Query: NC_012659:678289 Bacillus anthracis str. A0248, complete genome Lineage: Bacillus anthracis; Bacillus; Bacillaceae; Bacillales; Firmicutes; Bacteria General Information: This strain (96-10355; K1256) is a human isolated from USA. This organism was the first to be shown to cause disease by Dr. Robert Koch, leading to the formulation of Koch's postulates, which were verified by Dr. Louis Pasteur (the organism, isolated from sick animals, was grown in the laboratory and then used to infect healthy animals and make them sick). This organism was also the first for which an attenuated strain was developed as a vaccine. Herbivorous animals become infected with the organism when they ingest spores from the soil whereas humans become infected when they come into contact with a contaminated animal. Anthrax is not transmitted due to person-to-person contact. The three forms of the disease reflect the sites of infection which include cutaneous (skin), pulmonary (lung), and intestinal. Pulmonary and intestinal infections are often fatal if left untreated. Spores are taken up by macrophages and become internalized into phagolysozomes (membranous compartment) whereupon germination initiates. Bacteria are released into the bloodstream once the infected macrophage lyses whereupon they rapidly multiply, spreading throughout the circulatory and lymphatic systems, a process that results in septic shock, respiratory distress and organ failure. The spores of this pathogen have been used as a terror weapon.
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General Information: This strain (NT) was created so that it lacks the lethal toxin. Injection of spores of this organism into mice harboring tumors resulted in an increased immune response and destruction of the tumor tissue in a method known as COBALT (combination bacteriolytic therapy) when the spores along with chemotherapeutic agents or radiation are co-administered. The anaerobic bacteria preferentially target hypoxic cancer tissue and stimulate immune responses to that tissue. This genus comprises about 150 metabolically diverse species of anaerobes that are ubiquitous in virtually all anoxic habitats where organic compounds are present, including soils, aquatic sediments and the intestinal tracts of animals and humans. This shape is attributed to the presence of endospores that develop under conditions unfavorable for vegetative growth and distend single cells terminally or sub-terminally. Spores germinate under conditions favorable for vegetative growth, such as anaerobiosis and presence of organic substrates. It is believed that present day Mollicutes (Eubacteria) have evolved regressively (i.e., by genome reduction) from gram-positive clostridia-like ancestors with a low GC content in DNA. Some species are capable of producing organic solvents (acetone, ethanol, etc,), molecular hydrogen and other useful compounds. Clostridium novyi is an anaerobic bacterium found in soil, aquatic sediments, and intestinal tract of both animals and humans. Some types produce lethal toxins.