|—n , pl -thraces|
|1.||a highly infectious and often fatal disease of herbivores, esp cattle and sheep, characterized by fever, enlarged spleen, and swelling of the throat. Carnivores are relatively resistant. It is caused by the spore-forming bacterium Bacillus anthracis and can be transmitted to man|
|2.||a pustule or other lesion caused by this disease|
|[C19: from Late Latin, from Greek: carbuncle]|
anthrax an·thrax (ān'thrāks')
An infectious, usually fatal disease of warm-blooded animals that is characterized by ulcerative skin lesions, can be transmitted to humans, and is caused by the bacterium Bacillus anthracis. Also called carbuncle.
pl. an·thra·ces (-thrə-sēz') A lesion caused by anthrax.
|anthrax (ān'thrāks') Pronunciation Key
An infectious, usually fatal disease of mammals, especially cattle and sheep, caused by the bacterium Bacillus anthracis. The disease is transmitted to humans through cutaneous contact, ingestion, or inhalation. Cutaneous anthrax is marked by the formation of a necrotic skin ulcer, high fever, and toxemia. Inhalation anthrax leads to severe pneumonia that is usually fatal.
An infectious disease transmitted by a bacterium in animals, which can also be transmitted to humans. Often fatal if the bacterium enters the lungs, anthrax is usually treated by antibiotics. Anthrax is a potential weapon in germ warfare and bioterrorism.
Note: After the September 11 attacks (2001) in the United States, anthrax spores sent through the mail caused several fatalities.
Note: If spores are prepared in a sophisticated way, they can stay in the air and be breathed in by human beings. Anthrax produced in this way is referred to as weaponized anthrax.