Sample collection of virulent and non-virulent B. anthracis and Y. pestis for bioforensics analysis

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Validated sample collection methods are needed for recovery of microbial evidence in the event of accidental or intentional release of biological agents into the environment. To address this need, we evaluated the sample recovery efficiencies of two collection methods -- swabs and wipes -- for both non-virulent and virulent strains of B. anthracis and Y. pestis from four types of non-porous surfaces: two hydrophilic surfaces, stainless steel and glass, and two hydrophobic surfaces, vinyl and plastic. Sample recovery was quantified using Real-time qPCR to assay for intact DNA signatures. We found no consistent difference in collection efficiency between swabs or ... continued below

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Hong-geller, Elizabeth; Valdez, Yolanda E; Shou, Yulin; Yoshida, Thomas M; Marrone, Babetta L & Dunbar, John January 1, 2009.

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Validated sample collection methods are needed for recovery of microbial evidence in the event of accidental or intentional release of biological agents into the environment. To address this need, we evaluated the sample recovery efficiencies of two collection methods -- swabs and wipes -- for both non-virulent and virulent strains of B. anthracis and Y. pestis from four types of non-porous surfaces: two hydrophilic surfaces, stainless steel and glass, and two hydrophobic surfaces, vinyl and plastic. Sample recovery was quantified using Real-time qPCR to assay for intact DNA signatures. We found no consistent difference in collection efficiency between swabs or wipes. Furthermore, collection efficiency was more surface-dependent for virulent strains than non-virulent strains. For the two non-virulent strains, B. anthracis Sterne and Y. pestis A1122, collection efficiency was approximately 100% and 1 %, respectively, from all four surfaces. In contrast, recovery of B. anthracis Ames spores and Y. pestis C092 from vinyl and plastic was generally lower compared to collection from glass or stainless steel, suggesting that surface hydrophobicity may playa role in the strength of pathogen adhesion. The surface-dependent collection efficiencies observed with the virulent strains may arise from strain-specific expression of capsular material or other cell surface receptors that alter cell adhesion to specific surfaces. These findings contribute to validation of standard bioforensics procedures and emphasize the importance of specific strain and surface interactions in pathogen detection.

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  • Journal Name: Applied and Environmental Microbiology

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  • Report No.: LA-UR-09-00972
  • Report No.: LA-UR-09-972
  • Grant Number: AC52-06NA25396
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 956432
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc928187

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  • January 1, 2009

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  • Nov. 13, 2016, 7:26 p.m.

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  • Dec. 12, 2016, 1:08 p.m.

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Hong-geller, Elizabeth; Valdez, Yolanda E; Shou, Yulin; Yoshida, Thomas M; Marrone, Babetta L & Dunbar, John. Sample collection of virulent and non-virulent B. anthracis and Y. pestis for bioforensics analysis, article, January 1, 2009; [New Mexico]. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc928187/: accessed September 23, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.