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J. Vet. Sci. 2019; 20(1): 58-62  https://doi.org/10.4142/jvs.2019.20.1.58
Evaluation of in vitro antimicrobial susceptibility of Bacillus anthracis strains isolated during anthrax outbreaks in Italy from 1984 to 2017
Viviana Manzulli1,*, Antonio Fasanella1, Antonio Parisi1, Luigina Serrecchia1, Adelia Donatiello1, Valeria Rondinone1, Marta Caruso1, Sabine Zange2, Alina Tscherne2, Nicola Decaro3, Carmine Pedarra1, Domenico Galante1
1Anthrax Reference Institute of Italy, Experimental Zooprophylactic Institute of Puglia and Basilicata Regions, Foggia 71121, Italy
2Bundeswehr Institute of Microbiology, Munich 80937, Germany
3Department of Veterinary Medicine, University of Bari, Valenzano 70010, Italy
Correspondence to: *Tel: +39-0881786330; Fax: +39-0881786205; E-mail: viviana.manzulli@izspb.it
Received: August 20, 2018; Revised: October 10, 2018; Accepted: October 30, 2018; Published online: January 31, 2019.
Anthrax, caused by Bacillus anthracis, is a non-contagious infectious disease that affects a wide range of animal species (primarily ruminants) including humans. Due to the often-fatal outcome in humans, quick administration of definitely effective antimicrobials is crucial either as prophylaxis or as a clinical case therapy. In this study, 110 B. anthracis strains, temporally, geographically, and genetically different, isolated during anthrax outbreaks in Italy from 1984 to 2017, were screened using a broth microdilution method to determine their susceptibility to 16 clinically relevant antimicrobial agents. The strains were isolated from various matrices (human, animal, and environmental samples) and were representative of thirty distinct genotypes previously identified by 15-loci multiple-locus variable-number of tandem repeats analysis. The antimicrobials tested were gentamicin, ceftriaxone, streptomycin, penicillin G, clindamycin, chloramphenicol, vancomycin, linezolid, cefotaxime, tetracycline, erythromycin, rifampin, amoxicillin, ciprofloxacin, doxycycline, and trimethoprim. All isolates were susceptible to most of the tested antimicrobials, with the exception of trimethoprim for which all of them showed high minimal inhibitory concentration values. An intermediate level of susceptibility was recorded for ceftriaxone and cefotaxime. Although the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend the use of doxycycline, ciprofloxacin, penicillin G, and amoxicillin for treatment of human cases and for post-exposure prophylaxis to anthrax spores, this study shows a high degree of in vitro susceptibility of B. anthracis to many other antimicrobials, suggesting the possibility of an alternative choice for prophylaxis and therapy.
Keywords: Bacillus anthracis, Antimicrobial susceptibility testing, Anthrax treatment, Minimum inhibitory concentration

© 2019 The Korean Society of Veterinary Science.

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0) which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.