Bacillus anthracis

Bacillus anthracis is a Gram-positive spore-forming, rod-shaped bacterium, with a width of 1-1.2µm and a length of 3-5µm. It can grow in aerobic or anaerobic conditions. It is the only known bacterium to synthesize a protein capsule and the only pathogenic bacterium to carry its own adenylyl cyclase virulence factor. They form oval spores located centrally in a non-swollen sporangium. These spores are highly resilient and can survive extreme temperatures, low-nutrient environments, and harsh chemical treatment over decades or centuries.

B. Anthracis was the first bacterium conclusively demonstrated to cause disease, by Robert Koch in 1876. The name means coal and refers to a common disease, cutaneous anthrax, in which large black skin lesions are formed.

Infections are treated with β-lactam antibiotics such as penicillin. Penicillin resistant strands are treated with fluoroquinolones such as ciprofloxacin or tetracycline antibiotics such as doxycycline.

Some tea components help to inhibit the activity both of Bacillus Anthracis and its toxins. It does need iron to grow and generally gets this iron from prosthetic groups in the host in the transport of oxygen. B. anthracis uses two secretory siderophore proteins to scavenge heme from host hemoglobin.

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