Whole Genome Analysis
of Injectional Anthrax Identifies Two Disease Clusters Spanning More Than 13 Years

You may remember the anthrax attacks in the United States that caused panic in 2001. In recent years, a new form of anthrax infection has been discovered that is more difficult to diagnose and more difficult to treat. But public health officials had a difficult time tracing the source of injectional anthrax outbreaks … Until now.

Led by Dr. Paul Keim at NAU, a team of international scientists shed new light on an old question about injectional anthrax by demonstrating the latest advances in whole-genome sequencing. The researchers reconstructed a decades-old outbreak of injectional anthrax by DNA analysis of the anthrax conveyed to victims from injecting heroin. The results were published in EBioMedicine.