthracis caused the anthrax outbreak in Xifeng County in 2015, and this clone is different to previous isolates. Strengthening public health education in China is one of the most important measures to prevent and control anthrax. PMID:27299730

  9. Predicting Disease Risk, Identifying Stakeholders, and Informing Control Strategies: A Case Study of Anthrax in Montana.

    PubMed

    Morris, Lillian R; Blackburn, Jason K

    2016-06-01

    Infectious diseases that affect wildlife and livestock are challenging to manage and can lead to large-scale die-offs, economic losses, and threats to human health. The management of infectious diseases in wildlife and livestock is made easier with knowledge of disease risk across space and identifying stakeholders associated with high-risk landscapes. This study focuses on anthrax, caused by the bacterium Bacillus anthracis, risk to wildlife and livestock in Montana. There is a history of anthrax in Montana, but the spatial extent of disease risk and subsequent wildlife species at risk are not known. Our objective was to predict the potential geographic distribution of anthrax risk across Montana, identify wildlife species at risk and their distributions, and define stakeholders. We used an ecological niche model to predict the potential distribution of anthrax risk. We overlaid susceptible wildlife species distributions and land ownership delineations on our risk map. We found that there was an extensive region across Montana predicted as potential anthrax risk. These potentially risky landscapes overlapped the ranges of all 6 ungulate species considered in the analysis and livestock grazing allotments, and this overlap was on public and private land for all species. Our findings suggest that there is the potential for a multi-species anthrax outbreak on multiple landscapes across Montana. Our potential anthrax risk map can be used to prioritize landscapes for surveillance and for implementing livestock vaccination programs. PMID:27169560

  10. Phylogenetic Characteristics of Anthrax Outbreaks in Liaoning Province, China, 2001-2015.

    PubMed

    Mao, Lingling; Zhang, Enmin; Wang, Zijiang; Li, Yan; Zhou, Hang; Liu, Xuesheng; Zhang, Huijuan; Cai, Hong; Liang, Xudong; Sun, Yingwei; Zhang, Zhikai; Li, Wei; Yao, Wenqing; Wei, Jianchun

    2016-01-01

    Anthrax is a continuous threat in China, especially in rural regions. In July 2015, an anthrax outbreak occurred in Xifeng County, Liaoning Province. A total of 10 cutaneous anthrax cases were reported, with 210 people under medical observation. In this study, the general characteristics of human anthrax outbreak occurred in Liaoning Province were described, and all cases were caused by butchering and contacting sick animal. Meanwhile, the phylogenetic relationship between outbreak-related isolates/samples of the year 2015 and previous Bacillus anthracis strains was analyzed by means of canonical single nucleotide polymorphisms (canSNP), multiple-locus variable-number tandem repeat analysis (MLVA) with 15 markers and single-nucleotide repeats (SNR) analysis. There are two canSNP subgroups found in Liaoning, A.Br.001/002 and A.Br.Ames, and a total of six MLVA 15 genotypes and five SNR genotypes were observed. The strain collected from anthrax outbreak in Xifeng County in 2015 was classified as A.Br.001/002 subgroup and identified as MLVA15-29 genotype, with same SNR profile (CL10: 17, CL12: 15, CL33: 29, and CL35: 13). So we conclude that the same clone of B.anthracis caused the anthrax outbreak in Xifeng County in 2015, and this clone is different to previous isolates. Strengthening public health education in China is one of the most important measures to prevent and control anthrax. PMID:27299730

  11. Recombinant HSA-CMG2 Is a Promising Anthrax Toxin Inhibitor.

    PubMed

    Li, Liangliang; Guo, Qiang; Liu, Ju; Zhang, Jun; Yin, Ying; Dong, Dayong; Fu, Ling; Xu, Junjie; Chen, Wei

    2016-01-01

    Anthrax toxin is the major virulence factor produced by Bacillus anthracis. Protective antigen (PA) is the key component of the toxin and has been confirmed as the main target for the development of toxin inhibitors. The inhibition of the binding of PA to its receptor, capillary morphogenesis protein-2 (CMG2), can effectively block anthrax intoxication. The recombinant, soluble von Willebrand factor type A (vWA) domain of CMG2 (sCMG2) has demonstrated potency against anthrax toxin. However, the short half-life of sCMG2 in vivo is a disadvantage for its development as a new anthrax drug. In the present study, we report that HSA-CMG2, a protein combining human serum albumin (HSA) and sCMG2, produced in the Pichia pastoris expression system prolonged the half-life of sCMG2 while maintaining PA binding ability. The IC50 of HSA-CMG2 is similar to those of sCMG2 and CMG2-Fc in in vitro toxin neutralization assays, and HSA-CMG2 completely protects rats from lethal doses of anthrax toxin challenge; these same challenge doses exceed sCMG2 at a sub-equivalent dose ratio and overwhelm CMG2-Fc. Our results suggest that HSA-CMG2 is a promising inhibitor of anthrax toxin and may contribute to the development of novel anthrax drugs. PMID:26805881

  12. The sepsis model: an emerging hypothesis for the lethality of inhalation anthrax.

    PubMed

    Coggeshall, Kenneth Mark; Lupu, Florea; Ballard, Jimmy; Metcalf, Jordan P; James, Judith A; Farris, Darise; Kurosawa, Shinichiro

    2013-07-01

    Inhalation anthrax is often described as a toxin-mediated disease. However, the toxaemia model does not account for the high mortality of inhalation anthrax relative to other forms of the disease or for the pathology present in inhalation anthrax. Patients with inhalation anthrax consistently show extreme bacteraemia and, in contrast to animals challenged with toxin, signs of sepsis. Rather than toxaemia, we propose that death in inhalation anthrax results from an overwhelming bacteraemia that leads to severe sepsis. According to our model, the central role of anthrax toxin is to permit the vegetative bacteria to escape immune detection. Other forms of B. anthracis infection have lower mortality because their overt symptoms early in the course of disease cause patients to seek medical care at a time when the infection and its sequelae can still be reversed by antibiotics. Thus, the sepsis model explains key features of inhalation anthrax and may offer a more complete understanding of disease pathology for researchers as well as those involved in the care of patients.

  13. Anthrax in a backyard domestic dog in Ukraine: a case report.

    PubMed

    Blackburn, Jason K; Skrypnyk, Artem; Bagamian, Karoun H; Nikolich, Mikeljon P; Bezymennyi, Maksym; Skrypnyk, Valeriy

    2014-08-01

    Anthrax has been reported in domestic and wild dogs throughout much of the world. Generally, canids are considered resistant to anthrax, although there are several reports of anthrax deaths in both wild and domestic canid populations. Prior to 2012, anthrax had not been reported in dogs in Ukraine, despite a long history in livestock and wildlife. An outbreak involving at least one cow and one dog was reported from a backyard setting in southern Ukraine in August of 2012. Laboratory results and epizootic data were compiled from official investigation reports of regional and state veterinary services involved in the case response. A single dog died after being fed meat and bones from an illegally slaughtered heifer that died of anthrax 5 days earlier. On the evening of the dog's death, the dog refused food or water; however, there were no other clinical signs. Laboratory tests of dog tissue included traditional bacteriology for Bacillus anthracis, a small rodent bioassay for virulence, and immunoprecipitation tests (IPT). IPT was positive, viable B. anthracis colonies were cultured, and a bioassay confirmed virulence. This was the first confirmed case of canid anthrax in Ukraine. This case report serves to remind veterinary officials that anthrax can affect a wide number of species. We advise surveillance systems remain flexible and include animals that might not otherwise be tested.

  14. Recombinant HSA-CMG2 Is a Promising Anthrax Toxin Inhibitor.

    PubMed

    Li, Liangliang; Guo, Qiang; Liu, Ju; Zhang, Jun; Yin, Ying; Dong, Dayong; Fu, Ling; Xu, Junjie; Chen, Wei

    2016-01-20

    Anthrax toxin is the major virulence factor produced by Bacillus anthracis. Protective antigen (PA) is the key component of the toxin and has been confirmed as the main target for the development of toxin inhibitors. The inhibition of the binding of PA to its receptor, capillary morphogenesis protein-2 (CMG2), can effectively block anthrax intoxication. The recombinant, soluble von Willebrand factor type A (vWA) domain of CMG2 (sCMG2) has demonstrated potency against anthrax toxin. However, the short half-life of sCMG2 in vivo is a disadvantage for its development as a new anthrax drug. In the present study, we report that HSA-CMG2, a protein combining human serum albumin (HSA) and sCMG2, produced in the Pichia pastoris expression system prolonged the half-life of sCMG2 while maintaining PA binding ability. The IC50 of HSA-CMG2 is similar to those of sCMG2 and CMG2-Fc in in vitro toxin neutralization assays, and HSA-CMG2 completely protects rats from lethal doses of anthrax toxin challenge; these same challenge doses exceed sCMG2 at a sub-equivalent dose ratio and overwhelm CMG2-Fc. Our results suggest that HSA-CMG2 is a promising inhibitor of anthrax toxin and may contribute to the development of novel anthrax drugs.

  15. Surveillance and control of anthrax and rabies in wild herbivores and carnivores in Namibia.

    PubMed

    Berry, H H

    1993-03-01

    Anthrax has been studied intensively in Etosha National Park, Namibia since 1966; in addition, since 1975, mortality due to rabies and all other causes has been recorded, totalling 6,190 deaths. Standard diagnostic procedures demonstrated that at least 811 deaths (13%) were due to anthrax and 115 deaths (2%) were caused by rabies. Of the total number of deaths due to anthrax, 97% occurred in zebra (Equus burchelli), elephant (Loxodonta africana), wildebeest (Connochaetes taurinus) and springbok (Antidorcas marsupialis) while 96% of rabies deaths occurred in kudu (Tragelaphus strepsiceros), jackal (Canis mesomelas), bat-eared fox (Otocyon megalotis) and lion (Panthera leo). Anthrax deaths were highest in the rainy season for zebra, wildebeest and springbok, while elephant mortality peaked during dry seasons. No statistical relationship existed between seasonal rainfall and overall incidence of either anthrax or rabies. Control of anthrax is limited to prophylactic inoculation when rare or endangered species are threatened. Incineration of anthrax carcasses and chemical disinfection of drinking water are not feasible at Etosha. Rabies control consists of the destruction of rabid animals and incineration of their carcasses when possible.

  16. Mapping the Distribution of Anthrax in Mainland China, 2005–2013

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Yang; Liu, Kun; Li, Xin-Lou; Yao, Hong-Wu; Li, Yu; Zhou, Hang; Wang, Li-Ping; Mu, Di; Yin, Wen-Wu; Fang, Li-Qun; Yu, Hong-Jie; Cao, Wu-Chun

    2016-01-01

    Background Anthrax, a global re-emerging zoonotic disease in recent years is enzootic in mainland China. Despite its significance to the public health, spatiotemporal distributions of the disease in human and livestock and its potential driving factors remain poorly understood. Methodology/Principal Findings Using the national surveillance data of human and livestock anthrax from 2005 to 2013, we conducted a retrospective epidemiological study and risk assessment of anthrax in mainland China. The potential determinants for the temporal and spatial distributions of human anthrax were also explored. We found that the majority of human anthrax cases were located in six provinces in western and northeastern China, and five clustering areas with higher incidences were identified. The disease mostly peaked in July or August, and males aged 30–49 years had higher incidence than other subgroups. Monthly incidence of human anthrax was positively correlated with monthly average temperature, relative humidity and monthly accumulative rainfall with lags of 0–2 months. A boosted regression trees (BRT) model at the county level reveals that densities of cattle, sheep and human, coverage of meadow, coverage of typical grassland, elevation, coverage of topsoil with pH > 6.1, concentration of organic carbon in topsoil, and the meteorological factors have contributed substantially to the spatial distribution of the disease. The model-predicted probability of occurrence of human cases in mainland China was mapped at the county level. Conclusions/Significance Anthrax in China was characterized by significant seasonality and spatial clustering. The spatial distribution of human anthrax was largely driven by livestock husbandry, human density, land cover, elevation, topsoil features and climate. Enhanced surveillance and intervention for livestock and human anthrax in the high-risk regions, particularly on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, is the key to the prevention of human infections

  17. Risk practices for animal and human anthrax in Bangladesh: an exploratory study

    PubMed Central

    Islam, Md. Saiful; Hossain, M. Jahangir; Mikolon, Andrea; Parveen, Shahana; Khan, M. Salah Uddin; Haider, Najmul; Chakraborty, Apurba; Titu, Abu Mohammad Naser; Rahman, M. Waliur; Sazzad, Hossain M. S.; Rahman, Mahmudur; Gurley, Emily S.; Luby, Stephen P.

    2013-01-01

    Introduction From August 2009 to October 2010, International Centre for Diarrheal Disease Research, Bangladesh and the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research together investigated 14 outbreaks of anthrax which included 140 animal and 273 human cases in 14 anthrax-affected villages. Our investigation objectives were to explore the context in which these outbreaks occurred, including livestock rearing practices, human handling of sick and dead animals, and the anthrax vaccination program. Methods Field anthropologists used qualitative data-collection tools, including 15 hours of unstructured observations, 11 key informant interviews, 32 open-ended interviews, and 6 group discussions in 5 anthrax-affected villages. Results Each cattle owner in the affected communities raised a median of six ruminants on their household premises. The ruminants were often grazed in pastures and fed supplementary rice straw, green grass, water hyacinth, rice husk, wheat bran, and oil cake; lactating cows were given dicalcium phosphate. Cattle represented a major financial investment. Since Islamic law forbids eating animals that die from natural causes, when anthrax-infected cattle were moribund, farmers often slaughtered them on the household premises while they were still alive so that the meat could be eaten. Farmers ate the meat and sold it to neighbors. Skinners removed and sold the hides from discarded carcasses. Farmers discarded the carcasses and slaughtering waste into ditches, bodies of water, or open fields. Cattle in the affected communities did not receive routine anthrax vaccine due to low production, poor distribution, and limited staffing for vaccination. Conclusion Slaughtering anthrax-infected animals and disposing of butchering waste and carcasses in environments where ruminants live and graze, combined with limited vaccination, provided a context that permitted repeated anthrax outbreaks in animals and humans. Because of strong financial incentives

  18. Chamber for Aerosol Deposition of Bioparticles

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kern, Roger; Kirschner, Larry

    2008-01-01

    Laboratory apparatus is depicted that is a chamber for aerosol deposition of bioparticles on surfaces of test coupons. It is designed for primary use in inoculating both flat and three-dimensional objects with approximately reproducible, uniform dispersions of bacterial spores of the genus Bacillus so that the objects could be used as standards for removal of the spores by quantitative surface sampling and/or cleaning processes. The apparatus is also designed for deposition of particles other than bacterial spores, including fungal spores, viruses, bacteriophages, and standard micron-sized beads. The novelty of the apparatus lies in the combination of a controllable nebulization system with a settling chamber large enough to contain a significant number of test coupons. Several companies market other nebulizer systems, but none are known to include chambers for deposition of bioparticles to mimic the natural fallout of bioparticles. The nebulization system is an expanded and improved version of commercially available aerosol generators that include nebulizers and drying columns. In comparison with a typical commercial aerosol generator, this system includes additional, higher-resolution flowmeters and an additional pressure regulator. Also, unlike a typical commercial aerosol generator, it includes stopcocks for separately controlling flows of gases to the nebulizer and drying column. To maximize the degree of uniformity of dispersion of bioaerosol, the chamber is shaped as an axisymmetrical cylinder and the aerosol generator is positioned centrally within the chamber and aimed upward like a fountain. In order to minimize electric charge associated with the aerosol particles, the drying column is made of aluminum, the drying column is in direct contact with an aluminum base plate, and three equally spaced Po-210 antistatic strips are located at the exit end of the drying column. The sides and top of the chamber are made of an acrylic polymer; to prevent

  19. [Characteristics of anthrax: its description and biblical name--Shehin].

