Occurrence: Worldwide.
Species affected: Pigs, ruminants, humans, other animals.
Age affected: All, but most common grower to adult.
Causes: Gram positive spore-forming encapsulated bacterium, Bacillus anthracis.
Effects: Affected pigs may develop fever to 42˚C (107˚F), and swelling of the neck (pharyngeal form) followed by depression, vomiting and reluctance to eat, increasing difficulty in breathing and affected pigs may die within 24 hours. Some pigs recover, but blackened skin may remain over the site of the swelling. When the infection localises in the intestine (intestinal form), fever, digestive disturbance, loss of appetite and the passage of bloody faeces may be seen. Death is uncommon in this form. When the organisms cause septicaemia (septicaemic form), pigs may be found dead. Others in the group may have transient fever and recover completely, develop the intestinal form or have swollen necks.