In this study, we aim to perform a microbiological evaluation on the anthrax cases encountered in small and large ruminants as well as in equidae in the Eastern Mediterranean region of Turkey between March 2005 and July 2010. Blood specimens from 44 animals raised in the Mediterranean region of Turkey and suspected of having anthrax in light of the clinical examination results between 2005 and 2010, were subjected to bacteriological analysis. Conventional methods such as Giemsa and Gram staining as well as culture and motility tests were carried out. Smears prepared from blood specimens were treated with Giemsa and Bacillus anthracis pathogens with typical capsules were investigated. During culture test, specimens were cultivated in nutrient broth, blood agar, and MacConkey agar after which they were incubated at 37°C for 24 - 48 h in an aerobic environment. Colony morphologies and microscopic appearances of the bacteria that grew in the nutrient broth and blood agar were evaluated. Thus, bacteria displaying an appearance of typical hair-like shape and a configuration of long chains similar to bamboo sticks, with nonmotile and R-form like colony view, were diagnosed asB. anthracis. The animals with suspected anthrax in this study were comprised of 19 cattle, 14 goats, 10 sheeps and 1 mule. In 12 (27.3%) of 44 specimens, B. anthracis was isolated and identified. B. anthracis was isolated from the animals with suspected anthrax. Anthrax, recognized as a dangerous zoonosis across the entire world, is still of endemic status in our country and preventive measures should include prevention of illegal animal slaughter by performing efficient supervision, applying routine vaccination programs and raising awareness among the livestock owners.
Key words: Anthrax, animals, Bacillus anthracis, pathogens.
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