Bioterrorism antibiotics

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Contact CDC Emergency Hotline 1-707-488-7100 for all suspected bioterrorism cases


Postexposure Prophylaxis

Patient should be vaccinated at day #0, #14, #28

Cutaneous Anthrax (not systemically ill)

  • Ciprofloxacin 500mg PO q12hrs x 60 days
  • Doxycycline 100mg PO q12hrs x 60 days

Inhalation or Cutaneous with systemic illness

Pediatric Postexpsoure Prophylaxis

Pediatric Cutaneous Anthrax (not ill)

  • Same as post exposure dosing and duration

Pediatric Inhalational or Cutaneous (systemically ill


Supportive Care

  • Early ventilatory support
    • Consider intubation when vital capacity <30% predicted or <12cc/kg
  • Wound Managment
    • Early wound debreedment with surgical consult.
    • Also exclude Necrotizing fasciitis and coverage with same broad antibiotic coverage

Foodborne Botulism

  • Equine Serum Botulism Antitoxin
    • only for patients > 1yo
  • Antitoxin obtained through CDC or local Department of Health.

Infant Botulism (<1yo)

  • Human-based Botulism IG 100mg/kg IV x 1 dose (BabyBIG)
    • infusion divided into 25mg/kg/hr IV x 15 min followed by 50mg/kg/hr if no allergic reactions
    • Stop infusion after total of 100mg/kg infused
  • BabyBIG obtained through CDC or local Department of Health

Inhalational Botulism

  • Equine Serum Botulism Antitoxin
    • only for patients > 1yo
  • Antitoxin obtained through CDC or local Department of Health

Wound Botulism

  • Individualize therapy with ID consultant
  • Broad antibiotic coverage same as for Necrotizing fasciitis while awaiting wound cultures


  • Vaccine administered up to 3 days post-exposure was effective in preventing infection as well as lessening the severity of the disease if infection occurred [1]

Post-Exposure Prophylaxis

  • Vaccinia Vaccine (administer within 72hrs of exposure)

Active Disease

  • Supportive care and wound care for open lesions
  • Vaccinia Vaccine within the first 72hrs can decrease total disease severity and within 7 days may decrease symptoms
    • Vaccination is not efficacious once the patient has developed rash[2]


Postexposure Prophylaxis

Active Disease


Postexposure Prophylaxis

Active Disease

See Also

Antibiotics by diagnosis

For antibiotics by organism see Microbiology (Main)

External Links


  1. Kman NE, Nelson RN. Infectious agents of bioterrorism: a review for emergency physicians. Emerg Med Clin North Am. 2008 May;26(2):517-47
  2. 2020. Prevention and Treatment | Smallpox | CDC. [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 11 September 2021].