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Epidemiol Infect. 1992 Apr;108(2):299-313.

Serology and anthrax in humans, livestock and Etosha National Park wildlife.

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Division of Biologics, Public Health Laboratory Service Centre for Applied Microbiology and Research, Salisbury, Wiltshire, UK.


Results are presented from a number of epidemiological studies using enzyme immunoassays (EIA) based on the purified anthrax toxin antigens, protective antigen, lethal factor and oedema factor. Studies on sera from a group of 62 human anthrax patients in Turkey and from cattle in Britain following two unrelated outbreaks of anthrax show that EIA using protective antigen can be a useful diagnostic aid and will detect subclinical infections in appropriate circumstances. A serological survey on wildlife in the Etosha National Park, Namibia, where anthrax is endemic, showed that naturally acquired anthrax-specific antibodies are rare in herbivores but common in carnivores; in carnivores, titres appear to reflect the prevalence of anthrax in their ranges. Problems, as yet unresolved, were encountered in studies on sera from pigs following an outbreak of anthrax on a farm in Wales. Clinical details, including treatment, of the human and one of the bovine outbreaks are summarized and discussed in relation to the serological findings.

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