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Evaluation of Commercial-off-the-Shelf Materials for the Preservation of Gram Positive Vegetative Cells

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Technical Report,01 Oct 2015,31 Oct 2016

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Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center Aberdeen Proving Ground United States

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There is a pressing need to preserve the viability of biological threat agents collected in the field. Despite major gains in nucleic acid sequencing technologies, true positive identification of threat agents must be made through direct culture of the agents themselves. Materials have been developed to preserve the viability of pathogens contained within clinical samples, but many of these have not been examined for the ability to preserve biological materials relevant to the U.S. military e.g. Bacillus anthracis. The purpose of this study was to account for possible delays from sample collection to laboratory analysis that often occur in the field for military-relevant, Gram-positive vegetative cells. The current study evaluated the effectiveness of 17 different materials capable of allowing non-refrigerated storage of a sporulation-deficient strain of B. anthracis Sterne. The materials were evaluated for preservation effectiveness over a 14 day period at three different temperatures 4, 22, and 40 deg. C. Polymerase chain reaction analyses were performed on samples that did not show any viability at the end of the study to determine if nucleic acids were preserved. The study also evaluated the sampling efficiency and decay rates of B. anthracis vegetative cells that were spotted on two different surfaces.

Subject Categories:

  • Chemical, Biological and Radiological Warfare
  • Microbiology

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