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Chapter 4 : The Role of Sampling in the Phases of a Biological Event: Fact and Fiction in an Airport Scenario

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Abstract:

This chapter examines the different sampling goals and strategies associated with each phase to provide an overall perspective and framework for understanding the role of environmental sampling in a biological event. Specific sampling methods are mentioned; however, the chapter is not intended to provide a comprehensive review of either sampling or analysis methods. A fictional airport scenario is provided in order to better convey the sampling issues and to place them in a realistic context. The airport scenario which follows is based on the discovery of physical evidence. The initial assessment phase may involve sequential sampling from the different groups involved in the response and investigation. The chapter provides a discussion that identifies some of the these groups and clarifies their roles. The location is classified as a crime scene, and access is restricted to law enforcement personnel in order to ensure that forensic evidence can be collected without compromise. As noted at the beginning of this chapter, incidents may be triggered not by the discovery of physical evidence but by reports of symptoms or disease. While the chapter focuses on sampling strategy, it is also important to remember that limitations in current sampling methods should be taken into consideration. Several positive clearance samples were obtained in one restricted baggage conveyor, requiring a round of recleaning and retesting per the provisions of the remedial action plan (RAP).

Citation: Gillen M. 2008. The Role of Sampling in the Phases of a Biological Event: Fact and Fiction in an Airport Scenario, p 73-94. In Emanuel P, Roos J, Niyogi K (ed), Sampling for Biological Agents in the Environment. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817473.ch4
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Figures

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Figure 1

Suspicious white-powder incident at an airport baggage claim area. The illustration combines the initial observed event and the later step of cordoning off the area around the baggage carousel.

Citation: Gillen M. 2008. The Role of Sampling in the Phases of a Biological Event: Fact and Fiction in an Airport Scenario, p 73-94. In Emanuel P, Roos J, Niyogi K (ed), Sampling for Biological Agents in the Environment. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817473.ch4
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Image of Figure 2
Figure 2

Handheld assays are antibody-based tests that are often employed in the field to give presumptive information about a sample.

Citation: Gillen M. 2008. The Role of Sampling in the Phases of a Biological Event: Fact and Fiction in an Airport Scenario, p 73-94. In Emanuel P, Roos J, Niyogi K (ed), Sampling for Biological Agents in the Environment. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817473.ch4
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References

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1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2001. Evaluation of Bacillus anthracis contamination inside the Brentwood Mail Processing and Distribution Center—District of Columbia, October, 2001. Morb. Mortal. Wkly. Rep. 50:11291133.
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3. Congressional Research Service. The BioWatch Program: Detection of Bioterrorism. Congressional Research Service report RL 32152. http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/terror/RL32152.html.
4. Department of Homeland Security. 2004. Biological Incident Annex. National Response Plan, p. 2. Department of Homeland Security, Washington, DC.
5. Dewan, P. K.,, A. M. Fry,, K. Laserson,, B. C. Tierney,, C. P. Quinn,, J. A. Hayslett, et al. 2002. Inhalational anthrax outbreak among postal workers, Washington, D.C., 2001. Emerg. Infect. Dis. 8:10661072. http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/EID/vol8no10/02-0330.htm.
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8. Government Accountability Office. 2005. Anthrax Detection—Agencies Need to Validate Sampling Activities in Order to Increase Confidence in Negative Results. GAO-05-251. U.S. Government Accountability Office, Washington, DC.
9. Hsu, V. P.,, S. L. Lukocs,, T. Handzel, et al. 2002. Opening a Bacillus anthracis containing envelope, Capitol Hill, Washington, D.C.: the public health response. Emerg. Infect. Dis. 8:10391043.
10. Kaufmann, A. F.,, M. I. Meltzer,, and G. P. Schmid. 1997. The economic impact of a bioterrorist attack: are prevention and postattack intervention programs justifiable? Emerg. Infect. Dis. 3:8394.
11. McKernan, J. L.,, L. Taylor,, J. McCammon,, R. Hartle,, and M. Gressel. 2003. Cross-contamination issues during a biological emergency response effort: lessons learned. Int. J. Emerg. Manag. 1:363373.
12. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. 2002. Comprehensive Procedures for Collecting Environmental Samples for Culturing Bacillus anthracis. http://www.bt.cdc.gov/Agent/Anthrax/environmental-sampling-apr2002.pdf.
13. National Research Council. 2005. Reopening Public Facilities after a Biological Attack: a Decision Making Framework. National Academies Press, Washington,DC.
14. Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. Visual Sample Plan home page. http://dqo.pnl.gov/index.htm.
15. Sandia National Laboratories. Sandia Tool Speeds up Environmental Cleanup, Reopening of Contaminated Facilities. Accessed 8 August 2006. http://www.sandia.gov/news/resources/releases/2006/broom-commercial.html.
16. Weis, C. P.,, A. J. Intrepido,, A. K. Miller,, P. G. Cowin,, M. A. Durno,, S. Gebhardt,, and R. Bull. 2002. Secondary aerosolization of viable Bacillus anthracis spores in a contaminated US Senate office. JAMA 288:28532858.

Tables

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Table 1

Sampling strategies

Citation: Gillen M. 2008. The Role of Sampling in the Phases of a Biological Event: Fact and Fiction in an Airport Scenario, p 73-94. In Emanuel P, Roos J, Niyogi K (ed), Sampling for Biological Agents in the Environment. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817473.ch4

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