Taqman assays for simultaneous detection of bacillus anthracis and bacillus cereus biovar anthracis

Diansy Zincke, Michael H. Norris, Odalis Cruz, Berzhan Kurmanov, W. Scott McGraw, David J. Daegling, John Krigbaum, Thi Thu Ha Hoang, Kamil Khanipov, Georgiy Golovko, Ted Hadfield, Jason K. Blackburn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Anthrax is a worldwide zoonotic disease caused by the spore-forming bacterium Bacillus anthracis. Primarily a disease of herbivores, human infections often result from direct contact with contaminated animal products (cutaneous and inhalational anthrax) or through consumption of infected meat (gastrointestinal anthrax). The genetic near neighbor, Bacillus cereus biovar anthracis (Bcbva), causes an anthrax-like illness in the wildlife and livestock of west and central Africa due to the presence and expression of B. anthracis-specific virulence factors in this background. While Bcbva infections have not been reported in humans, a recent seroprevalence study detected Bcbva antibodies in the rural population around Taï National Park. This work describes the development of new TaqMan multiplex PCRs for the simultaneous detection of B. anthracis and Bcbva. The assays are designed to amplify Ba-1, capB, and lef markers in B. anthracis and genomic island IV (GI4), capB, and lef in Bcbva. Our assays allow for the rapid discrimination of B. anthracis and Bcbva and will provide insights into the molecular epidemiology of these two important pathogens that share an overlapping geographical range in west and central Africa.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1074
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Africa
  • Anthrax
  • Ba-1
  • Bacillus anthracis
  • Bacillus cereus biovar anthracis
  • Multiplex

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Molecular Biology
  • General Immunology and Microbiology
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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