Recent Epidemic-Like Anthrax Outbreaks in Italy: What Are the Probable Causes?


In Italy, in an area of about 50 km2 between Basilicata and Campania Southern regions, 28 outbreaks of anthrax occurred from August 28th to September 27th 2011. Different species were affected: laboratory tests confirmed anthrax in cattle, horses and sheep. The genetic analysis of strains isolated from infected animals indicated that outbreaks occurring in the two regions were not correlated. Intriguingly, the incidence was highly significant in horses compared to that of cattle and sheep or goats, which were prevalent species in the animal population. In addition, allinfected horses and many cattle developed a fatal, sub-acute form of anthrax, characterized by the presence of massive edema, usually absent in hyperacute forms. The characteristics of these outbreaks suggested a possible role of tabanids as vectors in the transmission of B. anthracis like-epidemic infection.

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L. Palazzo, E. Carlo, G. Santagada, L. Serrecchia, A. Aceti, A. Guarino, R. Adone and A. Fasanella, "Recent Epidemic-Like Anthrax Outbreaks in Italy: What Are the Probable Causes?," Open Journal of Veterinary Medicine, Vol. 2 No. 2, 2012, pp. 74-76. doi: 10.4236/ojvm.2012.22012.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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