U.S. EPA, AND CDC. Comparison of Ultrafiltration Techniques for Recovering Biothreat Agents in Water. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC, EPA/600/R-11/103, 2011.
Intentional contamination of drinking water supplies is a concern for water utilities and federal, state, and local agencies tasked with protecting human health and the environment. Because relatively low levels of biothreat agents can cause human health effects, sensitive detection of these agents in drinking water is needed. Most rapid response analytical techniques assay small sample volumes or require high concentrations of analytes; therefore, to enable sensitive detection of biothreat agents large volumes of water should be collected and concentrated. Alternative large-volume water sampling techniques have been published for viruses , bacteria, and parasites, but the effectiveness of these methods are generally optimized for particular microbes types. However, in the event of a biological attack on a drinking water system, the biothreat agent may not be known with certainty and deployment of multiple sampling techniques would be a logistical challenge and resource intensive. For this reason, the U.S. EPA and U.S. CDC have worked together to investigate methods to enable rapid and sensitive analysis of water samples for diverse, unidentified biothreat agents. This is the final report for the EPA and CDC Biological Sample Preparation Collaboration Project to compare EPA and CDC ultrafiltration techniques for recovering biothreat agents in water.