Genetic Profiles of Bacillus anthracis Indigenous to Zambia and Characterization of Bacillus Species Causing Anthrax-like Disease
1Div. of Inf. Imm., CZC, Hokkaido Univ., 2Div. of Microbiology, Fac. of Med., Univ. of Miyazaki, 3Dept. of Microbiology, Grad. Sch. of Medi., Kyoto Univ., 4Dept. of Bacteriology, Fac. of Med. Sci., Kyusyu Univ.
Bacillus anthracis, a spore-forming, gram-positive, pathogenic bacterium found throughout the world is the causative agent of anthrax in mammals. Outbreaks occur in both wild animals and domestic livestock, and recent events have shown that this bacterium can also be used in bioterrorist attacks. Due to the anthrax remains an endemic disease worldwide and still has the potential to have a significant impact on public health, it is necessary to improve our understanding of B. anthracis through surveillances and develop more effective prophylaxis against B. anthracis.
In recent years efforts to evaluate the diversity of B. anthracis isolates from different geographic areas improved our knowledge of the distribution of this species throughout the world. In 2011, an anthrax outbreak occurred among Hippopotamus amphibious in Chama district of the Eastern Province of Zambia. Following the deaths of hippopotamuses, 521 suspected human cases with 6 deaths were reported. Here, we show the first complete genome sequence of B. anthracis strain isolated in Central Africa and analyzed whole genome sequences of 8 strains isolated in several regions of Zambia. These data are useful as fundamental information to estimate the infection route and epidemic prediction of anthrax in Central Africa. On the other hand, from our nation’s clinical perspective, emerging Bacillus cereus strains that cause anthrax-like disease have been reported. To explore the virulence of these pathogens, we performed comparative genome analysis among these pathogenic B. cereus, typical B. cereus and B. anthracis. Analysis of the genome sequences data revealed that these B. cereus strains are unusual, more closely related to B. anthracis than typical B. cereus. As one sphere of anthrax control, the latest data of the characterization of these strains will be discussed.
keywords:Anthrax,Bacillus anthracis,Bacillus cereus,outbreak,Genome-based taxonomy