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Chapter 5 : Surface Sampling

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Abstract:

This chapter covers the following topics: surface sampling approaches, interpretation of results, preparation of surface sampling kits and tools, and an approach to handling suspicious-powder incidents. Two basic elements must be present in any plan to collect biological agents: the use of sterile equipment and the use of the aseptic technique. To ensure the reliability of the results, it is critical to ensure that the media, solutions, and sample containers are sterile and remain sterile until they contain sample material. The methods presented in the chapter include HEPA vacuum collection socks, microvacuuming, and bulk collection. As noted, the publications discussed here illustrate the need to evaluate each sampling device for its intended use and recovery of specific agents. Included in the chapter is a list of the materials needed to collect up to 50 samples from a variety of media for a variety of biological agents. Although surface sampling appears to be a simple task, the chapter conveys some of the complexities involved in obtaining samples and interpreting the information gathered from them. At the end of the day, a good sampling strategy for the various investigation phases, a consistent approach, an understanding of the limitations of the different sampling methods, and a thorough knowledge of the target organism are the most important factors in obtaining the best possible information from a surface sampling event.

Citation: Busher A, Noble-Wang J, Rose L. 2008. Surface Sampling, p 95-131. In Emanuel P, Roos J, Niyogi K (ed), Sampling for Biological Agents in the Environment. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817473.ch5
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Figures

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Figure 1

Sponges. Clockwise from top left: premoistened cellulose sponge (Solar Biologicals, Ogdensburg, NY); all-purpose gauze sponge (Kendall Healthcare, Mansfield, MA); Spongesicle (Biotrace, Bothell, WA).

Citation: Busher A, Noble-Wang J, Rose L. 2008. Surface Sampling, p 95-131. In Emanuel P, Roos J, Niyogi K (ed), Sampling for Biological Agents in the Environment. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817473.ch5
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Image of Figure 2
Figure 2

Swabs. From top to bottom: macrofoam applicator (Critical) swab (VWR International, West Chester, PA); cotton-tipped applicator swab (Baxter Healthcare Corp., McGaw Park, IL); polyester fiber-tipped applicator swab (Becton Dickinson and Company, Sparks, MD); rayon-tipped applicator swab (Hardwood Products Company LLC, Guilford, ME).

Citation: Busher A, Noble-Wang J, Rose L. 2008. Surface Sampling, p 95-131. In Emanuel P, Roos J, Niyogi K (ed), Sampling for Biological Agents in the Environment. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817473.ch5
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Figure 3

An X-Cell 200 HEPA vacuum sample kit with filter sock and disposable nozzle assembly (Midwest Filtration Co., Cincinnati, OH).

Citation: Busher A, Noble-Wang J, Rose L. 2008. Surface Sampling, p 95-131. In Emanuel P, Roos J, Niyogi K (ed), Sampling for Biological Agents in the Environment. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817473.ch5
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Figure 4

A Micro-Vac, a 37-mm microvacuum cassette (SKC, Inc., Eighty Four, PA).

Citation: Busher A, Noble-Wang J, Rose L. 2008. Surface Sampling, p 95-131. In Emanuel P, Roos J, Niyogi K (ed), Sampling for Biological Agents in the Environment. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817473.ch5
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Figure 5

A personal sample pump (SKC Inc., Eighty Four, PA).

Citation: Busher A, Noble-Wang J, Rose L. 2008. Surface Sampling, p 95-131. In Emanuel P, Roos J, Niyogi K (ed), Sampling for Biological Agents in the Environment. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817473.ch5
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References

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30. Rotz, L. D.,, A. S. Khan,, S. R. Lillibridge,, S. M. Ostroff,, and J. M. Hughes. 2002. Public health assessment of potential biological terrorism agents. Emerg. Infect. Dis. 8:225230.
31. Russell, A. D., 2001. Principles of antimicrobial activity and resistance, p. 3156. In S. S. Block (ed.), Disinfection, Sterilization, and Preservation, 5th ed. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Philadelphia, PA.
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33. Sanderson, W. T.,, M. J. Hein,, L. Taylor,, B. D. Curwin,, G. M. Kinnes,, T. A. Seitz, et al. 2002. Surface sampling methods for Bacillus anthracis spore contamination. Emerg. Infect. Dis. 8:11451151. http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/EID/vol8no10/02-0382.htm.
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1. Butcher, W.,, and D. Ulaeto. 2005. Contact inactivation of orthopoxviruses by household disinfectants. J. Appl. Microbiol. 99:279284.
2. Lytle, C. D.,, and J. L. Sagripanti. 2005. Predicted inactivation of viruses of relevance to biodefense by solar radiation. J. Virol. 79:1424414252.
1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Anthrax: How To Recognize and Handle a Suspicious Package or Envelope. www.bt.cdc.gov/agent/anthrax/.
2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2001. Update: investigation of bioterrorism-related anthrax and interim guidelines for exposure management and antimicrobial therapy, October 2001. Morb. Mortal. Wkly. Rep. 50:909919.
3. Federal Bureau of Investigation. Guidance on Initial Responses to a Suspicious Letter/Container with a Potential Biological Threat. FBI/DHS/HHS/CDC Coordinated Document. www.bt.cdc.gov/planning/pdf/suspicious-package-biothreat.pdf.

Tables

Generic image for table
Table 1

Neutralizing agents a

Citation: Busher A, Noble-Wang J, Rose L. 2008. Surface Sampling, p 95-131. In Emanuel P, Roos J, Niyogi K (ed), Sampling for Biological Agents in the Environment. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817473.ch5
Generic image for table
Table 2

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services list of select agents a

Citation: Busher A, Noble-Wang J, Rose L. 2008. Surface Sampling, p 95-131. In Emanuel P, Roos J, Niyogi K (ed), Sampling for Biological Agents in the Environment. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817473.ch5
Generic image for table
Table 3

Comparison of surface sampling methods for select biological agents a

Citation: Busher A, Noble-Wang J, Rose L. 2008. Surface Sampling, p 95-131. In Emanuel P, Roos J, Niyogi K (ed), Sampling for Biological Agents in the Environment. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817473.ch5
Generic image for table
Table 4

List of supplies for a biological-agent sampling kit

Citation: Busher A, Noble-Wang J, Rose L. 2008. Surface Sampling, p 95-131. In Emanuel P, Roos J, Niyogi K (ed), Sampling for Biological Agents in the Environment. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817473.ch5
Generic image for table
Table 5

Contact information for possible suppliers

Citation: Busher A, Noble-Wang J, Rose L. 2008. Surface Sampling, p 95-131. In Emanuel P, Roos J, Niyogi K (ed), Sampling for Biological Agents in the Environment. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817473.ch5
Generic image for table
Table C1

Guidance on initial responses to a suspicious letter or container with a potential biological threat a

Citation: Busher A, Noble-Wang J, Rose L. 2008. Surface Sampling, p 95-131. In Emanuel P, Roos J, Niyogi K (ed), Sampling for Biological Agents in the Environment. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817473.ch5
Generic image for table
Table C2

Handling of suspicious packages or envelopes a

Citation: Busher A, Noble-Wang J, Rose L. 2008. Surface Sampling, p 95-131. In Emanuel P, Roos J, Niyogi K (ed), Sampling for Biological Agents in the Environment. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817473.ch5

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