Attacking Anthrax; March 2002; Scientific American Magazine; by John A.T. Young and R. John Collier; 9 Page(s)
The need for new anthrax therapies became all too clear last fall when five people died of inhalation anthrax, victims of the first purposeful release of anthrax spores in the U.S. Within days of showing initially unalarming symptoms, the patients were gone, despite intensive treatment with antibiotics. Six others became seriously ill as well before pulling through.
Fortunately, our laboratories and others began studying the causative bacterium, Bacillus anthracis, and seeking antidotes long before fall 2001. Recent findings are now pointing the way to novel medicines and improved vaccines. Indeed, in the past year alone, the two of us and our collaborators have reported on three promising drug prototypes.