Evaluation of Bacillus anthracis extractable antigen for testing anthrax immunity

E. Shlyakhov, Y. Shoenfeld, B. Gilburd, E. Rubinstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Three extractable Bacillus anthracis cell-wall-associated antigens were evaluated for potential use as skin testing agents, and as possible candidates for in-vitro diagnosis of anthrax immunity. Anthraxin and a partially purified extractable antigen (EAP) were produced from avirulent B. anthracis strain 34F2 (Sterne). The thermoextractable antigen used for the Ascoli reaction was obtained commercially. Guinea-pigs were immunised and boosted several times subcutaneously with the Sterne live veterinary anthrax vaccine. Four weeks after the last booster dose, animals were skin-tested with the three antigens. Serum antibody levels were also determined by ELISA, and the in-vitro T-cell response was evaluated by [3H]-thymidine incorporation. EAP was the most active antigen in both the serological and cellular reactions. EAP also elicited a distinct positive skin reaction in animals immunised with B. anthracis. The data obtained in this preliminary study indicated that extractable cell-wall antigens obtained from the vegetative form of B. anthracis may be used for skin tests and in-vitro testing of specific humoral and cell-mediated anthrax immunity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)421-424
Number of pages4
JournalClinical Microbiology and Infection
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2004


  • Anthrax
  • Bacillus anthracis
  • Diagnosis
  • Immunity
  • Infection


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