    PubMed

    Ben-Noun, Liubov

    2002-05-01

    The illness known as Anthrax is very rare in the west. In developing countries relatively significant numbers of cases are found, particularly in animals. However, biological terrorist acts could cause it to spread. In Hebrew, the illness is now called Gahelet or Gameret. The purpose of this paper is to examine whether the illness is described in the Bible, and if so, to present that description and provide a broader survey of the features of this illness. The word Gahelet appears in the Bible, but not indicating a disease, while the source of Gameret is in the Talmud. In the Bible, Shehin is mentioned as the sixth of the ten plagues in Egypt, and also as the disease that affected Job. The natural course of the condition, as described in the Bible, matches the clinical symptoms of Anthrax, as we know it today. The Hebrew Language Academy is therefore advised to adopt the findings of this paper, and confirm the name of the illness in Israel--Shehin.

  20. Atomic structure of anthrax protective antigen pore elucidates toxin translocation.

    PubMed

    Jiang, Jiansen; Pentelute, Bradley L; Collier, R John; Zhou, Z Hong

    2015-05-28

    Anthrax toxin, comprising protective antigen, lethal factor, and oedema factor, is the major virulence factor of Bacillus anthracis, an agent that causes high mortality in humans and animals. Protective antigen forms oligomeric prepores that undergo conversion to membrane-spanning pores by endosomal acidification, and these pores translocate the enzymes lethal factor and oedema factor into the cytosol of target cells. Protective antigen is not only a vaccine component and therapeutic target for anthrax infections but also an excellent model system for understanding the mechanism of protein translocation. On the basis of biochemical and electrophysiological results, researchers have proposed that a phi (Φ)-clamp composed of phenylalanine (Phe)427 residues of protective antigen catalyses protein translocation via a charge-state-dependent Brownian ratchet. Although atomic structures of protective antigen prepores are available, how protective antigen senses low pH, converts to active pore, and translocates lethal factor and oedema factor are not well defined without an atomic model of its pore. Here, by cryo-electron microscopy with direct electron counting, we determine the protective antigen pore structure at 2.9-Å resolution. The structure reveals the long-sought-after catalytic Φ-clamp and the membrane-spanning translocation channel, and supports the Brownian ratchet model for protein translocation. Comparisons of four structures reveal conformational changes in prepore to pore conversion that support a multi-step mechanism by which low pH is sensed and the membrane-spanning channel is formed.

  1. Atomic structure of anthrax PA pore elucidates toxin translocation

    PubMed Central

    Jiang, Jiansen; Pentelute, Bradley L.; Collier, R. John; Zhou, Z. Hong

    2015-01-01

    Summary Anthrax toxin, comprising protective antigen (PA), lethal factor (LF) and edema factor (EF), is the major virulence factor of Bacillus anthracis, an agent that causes high mortality in human and animals. PA forms oligomeric prepores that undergo conversion to membrane-spanning pores by endosomal acidification, and these pores translocate the enzymes LF and EF into the cytosol of target cells1. PA is not only a vaccine component and therapeutic target for anthrax infections but also an excellent model system for understanding the mechanism of protein translocation. Based on biochemical and electrophysiological results, researchers have proposed that a Φ-clamp composed of Phe427 residues of PA catalyzes protein translocation via a charge-state dependent Brownian ratchet2–9. Although atomic structures of PA prepores are available10–14, how PA senses low pH, converts to active pore and translocates LF and EF are not well defined without an atomic model of the PA pore. Here, by cryo electron microscopy (cryoEM) with direct electron counting, we have determined the PA pore structure at 2.9-Å resolution. The structure reveals the long-sought-after catalytic Φ-clamp and the membrane-spanning translocation channel, and supports the Brownian ratchet model for protein translocation. Comparisons of four structures reveal conformational changes in prepore to pore conversion that support a multi-step mechanism by which low-pH is sensed and the membrane-spanning channel is formed. PMID:25778700

  2. Rabies virus glycoprotein as a carrier for anthrax protective antigen

    SciTech Connect

    Smith, Mary Ellen; Koser, Martin; Xiao Sa; Siler, Catherine; McGettigan, James P.; Calkins, Catherine; Pomerantz, Roger J.; Dietzschold, Bernhard; Schnell, Matthias J. . E-mail: matthias.schnell@jefferson.edu

    2006-09-30

    Live viral vectors expressing foreign antigens have shown great promise as vaccines against viral diseases. However, safety concerns remain a major problem regarding the use of even highly attenuated viral vectors. Using the rabies virus (RV) envelope protein as a carrier molecule, we show here that inactivated RV particles can be utilized to present Bacillus anthracis protective antigen (PA) domain-4 in the viral membrane. In addition to the RV glycoprotein (G) transmembrane and cytoplasmic domains, a portion of the RV G ectodomain was required to express the chimeric RV G anthrax PA on the cell surface. The novel antigen was also efficiently incorporated into RV virions. Mice immunized with the inactivated recombinant RV virions exhibited seroconversion against both RV G and anthrax PA, and a second inoculation greatly increased these responses. These data demonstrate that a viral envelope protein can carry a bacterial protein and that a viral carrier can display whole polypeptides compared to the limited epitope presentation of previous viral systems.

  3. Stable Dry Powder Formulation for Nasal Delivery of Anthrax Vaccine

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Sheena H.; Kirwan, Shaun M.; Abraham, Soman N.; Staats, Herman F.; Hickey, Anthony J.

    2013-01-01

    There is a current biodefense interest in protection against Anthrax. Here we developed a new generation of stable and effective anthrax vaccine. We studied the immune response elicited by rPA delivered intranasally with a novel mucosal adjuvant, a mast cell activator Compound 48/80. The vaccine formulation was prepared in a powder form by spray-freeze-drying (SFD) under optimized conditions to produce particles with a target size of D50=25μm, suitable for delivery to the rabbit nasal cavity. Physicochemical properties of the powder vaccines were characterized to assess their delivery and storage potential. Structural stability of rPA was confirmed by CD and ATR-FTIR, while functional stability of rPA and C48/80 was monitored by cell-based assays. Animal study was performed using a unitdose powder device for direct nasal application. Results showed that C48/80 provided effective mucosal adjuvant activity in rabbits. Freshly prepared SFD powder vaccine formulations or powders stored for over two years at room temperature elicited significantly elevated serum PA-specific and lethal toxin neutralization antibody titers that were comparable to that induced by IM immunization with rPA. Nasal delivery of this vaccine formulation may be a viable alternative to the currently licensed vaccine, or an attractive vaccine platform for other mucosally transmitted diseases. PMID:21905034

  4. Nanomechanical Characterization of Bacillus anthracis Spores by Atomic Force Microscopy

    PubMed Central

    Burggraf, Larry W.; Xing, Yun

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT The study of structures and properties of bacterial spores is important to understanding spore formation and biological responses to environmental stresses. While significant progress has been made over the years in elucidating the multilayer architecture of spores, the mechanical properties of the spore interior are not known. Here, we present a thermal atomic force microscopy (AFM) study of the nanomechanical properties of internal structures of Bacillus anthracis spores. We developed a nanosurgical sectioning method in which a stiff diamond AFM tip was used to cut an individual spore, exposing its internal structure, and a soft AFM tip was used to image and characterize the spore interior on the nanometer scale. We observed that the elastic modulus and adhesion force, including their thermal responses at elevated temperatures, varied significantly in different regions of the spore section. Our AFM images indicated that the peptidoglycan (PG) cortex of Bacillus anthracis spores consisted of rod-like nanometer-sized structures that are oriented in the direction perpendicular to the spore surface. Our findings may shed light on the spore architecture and properties. IMPORTANCE A nanosurgical AFM method was developed that can be used to probe the structure and properties of the spore interior. The previously unknown ultrastructure of the PG cortex of Bacillus anthracis spores was observed to consist of nanometer-sized rod-like structures that are oriented in the direction perpendicular to the spore surface. The variations in the nanomechanical properties of the spore section were largely correlated with its chemical composition. Different components of the spore materials showed different thermal responses at elevated temperatures. PMID:26969703

  5. Fifth international fungus spore conference. [Abstracts]: Final technical report

    SciTech Connect

    Timberlake, W.E.

    1993-04-01

    This folio contains the proceedings of the Fifth International Fungal Spore Conference held August 17-21, 1991 at the Unicoi State Park at Helen, Georgia. The volume contains abstracts of each oral presentation as well as a collection of abstracts describing the poster sessions. Presentations were organized around the themes (1) Induction of Sporulation, (2) Nuclear Division, (3) Spore Formation, (4) Spore Release and Dispersal, and (4) Spore Germination.

  6. Aerosol stability of infectious and potentially infectious reovirus particles.

    PubMed Central

    Adams, D J; Spendlove, J C; Spendlove, R S; Barnett, B B

    1982-01-01

    The aerosol stability of two particle forms, infectious and potentially infectious, of reovirus were examined under static conditions for a range of relative humidities at 21 and 24 degrees C. Virus aerosolization efficiency was determined for two methods of dissemination: Collison nebulizer and Chicago atomizer. Suspensions of Bacillus subtilis var. niger spores were added to reovirus preparations that included both particle forms and disseminated into a dynamic aerosol toroid to estimate the physical decay of the aerosols. At 90 to 100% relative humidity, both reovirus particle forms showed less than 10-fold loss of infectivity after 12 h of aging. At lower relative humidities the aerosol decay curve showed rapid initial decay followed by a markedly lower decay rate. Our findings reveal that reovirus particles are relatively stable in the airborne state. PMID:7149719

  7. Antimicrobial Treatment for Systemic Anthrax: Analysis of Cases from 1945 to 2014 Identified Through a Systematic Literature Review.

    PubMed

    Pillai, Satish K; Huang, Eileen; Guarnizo, Julie T; Hoyle, Jamechia D; Katharios-Lanwermeyer, Stefan; Turski, Theresa K; Bower, William A; Hendricks, Katherine A; Meaney-Delman, Dana

    2015-01-01

    Systemic anthrax is associated with high mortality. Current national guidelines, developed for the individualized treatment of systemic anthrax, outline the use of combination intravenous antimicrobials for a minimum of 2 weeks, bactericidal and protein synthesis inhibitor antimicrobials for all cases of systemic anthrax, and at least 3 antimicrobials with good blood-brain barrier penetration for anthrax meningitis. However, in an anthrax mass casualty incident, large numbers of anthrax cases may create challenges in meeting antimicrobial needs. To further inform our understanding of the role of antimicrobials in treating systemic anthrax, a systematic review of the English-language literature was conducted to identify cases of systemic anthrax treated with antimicrobials for which a clinical outcome was recorded. A total of 149 cases of systemic anthrax were identified. Among the identified 59 cases of cutaneous anthrax, 33 were complicated by meningitis (76% mortality), while 26 simply had evidence of the systemic inflammatory response syndrome (4% mortality); 21 of 26 (81%) of this latter group received monotherapy. Subsequent analysis regarding combination antimicrobial therapy was restricted to the remaining 123 cases of more severe anthrax (overall 67% mortality). Recipients of combination bactericidal and protein synthesis inhibitor therapy had a 45% survival versus 28% in the absence of combination therapy (p = 0.07). For meningitis cases (n = 77), survival was greater for those receiving 3 or more antimicrobials over the course of treatment (3 of 4; 75%), compared to receipt of 1 or 2 antimicrobials (12 of 73; 16%) (p = 0.02). Median parenteral antimicrobial duration was 14 days. Combination bactericidal and protein synthesis inhibitor therapy may be appropriate in severe anthrax disease, particularly anthrax meningitis, in a mass casualty incident.

  8. Real time viability detection of bacterial spores

    DOEpatents

    Vanderberg, Laura A.; Herdendorf, Timothy J.; Obiso, Richard J.

    2003-07-29

    This invention relates to a process for detecting the presence of viable bacterial spores in a sample and to a spore detection system, the process including placing a sample in a germination medium for a period of time sufficient for commitment of any present viable bacterial spores to occur, mixing the sample with a solution of a lanthanide capable of forming a fluorescent complex with dipicolinic acid, and, measuring the sample for the presence of dipicolinic acid, and the system including a germination chamber having inlets from a sample chamber, a germinant chamber and a bleach chamber, the germination chamber further including an outlet through a filtering means, the outlet connected to a detection chamber, the detection chamber having an inlet from a fluorescence promoting metal chamber and the detection chamber including a spectral excitation source and a means of measuring emission spectra from a sample, the detection chamber further connected to a waste chamber. A germination reaction mixture useful for promoting commitment of any viable bacterial spores in a sample including a combination of L-alanine, L-asparagine and D-glucose is also described.

  9. Classification of Streptomyces Spore Surfaces into Five Groups

    PubMed Central

    Dietz, Alma; Mathews, John

    1971-01-01

    Streptomyces spores surfaces have been classified into five groups, smooth, warty, spiny, hairy, and rugose, by examination of carbon replicas of spores with the transmission electron microscope and by direct examination of spores with the scanning electron microscope. Images PMID:4928607

  10. Requirements for In Vitro Germination of Paenibacillus larvae Spores

    PubMed Central

    Alvarado, Israel; Phui, Andy; Elekonich, Michelle M.

    2013-01-01

    Paenibacillus larvae is the causative agent of American foulbrood (AFB), a disease affecting honey bee larvae. First- and second-instar larvae become infected when they ingest food contaminated with P. larvae spores. The spores then germinate into vegetative cells that proliferate in the midgut of the honey bee. Although AFB affects honey bees only in the larval stage, P. larvae spores can be distributed throughout the hive. Because spore germination is critical for AFB establishment, we analyzed the requirements for P. larvae spore germination in vitro. We found that P. larvae spores germinated only in response to l-tyrosine plus uric acid under physiologic pH and temperature conditions. This suggests that the simultaneous presence of these signals is necessary for spore germination in vivo. Furthermore, the germination profiles of environmentally derived spores were identical to those of spores from a biochemically typed strain. Because l-tyrosine and uric acid are the only required germinants in vitro, we screened amino acid and purine analogs for their ability to act as antagonists of P. larvae spore germination. Indole and phenol, the side chains of tyrosine and tryptophan, strongly inhibited P. larvae spore germination. Methylation of the N-1 (but not the C-3) position of indole eliminated its ability to inhibit germination. Identification of the activators and inhibitors of P. larvae spore germination provides a basis for developing new tools to control AFB. PMID:23264573

  11. Imaging bacterial spores by soft-x-ray microscopy

    SciTech Connect

    Stead, A.D.; Ford, T.W.; Judge, J.

