Microbiology data and the time to confirmatory anthrax diagnosis for recipients and nonrecipients of AIG-IV, Scotland, UK, 2009-2010 * Laboratory test AIG-IV nonrecipient Blood culture 32 (8/25)# Wound culture 46.2 (6/13) Tissue culture 54.6 (6/11) Blood PCR 29.4 (5/17)# Blood protective antigen antibody 81.3 (13/16) Blood lethal factor
antibody 62.5 (10/16) Days to diagnosis, median (IQR) 3.5 (2.0-30.5), n = 28# Laboratory test AIG-IV recipient p value Blood culture 71.4 (10/14)# 0.02# Wound culture 33.3 (3/9) 0.67 Tissue culture 70 (7/10) 0.66 Blood PCR 80 (8/10)# 0.02# Blood protective antigen antibody 66.7 (4/6) 0.59 Blood lethal factor
antibody 57.1 (4/7) 1.00 Days to diagnosis, median (IQR) 2.0 (1.0-3.0), n = 13# 0.006# Values are % patients (no.
Cao, "Neutralizing monoclonal antibody against anthrax lethal factor
inhibits intoxication in a mouse model," Human Antibodies, vol.
After screening 10,000 chemicals in 3 days, the researchers found one compound, called DS-998, that blocked the activity of anthrax lethal factor
. In a subsequent test, the compound protected lab-grown human cells that later were exposed to the toxin.
Monitoring of ELISA-reactive antibodies against anthrax protective antigen (PA), lethal factor
(LF), and toxin-neutralising antibodies in serum of individuals vaccinated against anthrax with the PA-based UK anthrax vaccine.
It releases the three components of its toxin--known as lethal factor
, edema factor, and protective antigen (PA)--which assemble on cell surfaces.
This diagnosis was supported by seroconversion to protective antigen of Bacillus anthracis and the presence of antibodies against lethal factor
. The bacterium itself could not be cultured or identified by polymerase chain reaction (PCR).
Once assembled, the toxin enables lethal factor
to enter the cell.