Epidemiology and Infection

Original Papers

Zoonoses

Bangladesh anthrax outbreaks are probably caused by contaminated livestock feed

A. FASANELLAa1, G. GAROFOLOa1a2, M. J. HOSSAINa3, M. SHAMSUDDINa4, J. K. BLACKBURNa5 and M. HUGH-JONESa6 c1

a1 Istituto Zooprfilattico Sperimentale of Puglia and Basilicata, Anthrax Reference Institute of Italy, Foggia, Italy

a2 Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale dell'Abruzzo e del Molise ‘G. Caporale’ Teramo, Italy

a3 Programme on Infectious Diseases & Vaccine Sciences, Health System & Infectious Disease Division, International Centre for Diarrheal Disease Research, Bangladesh (ICDDR,B), Dhaka, Bangladesh

a4 Community-based Dairy Veterinary Foundation, Department of Surgery & Obstetrics, Bangladesh Agricultural University, Mymensingh, Bangladesh

a5 Spatial Epidemiology and Ecology Research Laboratory, Emerging Pathogens Institute & the Department of Geography, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA

a6 Department of Environmental Sciences, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA, USA

SUMMARY

In Bangladesh from 1 July to 30 September 2010 there were 104 animal cases of anthrax and 607 associated human cases. This investigation was conducted in Sirajganj district in December 2010, on eight farms where animal cases had occurred. Bacillus anthracis was recovered from soil samples and turbinate bones on six farms. Canonical single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) analysis showed that all the isolates belonged to the major lineage A, sublineage A.Br.001/002 of China and South East Asia while a multilocus variable-number tandem-repeat (VNTR) analysis (MLVA) with 15 VNTRs demonstrated three unique genotypes. The single nucleotide repeat (SNR) analyses showed two SNR types in 97 out of 99 isolates; nevertheless, due to its higher discriminatory power the presence of two isolates with different SNR-type polymorphisms were detected within two MLVA genotypes. The epidemic occurred during the monsoon season, a time of extensive flooding, suggesting that the source was contaminated feed, not grazing, which is supported by the genetic variance.

(Received October 10 2011)

(Revised April 27 2012)

(Accepted May 23 2012)

(Online publication July 20 2012)

Key words

  • Anthrax

Correspondence

c1 Author for correspondence: Dr M. Hugh-Jones, Department of Environmental Sciences, School of the Coast and Environment, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803, USA. (Email: mehj@vetmed.lsu.edu)

Metrics