New book shows past, future of anthrax

Bacillus Anthracis and Anthrax, a new book by Dr. Nicholas Bergman, provides both a history of anthrax as a weapon and could serve as a reference tool for those currently fighting anthrax.

The book provides insight about past work with anthrax by 19th century scientists like Louis Pasteur all the way into the present day's bioterror and vaccine worries.

The book includes a chapter on anthrax's impact on human history from 5,000 B.C., written by Sean Shadomy and Peter Turnbull, and a current assessment on anthrax vaccination research by Conrad Quinn and Elke Saile, PhysOrg reports.

"With all the attention and research that have been focused on Bacillus anthracis and anthrax in recent years, our understanding of both the organism and the disease has improve dramatically," Bergman said, according to PhysOrg. "This book aims to provide an up-to-date reference that will be useful to scientists, medical and public health personnel, and those playing roles in shaping public policy."

Other sections of the book include chapters on anthrax as a weapon of war, the diagnosis and treatment of the different forms of human anthrax, and a review of animal models of anthrax and how they are used in research.

Dr. Bergman told PhysOrg that the book will work well as a reference tool on anthrax for immunologists, microbiologists, physiologists, those involved in public health issues and bioterror experts.