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Evaluation of Analytical Methods for the Detection of Bacillus Anthracis Spores: Compatibility with Real-World Samples Collected from Outdoor and Subway Surfaces
Calfee, Michael, S. Shah, S. Lee, Ronald Mickelsen, F. Cruz, K. Karim, J. Ackelsberg, M. Gemelli, AND K. Hofacre. Evaluation of Analytical Methods for the Detection of Bacillus Anthracis Spores: Compatibility with Real-World Samples Collected from Outdoor and Subway Surfaces. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC, EPA/600/R-19/083, 2019.
This report describes study findings where sample analysis approaches targeting Bacillus anthracis spores were challenged with real world samples collected from the New York City environment. The product describes performance expectations for current analytical approaches when challenged with real world samples. The results from this study will be useful to those analyzing samples collected following a bioterrorism incident by having an understanding that the culture results may be confounded by an overwhelming presence of background flora, obscuring the presence of B. anthracis spores.
This effort sought to assess the impact of potential real-world interferents (RWIs) present in Sponge-Stick and Vacuum Cassettes (VCF) samples on current culture and molecular analysis methods. Having an assessment of the impact, if any, will help EPA understand limitations of the current methods for contaminant spread and extent mapping and identify possible opportunities or needs for method improvement.