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PROTOCOL FOR DETECTION OF FRANCISELLA TULARENSIS IN ENVIRONMENTAL SAMPLES DURING THE REMEDIATION PHASE OF A TULAREMIA INCIDENT
Shah, S. PROTOCOL FOR DETECTION OF FRANCISELLA TULARENSIS IN ENVIRONMENTAL SAMPLES DURING THE REMEDIATION PHASE OF A TULAREMIA INCIDENT. U.S. EPA Office of Research and Development, Washington, DC, 2019.
This is the first ever open-access and detailed protocol available to all government departments and agencies, and their contractors to detect Francisella tularensis, the pathogen that causes tularemia, from multiple environmental sample types including water. The open-access availability of this protocol will help increase the lab capability and capacity for the EPA. Also, the use of this protocol by all participant laboratories will allow easy comparison and interpretation of sample analysis results, which in turn, will help local and state public health agencies, environmental unit leaders, and risk assessors in decision-making during a response to an incident.
Francisella tularensis, the bacterium that causes Tularemia infection, is a high-priority bioterrorism agent. There is no step‐by‐step analytical protocol for detection of Francisella tularensis in environmental samples that can be used by the EPA’s Environmental Response Laboratory Network (ERLN), Water Laboratory Alliance (WLA), and their contract laboratories during a response to an intentional or accidental Tularemia incident. The protocol will include three different analytical methods: 1) Real‐time PCR; 2) Culture; and 3) Rapid Viability PCR. The protocol will address analysis of environmental sample types such as air filter, surface wipes, sponge‐ sticks, swabs, and water.