Special considerations for prophylaxis for and treatment of anthrax in pregnant and postpartum women

Emerg Infect Dis. 2014 Feb;20(2):e130611. doi: 10.3201/eid2002.130611.


In August 2012, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in partnership with the Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs, convened a meeting of national subject matter experts to review key clinical elements of anthrax prevention and treatment for pregnant, postpartum, and lactating (P/PP/L) women. National experts in infectious disease, obstetrics, maternal fetal medicine, neonatology, pediatrics, and pharmacy attended the meeting, as did representatives from professional organizations and national, federal, state, and local agencies. The meeting addressed general principles of prevention and treatment for P/PP/L women, vaccines, antimicrobial prophylaxis and treatment, clinical considerations and critical care issues, antitoxin, delivery concerns, infection control measures, and communication. The purpose of this meeting summary is to provide updated clinical information to health care providers and public health professionals caring for P/PP/L women in the setting of a bioterrorist event involving anthrax.

Keywords: Bacillus anthracis; PEP; anthrax; antibacterial agents; antibiotics; antimicrobial drugs; antitoxins; bacteria; breast-feeding; lactation; postexposure prophylaxis; postpartum period; pregnancy; treatment; vaccination; vaccine; women.

Publication types

  • Congress

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anthrax / drug therapy
  • Anthrax / immunology
  • Anthrax / microbiology
  • Anthrax / prevention & control*
  • Anthrax Vaccines / administration & dosage*
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / therapeutic use
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized
  • Antitoxins / therapeutic use
  • Bacillus anthracis / drug effects
  • Bacillus anthracis / immunology
  • Bacillus anthracis / pathogenicity*
  • Bioterrorism
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S.
  • Female
  • Fetus
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Lactation
  • Postpartum Period*
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious / drug therapy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious / immunology
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious / microbiology
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious / prevention & control*
  • United States


  • Anthrax Vaccines
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized
  • Antitoxins
  • raxibacumab