Isolated case of bioterrorism-related inhalational anthrax, New York City, 2001.
ABSTRACT On October 31, 2001, in New York City, a 61-year-old female hospital employee who had acquired inhalational anthrax died after a 6-day illness. To determine sources of exposure and identify additional persons at risk, the New York City Department of Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and law enforcement authorities conducted an extensive investigation, which included interviewing contacts, examining personal effects, summarizing patient's use of mass transit, conducting active case finding and surveillance near her residence and at her workplace, and collecting samples from co-workers and the environment. We cultured all specimens for Bacillus anthracis. We found no additional cases of cutaneous or inhalational anthrax. The route of exposure remains unknown. All environmental samples were negative for B. anthracis. This first case of inhalational anthrax during the 2001 outbreak with no apparent direct link to contaminated mail emphasizes the need for close coordination between public health and law enforcement agencies during bioterrorism-related investigations.
SourceAvailable from: Raymond E Biagini
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ABSTRACT: There is a need to advance our ability to conduct credible human risk assessments for inhalational anthrax associated with exposure to a low number of bacteria. Combining animal data with computational models of disease will be central in the low-dose and cross-species extrapolations required in achieving this goal. The objective of the current work was to apply and advance the competing risks (CR) computational model of inhalational anthrax where data was collected from NZW rabbits exposed to aerosols of Ames strain B. anthracis. An initial aim was to parameterize the CR model using high-dose rabbit data and then conduct a low-dose extrapolation. The CR low-dose attack rate was then compared against known low-dose rabbit data as well as the low-dose curve obtained when the entire rabbit dose-response data set was fitted to an exponential dose-response (EDR) model. The CR model predictions demonstrated excellent agreement with actual low-dose rabbit data. We next used a modified CR model (MCR) to examine disease incubation period (the time to reach a fever >40°C). The MCR model predicted a germination period of 14.5hours following exposure to a low spore dose, which was confirmed by monitoring spore germination in the rabbit lung using PCR, and predicted a low-dose disease incubation period in the rabbit between 14.7 and 16.8 days. Overall, the CR and MCR model appeared to describe rabbit inhalational anthrax well. These results are discussed in the context of conducting laboratory studies in other relevant animal models, combining the CR/MCR model with other computation models of inhalational anthrax, and using the resulting information towards extrapolating a low-dose response prediction for man.Journal of Theoretical Biology 04/2013; DOI:10.1016/j.jtbi.2013.03.020 · 2.30 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: There is a need to better understand inhalational anthrax in relevant animal models. This understanding could aid risk assessment, help define therapeutic windows, and provide a better understanding of disease. The aim here was to characterize and quantify bacterial deposition and dissemination in rabbits following exposure to single high aerosol dose (> 100 LD(50)) of Bacillus anthracis (Ames) spores immediately following exposure through 36 h. The primary goal of collecting the data was to support investigators in developing computational models of inhalational anthrax disease. Rabbits were vaccinated prior to exposure with the human vaccine (Anthrax Vaccine Adsorbed, AVA) or were sham-vaccinated, and were then exposed in pairs (one sham and one AVA) so disease kinetics could be characterized in equally-dosed hosts where one group is fully protected and is able to clear the infection (AVA-vaccinated), while the other is susceptible to disease, in which case the bacteria are able to escape containment and replicate uncontrolled (sham-vaccinated rabbits). Between 4-5% of the presented aerosol dose was retained in the lung of sham- and AVA-vaccinated rabbits as measured by dilution plate analysis of homogenized lung tissue or bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid. After 6 and 36 h, >80% and >96%, respectively, of the deposited spores were no longer detected in BAL, with no detectable difference between sham- or AVA-vaccinated rabbits. Thereafter, differences between the two groups became noticeable. In sham-vaccinated rabbits the bacteria were detected in the tracheobronchial lymph nodes (TBLN) 12 h post-exposure and in the circulation at 24 h, a time point which was also associated with dramatic increases in vegetative CFU in the lung tissue of some animals. In all sham-vaccinated rabbits, bacteria increased in both TBLN and blood through 36 h at which point in time some rabbits succumbed to disease. In contrast, AVA-vaccinated rabbits showed small numbers of CFU in TBLN between 24 and 36 h post-exposure with small numbers of bacteria in the circulation only at 24 h post-exposure. These results characterize and quantify disease progression in naïve rabbits following aerosol administration of Ames spores which may be useful in a number of different research applications, including developing quantitative models of infection for use in human inhalational anthrax risk assessment.Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology 01/2012; 2:87. DOI:10.3389/fcimb.2012.00087 · 2.62 Impact Factor