AbstractObjectiveThe purpose of this study was to describe anthrax foci alongthe Georgia-Azerbaijan border and to describe control measures inidentified areas.IntroductionAnthrax is endemic in the South Caucasus region. There is alack of understanding of the regional epidemiology of the causativepathogen,Bacillus anthracis, and the trans-boundary factors relatedto its persistence.MethodsTo increase the local and regional understanding of anthraxecology, ecological risk factors, and the genetic relationships anddistribution among Georgian and AzerbaijaniB. anthracisstrains, aregional study of the ecology of anthrax foci was conducted in Georgiaand Azerbaijan. Six regions in Georgia (that border Azerbaijan)were selected for environmental sampling based on historical data.Soil samples were collected in Lagodekhi and Sagarejo and testedat the Laboratory of the Ministry of Agriculture using standardbacteriological and molecular biology methods.ResultsA total of 185 soil samples were collected. Bacteriological testsrevealed four positive samples from Kakheti (two from Lagodekhi,Gelati; two from Dedoplistskaro), from which, cultures were isolatedand confirmed by PCR. Georgian scientists continue collecting andtesting soil samples. After sample collection and bacteriologicaltesting is completed, the molecular characteristics of the pathogenwill be examined.ConclusionsThis study will assist in the formulation of targeted public healthinterventions aimed at increasing knowledge of the disease withinspecific demographics. Public health interventions can focus onlivestock surveillance and control in identified areas.
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