woolsorter's disease


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anthrax

 [an´thraks]
an infectious disease seen most often in cattle, horses, mules, sheep, and goats, due to ingestion of spores of Bacillus anthracis. It can be acquired by humans through contact with infected animals or their byproducts, such as carcasses or skins.

Anthrax in humans usually occurs as a malignant pustule or malignant edema of the skin. In rare instances it can affect the lungs if the spores of the bacillus are inhaled, or it can involve the intestinal tract when infected meat is eaten. The condition often is accompanied by hemorrhage, as the exotoxins from the bacillus attack the endothelium of small blood vessels. The condition is treated by the use of antibiotics such as penicillin and the tetracyclines. The malignant edema can be treated with intravenous hydrocortisone. The disorder is also known by a variety of names, including woolsorters' disease, ragpickers' disease, and charbon.
cutaneous anthrax anthrax due to lodgment of the causative organisms in wounds or abrasions of the skin, producing a black crusted pustule on a broad zone of edema.
gastrointestinal anthrax anthrax due to ingestion of poorly cooked meat contaminated with Bacillus anthracis, with deposition of spores in the submucosa of the intestinal tract, where they germinate, multiply, and produce toxin, resulting in massive edema, which may obstruct the bowel, hemorrhage, and necrosis.
inhalational anthrax a usually fatal form of anthrax due to inhalation of dust containing anthrax spores, which are transported to the regional lymph nodes where they germinate, multiply, and produce toxin, and characterized by hemorrhagic edematous mediastinitis, pleural effusions, dyspnea, cyanosis, stridor, and shock. It is usually an occupational disease, such as in persons who handle or sort contaminated wools and fleeces. Antimicrobial prophylaxis is used to prevent the condition. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has published interim guidelines for investigation and response to Bacillus anthracis infection. The evaluation of risk for exposure to aerosolized spores is of highest priority. Obtaining adequate samples, avoiding cross-contamination, and insuring proficient testing and evaluation of test results are all recommended.
meningeal anthrax a rare, usually fatal form of anthrax resembling typical hemorrhagic meningitis due to spread through the bloodstream of Bacillus anthracis from a primary focus of infection; manifestations include cerebrospinal fluid that is hemorrhagic and neurological signs and symptoms.
pulmonary anthrax inhalational anthrax.

pul·mo·nar·y an·thrax

a form of anthrax acquired by inhalation of dust containing Bacillus anthracis; there is an initial chill followed by pain in the back and legs, rapid respiration, dyspnea, cough, fever, rapid pulse, and extreme cardiovascular collapse.

woolsorter's disease

(wo͝ol′sôr′tərz)
n.
A pulmonary form of anthrax that results from the inhalation of bacterial spores in contaminated sheep's wool.

woolsorter's disease

Etymology: AS, wull + Fr, sorte + L, dis, opposite of; Fr, aise, ease
the pulmonary form of anthrax, so named because it is an occupational hazard to those who handle sheep's wool. Early symptoms mimic those of influenza, but the patient soon develops high fever, respiratory distress, and cyanosis. If the disease is not treated at this stage, it is often fatal. Also called pulmonary anthrax. See also anthrax.

woolsorter's disease

Inhalation anthrax, see there.

woolsorter's disease

ANTHRAX of the lungs resulting from inhalation of spores of Bacillus anthracis from contaminated sheep's wool.

woolsorter's disease

pulmonary anthrax.