Special Issue "Anthrax Treatment"

A special issue of Pathogens (ISSN 2076-0817).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 September 2021.

Special Issue Editor

Asst. Prof. Dr. William S. Lawrence
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Texas Medical Branch
Interests: anthrax; anthrax pathogenesis; anthrax pathophysiology; vaccines; therapeutics; toxins; inhalation models of infection; immunity

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Anthrax infection, caused by the bacteria Bacillus anthracis, is a zoonotic disease that retains the attention of the scientific community due to its potential association with bioterrorism. The bacteria produces two toxins, lethal toxin and edema toxin, which promote disease progression and have a myriad of pathological/physiological effects on the host. In the case of inhalation anthrax, the mortality rate is 80% or higher if no treatment is given or if treatment is delayed.  Therapeutic treatment of anthrax infection includes the use of various antibiotics, which, if administered soon enough, are very effective; however, due to the possible emergence of antibiotic-resistant bacterial strains, there is a critical need for new antibiotics and antitoxins.  Attempts are being made to address this need through drug development and drug repurposing.  Preventative treatment of anthrax infection is currently achieved by vaccination with the FDA-approved AVA vaccine, but the requirement for multiple injections and annual boosters makes this vaccine less than ideal.  A better vaccine would require fewer injections and would convey long-lasting immunity. For this Special Issue of Pathogens, we invite you to submit research articles, review articles, and short notes, as well as communications related to anthrax treatment, including the development of new drugs, drug repurposing, vaccine development, and immunity.  We look forward to your contribution.

Asst. Prof. Dr. William S. Lawrence
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Pathogens is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • anthrax
  • Bacillus anthracis
  • vaccine
  • toxins
  • therapeutic
  • immunity
  • drug development

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Physiological Responses to Multiple Low-Doses of Bacillus anthracis Spores in the Rabbit Model of Inhalation Anthrax
Pathogens 2020, 9(11), 877; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9110877 - 24 Oct 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 450
Abstract
Bacillus anthracis spores that are re-aerosolized from surface deposits after initial contamination present significant health risks for personnel involved in decontamination. To model repeated exposure to low dose B. anthracis spores, three groups of seven rabbits were challenged with multiple low-doses of B. [...] Read more.
Bacillus anthracis spores that are re-aerosolized from surface deposits after initial contamination present significant health risks for personnel involved in decontamination. To model repeated exposure to low dose B. anthracis spores, three groups of seven rabbits were challenged with multiple low-doses of B. anthracis spores 5 days a week for 3 weeks. Mortality, body temperature, heart and respiration rates, hematology, C-reactive protein, bacteremia, and serum protective antigen were monitored for 21 days post-exposure after the last of multiple doses. All rabbits exposed to a mean daily dose of 2.91 × 102 colony forming units (CFU) survived and showed minimal physiological changes attributable to exposure. One of seven rabbits receiving a mean daily dose of 1.22 × 103 CFU died and four of seven receiving a mean daily dose of 1.17 × 104 CFU died. The LD50 was calculated to be 8.1 × 103 CFU of accumulated dose. Rabbits that succumbed to the higher dose exhibited bacteremia and increases above baseline in heart rate, respiration rate, and body temperature. Two rabbits in the mean daily dose group of 1.17 × 104 CFU exhibited clinical signs of inhalation anthrax yet survived. This study provides a description of lethality, pathophysiology, and pathology in a controlled multiple low-dose inhalation exposure study of B. anthracis in the rabbit model. The data suggest that the accumulated dose is important in survival outcome and that a subset of rabbits may show clinical signs of disease but fully recover without therapeutic intervention Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Anthrax Treatment)
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Open AccessArticle
Teixobactin Provides Protection against Inhalation Anthrax in the Rabbit Model
Pathogens 2020, 9(9), 773; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9090773 - 22 Sep 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1237
Abstract
The use of antibiotics is a vital means of treating infections caused by the bacteria Bacillus (B.) anthracis. Importantly, with the potential future use of multidrug-resistant strains of B. anthracis as bioweapons, new antibiotics are needed as alternative therapeutics. In this blinded [...] Read more.
The use of antibiotics is a vital means of treating infections caused by the bacteria Bacillus (B.) anthracis. Importantly, with the potential future use of multidrug-resistant strains of B. anthracis as bioweapons, new antibiotics are needed as alternative therapeutics. In this blinded study, we assessed the protective efficacy of teixobactin, a recently discovered antibiotic, against inhalation anthrax infection in the adult rabbit model. New Zealand White rabbits were infected with a lethal dose of B. anthracis Ames spores via the inhalation route, and blood samples were collected at various times to assess antigenemia, bacteremia, tissue bacterial load, and antibody production. Treatments were administered upon detection of B. anthracis protective antigen in the animals’ sera. For comparison, a fully protective dose of levofloxacin was used as a positive control. Rabbits treated with teixobactin showed 100% survival following infection, and the bacteremia was completely resolved by 24–48 h post-treatment. In addition, the bacterial/spore loads in tissues of the animals treated with teixobactin were either zero or dramatically less relative to that of the negative control animals. Moreover, microscopic evaluation of the tissues revealed decreased pathology following treatment with teixobactin. Overall, these results show that teixobactin was protective against inhalation anthrax infection in the rabbit model, and they indicate the potential of teixobactin as a therapeutic for the disease. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Anthrax Treatment)
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Open AccessArticle
Physiological Responses to a Single Low-Dose of Bacillus anthracis Spores in the Rabbit Model of Inhalational Anthrax
Pathogens 2020, 9(6), 461; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9060461 - 11 Jun 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1101
Abstract
Credible dose–response relationships are needed to more accurately assess the risk posed by exposure to low-level Bacillus anthracis contamination during or following a release. To begin to fill this knowledge gap, New Zealand White rabbits were implanted with D70-PCT telemetry transmitters and subsequently [...] Read more.
Credible dose–response relationships are needed to more accurately assess the risk posed by exposure to low-level Bacillus anthracis contamination during or following a release. To begin to fill this knowledge gap, New Zealand White rabbits were implanted with D70-PCT telemetry transmitters and subsequently aerosol challenged with average inhaled doses of 2.86 × 102 to 2.75 × 105 colony forming units (CFU) of B. anthracis spores. Rabbits exposed to a single inhaled dose at or above 2.54 × 104 CFU succumbed with dose-dependent time to death. Death was associated with increases above baseline in heart rate, respiration rate, and body temperature and all rabbits that died exhibited bacteremia at some point prior to death. Rabbits that inhaled doses of 2.06 × 103 CFU or lower survived to the end of the study and showed no or minimal adverse changes in the measured physiological responses in response to the challenge. Moreover, no bacteremia nor toxemia were observed in rabbits that survived to the end of the study. Overall, the data indicate that challenge doses of B. anthracis below the level sufficient to establish systemic infection do not produce observable physiological responses; however, doses that triggered a response resulted in death. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Anthrax Treatment)
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