Practical Applications of New Laboratory Methods for Plague Investigations
FORT DETRICK FREDERICK MD
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Detection of virulence factors provides the basis for five newly developed laboratory methods which facilitate identification, isolation and characterization of the plague organism they are 1 the antiserum-agar plate technique, 2 pesticin assay agar, 3 magnesium oxalate agar, 4 Congo-red pigmentation agar, and 5 fibrinolytic assay plates. The first method utilizes fraction 1 antigen and the second utilizes pesticin I as the identifying trait for isolating Pasteurella pestis from primary culture plates of specimens. The other three methods provide information on virulence and VW antigen production, pigmentation and fibrinolytic activity, thereby permitting further characterization of the isolates as presumptively virulent, attenuated or avirulent. In this paper, the practical value of these methods for examination of clinical specimens is described and illustrated.