■ The natural habitat of Bacillus anthracis, a Gram-positive, sporing, obligate aerobic rod bacterium, is the soil. The organism causes anthrax infections in animals. Human infections result from contact with sick animals or animal products contaminated with the spores. Infections are classified according to the portal of entry as dermal anthrax (95% of cases), primary inhalational anthrax, and intestinal anthrax. Sepsis can develop from the primary infection focus. Laboratory diagnosis includes microscopic and cultural detection of the pathogen in relevant materials and blood cultures. The therapeutic agent of choice is penicillin G. ■
The genera Bacillus and Clostridium belong to the Bacillaceae family of sporing bacteria. There are numerous species in the genus Bacillus (e.g., B. cereus, B. subtilis, etc.) that normally live in the soil. The organism in the group that is of veterinary and human medical interest is Bacillus anthracis.
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This ebook provides an introductory explanation of the workings of the human body, with an effort to draw connections between the body systems and explain their interdependencies. A framework for the book is homeostasis and how the body maintains balance within each system. This is intended as a first introduction to physiology for a college-level course.