Newly published maps reveal, for the first time, where anthrax poses global risks to people, livestock and wildlife. Popularly viewed as a frightening airborne agent of bioterrorism, the bacteria that causes anthrax infections naturally occurs in the soil on every continent and some islands.
The maps, published today in Nature Microbiology, are the result of 15 years of data collection covering 70 countries compiled by Emerging Pathogens Institute associate research professor Jason Blackburn and his colleagues. Until now, the geographic distribution of anthrax has not been mapped globally.
“Our main purpose was to describe where anthrax occurs, or is likely to occur, across the globe, and to illustrate sub-national areas where surveillance is necessary,” Blackburn says. “Anthrax is a disease that affects both animals and humans, and it is most commonly associated with rural and agricultural communities some of which contend with it nearly worldwide. Our maps will help countries and health authorities focus on specific anthrax-prone areas to target control and surveillance.”
Read more at Emerging Pathogens Institute