UVA Health System Blog

Stories about the patients, staff and services of UVA


Anthrax: A New Discovery

On October 18, 2012 | At 8:58 am

Anthrax. It’s one of those words that immediately sends chills up your spine when you see it in a news headline or hear it mentioned on the radio.

Today’s mention of the deadly bacteria also, at first glance, seems a little chilling: UVA researchers have found that anthrax spores actually multiply in soil, instead of just laying dormant as previously thought, thus increasing the potential of infecting cows and other grazing animals.

But it isn’t all bad news. This discovery offers insights that could help lead to new ways to prevent anthrax outbreaks that can be so deadly, especially in developing countries that don’t have the veterinary vaccine we use here in the United States.  The ultimate aim, of course, is to eliminate anthrax altogether.

Curious? Find out more about how the anthrax bacteria use amoebas to grow and what scientists hope to do with this information going forward. 

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