    1997-04-01

    Bacterial spores are able to survive dehydration, but neither the physiological nor structural basis of this have been fully elucidated. Furthermore, once hydrated, spores often require activation before they will germinate. Several treatments can be used to activate spores, but in the case of Bacillus subtlis the most effective is heat treatment. The physiological mechanism associated with activation is also not understood, but some workers suggest that the loss of calcium from the spores may be critical. However, just prior to germination, the spores change from being phase bright to phase dark when viewed by light microscopy. Imaging spores by soft x-ray microscopy is possible without fixation. Thus, in contrast to electron microscopy, it is possible to compare the structure of dehydrated and hydrated spores in a manner not possible previously. A further advantage is that it is possible to monitor individual spores by phase contrast light microscopy immediately prior to imaging with soft x-rays; whereas, with both electron microscopy and biochemical studies, it is a population of spores being studied without knowledge of the phase characteristics of individual spores. This study has therefore tried to compare dehydrated and hydrated spores and to determine if there is a mass loss from individual spores as they pass the transition from being phase bright to phase dark.

  12. Genome Diversity of Spore-Forming Firmicutes

    PubMed Central

    Galperin, Michael Y.

    2015-01-01

    Summary Formation of heat-resistant endospores is a specific property of the members of the phylum Firmicutes (low-G+C Gram-positive bacteria). It is found in representatives of four different classes of Firmicutes: Bacilli, Clostridia, Erysipelotrichia, and Negativicutes, which all encode similar sets of core sporulation proteins. Each of these classes also includes non-spore-forming organisms that sometimes belong to the same genus or even species as their spore-forming relatives. This chapter reviews the diversity of the members of phylum Firmicutes, its current taxonomy, and the status of genome sequencing projects for various subgroups within the phylum. It also discusses the evolution of the Firmicutes from their apparently spore-forming common ancestor and the independent loss of sporulation genes in several different lineages (staphylococci, streptococci, listeria, lactobacilli, ruminococci) in the course of their adaptation to the saprophytic lifestyle in nutrient-rich environment. It argues that systematics of Firmicutes is a rapidly developing area of research that benefits from the evolutionary approaches to the ever-increasing amount of genomic and phenotypic data and allows arranging these data into a common framework. Later the Bacillus filaments begin to prepare for spore formation. In their homogenous contents strongly refracting bodies appear. From each of these bodies develops an oblong or shortly cylindrical, strongly refracting, dark-rimmed spore. Ferdinand Cohn. 1876. Untersuchungen über Bacterien. IV. Beiträge zur Biologie der Bacillen. Beiträge zur Biologie der Pflanzen, vol. 2, pp. 249–276. (Studies on the biology of the bacilli. In: Milestones in Microbiology: 1546 to 1940. Translated and edited by Thomas D. Brock. Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, 1961, pp. 49–56). PMID:26184964

  13. Reaerosolization of Spores from Flooring Surfaces To Assess the Risk of Dissemination and Transmission of Infections.

    PubMed

    Paton, Susan; Thompson, Katy-Anne; Parks, Simon R; Bennett, Allan M

    2015-08-01

    The aim of this study was to quantify reaerosolization of microorganisms caused by walking on contaminated flooring to assess the risk to individuals accessing areas contaminated with pathogenic organisms, for example, spores of Bacillus anthracis. Industrial carpet and polyvinyl chloride (PVC) floor coverings were contaminated with aerosolized spores of Bacillus atrophaeus by using an artist airbrush to produce deposition of ∼10(3) to 10(4) CFU · cm(-2). Microbiological air samplers were used to quantify the particle size distribution of the aerosol generated when a person walked over the floorings in an environmental chamber. Results were expressed as reaerosolization factors (percent per square centimeter per liter), to represent the ratio of air concentration to surface concentration generated. Walking on carpet generated a statistically significantly higher reaerosolization factor value than did walking on PVC (t = 20.42; P < 0.001). Heavier walking produced a statistically significantly higher reaerosolization factor value than did lighter walking (t = 12.421; P < 0.001). Height also had a statistically significant effect on the reaerosolization factor, with higher rates of recovery of B. atrophaeus at lower levels, demonstrating a height-dependent gradient of particle reaerosolization. Particles in the respirable size range were recovered in all sampling scenarios (mass mean diameters ranged from 2.6 to 4.1 μm). The results of this study can be used to produce a risk assessment of the potential aerosol exposure of a person accessing areas with contaminated flooring in order to inform the choice of appropriate respiratory protective equipment and may aid in the selection of the most suitable flooring types for use in health care environments, to reduce aerosol transmission in the event of contamination.

  14. Reaerosolization of Spores from Flooring Surfaces To Assess the Risk of Dissemination and Transmission of Infections.

    PubMed

    Paton, Susan; Thompson, Katy-Anne; Parks, Simon R; Bennett, Allan M

    2015-08-01

    The aim of this study was to quantify reaerosolization of microorganisms caused by walking on contaminated flooring to assess the risk to individuals accessing areas contaminated with pathogenic organisms, for example, spores of Bacillus anthracis. Industrial carpet and polyvinyl chloride (PVC) floor coverings were contaminated with aerosolized spores of Bacillus atrophaeus by using an artist airbrush to produce deposition of ∼10(3) to 10(4) CFU · cm(-2). Microbiological air samplers were used to quantify the particle size distribution of the aerosol generated when a person walked over the floorings in an environmental chamber. Results were expressed as reaerosolization factors (percent per square centimeter per liter), to represent the ratio of air concentration to surface concentration generated. Walking on carpet generated a statistically significantly higher reaerosolization factor value than did walking on PVC (t = 20.42; P < 0.001). Heavier walking produced a statistically significantly higher reaerosolization factor value than did lighter walking (t = 12.421; P < 0.001). Height also had a statistically significant effect on the reaerosolization factor, with higher rates of recovery of B. atrophaeus at lower levels, demonstrating a height-dependent gradient of particle reaerosolization. Particles in the respirable size range were recovered in all sampling scenarios (mass mean diameters ranged from 2.6 to 4.1 μm). The results of this study can be used to produce a risk assessment of the potential aerosol exposure of a person accessing areas with contaminated flooring in order to inform the choice of appropriate respiratory protective equipment and may aid in the selection of the most suitable flooring types for use in health care environments, to reduce aerosol transmission in the event of contamination. PMID:25979883

  15. Reaerosolization of Spores from Flooring Surfaces To Assess the Risk of Dissemination and Transmission of Infections

    PubMed Central

    Thompson, Katy-Anne; Parks, Simon R.; Bennett, Allan M.

    2015-01-01

    The aim of this study was to quantify reaerosolization of microorganisms caused by walking on contaminated flooring to assess the risk to individuals accessing areas contaminated with pathogenic organisms, for example, spores of Bacillus anthracis. Industrial carpet and polyvinyl chloride (PVC) floor coverings were contaminated with aerosolized spores of Bacillus atrophaeus by using an artist airbrush to produce deposition of ∼103 to 104 CFU · cm−2. Microbiological air samplers were used to quantify the particle size distribution of the aerosol generated when a person walked over the floorings in an environmental chamber. Results were expressed as reaerosolization factors (percent per square centimeter per liter), to represent the ratio of air concentration to surface concentration generated. Walking on carpet generated a statistically significantly higher reaerosolization factor value than did walking on PVC (t = 20.42; P < 0.001). Heavier walking produced a statistically significantly higher reaerosolization factor value than did lighter walking (t = 12.421; P < 0.001). Height also had a statistically significant effect on the reaerosolization factor, with higher rates of recovery of B. atrophaeus at lower levels, demonstrating a height-dependent gradient of particle reaerosolization. Particles in the respirable size range were recovered in all sampling scenarios (mass mean diameters ranged from 2.6 to 4.1 μm). The results of this study can be used to produce a risk assessment of the potential aerosol exposure of a person accessing areas with contaminated flooring in order to inform the choice of appropriate respiratory protective equipment and may aid in the selection of the most suitable flooring types for use in health care environments, to reduce aerosol transmission in the event of contamination. PMID:25979883

  16. Cytological and Proteomic Analyses of Osmunda cinnamomea Germinating Spores Reveal Characteristics of Fern Spore Germination and Rhizoid Tip Growth*

    PubMed Central

    Suo, Jinwei; Zhao, Qi; Zhang, Zhengxiu; Chen, Sixue; Cao, Jian'guo; Liu, Guanjun; Wei, Xing; Wang, Tai; Yang, Chuanping; Dai, Shaojun

    2015-01-01

    Fern spore is a good single-cell model for studying the sophisticated molecular networks in asymmetric cell division, differentiation, and polar growth. Osmunda cinnamomea L. var. asiatica is one of the oldest fern species with typical separate-growing trophophyll and sporophyll. The chlorophyllous spores generated from sporophyll can germinate without dormancy. In this study, the spore ultrastructure, antioxidant enzyme activities, as well as protein and gene expression patterns were analyzed in the course of spore germination at five typical stages (i.e. mature spores, rehydrated spores, double-celled spores, germinated spores, and spores with protonemal cells). Proteomic analysis revealed 113 differentially expressed proteins, which were mainly involved in photosynthesis, reserve mobilization, energy supplying, protein synthesis and turnover, reactive oxygen species scavenging, signaling, and cell structure modulation. The presence of multiple proteoforms of 25 differentially expressed proteins implies that post-translational modification may play important roles in spore germination. The dynamic patterns of proteins and their encoding genes exhibited specific characteristics in the processes of cell division and rhizoid tip growth, which include heterotrophic and autotrophic metabolisms, de novo protein synthesis and active protein turnover, reactive oxygen species and hormone (brassinosteroid and ethylene) signaling, and vesicle trafficking and cytoskeleton dynamic. In addition, the function skew of proteins in fern spores highlights the unique and common mechanisms when compared with evolutionarily divergent spermatophyte pollen. These findings provide an improved understanding of the typical single-celled asymmetric division and polar growth during fern spore germination. PMID:26091698

  17. Protective role of spore structural components in determining Bacillus subtilis spore resistance to simulated mars surface conditions.

    PubMed

    Moeller, Ralf; Schuerger, Andrew C; Reitz, Günther; Nicholson, Wayne L

    2012-12-01

    Spores of wild-type and mutant Bacillus subtilis strains lacking various structural components were exposed to simulated Martian atmospheric and UV irradiation conditions. Spore survival and mutagenesis were strongly dependent on the functionality of all of the structural components, with small acid-soluble spore proteins, coat layers, and dipicolinic acid as key protectants.

  18. Protective Role of Spore Structural Components in Determining Bacillus subtilis Spore Resistance to Simulated Mars Surface Conditions

    PubMed Central

    Schuerger, Andrew C.; Reitz, Günther; Nicholson, Wayne L.

    2012-01-01

    Spores of wild-type and mutant Bacillus subtilis strains lacking various structural components were exposed to simulated Martian atmospheric and UV irradiation conditions. Spore survival and mutagenesis were strongly dependent on the functionality of all of the structural components, with small acid-soluble spore proteins, coat layers, and dipicolinic acid as key protectants. PMID:23064347

  19. Protective role of spore structural components in determining Bacillus subtilis spore resistance to simulated mars surface conditions.

    PubMed

    Moeller, Ralf; Schuerger, Andrew C; Reitz, Günther; Nicholson, Wayne L

    2012-12-01

    Spores of wild-type and mutant Bacillus subtilis strains lacking various structural components were exposed to simulated Martian atmospheric and UV irradiation conditions. Spore survival and mutagenesis were strongly dependent on the functionality of all of the structural components, with small acid-soluble spore proteins, coat layers, and dipicolinic acid as key protectants. PMID:23064347

  20. In vitro evaluation, biodistribution and scintigraphic imaging in mice of radiolabeled anthrax toxins

    PubMed Central

    Dadachova, Ekaterina; Rivera, Johanna; Revskaya, Ekaterina; Nakouzi, Antonio; Cahill, Sean M.; Blumenstein, Michael; Xiao, Hui; Rykunov, Dmitry; Casadevall, Arturo

    2008-01-01

    Introduction There is a lot of interest towards creating therapies and vaccines for Bacillus anthracis, a bacterium which causes anthrax in humans and which spores can be made into potent biological weapons. Systemic injection of lethal factor (LF), edema factor (EF), and protective antigen (PA) in mice produces toxicity and this protocol is commonly used to investigate the efficacy of specific antibodies in passive protection and vaccine studies. Availability of toxins labeled with imagable radioisotopes would allow to demonstrate their tissue distribution after intravenous injection at toxin concentration that are below pharmacologically significant to avoid masking by toxic effects. Methods LF, EF and PA were radiolabeled with 188Re and 99mTc and their performance in vitro was evaluated by macrophages and CHO cells toxicity assays and by binding to macrophages. Scintigraphic imaging and biodistribution of IV injected 99mTc- and 123I-labeled toxins was performed in BALB/c mice. Results Radiolabeled toxins preserved their biological activity. Scatchard-type analysis of the binding of radiolabeled PA to the J774.16 macrophage-like cells revealed 6.6 × 104 binding sites per cell with a dissociation constant of 6.7 nM. Comparative scintigraphic imaging of mice injected intravenously with either 99mTc- or 123I-labeled PA, EF, and LF toxins demonstrated similar biodistribution patterns with early localization of radioactivity in the liver, spleen, intestines and excretion through kidneys. The finding of renal excretion shortly after IV injection strongly suggests that toxins are rapidly degraded which could contribute to the variability of mouse toxigenic assays. Biodistribution studies confirmed that all three toxins concentrated in the liver and the presence of high levels of radioactivity again implied rapid degradation in vivo. Conclusions The availability of 188Re and 99mTc-labeled PA, LF and EF toxins allowed us to confirm the number of PA binding sites per cell

  1. Genome Sequence of Bacillus anthracis Strain Stendal, Isolated from an Anthrax Outbreak in Cattle in Germany.

    PubMed

    Antwerpen, Markus; Elschner, Mandy; Gaede, Wolfgang; Schliephake, Annette; Grass, Gregor; Tomaso, Herbert

    2016-01-01

    In July 2012, an anthrax outbreak occurred among cattle in northern Germany resulting in ten losses. Here, we report the draft genome sequence ofBacillus anthracisstrain Stendal, isolated from one of the diseased cows. PMID:27056225

  2. Characterizing a “New” Disease: Epizootic and Epidemic Anthrax, 1769–1780

    PubMed Central

    Morens, David M.

