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Anthracis in Tajikistan


Development of an Effective Method of Indication and Identification of Natural and Changed Variants Bacillus Anthracis from Soil and Carrying out of Complex Preventive Actions against the Anthracis in Tajikistan

Tech Area / Field

  • MED-DIS/Disease Surveillance/Medicine
  • AGR-DIS/Disease Surveillance/Agriculture
  • BIO-MIB/Microbiology/Biotechnology
  • BIO-CGM/Cytology, Genetics and Molecular Biology/Biotechnology

8 Project completed

Registration date

Completion date

Senior Project Manager
Weaver L M

Leading Institute
Institute "Biological preparations" of Academy of agricultural sciences RT, Tajikistan, Dushanbe


  • Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory / Center for Environmental Biotechnology, USA, CA, Berkeley

Project summary

An important place in structure of infection pathology of human and animals is occupied by Anthracis. This pathogen is especially important for Tajikistan, which used to be the most troublesome region of the former Soviet Union in this respect. After disintegration of the USSR and collapse of the former economic and political connections between the union republics, in particular, connections with the Russian Federation, the epidemiological situation regarding Anthraces became the most severe. At present the disease rate of humans and animals, including the death rate caused by Anthrax among humans is about 10 times higher than in any neighboring countries in the region.

In order to handle the situation by decreasing the disease rate it is vitally important to perform specific measures including vaccine prophylactics and broad epidemiological study of the disease.

As a rule the outbreaks of Anthracis are connected with specific regions, which were previously noted as regions having the disease. At present more than 2000 natural focuses and thousands of cattle graves are located on Tajikistan territory. It is important to mention that at present the government had done nothing in order to improve the situation. Serious problem is also based on the fact that in contemporary Tajikistan there are no reliable methods that are used for sanitation of the focuses of infections as well as sufficient amounts of disinfectants for carrying out the anti-epidemiological actions. Farmers and cattle breeders have no appropriate knowledge about the infection itself as well as the measures that are necessary to take in case of Anthracis. One of the problems, which cause the present condition with this deadly disease of animals and humans, is based on the absence of the structure of rapid detection and identification of the disease by contemporary means of epidemiological and bacteriological research.

In this contest it is important to note that at times of USSR the Central Asian Institute of Foot and Moth diseases was one of the most advanced closed-research institution working in the field of biotechnology and microbiology. It is possible that genetically modified organisms elaborated in this institute did spread into environment. Heavy and not typical cases of the disease among humans and animals do not exclude such outflow.

In this respect one of the problems is based on the insufficient diagnostic power of classical methods of microbiological research. It is almost impossible by means of serology or bacteriology to identify genetically modified strains.

At present the only vaccine based on the attenuated strain of Anthracis is delivered to Tajikistan from Russia. The cost of the vaccine and problems with its delivery often interferes with the needs of private owners and cattle breeders. Sometimes the quality of the vaccine decreases due to wrong handling the vaccine during the transportation. There is possibility that because of previously mentioned reason the vaccine does not work as it suppose to. Therefore, it is necessary to elaborate and put in order high sensitive methods of indication and identification of various variants (natural, genetically modified) of agent of Anthrax. On the other hand it will be important to produce a vaccine (based on naturally attenuated strain or genetically modified strain) on the territory of Tajikistan.

For the achievement of these goals firstly it will be necessary to develop and establish highly sensitive and effective measures for identification of Anthracis spores or actively vegetating bacteria from different sources in the focuses of infection. The second part of the work will be devoted for developing measures for improving of sanitary and epidemiological survey actions against Anthracis.


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