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Processing Protocol for Soil Samples Potentially Contaminated with Bacillus anthracis Spores
U.S. EPA. Processing Protocol for Soil Samples Potentially Contaminated with Bacillus anthracis Spores . US Environmental Protection Agency, Cincinnati, OH, 2017.
Identifying B. anthracis in soil is difficult due to many microorganisms, organics, and humic acids in soil which can interfere with detection assays. The density of the target microorganisms in environmental samples is not always abundant, so methods that can detect B. anthracis in soil with lower limits of detection than are currently available are needed. Even the most sensitive detection assays will be ineffective without an appropriate processing protocols to help remove interferents prior to analysis. USGS and USEPA collaborated on development of a protocol to recover and concentrate B. anthracis spores from bulk environmental 45g and 9g soil samples. The protocol is designed to separate and concentrate the spores from the soil into a pellet that can be used for further analysis. Soil extraction solution (SES) and mechanical shaking are used to disrupt soil particle aggregates and to aid in the separation of spores from soil particles. The 45 g protocol has demonstrated a matrix limit of detection at 14 spores/gram of soil for loamy and sandy soils, which is lower than many of the available processing protocols currently available. The method has been included in EPA’s Selected Analytical Methods for Environmental Remediation and Recovery (SAM) document, which identifies analytical methods to be used by laboratories performing analyses of environmental and building material samples following a contamination incident.
Method Operating Procedures
URLs/Downloads:Processing Protocol for Soil Samples Potentially Contaminated with Bacillus anthracis Spores (PDF,28 pp, 774 KB, about PDF)
Record Details:Record Type: DOCUMENT (PUBLISHED REPORT/METHODOLOGY)
Organization:U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
NATIONAL HOMELAND SECURITY RESEARCH CENTER
THREAT AND CONSEQUENCE ASSESSMENT DIVISION