    2003-01-01

    In 1876, Robert Koch established anthrax as the first disease linked to a microbial agent. But Koch’s efforts had followed more than 150 years of scientific progress in characterizing anthrax as a specific human and veterinary disease. Focusing on France and the period between 1769 and 1780, this brief review examines noteworthy early events in the characterization of anthrax. It suggests that some “new” diseases like anthrax might be “discovered” not only by luck, brilliance, or new technologies, but by clinical/epidemiological “puzzle-fitting,” which can assemble a cohesive picture of a seemingly specific disease entity. If such processes have operated over 2 or more centuries, studying them may yield clues about desirable interactions between epidemiology/public health and experimental science in the characterization of new diseases. PMID:12773345

  3. Anthrax in injecting drug users: the need for increased vigilance in the clinic.

    PubMed

    Ascough, Stephanie; Altmann, Daniel Martin

    2015-06-01

    The emergence of a previously unrecognized route of Bacillus anthracis infection over the last few years has led to concern: sporadic anthrax outbreaks among heroin users in northern Europe have demonstrated the severe pathology associated with the newly described 'injectional anthrax'. With a high case fatality rate and non-specific early symptoms, this is a novel clinical manifestation of an old disease. Lack of awareness of this syndrome among emergency room clinicians can lead to a delayed diagnosis among heroin users; indeed, for many health workers in developed countries, where infection by B. anthracis is rare, this may be the first time they have encountered anthrax infections. As the putative route of contamination of the heroin supply is potentially ongoing, it is important that clinicians and public health workers remain vigilant for early signs of injectional anthrax.

  4. Aerosolized Antibiotics.

    PubMed

    Restrepo, Marcos I; Keyt, Holly; Reyes, Luis F

    2015-06-01

    Administration of medications via aerosolization is potentially an ideal strategy to treat airway diseases. This delivery method ensures high concentrations of the medication in the targeted tissues, the airways, with generally lower systemic absorption and systemic adverse effects. Aerosolized antibiotics have been tested as treatment for bacterial infections in patients with cystic fibrosis (CF), non-CF bronchiectasis (NCFB), and ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP). The most successful application of this to date is treatment of infections in patients with CF. It has been hypothesized that similar success would be seen in NCFB and in difficult-to-treat hospital-acquired infections such as VAP. This review summarizes the available evidence supporting the use of aerosolized antibiotics and addresses the specific considerations that clinicians should recognize when prescribing an aerosolized antibiotic for patients with CF, NCFB, and VAP.

  5. Global Aerosols

    Atmospheric Science Data Center

    2013-04-19

    ... sizes and from multiple sources, including biomass burning, mineral dust, sea salt and regional industrial pollution. A color scale is ... desert source region. Deserts are the main sources of mineral dust, and MISR obtains aerosol optical depth at visible wavelengths ...

  6. Apparatus and method for automated monitoring of airborne bacterial spores

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ponce, Adrian (Inventor)

    2009-01-01

    An apparatus and method for automated monitoring of airborne bacterial spores. The apparatus is provided with an air sampler, a surface for capturing airborne spores, a thermal lysis unit to release DPA from bacterial spores, a source of lanthanide ions, and a spectrometer for excitation and detection of the characteristic fluorescence of the aromatic molecules in bacterial spores complexed with lanthanide ions. In accordance with the method: computer-programmed steps allow for automation of the apparatus for the monitoring of airborne bacterial spores.

  7. Airborne mesophilic fungal spores in various residential environments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pasanen, A.-L.

    In the present work viable fungal spore counts and flora of indoor air were compared in various residences. Total viable spore counts were lowest in the urban/suburban residences and highest in the rural residences. Moisture problems in the urban environment did not increase total viable spore count, but affected composition of fungal flora. In the rural environment, spore counts were much higher in the old houses than in the new ones. Penicillium was the most prevalent fungus in the air of all the residences studied. Airborne Aspergillus, Cladosporium spores and yeast cells were more common in the damp residences and the old rural houses than in the other residences.

  8. Lessons for control of heroin-associated anthrax in Europe from 2009-2010 outbreak case studies, London, UK.

    PubMed

    Abbara, Aula; Brooks, Tim; Taylor, Graham P; Nolan, Marianne; Donaldson, Hugo; Manikon, Maribel; Holmes, Alison

    2014-07-01

    Outbreaks of serious infections associated with heroin use in persons who inject drugs (PWIDs) occur intermittently and require vigilance and rapid reporting of individual cases. Here, we give a firsthand account of the cases in London during an outbreak of heroin-associated anthrax during 2009-2010 in the United Kingdom. This new manifestation of anthrax has resulted in a clinical manifestation distinct from already recognized forms. During 2012-13, additional cases of heroin-associated anthrax among PWIDs in England and other European countries were reported, suggesting that anthrax-contaminated heroin remains in circulation. Antibacterial drugs used for serious soft tissue infection are effective against anthrax, which may lead to substantial underrecognition of this novel illness. The outbreak in London provides a strong case for ongoing vigilance and the use of serologic testing in diagnosis and serologic surveillance schemes to determine and monitor the prevalence of anthrax exposure in the PWID community.

  9. Anthrax control and research, with special reference to national programme development in Africa: memorandum from a WHO meeting.

    PubMed Central

    1994-01-01

    The prevalence of anthrax in both animal and human populations has been increasing in Africa. It was therefore appropriate for this WHO meeting to be convened in an endemic area of the Western Province of Zambia in 1992. The participants reviewed anthrax epidemiology and control in some African countries, elaborated national anthrax control and research programmes in Africa, discussed international cooperation and work plans, and elaborated recommendations for anthrax control in Africa. The discussions centred on anthrax surveillance and reporting systems, diagnosis, vaccine production and immunization, disinfection and decontamination, carcass disposal, treatment of human cases, health systems, as well as intersectorial cooperation between public health services, veterinary services and other services such as wildlife conservation, so that national control programmes could take full account of the conditions prevailing in epidemic situations in Africa. The recommendations are applicable in other regions where anthrax poses similar problems in public, animal and environmental health. PMID:8131249

  10. Revival of biocide-treated spores of Bacillus subtilis.

    PubMed

    Williams, N D; Russell, A D

    1993-07-01

    Spores of Bacillus subtilis NCTC 8236 were treated with biocides and then subjected to various revival procedures. Sodium hydroxide (optimum concentration 25 mmol l-1) revived a small portion of glutaraldehyde-treated spores but not of spores exposed to formaldehyde, polyvinylpyrrolidone-iodine (PVP-I), Lugol's iodine, sodium hypochlorite or sodium dichloroisocyanurate (NaDCC). Post-treatment heat shock (at 70 degrees or 80 degrees C) increased the numbers of colony-forming units (cfu) of formaldehyde-injured spores. Coat-extraction procedures had the greatest effect on iodine-pretreated spores. The uptake of iodine and chlorine was more rapid and occurred to a greater extent with outgrowing, germinating and especially coat-deficient spores than with mature, resting spores. PMID:7690020

  11. Mushrooms use convectively created airflows to disperse their spores

    PubMed Central

    Dressaire, Emilie; Yamada, Lisa; Song, Boya; Roper, Marcus

    2016-01-01

    Thousands of basidiomycete fungal species rely on mushroom spores to spread across landscapes. It has long been thought that spores depend on favorable winds for dispersal—that active control of spore dispersal by the parent fungus is limited to an impulse delivered to the spores to carry them clear of the gill surface. Here we show that evaporative cooling of the air surrounding the pileus creates convective airflows capable of carrying spores at speeds of centimeters per second. Convective cells can transport spores from gaps that may be only 1 cm high and lift spores 10 cm or more into the air. This work reveals how mushrooms tolerate and even benefit from crowding and explains their high water needs. PMID:26929324

  12. Ecology and epidemiology of anthrax in cattle and humans in Zambia.

    PubMed

    Siamudaala, Victor M; Bwalya, John M; Munang'andu, Hetron M; Munag'andu, Hetron M; Sinyangwe, Peter G; Banda, Fred; Mweene, Aaron S; Takada, Ayato; Kida, Hiroshi

    2006-05-01

    Anthrax is endemic in Western and North-western Provinces of Zambia. The disease occurs throughout the year and impacts negatively on the economy of the livestock industry and public health in Zambia. During 1989-1995, there were 1626 suspected cases of anthrax in cattle in Western province and of these 51 were confirmed. There were 220 cases of human anthrax cases in 1990 alone and 248 cases during 1991-1998 with 19.1% and 7.7% case fatality rates, respectively. Interplay of the ecology of affected areas and anthropogenic factors seem to trigger anthrax epidemics. Anthrax has drawn considerable attention in recent years due to its potential use as a biological weapon. In this paper, the history, current status and approaches towards the control of the disease in Zambia are discussed. Quarantine measures restrict trade of livestock and exchange of animals for draught power resulting in poor food security at household levels. Challenges of anthrax control are complex and comprise of socio-political, economical, environmental and cultural factors. Inadequate funding, lack of innovative disease control strategies and lack of cooperation from stakeholders are the major constraints to the control of the disease. It is hoped that the information provided here will stimulate continued awareness for the veterinary and medical authorities to maintain their surveillance and capabilities against the disease. This may lead to a culminating positive impact on livestock and human health in the southern African region.

  13. Periocular cutaneous anthrax in Jimma Zone, Southwest Ethiopia: a case series

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Anthrax is a zoonotic disease caused by Bacillus anthracis. Naturally occurring human infection is rare and is generally the result of contact with anthrax-infected animals or animal products. Case presentation We examined three patients who had contact with presumed anthrax-infected animal and/or its product and presented with preseptal cellulitis with a localized itchy erythematous papule of the eyelid and non-pitting periorbital edema, followed by ulceration and dark eschar formation. All the three patients responded to intravenous antibiotics, and the lesion resolved leaving scars which caused cicatricial ectropion in all cases. Conclusion Anthrax is a rare disease but should be considered in the differential diagnosis of ulcerative (and eschar forming) preseptal cellulitis with a history of contact with anthrax-infected animals or animal products. Furthermore, cicatrization of the eyelids, one of the sequelae of periocular cutaneous anthrax, should be addressed. Urgent case report to the local zoonotic disease and infection control body and other responsible authorities is recommended. PMID:23924443

  14. Passive Immunotherapy Protects against Enteric Invasion and Lethal Sepsis in a Murine Model of Gastrointestinal Anthrax.

    PubMed

    Huang, Bruce; Xie, Tao; Rotstein, David; Fang, Hui; Frucht, David M

    2015-09-29

    The principal portal for anthrax infection in natural animal outbreaks is the digestive tract. Enteric exposure to anthrax, which is difficult to detect or prevent in a timely manner, could be exploited as an act of terror through contamination of human or animal food. Our group has developed a novel animal model of gastrointestinal (GI) anthrax for evaluation of disease pathogenesis and experimental therapeutics, utilizing vegetative Bacillus anthracis (Sterne strain) administered to A/J mice (a complement-deficient strain) by oral gavage. We hypothesized that a humanized recombinant monoclonal antibody (mAb) * that neutralizes the protective antigen (PA) component of B. anthracis lethal toxin (LT) and edema toxin (ET) could be an effective treatment. Although the efficacy of this anti-anthrax PA mAb has been shown in animal models of inhalational anthrax, its activity in GI infection had not yet been ascertained. We hereby demonstrate that passive immunotherapy with anti-anthrax PA mAb, administered at the same time as gastrointestinal exposure to B. anthracis, prevents lethal sepsis in nearly all cases (>90%), while a delay of up to forty-eight hours in treatment still greatly reduces mortality following exposure (65%). Moreover, passive immunotherapy protects against enteric invasion, associated mucosal injury and subsequent dissemination by gastrointestinal B. anthracis, indicating that it acts to prevent the initial stages of infection. * Expired raxibacumab being cycled off the Strategic National Stockpile; biological activity confirmed by in vitro assay.

  15. Passive Immunotherapy Protects against Enteric Invasion and Lethal Sepsis in a Murine Model of Gastrointestinal Anthrax

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Bruce; Xie, Tao; Rotstein, David; Fang, Hui; Frucht, David M.

    2015-01-01

    The principal portal for anthrax infection in natural animal outbreaks is the digestive tract. Enteric exposure to anthrax, which is difficult to detect or prevent in a timely manner, could be exploited as an act of terror through contamination of human or animal food. Our group has developed a novel animal model of gastrointestinal (GI) anthrax for evaluation of disease pathogenesis and experimental therapeutics, utilizing vegetative Bacillus anthracis (Sterne strain) administered to A/J mice (a complement-deficient strain) by oral gavage. We hypothesized that a humanized recombinant monoclonal antibody (mAb) * that neutralizes the protective antigen (PA) component of B. anthracis lethal toxin (LT) and edema toxin (ET) could be an effective treatment. Although the efficacy of this anti-anthrax PA mAb has been shown in animal models of inhalational anthrax, its activity in GI infection had not yet been ascertained. We hereby demonstrate that passive immunotherapy with anti-anthrax PA mAb, administered at the same time as gastrointestinal exposure to B. anthracis, prevents lethal sepsis in nearly all cases (>90%), while a delay of up to forty-eight hours in treatment still greatly reduces mortality following exposure (65%). Moreover, passive immunotherapy protects against enteric invasion, associated mucosal injury and subsequent dissemination by gastrointestinal B. anthracis, indicating that it acts to prevent the initial stages of infection. * Expired raxibacumab being cycled off the Strategic National Stockpile; biological activity confirmed by in vitro assay. PMID:26426050

  16. Serological studies of patients with cutaneous and oral-oropharyngeal anthrax from northern Thailand.

    PubMed

    Sirisanthana, T; Nelson, K E; Ezzell, J W; Abshire, T G

    1988-12-01

    An outbreak of 52 cases of cutaneous anthrax and 24 cases of oral-oropharyngeal anthrax occurred in rural Northern Thailand in 1982, caused by contaminated water buffalo meat. Microbiologic diagnosis of many of these cases was hindered by delayed presentation for care and by prior antibiotic therapy. In a retrospective investigation, we used enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays to measure antibody titers to components of anthrax edema toxin (edema factor [EF] and protective antigen [PA]), lethal toxin (lethal factor [LF] and PA), and poly-D-glutamic acid capsule. Electrophoretic-immunotransblots (EITB, Western blot) were used to detect antibodies to PA and LF. Nine patients with cutaneous anthrax, 10 patients with oral-oropharyngeal anthrax, and 43 healthy unexposed Thai control villagers were studied. Over all, EITB was positive in 13/18 patients (sensitivity 72%) and 0/43 controls (specificity 100%). The sensitivity of the ELISA was 72% for PA, 42% for LF, 26% for EF, and 95-100% for capsule. Although a few control sera had apparent false positive titers to PA, the specificity of the ELISA confirmed by EITB (100%) demonstrated the applicability of these tests for the diagnosis of anthrax.

  17. New Developments in Vaccines, Inhibitors of Anthrax Toxins, and Antibiotic Therapeutics for Bacillus anthracis

    PubMed Central

    Beierlein, J.M.; Anderson, A.C.

