Historical distribution and molecular diversity of bacillus anthracis, Kazakhstan

Alim M. Aikembayev, Larissa Lukhnova, Gulnara Temiraliyeva, Tatyana Meka-Mechenko, Yerlan Pazylov, Sarkis Zakaryan, Georgiy Denissov, W. Ryan Easterday, Matthew N. Van Ert, Paul S Keim, Stephen C. Francesconi, Jason K. Blackburn, Martin Hugh-Jones, Ted Hadfield

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

34 Scopus citations


To map the distribution of anthrax outbreaks and strain subtypes in Kazakhstan during 1937-2005, we combined geographic information system technology and genetic analysis by using archived cultures and data. Biochemical and genetic tests confi rmed the identity of 93 archived cultures in the Kazakhstan National Culture Collection as Bacillus anthracis. Multilocus variable number tandem repeat analysis genotyping identifi ed 12 genotypes. Cluster analysis comparing these genotypes with previously published genotypes indicated that most (n = 78) isolates belonged to the previously described A1.a genetic cluster, 6 isolates belonged to the A3.b cluster, and 2 belonged to the A4 cluster. Two genotypes in the collection appeared to represent novel genetic sublineages; 1 of these isolates was from Krygystan. Our data provide a description of the historical, geographic, and genetic diversity of B. anthracis in this Central Asian region.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)789-796
Number of pages8
JournalEmerging Infectious Diseases
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2010


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Epidemiology

Cite this

Aikembayev, A. M., Lukhnova, L., Temiraliyeva, G., Meka-Mechenko, T., Pazylov, Y., Zakaryan, S., Denissov, G., Ryan Easterday, W., Van Ert, M. N., Keim, P. S., Francesconi, S. C., Blackburn, J. K., Hugh-Jones, M., & Hadfield, T. (2010). Historical distribution and molecular diversity of bacillus anthracis, Kazakhstan. Emerging Infectious Diseases, 16(5), 789-796. https://doi.org/10.3201/eid1605.091427