Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Datasheet

Bacillus anthracis

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Datasheet

Bacillus anthracis

Summary

  • Last modified
  • 20 November 2019
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Invasive Species
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Bacillus anthracis
  • Taxonomic Tree
  • Domain: Bacteria
  •   Phylum: Firmicutes
  •     Class: Bacilli
  •       Order: Bacillales
  •         Family: Bacillaceae

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Pictures

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PictureTitleCaptionCopyright
Bacillus anthracis: blood smear from an animal that has died of anthrax. Stained with polychrome methylene blue (M'Fadyean stain).
TitleBlood smear from a dead animal
CaptionBacillus anthracis: blood smear from an animal that has died of anthrax. Stained with polychrome methylene blue (M'Fadyean stain).
Copyright©Peter C.B. Turnbull
Bacillus anthracis: blood smear from an animal that has died of anthrax. Stained with polychrome methylene blue (M'Fadyean stain).
Blood smear from a dead animalBacillus anthracis: blood smear from an animal that has died of anthrax. Stained with polychrome methylene blue (M'Fadyean stain).©Peter C.B. Turnbull

Identity

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Preferred Scientific Name

  • Bacillus anthracis

Other Scientific Names

  • Bacillus cereus var. anthracis

Taxonomic Tree

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  • Domain: Bacteria
  •     Phylum: Firmicutes
  •         Class: Bacilli
  •             Order: Bacillales
  •                 Family: Bacillaceae
  •                     Genus: Bacillus
  •                         Species: Bacillus anthracis

Diseases Table

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Distribution Table

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The distribution in this summary table is based on all the information available. When several references are cited, they may give conflicting information on the status. Further details may be available for individual references in the Distribution Table Details section which can be selected by going to Generate Report.

Last updated: 21 Dec 2021
Continent/Country/Region Distribution Last Reported Origin First Reported Invasive Reference Notes

Africa

AlgeriaAbsentJul-Dec-2019
AngolaPresentJul-Dec-2018
BeninPresentJan-Jun-2019
BotswanaPresentJul-Dec-2019; in wild animals only
Burkina FasoPresentJul-Dec-2020
BurundiAbsentJul-Dec-2018
Cabo VerdeAbsentJul-Dec-2019
Central African RepublicPresentJul-Dec-2019
ChadAbsentJul-Dec-2019
ComorosAbsent, No presence record(s)Jan-Jun-2018
Congo, Democratic Republic of theAbsentJul-Dec-2019
Côte d'IvoirePresent, LocalizedJan-Jun-2018
DjiboutiAbsentJul-Dec-2019
EgyptAbsentJul-Dec-2019
EritreaPresent, LocalizedJul-Dec-2019
EswatiniAbsentJul-Dec-2019
EthiopiaPresentJul-Dec-2018
GambiaPresentJul-Dec-2018
GhanaPresentJan-Jun-2019
GuineaPresentJan-Jun-2019
Guinea-BissauPresentJul-Dec-2019
KenyaPresent, LocalizedJul-Dec-2019
LesothoPresent, LocalizedJan-Jun-2020
LiberiaPresentJul-Dec-2020
LibyaAbsentJul-Dec-2019
MadagascarAbsentJan-Jun-2019
MalawiPresentJan-Jun-2019; in wild animals only
MaliAbsentJul-Dec-2019
MauritiusAbsent, No presence record(s)Jul-Dec-2019
MayotteAbsent, No presence record(s)Jul-Dec-2019
MoroccoAbsentJul-Dec-2019
MozambiquePresentJul-Dec-2019
NamibiaPresentJul-Dec-2019; in wild animals only
NigerPresent, LocalizedJul-Dec-2019
NigeriaAbsentJul-Dec-2019
RéunionAbsentJul-Dec-2019
Saint HelenaAbsent, No presence record(s)Jan-Jun-2019
São Tomé and PríncipePresent, LocalizedJul-Dec-2019
SenegalPresent, LocalizedJul-Dec-2019
SeychellesAbsent, No presence record(s)Jul-Dec-2018
Sierra LeoneAbsentJan-Jun-2018
SomaliaAbsentJul-Dec-2020
South AfricaAbsentJul-Dec-2019
South SudanAbsentJan-Jun-2018
SudanAbsentJul-Dec-2019
TanzaniaPresentJul-Dec-2020
TogoPresentJul-Dec-2019
TunisiaAbsentJul-Dec-2019
UgandaPresentJul-Dec-2019
ZambiaAbsentJul-Dec-2018
ZimbabwePresentJul-Dec-2019

