Anthrax vaccines: present status and future prospects

Expert Rev Vaccines. 2013 Aug;12(8):955-70. doi: 10.1586/14760584.2013.814860.


The management of anthrax remains a top priority among the biowarfare/bioterror agents. It was the Bacillus anthracis spore attack through the US mail system after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in the USA that highlighted the potential of B. anthracis as a bioterrorism agent and the threat posed by its deliberate dissemination. These attacks invigorated the efforts toward understanding the anthrax pathogenesis and development of more comprehensive medical intervention strategies for its containment in case of both natural disease and manmade, accidental or deliberate infection of a non-suspecting population. Currently, efforts are directed toward the development of safe and efficacious vaccines as well as intervention tools for controlling the disease in the advanced fulminant stage when toxemia has already developed. This work presents an overview of the current understanding of anthrax pathogenesis and recent advances made, particularly after 2001, for the successful management of anthrax and outlines future perspectives.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anthrax / immunology
  • Anthrax / prevention & control*
  • Anthrax Vaccines / administration & dosage*
  • Anthrax Vaccines / immunology*
  • Bacillus anthracis / immunology*
  • Biological Warfare Agents
  • Bioterrorism
  • Humans
  • United States


  • Anthrax Vaccines
  • Biological Warfare Agents