Skip all navigation Skip to page navigation

DHHS Home | Assistance | Divisions | About DHHS | DHHS Contacts

NC Department of Health and Human Services
State Laboratory of Public Health
N.C. Public Health Home

Bioterrorism: Agents of Concern

Bacillus anthracis

Banthracis Tenacious

Colony Characteristics

  • After 12-24 hour incubation @ 35-37°C on SBA, well isolated colonies are approximately 2-5 mm in diameter.
  • Colonies have "tenacious consistency" and "ground-glass" appearance.
  • Organism is rapid grower on most standard media, including SBA and CHOC.
  • Bacillus anthracis does not grow on MAC.


  • Encapsulated large gram-positive rods that form in chains.

Catalase Positive
Spore forming

Banthracis Gram Stain

Any sample that cannot be ruled out by these methods should be forwarded to the NCSLPH.

SLPH Bioterrorism Information