The Silent Guardian Demonstration
NAVAL RESEARCH LAB WASHINGTON DC CENTER FOR BIOMOLECULAR SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING
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From October 2004 through March 2005, the Naval Research Laboratory NRL transformed a research protocol for gene-based pathogen identification into a demonstration project called Silent Guardian. Silent Guardian executed a bio-surveillance operation in the Washington, DC, region during the weeks surrounding the 2005 Presidential inauguration. To perform this bio-surveillance, nasal wash specimens were collected from patients presenting with flu-like symptoms at six military clinics in the Military District Washington and taken to NRL for testing. Simultaneous analysis for both common respiratory pathogens and bioterrorism agents was performed 24 hours a day for two months. The Silent Guardian Demonstration achieved four major objectives 1 Pathogens were unequivocally identified from a general urban population within 24 hours 2 The ability to sequence genes from more than 20 pathogen species was demonstrated in a production mode 3 The capability of moving cutting edge technology from research to production within a six-week period was demonstrated by combined militarycivilian teams and 4 A clear path was identified that could lead to an automated, portable, user friendly system. This is the first documented application of DNA microarray technology to operational, broad-spectrum strain-level pathogen identification in an urban population.
- Medicine and Medical Research
- Chemical, Biological and Radiological Warfare