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Related terms: Anthrax, cutaneous, Anthrax, inhalation, Anthrax, skin, Cutaneous Anthrax, Inhalation Anthrax, Inhalation Bacillus anthracis, Ragpicker's disease, Wool sorter's disease

Pediatricians Should Plan for Anthrax Attack, U.S. Experts Say

Posted 28 Apr 2014 by

MONDAY, April 28, 2014 – Children may require different treatment than adults after exposure to anthrax, says a new report from leading U.S. pediatricians and health officials. Because of the danger posed by anthrax – a potential bioterrorism weapon – pediatricians need to be knowledgeable and prepared in order to minimize illness and death in the event of an anthrax release, says the report from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Anthrax, an infectious disease caused by Bacillus anthracis bacteria, can cause thousands of infections with a high death rate if not quickly recognized and treated. It's important that diagnosis and management of children with potential anthrax infection is handled by their pediatricians and others who normally provide them with health care, said the report, published online April 28 in the journal ... Read more

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FDA Approves Raxibacumab to Treat Inhalational Anthrax

Posted 17 Dec 2012 by

December 14, 2012 – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved raxibacumab injection to treat inhalational anthrax, a form of the infectious disease caused by breathing in the spores of the bacterium Bacillus anthracis. Raxibacumab also is approved to prevent inhalational anthrax when alternative therapies are not available or not appropriate. Raxibacumab is a monoclonal antibody that neutralizes toxins produced by B. anthracis that can cause massive and irreversible tissue injury and death. A monoclonal antibody is a protein that closely resembles a human antibody that identifies and neutralizes foreign material like bacteria and viruses. Anthrax is a potential biological terrorism threat because the spores are resistant to destruction and can be easily spread by release in the air. The FDA granted raxibacumab fast track designation, priority review, and orphan product ... Read more

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Raxibacumab Approved for Inhalational Anthrax

Posted 17 Dec 2012 by

FRIDAY, Dec. 14 – Raxibacumab injection has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat inhalational anthrax, an infectious disease caused by breathing in deadly anthrax spores, the agency said Friday. Raxibacumab neutralizes the toxins produced by the anthrax bacterium Bacillus anthracis. This infection can cause "massive and irreversible tissue injury and death," the FDA said in a news release. Raxibacumab is a monoclonal antibody, acting like a human antibody that attacks foreign bacteria and viruses. Anthrax, the FDA said, "is a potential biological terrorism threat because the spores are resistant to destruction and can be easily spread by release in the air." "In addition to antibiotics, raxibacumab will be a useful treatment to have available should an anthrax bioterrorism event occur," Dr. Edward Cox, director of the Office of Antimicrobial Products in FDA's ... Read more

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Vulnerability to Anthrax Varies Widely: Study

Posted 6 Feb 2012 by

MONDAY, Feb. 6 – People's susceptibility to anthrax toxin is determined by their genes and can vary greatly among individuals, a new study says. Anthrax is an infectious disease widely regarded as a potential bioterrorism weapon. Stanford University School of Medicine researchers analyzed immune cells from 234 people and found that the cells of three of the people were virtually insensitive to anthrax toxin, while the cells of others were hundreds of times more sensitive than those of other people. The findings could help lead to new treatments and could also have important implications for U.S. national security, according to a university news release. For example, people known to be more resistant could act as first-line responders in an anthrax bioterrorism attack. The study appears online Feb. 6 in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. "This research offers ... Read more

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Anthrax Vaccine Shows Promise in Monkeys

Posted 22 Jan 2012 by

FRIDAY, Jan. 20 – Monkeys vaccinated with an anthrax capsule vaccine were protected against lethal anthrax infection, a new study has found. The anthrax capsule is a naturally occurring component of Bacillus anthracis, the bacterium that causes anthrax. This is the first successful use of a non-toxin vaccine to protect monkeys from anthrax, which is regarded as one of the most serious bioterrorism threats, according to the U.S. Army scientists who conducted the study. Bacillus anthracis produces three main components that enable it to cause harm – lethal toxin, edema toxin and the capsule. During anthrax infection, the capsule surrounds the bacterium and protects it from destruction by the body's white blood cells. In this study, the researchers found that the anthrax capsule vaccine induced anti-capsule antibody responses in both rabbits and monkeys. Vaccinated rabbits were not ... Read more

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Anthrax Attack Plans Need to Be Handled Locally, Report Says

Posted 30 Sep 2011 by

FRIDAY, Sept. 30 – Since the 9/11 tragedy and the anthrax scare that followed in its wake, Americans have lived with the potential threat of another, possibly more serious, anthrax attack. Now, a new report from the Institute of Medicine advises that plans for making antibiotics available to respond to a large-scale anthrax attack should be drawn up by local officials and based on the level of risk and the ability to get antibiotics to those affected. "There are a lot of details involved," said Dr. Gordon Dickinson, a professor of infectious diseases at the Miller School of Medicine at the University of Miami. "You've got to have local involvement to decide about distribution and where the needs are. So, leaving it up to local people makes sense." To prevent anthrax from developing after exposure, antibiotics are most effective when taken before symptoms start, usually about four days ... Read more

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Vaccinations Aren't Just for Kids

Posted 16 Sep 2011 by

FRIDAY, Sept. 16 – Public health experts often focus immunization awareness efforts toward protecting children, and with good reason: Facing a potentially bewildering schedule of vaccinations for their young ones, parents usually need all the help they can get. But vaccinations aren't just kid stuff. Medical science is creating an increasing number of immunizations targeted at adults, to help them avoid life-threatening diseases in middle-age and opportunistic infections when they're older. "Immunization is a life-long issue that we need to pay a lot of attention to," said Dr. Georges C. Benjamin, executive director of the American Public Health Association. Some adult vaccinations are very well-known, like the annual shot that aims to prevent the spread of influenza. "You need an influenza shot every year," Benjamin said. "Part of that is because the virus changes every year, ... Read more

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New Drug Fights Anthrax Toxin

Posted 8 Jul 2009 by

WEDNESDAY, July 8 – Scientists report that experiments in animals show that a new, monoclonal antibody drug might safely cure anthrax poisoning in humans. Although antibiotics can kill the anthrax bacteria, they are not effective in killing the toxins produced by the bacteria. The new drug, raxibacumab, specifically targets those toxins once they enter the bloodstream. After an anthrax attack, people may not know they are infected until the toxins are circulating in their blood, and it may be too late for antibiotics alone to be effective, the researchers explained. "This drug strengthens America's arsenal against bioterrorism that would work in the face of antibiotic-resistant anthrax bacterium," said lead researcher Sally Bolmer, senior vice president of development and regulatory affairs at Human Genome Sciences Inc., the company that developed raxibacumab. The drug works ... Read more

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