Bacillus Anthracis: Cause, Causes, Virulence Factors

1365 Words 6 Pages
Bacillus anthracis is the causative organism of the serious infectious disease, called anthrax. There are three manifestations of this disease. The manifestations include gastrointestinal anthrax, inhalation anthrax, and cutaneous anthrax. This research will explore the morphology, virulence factors, reservoir, transmission, and portal of entry of B. anthracis. The pathogenesis will also be reviewed, including symptoms, how B. anthracis causes these symptoms, the possible complications of the symptoms, role of virulence factors, and the evasion of the hosts’ defense mechanisms. Morbidity and mortality rates, diagnosis, treatment, prevention including the use of vaccines, and why it is socially relevant to continue research on B. anthracis is …show more content…
B. anthracis has a tough poly-D-glutamic acid capsule that protects the bacteria allowing it to become resistant to heat, harsh chemicals, and desiccation. This allows to bacteria to be dormant for centuries or even longer. Once the spores enter the body of the host they will become activated and begin to germinate [1]. White blood cells protect the body against bacteria; however, B. anthracis’ capsule inhibits the white blood cells from phagocytizing it (Micro book). The other two virulence factors are the 2 protein exotoxins. The exotoxins comprise 3 proteins, protective antigen (PA), edema factor (EF), and lethal factor (LF). PA combines with EF and LF to form, respectively, the binary toxins called edema toxin (ETx) and lethal toxin (LTx). These toxin genes are activated by a molecule found in the blood, bicarbonate. The 3 main virulence factors are encoded on two plasmids, pXO1 and pXO2, which code for the B. anthracis toxins [10]. The combined effects of the toxins are local necrosis from apoptosis, edema in the infected area(s), severely affected cellular metabolism, and affected intracellular signaling [micro

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