Pathophysiology of anthrax

Arthur E. Frankel, Shu Ru Kuo, David Dostal, Linley Watson, Nicholas S. Duesbery, Che Ping Cheng, Heng Jie Cheng, Wei Jen Tang, Stephen H. Leppla

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Infection by Bacillus anthracis in animals and humans results from accidental or intentional exposure, by oral, cutaneous or pulmonary routes, to spores, which are normally present in the soil. Treatment includes administration of antibiotics, vaccination or treatment with antibody to the toxin. A better understanding of the molecular basis of the processes involved in the pathogenesis of anthrax namely, spore germination in macrophages and biological effects of the secreted toxins on heart and blood vessels will lead to improved management of infected animals and patients. Controlling germination will be feasible by inhibiting macrophage paralysis and cell death. On the other hand, the control of terminal hypotension might be achieved by inhibition of cardiomyocyte mitogen-activated protein kinase and stimulation of vessel cAMP.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4516-4524
Number of pages9
JournalFrontiers in Bioscience
Issue number12
StatePublished - Jan 1 2009


  • Anthrax
  • Heart failure
  • Rats
  • Review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Immunology and Microbiology


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