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Colour enhanced scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of spores from the Sterne strain of Bacillus anthracis bacteria. A key characteristic of the Sterne strain of B. anthracis is the wrinkled surface of the protein coat of these bacterial spores. These spores can live for many years which, enables the bacteria to survive in a dormant state. Anthrax is a naturally-occurring disease of animals (e.g., sheep, goats, and cattle) caused by the bacterium Bacillus anthracis. The bacteria live in the soil in many parts of the world and form protective outer coats called spores (hereafter called anthrax spores). Spores are able to withstand harsh or adverse conditions that would normally kill bacteria. Animals can get anthrax by ingesting anthrax spores from the soil. Anthrax in animals occurs worldwide but can be controlled by vaccination of animals. In recent years, anthrax has been reported among animals in many countries, and is especially common in parts of.
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