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MOLECULAR INVESTIGATION OF THE AUM SHINRIKYO ANTHRAX RELEASE IN KAMEIDO, JAPAN

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Infectious Diseases in Clinical Practice: January 2002 - Volume 11 - Issue 1 - p 36
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MOLECULAR INVESTIGATION OF THE AUM SHINRIKYO ANTHRAX RELEASE IN KAMEIDO, JAPAN

[Keim P et al. J Clin Microbiol 2001;39:4566]:

The authors examined B. anthracis strains isolated from the Aum Shinrikyo headquarters that had been used in a bioterrorism attempt in June 1993. Genotypic analysis showed a lack of pXO2 markers, which is consistent with the Sterne 34F2 strain used for veterinary vaccines.

Comment.

The Aum Shinrikyo is best known for the sarin gas attack in the Tokyo subway in 1995. Less well known is their attempt to disseminate B. anthracis in June 1993. This earlier event caused no disease. There have been previous reports that the B. anthracis strain used by the cult was the veterinary vaccine strain, which is avirulent. This molecular analysis supports that conclusion and this accounts for the lack of disease.

© 2002 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.