Anthrax is an infection caused by the bacterium Bacillus anthracis. It can occur in four forms: skin, inhalation, intestinal, and injection. Symptoms begin between one day and two months after contracting the infection. The skin form presents with a small blister with surrounding swelling that often turns into a painless ulcer with a black center. The inhalation form presents with fever, chest pain, and shortness of breath. The intestinal form presents with nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or abdominal pain. The injection form presents with fever and an abscess at the site of drug injection.
Anthrax is spread by contact with the spores of the bacteria, which are often from infectious animal products. Contact is by breathing, eating, or through an area of broken skin. It does not typically spread directly between people. Risk factors include people who work with animals or animal products, travelers, postal workers, and military personnel. Diagnosis can be confirmed based on finding antibodies or the toxin in the blood or by culture of a sample from the infected site.
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http://iai.asm.org/content/75/11/5425.full human monoclonal antibodies against anthrax lethal factor and protective antigen act independently to protect against bacillus anthracisinfection and enhance endogenous immunity to anthraxby mark t. albrecht et al., doi:10.1128/iai.00261-07infect. immun. november 2007vol. 75 no. 11 5425-5433