    2013-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent responsible for anthrax infections, poses a significant biodefense threat. There is a high mortality rate associated with untreated anthrax infections; specifically, inhalation anthrax is a particularly virulent form of infection with mortality rates close to 100%, even with aggressive treatment. Currently, a vaccine is not available to the general public and few antibiotics have been approved by the FDA for the treatment of inhalation anthrax. With the threat of natural or engineered bacterial resistance to antibiotics and the limited population for whom the current drugs are approved, there is a clear need for more effective treatments against this deadly infection. A comprehensive review of current research in drug discovery is presented in this article, including efforts to improve the purity and stability of vaccines, design inhibitors targeting the anthrax toxins, and identify inhibitors of novel enzyme targets. High resolution structural information for the anthrax toxins and several essential metabolic enzymes has played a significant role in aiding the structure-based design of potent and selective antibiotics. PMID:22050756

  18. Fern spore longevity in saline water: can sea bottom sediments maintain a viable spore bank?

    PubMed

    de Groot, G Arjen; During, Heinjo

    2013-01-01

    Freshwater and marine sediments often harbor reservoirs of plant diaspores, from which germination and establishment may occur whenever the sediment falls dry. Therewith, they form valuable records of historical inter- and intraspecific diversity, and are increasingly exploited to facilitate diversity establishment in new or restored nature areas. Yet, while ferns may constitute a considerable part of a vegetation's diversity and sediments are known to contain fern spores, little is known about their longevity, which may suffer from inundation and--in sea bottoms--salt stress. We tested the potential of ferns to establish from a sea or lake bottom, using experimental studies on spore survival and gametophyte formation, as well as a spore bank analysis on sediments from a former Dutch inland sea. Our experimental results revealed clear differences among species. For Asplenium scolopendrium and Gymnocarpium dryopteris, spore germination was not affected by inundated storage alone, but decreased with rising salt concentrations. In contrast, for Asplenium trichomanes subsp. quadrivalens germination decreased following inundation, but not in response to salt. Germination rates decreased with time of storage in saline water. Smaller and less viable gametophytes were produced when saline storage lasted for a year. Effects on germination and gametophyte development clearly differed among genotypes of A. scolopendrium. Spore bank analyses detected no viable spores in marine sediment layers. Only two very small gametophytes (identified as Thelypteris palustris via DNA barcoding) emerged from freshwater sediments. Both died before maturation. We conclude that marine, and likely even freshwater sediments, will generally be of little value for long-term storage of fern diversity. The development of any fern vegetation on a former sea floor will depend heavily on the deposition of spores onto the drained land by natural or artificial means of dispersal.

  19. Fern Spore Longevity in Saline Water: Can Sea Bottom Sediments Maintain a Viable Spore Bank?

    PubMed Central

    de Groot, G. Arjen; During, Heinjo

    2013-01-01

    Freshwater and marine sediments often harbor reservoirs of plant diaspores, from which germination and establishment may occur whenever the sediment falls dry. Therewith, they form valuable records of historical inter- and intraspecific diversity, and are increasingly exploited to facilitate diversity establishment in new or restored nature areas. Yet, while ferns may constitute a considerable part of a vegetation’s diversity and sediments are known to contain fern spores, little is known about their longevity, which may suffer from inundation and - in sea bottoms - salt stress. We tested the potential of ferns to establish from a sea or lake bottom, using experimental studies on spore survival and gametophyte formation, as well as a spore bank analysis on sediments from a former Dutch inland sea. Our experimental results revealed clear differences among species. For Asplenium scolopendrium and Gymnocarpium dryopteris, spore germination was not affected by inundated storage alone, but decreased with rising salt concentrations. In contrast, for Asplenium trichomanes subsp. quadrivalens germination decreased following inundation, but not in response to salt. Germination rates decreased with time of storage in saline water. Smaller and less viable gametophytes were produced when saline storage lasted for a year. Effects on germination and gametophyte development clearly differed among genotypes of A. scolopendrium. Spore bank analyses detected no viable spores in marine sediment layers. Only two very small gametophytes (identified as Thelypteris palustris via DNA barcoding) emerged from freshwater sediments. Both died before maturation. We conclude that marine, and likely even freshwater sediments, will generally be of little value for long-term storage of fern diversity. The development of any fern vegetation on a former sea floor will depend heavily on the deposition of spores onto the drained land by natural or artificial means of dispersal. PMID:24223951

  20. Cutaneous Anthrax on Eyelid in a Pregnant Woman

    PubMed Central

    Parlak, Emine; Erturk, Ayse; Erol, Serpil; Parlak, Mehmet; Ozkurt, Zulal

    2016-01-01

    A 32-year-old patient who was 17 weeks of pregnant referred to our hospital due to a lesion on the eyelid and swelling on her face. Patient’s history revealed that she helped her husband for slaughtering of a sick animal and contacted with the meat. A scabby lesion was detected on the inferior eyelid with hyperaemia around, central necrotic appearance and swelling. The diagnosis of anthrax was performed based on her epidemiological data, physical examination findings, and Bacillus anthracis were seen on direct preparation. This case was considered worthy to present since she was pregnant, the disease was located on the inferior eyelid, which is a rare place for location, and caused no complication or sequel either in mother or in baby. PMID:27551179

  1. Cutaneous Anthrax on Eyelid in a Pregnant Woman.

    PubMed

    Parlak, Emine; Erturk, Ayse; Erol, Serpil; Parlak, Mehmet; Ozkurt, Zulal

    2016-06-01

    A 32-year-old patient who was 17 weeks of pregnant referred to our hospital due to a lesion on the eyelid and swelling on her face. Patient's history revealed that she helped her husband for slaughtering of a sick animal and contacted with the meat. A scabby lesion was detected on the inferior eyelid with hyperaemia around, central necrotic appearance and swelling. The diagnosis of anthrax was performed based on her epidemiological data, physical examination findings, and Bacillus anthracis were seen on direct preparation. This case was considered worthy to present since she was pregnant, the disease was located on the inferior eyelid, which is a rare place for location, and caused no complication or sequel either in mother or in baby. PMID:27551179

  2. In silico design of smart binders to anthrax PA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sellers, Michael; Hurley, Margaret M.

    2012-06-01

    The development of smart peptide binders requires an understanding of the fundamental mechanisms of recognition which has remained an elusive grail of the research community for decades. Recent advances in automated discovery and synthetic library science provide a wealth of information to probe fundamental details of binding and facilitate the development of improved models for a priori prediction of affinity and specificity. Here we present the modeling portion of an iterative experimental/computational study to produce high affinity peptide binders to the Protective Antigen (PA) of Bacillus anthracis. The result is a general usage, HPC-oriented, python-based toolkit based upon powerful third-party freeware, which is designed to provide a better understanding of peptide-protein interactions and ultimately predict and measure new smart peptide binder candidates. We present an improved simulation protocol with flexible peptide docking to the Anthrax Protective Antigen, reported within the context of experimental data presented in a companion work.

  3. Tropospheric Aerosols

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Buseck, P. R.; Schwartz, S. E.

    2003-12-01

    It is widely believed that "On a clear day you can see forever," as proclaimed in the 1965 Broadway musical of the same name. While an admittedly beautiful thought, we all know that this concept is only figurative. Aside from Earth's curvature and Rayleigh scattering by air molecules, aerosols - colloidal suspensions of solid or liquid particles in a gas - limit our vision. Even on the clearest day, there are billions of aerosol particles per cubic meter of air.Atmospheric aerosols are commonly referred to as smoke, dust, haze, and smog, terms that are loosely reflective of their origin and composition. Aerosol particles have arisen naturally for eons from sea spray, volcanic emissions, wind entrainment of mineral dust, wildfires, and gas-to-particle conversion of hydrocarbons from plants and dimethylsulfide from the oceans. However, over the industrial period, the natural background aerosol has been greatly augmented by anthropogenic contributions, i.e., those produced by human activities. One manifestation of this impact is reduced visibility (Figure 1). Thus, perhaps more than in other realms of geochemistry, when considering the composition of the troposphere one must consider the effects of these activities. The atmosphere has become a reservoir for vast quantities of anthropogenic emissions that exert important perturbations on it and on the planetary ecosystem in general. Consequently, much recent research focuses on the effects of human activities on the atmosphere and, through them, on the environment and Earth's climate. For these reasons consideration of the geochemistry of the atmosphere, and of atmospheric aerosols in particular, must include the effects of human activities. (201K)Figure 1. Impairment of visibility by aerosols. Photographs at Yosemite National Park, California, USA. (a) Low aerosol concentration (particulate matter of aerodynamic diameter less than 2.5 μm, PM2.5=0.3 μg m-3; particulate matter of aerodynamic diameter less than 10

  4. Ante- and postmortem diagnostic techniques for anthrax: rethinking pathogen exposure and the geographic extent of the disease in wildlife.

    PubMed

    Bagamian, Karoun H; Alexander, Kathleen A; Hadfield, Ted L; Blackburn, Jason K

    2013-10-01

    Although antemortem approaches in wildlife disease surveillance are common for most zoonoses, they have been used infrequently in anthrax surveillance. Classically, anthrax is considered a disease with extremely high mortality. This is because anthrax outbreaks are often detected ex post facto through wildlife or livestock fatalities or spillover transmission to humans. As a result, the natural prevalence of anthrax infection in animal populations is largely unknown. However, in the past 20 yr, antemortem serologic surveillance in wildlife has indicated that not all species exposed succumb to infection, and anthrax exposure may be more widespread than originally appreciated. These studies brought about a multitude of new questions, many of which can be addressed by increased antemortem serologic surveillance in wildlife populations. To fully understand anthrax transmission dynamics and geographic extent, it is important to identify exposure in wildlife hosts and associated factors and, in turn, understand how these influences may drive environmental reservoir dynamics and concurrent disease risk in livestock and humans. Here we review our current understanding of the serologic response to anthrax among wildlife hosts and serologic diagnostic assays used to augment traditional postmortem anthrax surveillance strategies. We also provide recommendations for the use of serology and sentinel species surveillance approaches in anthrax research and management.

  5. CLOSTRIDIUM SPORE ATTACHMENT TO HUMAN CELLS

    SciTech Connect

    PANESSA-WARREN,B.; TORTORA,G.; WARREN,J.

    1997-08-10

    This paper uses high resolution scanning electron microscopy (SEM) with a LaB6 gun and the newest commercial field emission guns, to obtain high magnification images of intact clostridial spores throughout the activation/germination/outgrowth process. By high resolution SEM, the clostridial exosporial membrane can be seen to produce numerous delicate projections (following activation), that extend from the exosporial surface to a nutritive substrate (agar), or cell surface when anaerobically incubated in the presence of human cells (embryonic fibroblasts and colon carcinoma cells). Magnifications of 20,000 to 200,000Xs at accelerating voltages low enough to minimize or eliminate specimen damage (1--5 kV) have permitted the entire surface of C.sporogenes and C.difficile endospores to be examined during all stages of germination. The relationships between the spore and the agar or human cell surface were also clearly visible.

  6. Preparation and characterization of cobalt-substituted anthrax lethal factor

    SciTech Connect

    Saebel, Crystal E.; Carbone, Ryan; Dabous, John R.; Lo, Suet Y.; Siemann, Stefan

    2011-12-09

    Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Cobalt-substituted anthrax lethal factor (CoLF) is highly active. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer CoLF can be prepared by bio-assimilation and direct exchange. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Lethal factor binds cobalt tightly. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer The electronic spectrum of CoLF reveals penta-coordination. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Interaction of CoLF with thioglycolic acid follows a 2-step mechanism. -- Abstract: Anthrax lethal factor (LF) is a zinc-dependent endopeptidase involved in the cleavage of mitogen-activated protein kinase kinases near their N-termini. The current report concerns the preparation of cobalt-substituted LF (CoLF) and its characterization by electronic spectroscopy. Two strategies to produce CoLF were explored, including (i) a bio-assimilation approach involving the cultivation of LF-expressing Bacillus megaterium cells in the presence of CoCl{sub 2}, and (ii) direct exchange by treatment of zinc-LF with CoCl{sub 2}. Independent of the method employed, the protein was found to contain one Co{sup 2+} per LF molecule, and was shown to be twice as active as its native zinc counterpart. The electronic spectrum of CoLF suggests the Co{sup 2+} ion to be five-coordinate, an observation similar to that reported for other Co{sup 2+}-substituted gluzincins, but distinct from that documented for the crystal structure of native LF. Furthermore, spectroscopic studies following the exposure of CoLF to thioglycolic acid (TGA) revealed a sequential mechanism of metal removal from LF, which likely involves the formation of an enzyme: Co{sup 2+}:TGA ternary complex prior to demetallation of the active site. CoLF reported herein constitutes the first spectroscopic probe of LF's active site, which may be utilized in future studies to gain further insight into the enzyme's mechanism and inhibitor interactions.

  7. Methyl Iodide Fumigation of Bacillus anthracis Spores.

    PubMed

    Sutton, Mark; Kane, Staci R; Wollard, Jessica R

    2015-09-01

    Fumigation techniques such as chlorine dioxide, vaporous hydrogen peroxide, and paraformaldehyde previously used to decontaminate items, rooms, and buildings following contamination with Bacillus anthracis spores are often incompatible with materials (e.g., porous surfaces, organics, and metals), causing damage or residue. Alternative fumigation with methyl bromide is subject to U.S. and international restrictions due to its ozone-depleting properties. Methyl iodide, however, does not pose a risk to the ozone layer and has previously been demonstrated as a fumigant for fungi, insects, and nematodes. Until now, methyl iodide has not been evaluated against Bacillus anthracis. Sterne strain Bacillus anthracis spores were subjected to methyl iodide fumigation at room temperature and at 550C. Efficacy was measured on a log-scale with a 6-log reduction in CFUs being considered successful compared to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency biocide standard. Such efficacies were obtained after just one hour at 55 °C and after 12 hours at room temperature. No detrimental effects were observed on glassware, PTFE O-rings, or stainless steel. This is the first reported efficacy of methyl iodide in the reduction of Bacillus anthracis spore contamination at ambient and elevated temperatures. PMID:26502561

  8. Methyl Iodide Fumigation of Bacillus anthracis Spores.

    PubMed

    Sutton, Mark; Kane, Staci R; Wollard, Jessica R

    2015-09-01

    Fumigation techniques such as chlorine dioxide, vaporous hydrogen peroxide, and paraformaldehyde previously used to decontaminate items, rooms, and buildings following contamination with Bacillus anthracis spores are often incompatible with materials (e.g., porous surfaces, organics, and metals), causing damage or residue. Alternative fumigation with methyl bromide is subject to U.S. and international restrictions due to its ozone-depleting properties. Methyl iodide, however, does not pose a risk to the ozone layer and has previously been demonstrated as a fumigant for fungi, insects, and nematodes. Until now, methyl iodide has not been evaluated against Bacillus anthracis. Sterne strain Bacillus anthracis spores were subjected to methyl iodide fumigation at room temperature and at 550C. Efficacy was measured on a log-scale with a 6-log reduction in CFUs being considered successful compared to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency biocide standard. Such efficacies were obtained after just one hour at 55 °C and after 12 hours at room temperature. No detrimental effects were observed on glassware, PTFE O-rings, or stainless steel. This is the first reported efficacy of methyl iodide in the reduction of Bacillus anthracis spore contamination at ambient and elevated temperatures.

  9. Association of Fidaxomicin with C. difficile Spores: Effects of Persistence on Subsequent Spore Recovery, Outgrowth and Toxin Production

    PubMed Central

    Crowther, Grace S.; Ashwin, Helen; Longshaw, Chris M.; Wilcox, Mark H.

