A 35-year-old male presented to a London hospital complaining of difficulty breathing. His symptoms progressed quickly, and he was transferred to the hospital’s intensive treatment unit suffering from respiratory failure, which soon progressed to multiple organ failure. A blood culture revealed gram-positive, encapsulated, nonmotile rods preliminarily identified as Bacillus anthracis. This is the bacterium that causes the disease anthrax, and it has the ability to survive for long periods of time without water or nutrition. The presence of B. anthracis was later confirmed by the Novel and Dangerous Pathogens Division of Britain’s Health Protection Agency.
– What characteristic of B. anthracis allows the bacterium to survive without water or nutrition?
– Where is B. anthracis found?
Ref.: Cowan, M. K. (2014) (4th Ed.). Microbiology: A Systems Approach, McGraw Hill