All members of the Bacillus genus produce endospores as part of their life cycle; however, it is not possible to determine the identity of spores by casual or morphological examination. The 2001 anthrax attacks demonstrated a need for fast, dependable methods for detecting Bacillus anthracis spores in vitro and in vivo. We have developed a variety of isotypes and specificities of mAbs that were able to distinguish B. anthracis spores from other Bacillus spores. The majority of Abs were directed toward BclA, a major component of the exosporium, although other components were also distinguished. These Abs did not react with vegetative forms. Some Abs distinguished B. anthracis spores from spores of distantly related species in a highly specific manner, whereas others discriminated among strains that are the closest relatives of B. anthracis. These Abs provide a rapid and reliable means of identifying B. anthracis spores, for probing the structure and function of the exosporium, and in the analysis of the life cycle of B. anthracis. Copyright © 2006 by The American Association of Immunologists, Inc.