    2016-01-01

    Background We have previously shown that fidaxomicin instillation prevents spore recovery in an in-vitro gut model, whereas vancomycin does not. The reasons for this are unclear. Here, we have investigated persistence of fidaxomicin and vancomycin on C. difficile spores, and examined post-antibiotic exposure spore recovery, outgrowth and toxin production. Methods Prevalent UK C. difficile ribotypes (n = 10) were incubated with 200mg/L fidaxomicin, vancomycin or a non-antimicrobial containing control for 1 h in faecal filtrate or Phosphate Buffered Saline. Spores were washed three times with faecal filtrate or phosphate buffered saline, and residual spore-associated antimicrobial activity was determined by bioassay. For three ribotypes (027, 078, 015), antimicrobial-exposed, faecal filtrate-washed spores and controls were inoculated into broth. Viable vegetative and spore counts were enumerated on CCEYL agar. Percentage phase bright spores, phase dark spores and vegetative cells were enumerated by phase contrast microscopy at 0, 3, 6, 24 and 48 h post-inoculation. Toxin levels (24 and 48h) were determined by cell cytotoxicity assay. Results Fidaxomicin, but not vancomycin persisted on spores of all ribotypes following washing in saline (mean = 10.1mg/L; range = 4.0-14mg/L) and faecal filtrate (mean = 17.4mg/L; 8.4–22.1mg/L). Outgrowth and proliferation rates of vancomycin-exposed spores were similar to controls, whereas fidaxomicin-exposed spores showed no vegetative cell growth after 24 and 48 h. At 48h, toxin levels averaged 3.7 and 3.3 relative units (RU) in control and vancomycin-exposed samples, respectively, but were undetectable in fidaxomicin-exposed samples. Conclusion Fidaxomicin persists on C. difficile spores, whereas vancomycin does not. This persistence prevents subsequent growth and toxin production in vitro. This may have implications on spore viability, thereby impacting CDI recurrence and transmission rates. PMID:27556739

  10. Monitoring Method of Cow Anthrax Based on Gis and Spatial Statistical Analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Lin; Yang, Yong; Wang, Hongbin; Dong, Jing; Zhao, Yujun; He, Jianbin; Fan, Honggang

    Geographic information system (GIS) is a computer application system, which possesses the ability of manipulating spatial information and has been used in many fields related with the spatial information management. Many methods and models have been established for analyzing animal diseases distribution models and temporal-spatial transmission models. Great benefits have been gained from the application of GIS in animal disease epidemiology. GIS is now a very important tool in animal disease epidemiological research. Spatial analysis function of GIS can be widened and strengthened by using spatial statistical analysis, allowing for the deeper exploration, analysis, manipulation and interpretation of spatial pattern and spatial correlation of the animal disease. In this paper, we analyzed the cow anthrax spatial distribution characteristics in the target district A (due to the secret of epidemic data we call it district A) based on the established GIS of the cow anthrax in this district in combination of spatial statistical analysis and GIS. The Cow anthrax is biogeochemical disease, and its geographical distribution is related closely to the environmental factors of habitats and has some spatial characteristics, and therefore the correct analysis of the spatial distribution of anthrax cow for monitoring and the prevention and control of anthrax has a very important role. However, the application of classic statistical methods in some areas is very difficult because of the pastoral nomadic context. The high mobility of livestock and the lack of enough suitable sampling for the some of the difficulties in monitoring currently make it nearly impossible to apply rigorous random sampling methods. It is thus necessary to develop an alternative sampling method, which could overcome the lack of sampling and meet the requirements for randomness. The GIS computer application software ArcGIS9.1 was used to overcome the lack of data of sampling sites.Using ArcGIS 9.1 and GEODA

  11. Detection of Biomass in New York City Aerosols: Light Scattering and Optical Fluorescence Techniques

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Niebauer, M.; Alimova, A.; Katz, A.; Xu, M.; Rudolph, E.; Steiner, J.; Alfano, R. R.

    2005-12-01

    Optical spectroscopy is an ideal method for detecting bacteria and spores in real time. Optical fluorescence spectroscopy examination of New York City aerosols is used to quantify the mass of bacteria spores present in air masses collected at 14 liters/minute onto silica fiber filters, and on silica fiber ribbons using an Environmental Beta Attenuation Monitor manufactured by MetOne Instruments configured for the PM2.5 fraction. Dipicolinic acid (DPA), a molecule found primarily in bacterial spores, is the most characteristic component of spores in trial experiments on over 200 collected aerosol samples. DPA is extracted from the spores using a heat bath and chelated with Terbium. The DPA:Tb is detected by measuring its characteristic fluorescence with emission bands at 490, 545 and 585 nm for 270 nm excitation. Light scattering also measures the size distribution for a number of a variety of bacteria - Bacillus subtilis (rod shaped), Staphylococcus aureus (spherical) and Pseudomonas aeruginosa (short rods) establishing that optical techniques satisfactorily distinguish populations based on their variable morphology. Size and morphology are obtained by applying a variation of the Gaussian Ray Approximation theory of anomalous diffraction theory to an analysis of the transmission spectra in the range of 0.4 to 1.0 microns. In test experiments, the refractive index of the inner spore core of Bacillus subtilis decreases from 1.51 to 1.39 while the spore radius enlarges from 0.38 to 0.6 micrometers. Optical determinations are verified by oil-immersion techniques and by scanning electron microscope measurements. Characterization of spores, germinating spore materials, and bacteria is considered vital to tracing bacteria in the environment, for the development of life-detection systems for planetary exploration, monitoring pathogens in environmental systems, and for the preparation of anti-terrorism strategies.

  12. Comparative analysis of the immunologic response induced by the Sterne 34F2 live spore Bacillus anthracis vaccine in a ruminant model.

    PubMed

    Ndumnego, Okechukwu C; Köhler, Susanne M; Crafford, Jannie; van Heerden, Henriette; Beyer, Wolfgang

    2016-10-01

    The Sterne 34F2 live spore vaccine (SLSV) developed in 1937 is the most widely used veterinary vaccine against anthrax. However, literature on the immunogenicity of this vaccine in a target ruminant host is scarce. In this study, we evaluated the humoral response to the Bacillus anthracis protective antigen (rPA), a recombinant bacillus collagen-like protein of anthracis (rBclA), formaldehyde inactivated spores (FIS) prepared from strain 34F2 and a vegetative antigen formulation prepared from a capsule and toxin deficient strain (CDC 1014) in Boer goats. The toxin neutralizing ability of induced antibodies was evaluated using an in vitro toxin neutralization assay. The protection afforded by the vaccine was also assessed in vaccinates. Anti-rPA, anti-FIS and lethal toxin neutralizing titres were superior after booster vaccinations, compared to single vaccinations. Qualitative analysis of humoral responses to rPA, rBclA and FIS antigens revealed a preponderance of anti-FIS IgG titres following either single or double vaccinations with the SLSV. Antibodies against FIS and rPA both increased by 350 and 300-fold following revaccinations respectively. There was no response to rBclA following vaccinations with the SLSV. Toxin neutralizing titres increased by 80-fold after single vaccination and 700-fold following a double vaccination. Lethal challenge studies in naïve goats indicated a minimum infective dose of 36 B. anthracis spores. Single and double vaccination with the SLSV protected 4/5 and 3/3 of goats challenged with>800 spores respectively. An early booster vaccination following the first immunization is suggested in order to achieve a robust immunity. Results from this study indicate that this crucial second vaccination can be administered as early as 3 months after the initial vaccination.

  13. Comparative analysis of the immunologic response induced by the Sterne 34F2 live spore Bacillus anthracis vaccine in a ruminant model.

    PubMed

    Ndumnego, Okechukwu C; Köhler, Susanne M; Crafford, Jannie; van Heerden, Henriette; Beyer, Wolfgang

    2016-10-01

    The Sterne 34F2 live spore vaccine (SLSV) developed in 1937 is the most widely used veterinary vaccine against anthrax. However, literature on the immunogenicity of this vaccine in a target ruminant host is scarce. In this study, we evaluated the humoral response to the Bacillus anthracis protective antigen (rPA), a recombinant bacillus collagen-like protein of anthracis (rBclA), formaldehyde inactivated spores (FIS) prepared from strain 34F2 and a vegetative antigen formulation prepared from a capsule and toxin deficient strain (CDC 1014) in Boer goats. The toxin neutralizing ability of induced antibodies was evaluated using an in vitro toxin neutralization assay. The protection afforded by the vaccine was also assessed in vaccinates. Anti-rPA, anti-FIS and lethal toxin neutralizing titres were superior after booster vaccinations, compared to single vaccinations. Qualitative analysis of humoral responses to rPA, rBclA and FIS antigens revealed a preponderance of anti-FIS IgG titres following either single or double vaccinations with the SLSV. Antibodies against FIS and rPA both increased by 350 and 300-fold following revaccinations respectively. There was no response to rBclA following vaccinations with the SLSV. Toxin neutralizing titres increased by 80-fold after single vaccination and 700-fold following a double vaccination. Lethal challenge studies in naïve goats indicated a minimum infective dose of 36 B. anthracis spores. Single and double vaccination with the SLSV protected 4/5 and 3/3 of goats challenged with>800 spores respectively. An early booster vaccination following the first immunization is suggested in order to achieve a robust immunity. Results from this study indicate that this crucial second vaccination can be administered as early as 3 months after the initial vaccination. PMID:27496738

  14. Thirty-four identifiable airborne fungal spores in Havana, Cuba.

    PubMed

    Almaguer, Michel; Aira, María-Jesús; Rodríguez-Rajo, F Javier; Fernandez-Gonzalez, Maria; Rojas-Flores, Teresa I

    2015-01-01

    The airborne fungal spore content in Havana, Cuba, collected by means a non-viable volumetric methodology, was studied from November 2010 - October 2011. The study, from a qualitative point of view, allowed the characterization of 29 genera and 5 fungal types, described following the Saccardo´s morphotypes, as well as their morphobiometrical characteristics. In the amerospores morphotype, the conidia of 7 genera (with ascospores, basidiospores and uredospores) and 5 fungal types were included. Among phragmospores morphotype, the ascospores and conidia of 12 different genera were identified. The dictyospores morphotype only included conidial forms from 6 genera. Finally, the less frequent morphotypes were staurospores, didymospores and distosepted spores. In general, the main worldwide spread mitosporic fungi also predominated in the Havana atmosphere, accompanied by some ascospores and basidiospores. Cladosporium cladosporioides type was the most abundant with a total of 148,717 spores, followed by Leptosphaeria, Coprinus and the Aspergillus-Penicillium type spores, all of them with total values ranging from 20,591 - 16,392 spores. The higher monthly concentrations were registered in January (31,663 spores) and the lowest in December (7,314 spores). Generally, the average quantity of spores recorded during the months of the dry season (20,599 spores) was higher compared with that observed during the rainy season (17,460 spores).

  15. Efficient binding of nickel ions to recombinant Bacillus subtilis spores.

    PubMed

    Hinc, Krzysztof; Ghandili, Soheila; Karbalaee, Gholamreza; Shali, Abbas; Noghabi, Kambiz Akbari; Ricca, Ezio; Ahmadian, Gholamreza

    2010-11-01

    We report the use of recombinant spores of Bacillus subtilis as a potential bioremediation tool for adsorption of nickel ions. The spore surface protein CotB, previously used for the display of heterologous antigens, was engineered to express eighteen histidine residues within the spore coat. Wild type and recombinant spores were then analyzed to assess their efficiency in adsorbing nickel ions, and the latter proved to be significantly more efficient than wild type spores in metal-binding. The quantities of spores used in the adsorption reaction significantly affected nickel binding, while other factors such as pH and temperature did not show relevant effects. In addition, simple washing procedures were used to partially release spore-bound nickel ions by wild type and recombinant spores. The efficiency of nickel binding, together with the simple purification procedure, the high robustness and safety of B. subtilis spores and the possibility of recovering bound nickel, makes the recombinant spore a new and potentially powerful tool for the treatment of contaminated ecosystems.

  16. Characterizations of atmospheric fungal aerosol in Beijing, China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liang, Linlin; Engling, Guenter; He, Kebin; Du, Zhenyu

    2013-04-01

    Fungal aerosols constitute the most abundant fraction of biological aerosols in the atmosphere, influencing human health, the biosphere, atmospheric chemistry and climate. However, the total abundance of fungal spores in the atmosphere is still poorly understood and quantified. PM10 and PM2.5 samples were collected by high volume samplers simultaneously at a rural site (MY) and an urban site (THU) in Beijing, China. Various carbohydrates were quantified by high-performance anion exchange chromatography with pulsed amperometric detection (HPAEC-PAD), including the sugar alcohols mannitol and arabitol, proposed as molecular tracers for fungal aerosol. The annual average concentrations of arabitol in PM2.5 and PM10 at the THU site were 7.4±9.4 ng/m3 and 10.3±9.5 ng/m3, and the respective mannitol concentrations were 21.0±20.4 ng/m3 and 31.9±26.9 ng/m3. Compared to PM10, the monthly average concentrations of arabitol and mannitol in PM2.5 did not vary significantly and were present at nearly consistent levels in the different seasons. Moreover, during summer and autumn higher arabitol and mannitol levels than during spring and winter were observed in coarse particles, probably due to different dominant sources of fungal spores in different seasons. In the dry period (i.e., winter and spring) in Beijing, probably only the suspension from exposed surfaces, (e.g., soil resuspension, transported dust, etc.) can be regarded as the main sources for fungal aerosols. On the other hand, in summer and autumn, fungal spores in the atmosphere can be derived from more complex sources, including plants, vegetation decomposition and agricultural activity, such as ploughing; these fungal spore sources may contribute more to coarse PM. Mannitol and arabitol correlated well with each other, both in PM10 (R2 = 0.71) and PM2.5 (R2 = 0.81). Although fungal spore levels at rural sites were consistently higher than those at urban sites in other studies, the findings in our study were

  17. Protective Antigen-Specific Memory B Cells Persist Years after Anthrax Vaccination and Correlate with Humoral Immunity

    PubMed Central

    Garman, Lori; Smith, Kenneth; Farris, A. Darise; Nelson, Michael R.; Engler, Renata J. M.; James, Judith A.

    2014-01-01

    Anthrax Vaccine Adsorbed (AVA) generates short-lived protective antigen (PA) specific IgG that correlates with in vitro toxin neutralization and protection from Bacillus anthracis challenge. Animal studies suggest that when PA-specific IgG has waned, survival after spore challenge correlates with an activation of PA-specific memory B cells. Here, we characterize the quantity and the longevity of AVA-induced memory B cell responses in humans. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from individuals vaccinated ≥3 times with AVA (n = 50) were collected early (3–6 months, n = 27) or late after their last vaccination (2–5 years, n = 23), pan-stimulated, and assayed by ELISPOT for total and PA-specific memory B cells differentiated into antibody secreting cells (ASCs). PA-specific ASC percentages ranged from 0.02% to 6.25% (median: 1.57%) and did not differ between early and late post-vaccination individuals. PA-specific ASC percentages correlated with plasma PA-specific IgG (r = 0.42, p = 0.03) and toxin neutralization (r = 0.52, p = 0.003) early post vaccination. PA-specific ASC percentages correlated with supernatant anti-PA both early (r = 0.60, p = 0.001) and late post vaccination (r = 0.71, p < 0.0001). These data suggest PA-specific memory B cell responses are long-lived and can be estimated after recent vaccination by the magnitude and neutralization capacity of the humoral response. PMID:25123559

  18. Monitoring biological aerosols using UV fluorescence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eversole, Jay D.; Roselle, Dominick; Seaver, Mark E.

