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Protocol for Detection of Bacillus anthracis in Environmental Samples During the Remediation Phase of an Anthrax Incident, 2nd Edition
Shah, S. Protocol for Detection of Bacillus anthracis in Environmental Samples During the Remediation Phase of an Anthrax Incident, 2nd Edition. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC, 2017.
Bacillus anthracis, the bacterium that causes deadly anthrax infection, is one of the high-priority biological threat agents. In 2001, a high-consequence anthrax bioterrorism incident had occurred in the U.S. EPA was involved in a long and expensive decontamination and clean up response to this incident. In the incident of a natural, accidental or intentional biological contamination, the contaminated sites need to be effectively cleaned up before reoccupation. During the EPA response to such incidents, numerous environmental samples need to be collected for analysis. To effectively manage such a sample analysis demand during a potential future anthrax incident, the EPA needed its own detailed and step-by-step protocol. The EPA ORD’s National Homeland Security Research Center (NHSRC) addressed this need by preparing and publishing the Protocol for Detection of Bacillus anthracis in Environmental Samples During the Remediation Phase of an Anthrax Incident in 2012. This protocol includes three analytical methods for the detection of B. anthracis spores in various environmental samples, including drinking water. To simply detect the presence of the deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) of B. anthracis, real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) based method is included. To detect whether live B. anthracis spores are present in the samples, microbiological culture and the NHSRC’s Rapid Viability-PCR (RV-PCR) methods are included. This is the second edition of this protocol and includes updated methods based on further NHSRC research and development as well as the feedback from user laboratories. This protocol has been specifically developed for use by the EPA’s Environmental Response Laboratory Network (ERLN) managed by the EPA Office of Emergency Management (OEM) and the Water Laboratory Alliance (WLA) network managed by the EPA Office of Water (OW) for the analysis of environmental samples during an anthrax incident. This protocol can also be useful to other Federal Agencies’ laboratory networks for a national level need.
Report - Methods