<microbiology> An infectious bacterial zoonotic disease usually acquired by ingestion of Bacillus anthracis or its spores from infected pastures by herbivores or indirectly from infected carcasses by carnivores.

It is transmitted to humans usually by contact with infected animals or their discharges (agricultural anthrax) or with contaminated animal products (industrial anthrax). Anthrax is classified by primary routes of inoculation as: cutaneous, gastrointestinal and inhalational.

Synonyms: charbon, milzbrand and splenic fever.

(18 Nov 1997)