308
Anthrax (Bacillus anthracis), Molecular Biology of
Keywords
Spore
A dormant, protective form that certain bacteria can take to help them survive
adverse conditions.
Phagosome
Cellular compartments formed when cells engulf large particles, such as bacteria, from
their environment.
Endocytosis
The process by which cells take up material from their environment. This involves
membrane invagination and the formation of an internal membranous compartment
called an
endosome
.
Transposon
A mobile genetic element that is able to insert a copy of itself into a chromosome
or plasmid.
Virulence Factor
A factor that helps a pathogen cause disease.
Regulon
A set of genes whose expression is regulated in a coordinated fashion.
Abbreviations
PA
Protective antigen
EF
Edema factor
LF
Lethal factor
AFLP
Ampli±ed fragment length polymorphism
MLVA
Multiple-locus variable-number tandem repeat analysis
LR REP PCR
Long-range repetitive element polymorphism-PCR
VNTR
Variable-number tandem repeat
¥
Bacillus anthracis
, the causative agent of anthrax, has been a subject of research for
over 150 years, beginning with the work of Rayer and Davaine who found ‘‘small
±liform bodies’’ in the blood of anthrax-infected sheep and, from this ±nding, coined
the term
bacteria
. Several years later, Koch proved conclusively that
B. anthracis
was
the causative agent of anthrax, providing the ±rst demonstration that a disease was
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