gastrointestinal anthrax

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Related to gastrointestinal anthrax: Anthrax vaccine, inhalation anthrax


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.
Miller-Keane Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing, and Allied Health, Seventh Edition. © 2003 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
anthracis spores aerosolized at a drumming event, which did not result in inhalation anthrax but did result in gastrointestinal anthrax.
Gastrointestinal anthrax is contracted by the ingestion of insufficiently cooked meat from infected animals.
The case-fatality rate for gastrointestinal anthrax is unknown but is estimated to be 25 to 60 percent.
Limited experience with gastrointestinal anthrax complicates recommendations for use of postexposure prophylaxis.
Clinical signs included diarrhea and swollen abdomen (consistent with ascites), which are features of gastrointestinal anthrax.
Gastrointestinal anthrax is extremely rare in the United States and western Europe but is more frequently encountered in developing countries around the globe.
Unknown or call not related to anthrax not classified Risk/urgency Frequency Percent (%) of all classification (N = 882) calls referred to SLT Level 1: A 0 (b) 0.0 "Confirmed" B 2 0.2 C 45 5.1 D 45 5.1 E 134 15.2 F 388 44.0 G 247 28.0 Unknown/ 21 2.4 not classified (a) Clinically compatible refers to physician or health professional report of any symptom thought to be related to inhalational, cutaneous, or gastrointestinal anthrax. (b) Cases of anthrax confirmed during this time period were identified through active surveillance by CDC field epidemiology teams and not the Emergency Operations Center telephone bank.
Gastrointestinal anthrax is greatly underreported in rural disease-endemic areas of the world.
Gastrointestinal anthrax is rare and is usually acquired through consumption of contaminated food [3, 4].

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