    1999-01-01

    An apparatus has been designed and constructed to continuously monitor the number density, size, and fluorescent emission of ambient aerosol particles. The application of fluorescence to biological particles suspended in the atmosphere requires laser excitation in the UV spectral region. In this study, a Nd:YAG laser is quadrupled to provide a 266 nm wavelength to excite emission from single micrometer-sized particles in air. Fluorescent emission is used to continuously identify aerosol particles of biological origin. For calibration, biological samples of Bacillus subtilis spores and vegetative cells, Esherichia coli, Bacillus thuringiensis and Erwinia herbicola vegetative cells were prepared as suspensions in water and nebulized to produce aerosols. Detection of single aerosol particles, provides elastic scattering response as well as fluorescent emission in two spectral bands simultaneously. Our efforts have focuses on empirical characterization of the emission and scattering characteristics of various bacterial samples to determine the feasibility of optical discrimination between different cell types. Preliminary spectroscopic evidence suggest that different samples can be distinguished as separate bio-aerosol groups. In addition to controlled sample results, we will also discuss the most recent result on the effectiveness of detection outdoor releases and variations in environmental backgrounds.

  19. A One Health, participatory epidemiology assessment of anthrax (Bacillus anthracis) management in Western Uganda.

    PubMed

    Coffin, Jeanne L; Monje, Fred; Asiimwe-Karimu, Grace; Amuguni, Hellen Janetrix; Odoch, Terence

    2015-03-01

    Sporadic anthrax outbreaks have occurred in and around Uganda's Queen Elizabeth National Park (QENP) for years, affecting wildlife, domestic animals, and humans. Reported outbreaks (2004-2005 and 2010) in QENP collectively killed over 500 wild animals and over 400 domestic animals. A 2011 outbreak in Sheema district temporarily froze local markets while killing two humans and seven bovines. One Health is multidisciplinary at its core, yet studies sometimes focus on the effects of animals on human health to the detriment of investigating the surrounding ecological and cultural contexts. Participatory methods connect problems - such as disease - to their context. A multidisciplinary team used participatory epidemiology and conventional structured questionnaires to investigate the impacts of anthrax on human livelihoods and the related perceptions of conservation, public health, and veterinary health efforts in the QENP area. Proximities to previous anthrax outbreaks and to QENP were treated as risk factors in the collection and evaluation of data. Participants' feedback indicates that anthrax prevalence may be greater than officially reported. Community member perceptions about anthrax and other diseases appear to be more closely related to their proximity to QENP than their proximity to anthrax outbreaks. Neither risk factor had a strong effect on knowledge of disease, nor any effect on behaviors associated with disease response or control. Instead, participants reported that social pressures, the economics of poverty, and the lack of health and veterinary infrastructure highly influenced responses to disease. The complex connections between the social needs and the economic context of these communities seem to be undermining current anthrax control and education measures. This livelihood-based decision-making may be unlikely to respond to educational intervention alone. This study provides a strong base for further research and for improvements in effective disease

  20. A One Health, participatory epidemiology assessment of anthrax (Bacillus anthracis) management in Western Uganda.

    PubMed

    Coffin, Jeanne L; Monje, Fred; Asiimwe-Karimu, Grace; Amuguni, Hellen Janetrix; Odoch, Terence

    2015-03-01

    Sporadic anthrax outbreaks have occurred in and around Uganda's Queen Elizabeth National Park (QENP) for years, affecting wildlife, domestic animals, and humans. Reported outbreaks (2004-2005 and 2010) in QENP collectively killed over 500 wild animals and over 400 domestic animals. A 2011 outbreak in Sheema district temporarily froze local markets while killing two humans and seven bovines. One Health is multidisciplinary at its core, yet studies sometimes focus on the effects of animals on human health to the detriment of investigating the surrounding ecological and cultural contexts. Participatory methods connect problems - such as disease - to their context. A multidisciplinary team used participatory epidemiology and conventional structured questionnaires to investigate the impacts of anthrax on human livelihoods and the related perceptions of conservation, public health, and veterinary health efforts in the QENP area. Proximities to previous anthrax outbreaks and to QENP were treated as risk factors in the collection and evaluation of data. Participants' feedback indicates that anthrax prevalence may be greater than officially reported. Community member perceptions about anthrax and other diseases appear to be more closely related to their proximity to QENP than their proximity to anthrax outbreaks. Neither risk factor had a strong effect on knowledge of disease, nor any effect on behaviors associated with disease response or control. Instead, participants reported that social pressures, the economics of poverty, and the lack of health and veterinary infrastructure highly influenced responses to disease. The complex connections between the social needs and the economic context of these communities seem to be undermining current anthrax control and education measures. This livelihood-based decision-making may be unlikely to respond to educational intervention alone. This study provides a strong base for further research and for improvements in effective disease

  1. Effect of Lysozyme on Resting Spores of Bacillus Megaterium

    PubMed Central

    Suzuki, Yahiko; Rode, L. J.

    1969-01-01

    Resting spores of Bacillus megaterium ATCC 9885 were found to be markedly affected by lysozyme. Exposure to as little as 1.5 μg of lysozyme per ml caused the spores to lose refractility, the darkened spores to shed their coat structures, and the spore central bodies to lyse. The spores of seven other strains of B. megaterium and seven other Bacillus species were not similarly affected by lysozyme. Proteolytic enzymes such as pronase, trypsin, pepsin, and subtilisin did not induce the change. The action of lysozyme differed in certain important respects from that of common “physiological” germinants. Its action was considered to be direct via its enzymatic attack on exposed sites directly accessible in the resting spores of B. megaterium ATCC 9885. Images PMID:4977688

  2. Assay for Spore Wall Integrity Using a Yeast Predator.

    PubMed

    Okada, Hiroki; Neiman, Aaron M; Ohya, Yoshikazu

    2016-01-01

    During the budding yeast life cycle, a starved diploid cell undergoes meiosis followed by production of four haploid spores, each surrounded by a spore wall. The wall allows the spores to survive in harsh environments until conditions improve. Spores are also more resistant than vegetative cells to treatments such as ether vapor, glucanases, heat shock, high salt concentrations, and exposure to high or low pH, but the relevance of these treatments to natural environmental stresses remains unclear. This protocol describes a method for assaying the yeast spore wall under natural environmental conditions by quantifying the survival of yeast spores that have passed through the digestive system of a yeast predator, the fruit fly. PMID:27480715

  3. A study of Ganoderma lucidum spores by FTIR microspectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Xin; Chen, Xianliang; Qi, Zeming; Liu, Xingcun; Li, Weizu; Wang, Shengyi

    2012-06-01

    In order to obtain unique information of Ganoderma lucidum spores, FTIR microspectroscopy was used to study G. lucidum spores from Anhui Province (A), Liaoning Province (B) and Shangdong Province (C) of China. IR micro-spectra were acquired with high-resolution and well-reproducibility. The IR spectra of G. lucidum spores from different areas were similar and mainly made up of the absorption bands of polysaccharide, sterols, proteins, fatty acids, etc. The results of curve fitting indicated the protein secondary structures were dissimilar among the above G. lucidum spores. To identify G. lucidum spores from different areas, the H1078/H1640 value might be a potentially useful factor, furthermore FTIR microspectroscopy could realize this identification efficiently with the help of hierarchical cluster analysis. The result indicates FTIR microspectroscopy is an efficient tool for identification of G. lucidum spores from different areas. The result also suggests FTIR microspectroscopy is a potentially useful tool for the study of TCM.

  4. [Aerosol therapy].

    PubMed

    Wildhaber, J H

    1998-08-15

    Aerosol therapy plays a major role in the diagnosis and treatment of various lung diseases. The aim of inhalation therapy is to deposit a reproducible and adequate dose of a specific drug to the airways, in order to achieve a high, local, clinical effect while avoiding serious systemic side effects. To achieve this goal, it is therefore important to have an efficient inhalation device to deliver different medications. However, the currently available therapeutic inhalation devices (nebuliser, pressurised metered-dose inhaler and dry powder inhaler) are not very efficient in aerosol delivery and have several disadvantages. Inhalation devices can be assessed by in vitro studies, filter studies and radiolabelled deposition studies. Several radiolabelled deposition studies have shown that nebulisers and pressurised metered-dose inhalers are not very efficient in aerosol delivery. In children, before 1997, only 0.5% to 15% of the total nebulised or actuated dose from a nebuliser or pressurised metered-dose inhaler actually reached the lungs. These numbers were somewhat improved in adults, 30% of the total nebulised or actuated dose reaching the airways. Aerosol therapy with dry powder inhalers was the most efficient before 1997, 30% of the total dose being deposited in the lungs of adults and children. In 1997, new developments in pressurised metered-dose inhalers much improved their efficiency in aerosol delivery. Lung deposition can be increased by up to 60% with use of a non-electrostatic holding chamber and/or a pressurised metered-dose inhaler with a hydrofluoroalkane propellant possessing superior aerosol characteristics. Several studies comparing the clinical efficiency of different inhalation devices have shown that the choice of an optimal inhalation device is crucial. In addition to the aerosol characteristics, ventilation parameters and airway morphology have an important bearing on deposition patterns. These parameters may be greatly influenced by the

  5. Comparative toxicity and efficacy of engineered anthrax lethal toxin variants with broad anti-tumor activities

    SciTech Connect

    Peters, Diane E.; Hoover, Benjamin; Cloud, Loretta Grey; Liu, Shihui; Molinolo, Alfredo A.; Leppla, Stephen H.; Bugge, Thomas H.

    2014-09-01

    We have previously designed and characterized versions of anthrax lethal toxin that are selectively cytotoxic in the tumor microenvironment and which display broad and potent anti-tumor activities in vivo. Here, we have performed the first direct comparison of the safety and efficacy of three engineered anthrax lethal toxin variants requiring activation by either matrix-metalloproteinases (MMPs), urokinase plasminogen activator (uPA) or co-localized MMP/uPA activities. C57BL/6J mice were challenged with six doses of engineered toxins via intraperitoneal (I.P.) or intravenous (I.V.) dose routes to determine the maximum tolerated dose for six administrations (MTD6) and dose-limiting toxicities. Efficacy was evaluated using the B16-BL6 syngraft model of melanoma; mice bearing established tumors were treated with six I.P. doses of toxin and tumor measurements and immunohistochemistry, paired with terminal blood work, were used to elaborate upon the anti-tumor mechanism and relative efficacy of each variant. We found that MMP-, uPA- and dual MMP/uPA-activated anthrax lethal toxins exhibited the same dose-limiting toxicity; dose-dependent GI toxicity. In terms of efficacy, all three toxins significantly reduced primary B16-BL6 tumor burden, ranging from 32% to 87% reduction, and they also delayed disease progression as evidenced by dose-dependent normalization of blood work values. While target organ toxicity and effective doses were similar amongst the variants, the dual MMP/uPA-activated anthrax lethal toxin exhibited the highest I.P. MTD6 and was 1.5–3-fold better tolerated than the single MMP- and uPA-activated toxins. Overall, we demonstrate that this dual MMP/uPA-activated anthrax lethal toxin can be administered safely and is highly effective in a preclinical model of melanoma. This modified bacterial cytotoxin is thus a promising candidate for further clinical development and evaluation for use in treating human cancers. - Highlights: • Toxicity and anti

  6. Physiological responses of Bacillus amyloliquefaciens spores to high pressure.

    PubMed

    Ahn, Juhee; Balasubramaniam, V M

    2007-03-01

    Pressure inactivation behavior of Bacillus amyloliquefaciens spores was investigated in deionized water. The spores of B. amyloliquefaciens were subjected to 105 degrees C and 700 MPa. The magnitude of the decrease in viability after pressure treatment was similar to that after pressure treatment followed by heat shock. The increase of dipicolinic acid (DPA) release was correlated with the spore inactivation, and the hydrophobicity did not significantly change during the pressure-assisted thermal processing (PATP). Lag phase duration increased with increasing pressure process time. The mechanisms of spore germination and inactivation during the PATP were related to a complex physiological process.

  7. Heat killing of bacterial spores analyzed by differential scanning calorimetry.

    PubMed Central

    Belliveau, B H; Beaman, T C; Pankratz, H S; Gerhardt, P

    1992-01-01

    Thermograms of the exosporium-lacking dormant spores of Bacillus megaterium ATCC 33729, obtained by differential scanning calorimetry, showed three major irreversible endothermic transitions with peaks at 56, 100, and 114 degrees C and a major irreversible exothermic transition with a peak at 119 degrees C. The 114 degrees C transition was identified with coat proteins, and the 56 degrees C transition was identified with heat inactivation. Thermograms of the germinated spores and vegetative cells were much alike, including an endothermic transition attributable to DNA. The ascending part of the main endothermic 100 degrees C transition in the dormant-spore thermograms corresponded to a first-order reaction and was correlated with spore death; i.e., greater than 99.9% of the spores were killed when the transition peak was reached. The maximum death rate of the dormant spores during calorimetry, calculated from separately measured D and z values, occurred at temperatures above the 73 degrees C onset of thermal denaturation and was equivalent to the maximum inactivation rate calculated for the critical target. Most of the spore killing occurred before the release of most of the dipicolinic acid and other intraprotoplast materials. The exothermic 119 degrees C transition was a consequence of the endothermic 100 degrees C transition and probably represented the aggregation of intraprotoplast spore components. Taken together with prior evidence, the results suggest that a crucial protein is the rate-limiting primary target in the heat killing of dormant bacterial spores. Images PMID:1624439

  8. Applied usage of yeast spores as chitosan beads.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Haini; Tachikawa, Hiroyuki; Gao, Xiao-Dong; Nakanishi, Hideki

    2014-08-01

    In this study, we present a nonhazardous biological method of producing chitosan beads using the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Yeast cells cultured under conditions of nutritional starvation cease vegetative growth and instead form spores. The spore wall has a multilaminar structure with the chitosan layer as the second outermost layer. Thus, removal of the outermost dityrosine layer by disruption of the DIT1 gene, which is required for dityrosine synthesis, leads to exposure of the chitosan layer at the spore surface. In this way, spores can be made to resemble chitosan beads. Chitosan has adsorptive features and can be used to remove heavy metals and negatively charged molecules from solution. Consistent with this practical application, we find that spores are capable of adsorbing heavy metals such as Cu(2+), Cr(3+), and Cd(2+), and removal of the dityrosine layer further improves the adsorption. Removal of the chitosan layer decreases the adsorption, indicating that chitosan works as an adsorbent in the spores. Besides heavy metals, spores can also adsorb a negatively charged cholesterol derivative, taurocholic acid. Furthermore, chitosan is amenable to chemical modifications, and, consistent with this property, dit1Δ spores can serve as a carrier for immobilization of enzymes. Given that yeast spores are a natural product, our results demonstrate that they, and especially dit1Δ mutants, can be used as chitosan beads and used for multiple purposes. PMID:24907339

  9. Bacterial Spores in Food: Survival, Emergence, and Outgrowth.

    PubMed

    Wells-Bennik, Marjon H J; Eijlander, Robyn T; den Besten, Heidy M W; Berendsen, Erwin M; Warda, Alicja K; Krawczyk, Antonina O; Nierop Groot, Masja N; Xiao, Yinghua; Zwietering, Marcel H; Kuipers, Oscar P; Abee, Tjakko

    2016-01-01

    Spore-forming bacteria are ubiquitous in nature. The resistance properties of bacterial spores lie at the heart of their widespread occurrence in food ingredients and foods. The efficacy of inactivation by food-processing conditions is largely determined by the characteristics of the different types of spores, whereas food composition and storage conditions determine the eventual germination and outgrowth of surviving spores. Here, we review the current knowledge on variation in spore resistance, in germination, and in the outgrowth capacity of spores relevant to foods. This includes novel findings on key parameters in spore survival and outgrowth obtained by gene-trait matching approaches using genome-sequenced Bacillus spp. food isolates, which represent notorious food spoilage and pathogenic species. Additionally, the impact of strain diversity on heat inactivation of spores and the variability therein is discussed. Knowledge and quantification of factors that influence variability can be applied to improve predictive models, ultimately supporting effective control of spore-forming bacteria in foods. PMID:26934174

  10. Discrimination between bacterial spore types using time-of-flight mass spectrometry and matrix-free infrared laser desorption and ionization.

