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Pronunciation: an′thraks

Definition: Infection by the bacterium Bacillus anthracis, which in humans is caused by contact with infected animals or animal products, and ingestion or inhalation of spores of the bacterium. Worldwide concern is focused on the potential use of anthrax as a bioterrorist weapon, in particular as an inhalational agent. The most common naturally occurring form of human anthrax is the cutaneous, and both the inhalational and gastrointestinal forms are quite rare. Anthrax in animals occurs throughout the world, primarily in herbivores, especially cattle, horses, goats, and sheep.

Synonym(s): charbon

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© Copyright 2018 Wolters Kluwer. All Rights Reserved. Review date: Sep 19, 2016.