Asia

AfghanistanPresentJul-Dec-2019
ArmeniaPresent, LocalizedJul-Dec-2019
AzerbaijanPresentJul-Dec-2020
BahrainAbsent, No presence record(s)Jul-Dec-2020
BangladeshPresentJan-Jun-2020
BhutanPresent, LocalizedJan-Jun-2020
BruneiAbsent, No presence record(s)Jul-Dec-2019
ChinaPresent, LocalizedJul-Dec-2018
GeorgiaAbsentJul-Dec-2019
Hong KongAbsentJul-Dec-2019
IndiaPresent, LocalizedJan-Jun-2019
IndonesiaPresent, LocalizedJul-Dec-2019
IranPresent, LocalizedJan-Jun-2019
IraqAbsentJul-Dec-2019
IsraelAbsentJul-Dec-2020
JapanAbsentJan-Jun-2020
JordanAbsentJul-Dec-2018
KazakhstanPresent, LocalizedJul-Dec-2019
KuwaitAbsentJan-Jun-2019
KyrgyzstanPresentJul-Dec-2020
LaosAbsentJul-Dec-2018
LebanonAbsentJul-Dec-2019
MalaysiaAbsentJan-Jun-2019
-Peninsular MalaysiaAbsent, No presence record(s)
-SabahAbsent, No presence record(s)
-SarawakAbsent, No presence record(s)
MaldivesAbsent, No presence record(s)Jan-Jun-2019
MongoliaPresent, LocalizedJan-Jun-2019
MyanmarAbsentJul-Dec-2019
NepalPresentJul-Dec-2019
North KoreaAbsent, No presence record(s)
OmanAbsentJul-Dec-2019
PakistanPresent, LocalizedJan-Jun-2020
PalestineAbsentJul-Dec-2019
PhilippinesPresent, LocalizedJan-Jun-2018
QatarAbsentJul-Dec-2019
Saudi ArabiaAbsentJan-Jun-2020
SingaporeAbsent, No presence record(s)Jul-Dec-2019
South KoreaAbsentJul-Dec-2019
Sri LankaAbsentJul-Dec-2018
SyriaPresent, LocalizedJul-Dec-2019
TaiwanAbsentJul-Dec-2019
TajikistanPresentJan-Jun-2019
ThailandAbsentJan-Jun-2020
TurkeyPresentJul-Dec-2019
TurkmenistanAbsentJan-Jun-2019
United Arab EmiratesAbsent, No presence record(s)Jul-Dec-2020
UzbekistanAbsentJul-Dec-2019
VietnamAbsentJul-Dec-2019
YemenAbsentJan-Jun-2020

Europe

AlbaniaPresent, LocalizedJul-Dec-2019
AndorraAbsentJul-Dec-2019
AustriaAbsentJul-Dec-2019
BelarusPresent, LocalizedJul-Dec-2019
BelgiumAbsentJul-Dec-2019
Bosnia and HerzegovinaAbsentJul-Dec-2019
BulgariaAbsentJan-Jun-2019
CroatiaPresentJul-Dec-2020
CyprusAbsentJul-Dec-2019
CzechiaAbsentJul-Dec-2019
DenmarkAbsentJan-Jun-2019
EstoniaAbsentJul-Dec-2019
Faroe IslandsAbsent, No presence record(s)Jul-Dec-2018
Federal Republic of YugoslaviaPresent
FinlandAbsentJul-Dec-2019
FrancePresent, LocalizedJul-Dec-2019
GermanyAbsentJul-Dec-2019
GreeceAbsentJan-Jun-2018
HungaryAbsentJul-Dec-2019
IcelandAbsentJul-Dec-2019
IrelandAbsentJul-Dec-2019
ItalyPresent, LocalizedJul-Dec-2020
JerseyAbsent, No presence record(s)
LatviaAbsentJul-Dec-2020
LiechtensteinAbsentJul-Dec-2019
LithuaniaAbsentJul-Dec-2019
LuxembourgAbsent, No presence record(s)
MaltaAbsentJan-Jun-2019
MoldovaAbsentJan-Jun-2020
MontenegroAbsentJul-Dec-2019
NetherlandsAbsentJul-Dec-2019
North MacedoniaPresentJul-Dec-2019
NorwayAbsentJul-Dec-2019
PolandAbsentJan-Jun-2019
PortugalAbsentJul-Dec-2019
RomaniaPresentJul-Dec-2020
RussiaAbsentJan-Jun-2020
San MarinoAbsent, No presence record(s)Jan-Jun-2019
SerbiaAbsentJul-Dec-2019
Serbia and MontenegroPresent
SlovakiaAbsentJul-Dec-2020
SloveniaAbsentJul-Dec-2018
SpainAbsentJul-Dec-2020
SwedenAbsentJul-Dec-2020
SwitzerlandAbsentJul-Dec-2020
UkraineAbsentJul-Dec-2020
United KingdomAbsentJul-Dec-2019