    PubMed

    Ullom, J N; Frank, M; Gard, E E; Horn, J M; Labov, S E; Langry, K; Magnotta, F; Stanion, K A; Hack, C A; Benner, W H

    2001-05-15

    We demonstrate that molecular ions with mass-to-charge ratios (m/z) ranging from a few hundred to 19 050 can be desorbed from whole bacterial spores using infrared laser desorption and no chemical matrix. We have measured the mass of these ions using time-of-flight mass spectrometry and we observe that different ions are desorbed from spores of Bacillus cereus, Bacillus thuringiensis, Bacillus subtilis, and Bacillus niger. Our results raise the possibility of identifying microorganisms using mass spectrometry without conventional sample preparation techniques such as the addition of a matrix. We have measured the dependence of the ion yield from B. subtilis on desorption wavelength over the range 3.05-3.8 microm, and we observe the best results at 3.05 microm. We have also generated mass spectra from whole spores using 337-nm ultraviolet laser desorption, and we find that these spectra are inferior to spectra generated with infrared desorption. Since aerosol analysis is a natural application for matrix-free desorption, we have measured mass spectra from materials such as ragweed pollen and road dust that are likely to form a background to microbial aerosols. We find that these materials are readily differentiated from bacterial spores.

  11. Lethal factor and anti-protective antigen IgG levels associated with inhalation anthrax, Minnesota, USA.

    PubMed

    Sprenkle, Mark D; Griffith, Jayne; Marinelli, William; Boyer, Anne E; Quinn, Conrad P; Pesik, Nicki T; Hoffmaster, Alex; Keenan, Joseph; Juni, Billie A; Blaney, David D

    2014-02-01

    Bacillus anthracis was identified in a 61-year-old man hospitalized in Minnesota, USA. Cooperation between the hospital and the state health agency enhanced prompt identification of the pathogen. Treatment comprising antimicrobial drugs, anthrax immune globulin, and pleural drainage led to full recovery; however, the role of passive immunization in anthrax treatment requires further evaluation.

  12. 9 CFR 310.9 - Anthrax; carcasses not to be eviscerated; disposition of affected carcasses; hides, hoofs, horns...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... 9 Animals and Animal Products 2 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Anthrax; carcasses not to be...-MORTEM INSPECTION § 310.9 Anthrax; carcasses not to be eviscerated; disposition of affected carcasses...; general cleanup and disinfection. (a) Carcasses found before evisceration to be affected with...

  13. 9 CFR 310.9 - Anthrax; carcasses not to be eviscerated; disposition of affected carcasses; hides, hoofs, horns...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... 9 Animals and Animal Products 2 2013-01-01 2013-01-01 false Anthrax; carcasses not to be...-MORTEM INSPECTION § 310.9 Anthrax; carcasses not to be eviscerated; disposition of affected carcasses...; general cleanup and disinfection. (a) Carcasses found before evisceration to be affected with...

  14. The Disulfide Bond Cys255-Cys279 in the Immunoglobulin-Like Domain of Anthrax Toxin Receptor 2 Is Required for Membrane Insertion of Anthrax Protective Antigen Pore

    PubMed Central

    Boone, Kyle; Altiyev, Agamyrat; Puschhof, Jens; Sauter, Roland; Arigi, Emma; Ruiz, Blanca; Peng, Xiuli; Almeida, Igor; Sherman, Michael; Xiao, Chuan; Sun, Jianjun

    2015-01-01

    Anthrax toxin receptors act as molecular clamps or switches that control anthrax toxin entry, pH-dependent pore formation, and translocation of enzymatic moieties across the endosomal membranes. We previously reported that reduction of the disulfide bonds in the immunoglobulin-like (Ig) domain of the anthrax toxin receptor 2 (ANTXR2) inhibited the function of the protective antigen (PA) pore. In the present study, the disulfide linkage in the Ig domain was identified as Cys255-Cys279 and Cys230-Cys315. Specific disulfide bond deletion mutants were achieved by replacing Cys residues with Ala residues. Deletion of the disulfide bond C255-C279, but not C230-C315, inhibited the PA pore-induced release of the fluorescence dyes from the liposomes, suggesting that C255-C279 is essential for PA pore function. Furthermore, we found that deletion of C255-C279 did not affect PA prepore-to-pore conversion, but inhibited PA pore membrane insertion by trapping the PA membrane-inserting loops in proteinaceous hydrophobic pockets. Fluorescence spectra of Trp59, a residue adjacent to the PA-binding motif in von Willebrand factor A (VWA) domain of ANTXR2, showed that deletion of C255-C279 resulted in a significant conformational change on the receptor ectodomain. The disulfide deletion-induced conformational change on the VWA domain was further confirmed by single-particle 3D reconstruction of the negatively stained PA-receptor heptameric complexes. Together, the biochemical and structural data obtained in this study provides a mechanistic insight into the role of the receptor disulfide bond C255-C279 in anthrax toxin action. Manipulation of the redox states of the receptor, specifically targeting to C255-C279, may become a novel strategy to treat anthrax. PMID:26107617

  15. Source and risk factors of a cutaneous anthrax outbreak, Jiangsu, Eastern China, 2012.

    PubMed

    Hu, J L; Cui, L L; Bao, C J; Tan, Z M; Rutherford, S; Ying, L; Zhang, M L; Zhu, F C

    2016-09-01

    Anthrax is still a severe public health problem and threat to human health. A cutaneous anthrax outbreak occurred in Jiangsu Province, a non-endemic anthrax region of eastern China, from July to August 2012. Epidemiological and laboratory investigation were initiated to trace the source of infection and identify the risk factors of the outbreak. On 25 July 2012, 17 persons were exposed to a sick cow, which had been imported from northeast China a few days previously. Of the 17 exposed, eight developed symptoms between 1 and 8 days and were diagnosed as cutaneous anthrax cases. Three main genes of Bacillus anthracis were detected from both human and cow meat samples, indicating that the outbreak was associated with this infected cow. A retrospective cohort study showed that contact with blood and presence of skin damage contributed to the case infection with B. anthracis. The outbreak highlights the need to enhance quarantine for imported livestock, which should have been vaccinated prior to importation, the significance of education for high-risk individuals, and training for primary healthcare workers even in anthrax-free areas. PMID:27277672

  16. Spore-Forming Bacteria that Resist Sterilization

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    LaDuc, Myron; Venkateswaran, Kasthuri

    2003-01-01

    A report presents a phenotypic and genotypic characterization of a bacterial species that has been found to be of the genus Bacillus and has been tentatively named B. odysseensis because it was isolated from surfaces of the Mars Odyssey spacecraft as part of continuing research on techniques for sterilizing spacecraft to prevent contamination of remote planets by terrestrial species. B. odysseensis is a Gram-positive, facultatively anaerobic, rod-shaped bacterium that forms round spores. The exosporium has been conjectured to play a role in the elevated resistance to sterilization. Research on the exosporium is proposed as a path toward improved means of sterilization, medical treatment, and prevention of biofouling.

  17. Workplace aerosol mass concentration measurement using optical particle counters.

    PubMed

    Görner, Peter; Simon, Xavier; Bémer, Denis; Lidén, Göran

    2012-02-01

    Direct-reading aerosol measurement usually uses the optical properties of airborne particles to detect and measure particle concentration. In the case of occupational hygiene, mass concentration measurement is often required. Two aerosol monitoring methods are based on the principle of light scattering: optical particle counting (OPC) and photometry. The former analyses the light scattered by a single particle, the latter by a cloud of particles. Both methods need calibration to transform the quantity of scattered light detected into particle concentration. Photometers are simpler to use and can be directly calibrated to measure mass concentration. However, their response varies not only with aerosol concentration but also with particle size distribution, which frequently contributes to biased measurement. Optical particle counters directly measure the particle number concentration and particle size that allows assessment of the particle mass provided the particles are spherical and of known density. An integrating algorithm is used to calculate the mass concentration of any conventional health-related aerosol fraction. The concentrations calculated thus have been compared with simultaneous measurements by conventional gravimetric sampling to check the possibility of field OPC calibration with real workplace aerosols with a view to further monitoring particle mass concentration. Aerosol concentrations were measured in the food industry using the OPC GRIMM® 1.108 and the CIP 10-Inhalable and CIP 10-Respirable (ARELCO®) aerosol samplers while meat sausages were being brushed and coated with calcium carbonate. Previously, the original OPC inlet had been adapted to sample inhalable aerosol. A mixed aerosol of calcium carbonate and fungi spores was present in the workplace. The OPC particle-size distribution and an estimated average particle density of both aerosol components were used to calculate the mass concentration. The inhalable and respirable aerosol fractions

  18. Workplace aerosol mass concentration measurement using optical particle counters.

    PubMed

    Görner, Peter; Simon, Xavier; Bémer, Denis; Lidén, Göran

    2012-02-01

    Direct-reading aerosol measurement usually uses the optical properties of airborne particles to detect and measure particle concentration. In the case of occupational hygiene, mass concentration measurement is often required. Two aerosol monitoring methods are based on the principle of light scattering: optical particle counting (OPC) and photometry. The former analyses the light scattered by a single particle, the latter by a cloud of particles. Both methods need calibration to transform the quantity of scattered light detected into particle concentration. Photometers are simpler to use and can be directly calibrated to measure mass concentration. However, their response varies not only with aerosol concentration but also with particle size distribution, which frequently contributes to biased measurement. Optical particle counters directly measure the particle number concentration and particle size that allows assessment of the particle mass provided the particles are spherical and of known density. An integrating algorithm is used to calculate the mass concentration of any conventional health-related aerosol fraction. The concentrations calculated thus have been compared with simultaneous measurements by conventional gravimetric sampling to check the possibility of field OPC calibration with real workplace aerosols with a view to further monitoring particle mass concentration. Aerosol concentrations were measured in the food industry using the OPC GRIMM® 1.108 and the CIP 10-Inhalable and CIP 10-Respirable (ARELCO®) aerosol samplers while meat sausages were being brushed and coated with calcium carbonate. Previously, the original OPC inlet had been adapted to sample inhalable aerosol. A mixed aerosol of calcium carbonate and fungi spores was present in the workplace. The OPC particle-size distribution and an estimated average particle density of both aerosol components were used to calculate the mass concentration. The inhalable and respirable aerosol fractions

  19. Seasonal Variation of Fungal Spores in Size-fractionated Ambient Particulate Matter in Beijing, China, Based on Molecular Tracer Measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liang, L.; Engling, G.; He, K.

    2015-12-01

    Fungal aerosols were found to be the dominant fraction of biological aerosol components in the coarse mode in the atmosphere, influencing human health, the biosphere, atmospheric chemistry and climate. However, the total abundance of fungal spores in the atmosphere is rather uncertain and likely underestimated to a large extent by traditional Colony Forming Units (CFU) assays. Flow cytometry (FCM) was utilized in combination with fluorescent stains for the rapid counting of ambient fungal spores in this study. And, the sugar alcohols, mannitol and arabitol, proposed as molecular tracers for fungal aerosol were measured in PM2.5 and PM10 at an urban site in Beijing, China. The annual average concentrations of arabitol in PM2.5 and PM10 at the urban site were 7.4±9.4 ng m-3 and 21.0±20.4 ng m-3, and the respective mannitol concentrations were 10.3±9.5 ng m-3 and 31.9±26.9 ng m-3. Compared to PM2.5, the seasonal average concentrations of arabitol and mannitol in PM10 were varied more significantly. During summer and autumn higher arabitol and mannitol levels than during spring and winter were observed in coarse particles. Statistics analysis was further grouped into typical dry season (December 2010 to March 2011) and typical wet season (July 2011 to September 2011), revealed the different variation of fungal spores in different seasons. Moreover, the FCM results had significant positive correlation with the concentrations of the fungal tracers (R2 was 0.75 and 0.70 for arabitol and mannitol, respectively), supporting the utility of these sugar alcohols as effective fungal tracers.

  20. Airborne fungal spores of Alternaria, meteorological parameters and predicting variables

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Filali Ben Sidel, Farah; Bouziane, Hassan; del Mar Trigo, Maria; El Haskouri, Fatima; Bardei, Fadoua; Redouane, Abdelbari; Kadiri, Mohamed; Riadi, Hassane; Kazzaz, Mohamed

    2015-03-01

    Alternaria is frequently found as airborne fungal spores and is recognized as an important cause of respiratory allergies. The aerobiological monitoring of fungal spores was performed using a Burkard volumetric spore traps. To establish predicting variables for daily and weakly spore counts, a stepwise multiple regression between spore concentrations and independent variables (meteorological parameters and lagged values from the series of spore concentrations: previous day or week concentration (Alt t - 1) and mean concentration of the same day or week in other years ( C mean)) was made with data obtained during 2009-2011. Alternaria conidia are present throughout the year in the atmosphere of Tetouan, although they show important seasonal fluctuations. The highest levels of Alternaria spores were recorded during the spring and summer or autumn. Alternaria showed maximum daily values in April, May or October depending on year. When the spore variables of Alternaria, namely C mean and Alt t - 1, and meteorological parameters were included in the equation, the resulting R 2 satisfactorily predict future concentrations for 55.5 to 81.6 % during the main spore season and the pre-peak 2. In the predictive model using weekly values, the adjusted R 2 varied from 0.655 to 0.676. The Wilcoxon test was used to compare the results from the expected values and the pre-peak spore data or weekly values for 2012, indicating that there were no significant differences between series compared. This test showed the C mean, Alt t - 1, frequency of the wind third quadrant, maximum wind speed and minimum relative humidity as the most efficient independent variables to forecast the overall trend of this spore in the air.