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Geosciences 2014, 4(3), 114-127; doi:10.3390/geosciences4030114

Anthrax and the Geochemistry of Soils in the Contiguous United States

1
Coastal and Marine Science Center, U.S. Geological Survey, 600 4th Street South, St. Petersburg, FL 33701, USA
2
National Homeland Security Research Center, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 26 W. Martin Luther King Drive, MS NG16, Cincinnati, OH 45268, USA
3
National Homeland Security Research Center, Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education, with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 109 T.W. Alexander Drive, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709, USA
4
Denver Federal Center, U.S. Geological Survey, Box 25046, MS 973, Denver, CO 80225, USA
5
National Homeland Security Research Center, Threat and Consequence Assessment Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Ronald Reagan Building, MC 8801RR, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20460, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 26 March 2014 / Revised: 15 July 2014 / Accepted: 5 August 2014 / Published: 11 August 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Medical Geology: Impacts of the Natural Environment on Public Health)
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Abstract

Soil geochemical data from sample sites in counties that reported occurrences of anthrax in wildlife and livestock since 2000 were evaluated against counties within the same states (MN, MT, ND, NV, OR, SD and TX) that did not report occurrences. These data identified the elements, calcium (Ca), manganese (Mn), phosphorus (P) and strontium (Sr), as having statistically significant differences in concentrations between county type (anthrax occurrence versus no occurrence). Tentative threshold values of the lowest concentrations of each of these elements (Ca = 0.43 wt %, Mn = 142 mg/kg, P = 180 mg/kg and Sr = 51 mg/kg) and average concentrations (Ca = 1.3 wt %, Mn = 463 mg/kg, P = 580 mg/kg and Sr = 170 mg/kg) were identified from anthrax-positive counties as prospective investigative tools in determining whether an outbreak had “potential” or was “likely” at any given geographic location in the contiguous United States. View Full-Text
Keywords: anthrax; pathogen; soil; microbiology; geology; North America; USA anthrax; pathogen; soil; microbiology; geology; North America; USA
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Griffin, D.W.; Silvestri, E.E.; Bowling, C.Y.; Boe, T.; Smith, D.B.; Nichols, T.L. Anthrax and the Geochemistry of Soils in the Contiguous United States. Geosciences 2014, 4, 114-127.

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