Bacillus anthracis

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The page below is a sample from the LabCE course Preliminary Identification of the Primary Select Agents of Bioterrorism. Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

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Bacillus anthracis


Motility by wet preparation is NOT recommended. Motility medium is more reliable, but shouldn't be read until 18-24 hours.

  • Bacillus anthracis is non-motile
  • Bacillus cereus is motile


Bacillus species are catalase positive. Catalase testing MUST be performed in a biosafety cabinet (BSC) due to the creation of aerosols.

India Ink:

India ink can reveal the capsule but testing is NOT recommended.