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Introduction

Following the post 9/11 distribution of anthrax spores through the U.S. mail, and the resulting deaths of five individuals - primarily due to initial misdiagnosis - there has been a renewed interest in anthrax among clinicians and intelligence agencies, particularly as a biological warfare agent. This monograph brings forth essential knowledge about anthrax. Included in this volume, are, the early history, non-natural outbreaks of anthrax, characteristics of the causative organism Bacillus anthracis and its relationship to other members of the B. cereus family. Also included are reports on extensive clinical findings, mechanisms of anthrax virulence and the genetics responsible for these virulence factors. The extensive studies over the years regarding the development of veterinary and human vaccines, and molecular studies, including conventional PCR and real-time PCR are explained in comprehensive detail, with the help of tables, figures and extensive references. This eBook serves as an advanced presentation and reference work for individuals seeking detailed information regarding anthrax and as a primary guide for individuals pursuing studies on anthrax.







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