North America

BahamasAbsent, No presence record(s)Jul-Dec-2018
BarbadosAbsent, No presence record(s)Jul-Dec-2020
BelizeAbsent, No presence record(s)Jul-Dec-2019
BermudaAbsent, No presence record(s)
British Virgin IslandsAbsent, No presence record(s)
CanadaPresent, LocalizedJul-Dec-2019
Cayman IslandsAbsent, No presence record(s)Jan-Jun-2019
Costa RicaPresentJul-Dec-2019
CubaAbsent, No presence record(s)Jan-Jun-2019
CuraçaoAbsent, No presence record(s)Jan-Jun-2019
DominicaAbsent, No presence record(s)
Dominican RepublicAbsent, No presence record(s)Jan-Jun-2019
El SalvadorPresentJul-Dec-2019
GreenlandAbsent, No presence record(s)Jul-Dec-2018
GuadeloupeAbsent, No presence record(s)Jul-Dec-2019
GuatemalaPresentJan-Jun-2019
HaitiPresentJul-Dec-2019
HondurasAbsent, No presence record(s)Jul-Dec-2018
JamaicaAbsentJul-Dec-2018
MartiniqueAbsent, No presence record(s)Jul-Dec-2019
MexicoAbsentJul-Dec-2019
NicaraguaAbsentJul-Dec-2019
PanamaAbsent, No presence record(s)Jan-Jun-2019
Saint Kitts and NevisAbsent, No presence record(s)
Saint LuciaAbsent, No presence record(s)Jul-Dec-2018
Saint Vincent and the GrenadinesAbsent, No presence record(s)Jan-Jun-2019
Trinidad and TobagoAbsentJan-Jun-2018
United StatesPresent, LocalizedJul-Dec-2019

Oceania

AustraliaPresent, LocalizedJul-Dec-2019
Cook IslandsAbsent, No presence record(s)Jan-Jun-2019
Federated States of MicronesiaAbsent, No presence record(s)Jan-Jun-2019
FijiAbsent, No presence record(s)Jan-Jun-2019
French PolynesiaAbsent, No presence record(s)Jan-Jun-2019
KiribatiAbsent, No presence record(s)Jan-Jun-2018
Marshall IslandsAbsent, No presence record(s)Jan-Jun-2019
New CaledoniaAbsent, No presence record(s)Jul-Dec-2019
New ZealandAbsentJul-Dec-2019
PalauAbsent, No presence record(s)Jul-Dec-2020
Papua New GuineaPresentJul-Dec-2018
SamoaAbsent, No presence record(s)Jan-Jun-2019
Timor-LesteAbsent, No presence record(s)Jul-Dec-2018
TongaAbsentJul-Dec-2019
VanuatuAbsent, No presence record(s)Jan-Jun-2019

South America

ArgentinaPresentJul-Dec-2019
BoliviaAbsentJan-Jun-2019
BrazilAbsentJul-Dec-2019
ChilePresentJan-Jun-2019
ColombiaAbsentJul-Dec-2019
EcuadorPresentJul-Dec-2019
Falkland IslandsAbsent, No presence record(s)Jul-Dec-2019
French GuianaAbsent, No presence record(s)Jul-Dec-2019
GuyanaAbsentJul-Dec-2018
ParaguayPresentJul-Dec-2019
PeruAbsentJan-Jun-2019
SurinameAbsentJan-Jun-2019
UruguayPresentJul-Dec-2019

Pathogen Characteristics

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B.anthracis is the causative agent of anthrax, it is a gram-positive, aerobic or facultatively anaerobic, endospore-forming, non-motile, rod-shaped bacterium. B. anthracis it is approximately 4 µm by 1 µm. Under the microscope, it frequently appears as chains of cells in smears of blood or tissue fluids from affected animals. These chains are two to a few cells in length, whereas in suspensions of laboratory cultures, they appear as endless strings. Also characteristic is the frequent, but not invariable, square-ended (‘box-car’ shaped) appearance traditionally associated with B. anthracis vegetative cells. In the presence of oxygen, and towards the end of the logarithmic phase of growth, one ellipsoidal spore is formed in each cell; this does not swell the sporangium and is generally situated centrally or sub-terminally.

In the absence of oxygen and in the presence of bicarbonate (HCO3)- under a high partial pressure of CO2, the vegetative cell secretes a polypeptide (poly-g -D-glutamic acid) capsule. In vivo, the capsule is one of the two virulence factors of B. anthracis and is also a primary diagnostic aid.

