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Proceedings Paper

Growth medium for the rapid isolation and identification of anthrax
Author(s): Johnathan L. Kiel; Jill E. Parker; Teri R. Grubbs; John L. Alls
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Paper Abstract

Anthrax has been recognized as a highly likely biological warfare or terrorist agent. The purpose of this work was to design a culture technique to rapidly isolate and identify `live' anthrax. In liquid or solid media form, 3AT medium (3-amino-L-tyrosine, the main ingredient) accelerated germination and growth of anthrax spores in 5 to 6 hours to a point expected at 18 to 24 hours with ordinary medium. During accelerated growth, standard definitive diagnostic tests such as sensitivity to lysis by penicillin or bacteriophage can be run. During this time, the bacteria synthesized a fluorescent and thermochemiluminescent polymer. Bacteria captured by specific antibody are, therefore, already labeled. Because living bacteria are required to generate the polymer, the test converts immunoassays for anthrax into viability assays. Furthermore, the polymer formation leads to the death of the vegetative form and non-viability of the spores produced in the medium. By altering the formulation of the medium, other microbes and even animal and human cells can be grown in it and labeled (including viruses grown in the animal or human cells).

Paper Details

Date Published: 28 July 2000
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 4036, Chemical and Biological Sensing, (28 July 2000); doi: 10.1117/12.394054
Show Author Affiliations
Johnathan L. Kiel, Air Force Research Lab. (United States)
Jill E. Parker, Air Force Research Lab. (United States)
Teri R. Grubbs, Air Force Research Lab. (United States)
John L. Alls, Veridian, Inc. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4036:
Chemical and Biological Sensing
Patrick J. Gardner, Editor(s)

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