The situation of anthrax which is on the territory of Ukraine


V.A. Sinitsyn, U.M. Yanenko, G.A. Zaviryukha, T.B. Vasileva, O.A. Tarasov, N.I. Kosyanchuk, L.M. Muzykina

The article presents the anthrax monitoring studies for the period of 1920–2019 years. The statistical analysis on data regarding anthrax outbreaks among all regions of Ukraine, hot spots and the number of the old anthrax burial grounds with documentary evidence. During the investigated period it was counted 24955 anthrax outbreaks among different species of animals. The epizootic situation for anthrax in Ukraine nowdays has to be complex due to almost 10 thousand of the known old burial grounds and up to 6 thousand supposedly presented ones with unknown location. The total vaccination of cattle population significantly reduced the anthrax incidence, but the treat of new outbreaks cannot be completely eliminated, the potential danger of new outbreaks exists, moreover, in completely new forms of manifestation, including the arising risk of bioterroristic acts in recent years. The results of our research indicated that the occurrence of anthrax connected to the spreading and preserving of the pathogen in the soil and non sufficient vaccination program or presence of nonimmune cattle in the population. It should be noted that despite of the constant presence of the pathogen in the environment, anthrax pathogen usually does not acquire the manifestation of the large outbreak, even in areas where there were no preventive vaccinations of cattle. Thus, the problem of anthrax is still far from being resolved. Nowdays and in the near future B. anthracis having potential for actively spreading in the abiotic sphere, represents a potential danger to wild and farm animals, as well as to the human population in almost all countries of the world. Up to date more than 10,000 hot spots have been revealed and registered in Ukraine and 6,000 anthrax outbreaks have been documentally proved. Laboratory studies have confirmed the main source of infection was anthrax-infected animals, among which 71% were cattle. The main approach for the prevention and surveillance of anthrax is the compulsive immunization with live or inactivated vaccine and improving approaches for anthrax diagnostics. The presence of anthrax foci in the military conflict zone in the eastern regions of Ukraine, part of Donetsk and Lugansk oblast arise the issue of ensuring people's biosafety and lowering the risks of anthrax outbreaks. The part of territory involved in war conflict is out of Ukrainian officials surveillance, these regions can be considered as a high risk zone of possible anthrax outbreaks. In order to characterize ecology and epidemiology of anthrax, a historical anthrax database of all known anthrax outbreaks in Ukraine during 1993–2019 was developed. Human and animal cases are registered throughout the country, however the spatial distribution of cases is heterogeneous with clustering in some areas.
Case investigations show that a majority of the infections among humans were related to contact with cattle, while the second most frequent cause is contact with contaminated soil. Despite all investments and measures undertaken to control and prevent the disease, anthrax is still endemic to Ukraine with outbreaks. The main tool for the anthrax prevention and surveillance today is the applying of effective approaches for immunization and improving the diagnostic capacity for early detection and notification..
Keywords: Anthrax (Anthrax); Epizootology; Monitoring; Analysis; Biosafety
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