On the trail of anthrax

The focus on the threat of bioterrorism following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks has renewed interest in vaccines and treatments for anthrax infection. Researchers at Harvard Medical School, who have previously published work on Bacillus anthracis, last week published a second way of attacking the bacterium.

Most strategies against anthrax focus on its toxins. "The rationale is that antibiotics can effectively rid the body of anthrax but there could still be enough bacterial produced toxin components to kill," said John Collier, professor microbiology and molecular genetics.