Asian Journal of Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Sciences

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Review Article - Asian Journal of Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Sciences (2022) Volume 12, Issue 86

Exploring unconventional virulence factors of Bacillus anthracis.

The surprising correlation between sporadic anthrax breakouts and global warming has raised concern among health authorities of several geographical regions worldwide. The permafrost harbors dormant Bacillus anthracis bacteria causing anthrax. The bacilli possess numerous mechanisms to infect and survive inside the host. To suppress the host immune system, it employs the classical virulence factors: anthrax toxins (lethal & edema toxins) and anti-phagocytic capsule. Although these are primary factors for cytotoxicity and systemic spread, other secreted and nonsecreted factors are also critical to initiate and establish the disease. These secondary factors are non-classical virulence factors of B. anthracis. A plethora of such factors exist including— chaperones, ABC transporters, proteases, chitinases, siderophores, and surface proteins. The non-classical virulence factors are crucial for host-microbe molecular interactions required for pathogenesis. These factors are considered promising candidates for the development of new avenues for diagnostics and therapeutics against anthrax. While many review articles hitherto focused on the classical virulence factors, the literature lacks a comprehensive review detailing the virulence mechanism and therapeutic relevance of non-classical factors. Indeed, this article serves as a resource for comprehensive information about these ancillary virulence factors of B. anthracis with an emphasis on their mechanism of action. Moreover, the article provides insight into anthrax management with respect to each factor. We anticipate paving way for new ideas for prophylactic treatment in the event of future global warming related anthrax outbreaks.

Author(s): Vatika Gupta*,Kanika Jain, Anshu Malik, Rakesh Bhatnagar

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