The intentional release of Bacillus anthracis spores in the USA during the autumn of 2001 alerted the public to the possibility of future attacks using biological weapons. It also underscored the importance of understanding the pathogenesis of the organism and the need for developing new therapeutics and vaccines. Fortunately, there has been a resurgence in anthrax research. This review focuses on the characteristics of B. anthracis that have led to its use as a biological weapon and the approaches that are being taken by medical researchers to minimize the impact of another release.

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