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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 218708 Find in a Library
Title: Preliminary Findings on the Evaluation of Hand-Held Immunoassays for Bacillus anthracis and Yersinia Pestis
Corporate Author: Counterterrorism and Forensic Science Research Unit
Laboratory Division
United States of America
Date Published: January 2003
Page Count: 4
Sponsoring Agency: Counterterrorism and Forensic Science Research Unit
Quantico, VA
US Dept of Justice Federal Bureau of Investigation
Quantico, VA 22135
Sale Source: US Dept of Justice Federal Bureau of Investigation
Laboratory Branch
2501 Investigation Parkway
Quantico, VA 22135
United States of America
Document: HTML
Type: Test/Measurement
Format: Document (Online)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This paper reports on a comparison of the sensitivity, specificity, repeatability, robustness, and stability of six kits of commercially available hand-held immunoassays (HHAs) for the detection of Bacillus anthracis and Yersinia pestis, which are the causative agents of anthrax and plague, respectively.
Abstract: The low sensitivity, the high level of possible cross-reactivity with environmental bacteria, and the failure to detect dangerous species of Bacillus anthracis and Yersinia pestis limit the usefulness of these hand-held assays. All of the HHAs gave false-positive results with at least one bacterial species that was not the target organism. Further evaluation with environmental samples collected from a wide geographical region is warranted in order to better define the specificity of the HHAs. Further, the number of organisms reported to produce disease in humans was much fewer than the lower limit of consistent detection for both types of assays. Additionally, some HHAs were incapable of detecting infectious agents that cause anthrax and plague. The HHAs are intended for use during the emergency-response phase of a suspected or potential exposure to a biological threat. HHAs are small test strips that contain antibodies to a specific biological agent. A suspect sample is suspended in a liquid supplied with the test assay. The liquid suspension is then applied to the test strip and allowed to develop for approximately 15 minutes. If a biological threat agent is present within the sample, a colored band will appear on the test strip. A quality control test is built into all the strips in order to indicate whether the assay materials are working properly.
Main Term(s): Police emergency procedures
Index Term(s): Biological weapons; Communicable diseases; Equipment evaluation; Investigative techniques; Terrorist tactics; Terrorist weapons
Note: From Forensic Science Communications, N 1, V 5, January 2003; downloaded June 5, 2007.
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