Airborne infection with Bacillus anthracis - From mills to mail

Kevin P. Fennelly, Amy L. Davidow, Shelly L. Miller, Nancy Connell, Jerrold J. Ellner

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

The lack of identified exposures in 2 of the 11 cases of bioterrorism-related inhalation anthrax in 2001 raised uncertainty about the infectious dose and transmission of Bacillus anthracis. We used the Wells-Riley mathematical model of airborne infection to estimate 1) the exposure concentrations in postal facilities where cases of inhalation anthrax occurred and 2) the risk for infection in various hypothetical scenarios of exposure to B. anthracis aerosolized from contaminated mail in residential settings. These models suggest that a small number of cases of inhalation anthrax can be expected when large numbers of persons are exposed to low concentrations of B. anthracis. The risk for inhalation anthrax is determined not only by bacillary virulence factors but also by infectious aerosol production and removal rates and by host factors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)996-1001
Number of pages6
JournalEmerging infectious diseases
Volume10
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2004
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases

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