Disease(s) associated with this pathogen is/are on the list of diseases notifiable to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE). The distribution section contains data from OIE's Handistatus database on disease occurrence. Please see the AHPC library for further information from OIE, including the International Animal Health Code and the Manual of Standards for Diagnostic Tests and Vaccines. Also see the website: www.oie.int.

Host Animals

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Animal nameContextLife stageSystem
Aepyceros melampusWild host
Axis axis (Indian spotted deer)Wild host
Bos taurus (cattle)Domesticated host; Experimental settings
Camelus bactrianus (Bactrian camel)Domesticated host; Wild host
Camelus dromedarius (dromedary camel)Domesticated host
Canis aureusWild host
Canis familiaris (dogs)Domesticated host; Experimental settings
Canis mesomelas (black-backed jackal)Wild host
Capra hircus (goats)Domesticated host
Cavia porcellus (domesticated guinea pig)Experimental settings
Cervus porcinusWild host
Cervus unicolorWild host
ElephantidaeWild host
Equus asinus (donkeys)Domesticated host
Equus burchelliiWild host
Equus caballus (horses)Domesticated host
Hippopotamus amphibiusWild host
HyaenaWild host
Kobus kobWild host
Lama glama (llamas)Domesticated host; Wild host
Oryx gazellaWild host
Ovis aries (sheep)Domesticated host; Experimental settings
Panthera leo (lion)Wild host
Rhinoceros unicornisWild host
StruthioWild host
Sus scrofa (pigs)Domesticated host; Wild host
Syncerus cafferWild host
Tragelaphus strepsicerosWild host

Vectors and Intermediate Hosts

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VectorSourceReferenceGroupDistribution
AedesInsectAfrica; Asia
ChrysomyaInsectAfrica
Lyperosia irritansInsect
Musca autumnalisInsectWorld
Musca domesticaInsectWorld
StomoxysInsectAfrica; Asia
Stomoxys calcitransInsect
TabanidaeInsect

Threatened Species

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Threatened SpeciesConservation StatusWhere ThreatenedMechanismReferencesNotes
Bos bison (American bison)No DetailsAlaskaPest and disease transmissionGates et al. (2001)

Risk and Impact Factors

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Impact mechanisms
  • Pest and disease transmission

References

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Gates CC, Stephenson RO, Reynolds HW, van Zyll de Jong CG, Schwantje H, Hoefs M, Nishi J, Cool N, Chisholm J, James A, Koonz B, 2001. National Recovery Plan for the Wood Bison (Bison bison athabascae). National Recovery Plan No. 21. Recovery of Nationally Endangered Wildlife (RENEW). Ottawa, Ontario, Canada: 50 pp.

OIE Handistatus, 2002. World Animal Health Publication and Handistatus II (dataset for 2001). Paris, France: Office International des Epizooties.

OIE Handistatus, 2003. World Animal Health Publication and Handistatus II (dataset for 2002). Paris, France: Office International des Epizooties.

OIE Handistatus, 2004. World Animal Health Publication and Handistatus II (data set for 2003). Paris, France: Office International des Epizooties.

OIE Handistatus, 2005. World Animal Health Publication and Handistatus II (data set for 2004). Paris, France: Office International des Epizooties.

Distribution References

OIE Handistatus, 2005. World Animal Health Publication and Handistatus II (dataset for 2004)., Paris, France: Office International des Epizooties.

OIE, 2018. World Animal Health Information System (WAHIS): Jul-Dec. In: OIE-WAHIS Platform, Paris, France: OIE (World Organisation for Animal Health). unpaginated. https://wahis.oie.int/

OIE, 2018a. World Animal Health Information System (WAHIS): Jan-Jun. In: OIE-WAHIS Platform, Paris, France: OIE (World Organisation for Animal Health). unpaginated. https://wahis.oie.int

OIE, 2019. World Animal Health Information System (WAHIS): Jul-Dec. In: OIE-WAHIS Platform, Paris, France: OIE (World Organisation for Animal Health). unpaginated. https://wahis.oie.int/

OIE, 2019a. World Animal Health Information System (WAHIS): Jan-Jun. In: OIE-WAHIS Platform, Paris, France: OIE (World Organisation for Animal Health). unpaginated. https://wahis.oie.int/

OIE, 2020. World Animal Health Information System (WAHIS): Jul-Dec. In: OIE-WAHIS Platform, Paris, France: OIE (World Organisation for Animal Health). unpaginated. https://wahis.oie.int/

OIE, 2020a. World Animal Health Information System (WAHIS). Jan-Jun. In: OIE-WAHIS Platform, Paris, France: OIE (World Organisation for Animal Health). unpaginated. https://wahis.oie.int/

Distribution Maps

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