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A Study on the Epidemiology of Anthrax Outbreaks in Migratory Cattle at Tungabhadra Dam Area in Karnataka

B.M. Chandranaik, B. Rajashekara, Amitha R Gomes, G. Kavitha, R. Apsana, K Nagaraja and S.M. Byregowda

Institute of Animal Health and Veterinary Biologicals, Hebbal, Bengaluru, Karnataka 560024.

Published in the Indian Veterinary Journal December 2020 : 97 (12) - pages 38 to 42
(Received: December, 2021, Accepted: December, 2021)


During June 2016, eight migratory cattle at Tungabhadra dam (TBD) backwater area in Karnataka state suddenly died with symptoms of bleeding from natural orifices. Ear blood samples collected from dead animals yielded Bacillus anthracis by culture and were confirmed by Pag gene-based polymerase chain reaction. Phylogenetic analysis showed more than 99% sequence homology with GenBank deposited B. anthracis isolates. Anthrax outbreaks in adjoining Bellary and Koppal districts were investigated from 2017 to 2020. We confirmed 12, 11 and 09 anthrax outbreaks during 2017-18, 2018-19 and 2019-20 respectively, in these two districts. The study indicates the possible role of unscientific carcass disposal as a source of bacterial spores for recurrent anthrax outbreaks in the region.

Key Words: Bacillus anthracis ; Anthrax outbreaks ; Migratory Cattle ; Tungabhadra

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