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Pollution of Kyrgyzstan by Anthrax Agents


Assessment of Spatial Mechanisms of Pollution of the Territory of Kyrgyzstan by Anthrax Agent (Second Stage)

Tech Area / Field

  • BIO-SFS/Biosafety and BioSecurity/Biotechnology
  • AGR-DIS/Disease Surveillance/Agriculture
  • AGR-VTH/Vaccines and Theraupetics/Agriculture
  • BIO-CGM/Cytology, Genetics and Molecular Biology/Biotechnology
  • BIO-DIV/Biodiversity/Biotechnology
  • BIO-IND/Industrial Biotechnology/Biotechnology
  • ENV-EHS/Environmental Health and Safety/Environment

8 Project completed

Registration date

Completion date

Senior Project Manager
Weaver L M

Leading Institute
National Academy of Sciences of Kyrgyzstan / Biotechnology Institution, Kyrgyzstan, Bishkek

Supporting institutes

  • Republican Center of Quarantine and Especially Dangerous Infections, Kyrgyzstan, Bishkek


  • Health Protection Agency / Centre for Emergency Preparedness and Response, UK, Wiltshire, Salisbury\nInstitute Zooprofilattico Sperimentale, Italy, Foggia\nInstitut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale / Laboratoire P3/P4 INSERM, France, Lyon

Project summary

Anthrax is zoonotic antropurgic bacterial infectious disease. Bac.anthracis is its agent (Cherkasskii B.L., 2002; Mock M.,Fouet A.,2001). The ability of this agent to form stable stationary soil foci (“damned fields”), where Bac. anthracis spores are protected from the environment by three layered covering and protective layer (cortex) and can be preserved for decades in suitable soils (Brossier F., Levy M., Mock M., 2002; Nusrin S., Khan G.Y., Bhuian N., et al., 2004).

In the epidemiology of anthrax the environment plays a great role in contamination. In the opinion of Vos (1990), “the soil and water are only means of transportation for Bac.anthracis”. But D.Dragon and R.Rennie (1995) think that water contributes to the concentration of anthrax spores in certain sites in an area and are important for the disease ecology. Rains promote the water flow and the accumulation of stagnant water. Bac. Anthracis spores have a high surface hydrophobicity and can move in the water current and accumulate in stagnant shallow pools, remaining suspended in stagnant water. In dry weather there is water evaporation and concentration of spores.

At the current stage of the country development, the assessment of spatial techniques of the territory pollution of the Kyrgyz Republic by anthrax agents is an urgent issue in the field of ecological and biological security of the country. Anthrax in Kyrgyzstan is a serious problem for socio-economic progress of the republic. The territory of Kyrgyzstan is being considered not free from anthrax at al times. At the same time, anthrax was diagnosed first only in 1887 nearby Tokmak city in Chui valley.

It should be noted, that after the collapse of the USSR, i.e. over the last 10-15 years the studies of anthrax have been neglected. There have been repeated natural disasters: floods, landslides, quakes in the locations of old anthrax foci. In the result of these disasters many foci might have been washed away and been remained under the ground, or anthrax agents have disseminated on the nearest vast territories having contaminated significant areas. Our researches prove that and show that over the last ten years (1996-2005) anthrax cases for humans have increased by 1,7 times compared with the previous decade (1986-1995) and their number is 229 against 138.

In the countries where livestock grazing predominates, at the places of death and burial of animals that have died from anthrax, there is the risk of the carcasses being dug up by scavengers.

Kyrgyzstan is a livestock grazing country due to the availability of 9 million hectares of autumn-winter and spring-summer pastures. Cattle droving routes go between these seasonal pastures. If the infected pasture sites are called “damned fields”, then the interstate cattle droving routes should be called “damned paths", because it is there that anthrax cases appear. The outbreaks of sheep anthrax in the summer of 1988 in the distant pastures of Lyailyak region in the Batken oblast in Kyrgyzstan which had been considered free from anthrax over 60 years can serve as an example.

The above stated natural and socio-economic factors require the need to preserve and document the location on all the known permanent soil unfavorable anthrax foci (points) which have appeared in Kyrgyzstan both in the past and in recent years. These data have to be accessible for analysis and site management.

The preservation, systematization and concentration of the information on all the registered foci over 100 years in a single reference cadastre facilitates the forecasting of disease outbreaks and to develop optimal and efficient activities to prevent the propagation of Bac. Anthracis organisms and the protection of the republic from anthrax outbreaks.

On October 1, 2007 the first stage of KR-1101 ISTC Project “Assessment of Spatial Mechanisms of Pollution of the Territory of Kyrgyzstan by Anthrax Agent” was completed.

The principle objective of the first stage was creation of an electronic cadastre and database on anthrax foci on the territory of Kyrgyzstan.

On the completion of the Project first stage the electronic cadastre of anthrax foci permanently not free from anthrax over the last 65 years was created. Out of 1234 registered anthrax foci on the territory of Kyrgyzstan 501 ones were introduced in the cadastre, and 17 new foci occurred on the territory of the republic during Project implementation.

A computer data base on anthrax foci detected from 1941-2007 was created. It contains more than 100.000 descriptions.

Preliminary outcomes of the Project activities were submitted and discussed at “Biotechnology 2006” International Conference in Prague, at the working meeting with the US Foreign Collaborator in August, 2006 in Baton Rouge (Louisiana State University) and during the meeting with EU Foreign Collaborator in September, 2007 in Foggia, Italy (Instituto Zooprofilattico Sperimental of Puglia and Basicata). The participants of the discussions Prof. Martin Hugh-Jones, Ass.Prof. Andrew Curtis from LSU and D.Antonio Fasanella, Vice Director of IZSPB and Director of Anthrax Reference Institute of Italy came to a conclusion that research outcomes under Kr-1101 Project are of global importance, and in this connection they expressed their opinion on the appropriateness of the activity arrangements for the second stage of the Project to solve the following issues:

first, epidemiological monitoring of anthrax foci in the regions with high hazard rate (4 hazard rates) of anthrax occurrence over the last decade, and also selective inspection of old foci with 20, 30 and 40 years of remoteness in Osh, Jalalabad, Chui and Issykkul oblasts; second, extraction of isolates, determination of pheno - genotypical features of anthrax agent to fix territorial confinement; third, development and improvement of methodology of sanitation or isolation of foci permanently not free from anthrax on the basis of specified electronic cadastre (First Stage) of registration and burial sites of the animals died from anthrax for inventory of their inspection methodology; fourth, evaluation of epidemic importance of animal pasturing areas because it is typical peculiarity for the Kyrgyz Republic with its 9 million hectares of pastures; fifth, development of the strategy on comprehensive solution of the issues related to prophylaxis, diagnosis and treatment of anthrax for humans and animals considering social and economic situation and mentality of the Kyrgyz Republic population.


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ISTC facilitates international science projects and assists the global scientific and business community to source and engage with CIS and Georgian institutes that develop or possess an excellence of scientific know-how.

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