Send to

Choose Destination
Emerg Infect Dis. 2002 Oct;8(10):1117-23.

Sequencing of 16S rRNA gene: a rapid tool for identification of Bacillus anthracis.

Author information

Centers for Desease Control and Prevention , Atlanta, Georgia 30333, USA.


In a bioterrorism event, a tool is needed to rapidly differentiate Bacillus anthracis from other closely related spore-forming Bacillus species. During the recent outbreak of bioterrorism-associated anthrax, we sequenced the 16S rRNA generom these species to evaluate the potential of 16S rRNA gene sequencing as a diagnostic tool. We found eight distinct 16S types among all 107 16S rRNA gene seqs fuences that differed from each other at 1 to 8 positions (0.06% to 0.5%). All 86 B. anthracis had an identical 16S gene sequence, designated type 6; 16S type 10 was seen in all B. thuringiensis strains; six other 16S types were found among the 10 B. cereus strains. This report describes the first demonstration of an exclusive association of a distinct 16S sequence with B. anthracis. Consequently, we were able to rapidly identify suspected isolates and to detect the B. anthracis 16S rRNA gene directly from culture-negative clinical specimens from seven patients with laboratory-confirmed anthrax.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for CDC-NCEZID Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center