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Volume 8, Number 10—October 2002
THEME ISSUE
Bioterrorism-related Anthrax

Bioterrorism-related Anthrax

Surface Sampling Methods for Bacillus anthracis Spore Contamination

Wayne T. Sanderson*Comments to Author , Misty J. Hein*, Lauralynn Taylor*, Brian D. Curwin*, Gregory M. Kinnes*, Teresa A. Seitz*, Tanja Popovic*, Harvey T. Holmes*, Molly E. Kellum*, Sigrid K. McAllister*, David N. Whaley*, Edward A. Tupin†, Timothy Walker†, Jennifer A. Freed†, Dorothy S. Small‡, Brian Klusaritz‡, and John H. Bridges§
Author affiliations: *Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, USA; †Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, Atlanta, Georgia, USA; ‡The IT Corporation, Washington, D.C., USA; §United States Postal Service, Washington, D.C., USA;

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Figure 1

Sample instructions for collection of swab, wipe, and HEPA vacuum sock samples, Brentwood Mail Processing and Distribution Center, 2001. For specific location, investigator was given these instructions (exact text follows). Divide the selected space into three sections where each of the three types of surface samples (swab, wipe, HEPA vacuum sock) may be collected. Follow the random key above to designate which section will be sampled by each method and in which order the samples will be collected (follow top to bottom). Record the area of surface sampled by each method. The surface areas need not be equal, but should be sufficient to provide adequate sample collection for each method. Sample order for location was: 1) Collect the HEPA vacuum sock sample first and record surface area. After sampling, clean vacuum nozzle with alcohol and insert clean vacuum sock; remove this sock without sampling to serve as “contamination blank.” 2) Collect the WIPE sample second and record surface area. 3) Collect the SWAB samples third and record surface area. The first swab sample should be collected without moistening it. The second swab sample should be sampled pre-moistened. Take care not to overload swabs. 4) Collect an additional WIPE sample across the entire area which had been sampled by HEPA vacuum sock. 5).Collect an additional HEPA vacuum sock sample across the entire which had been sampled by WIPE.

Figure 1. Sample instructions for collection of swab, wipe, and HEPA vacuum sock samples, Brentwood Mail Processing and Distribution Center, 2001. For specific location, investigator was given these instructions (exact text follows). Divide the selected space into three sections where each of the three types of surface samples (swab, wipe, HEPA vacuum sock) may be collected. Follow the random key above to designate which section will be sampled by each method and in which order the samples will be collected (follow top to bottom). Record the area of surface sampled by each method. The surface areas need not be equal, but should be sufficient to provide adequate sample collection for each method. Sample order for location was: 1) Collect the HEPA vacuum sock sample first and record surface area. After sampling, clean vacuum nozzle with alcohol and insert clean vacuum sock; remove this sock without sampling to serve as “contamination blank.” 2) Collect the WIPE sample second and record surface area. 3) Collect the SWAB samples third and record surface area. The first swab sample should be collected without moistening it. The second swab sample should be sampled pre-moistened. Take care not to overload swabs. 4) Collect an additional WIPE sample across the entire area which had been sampled by HEPA vacuum sock. 5).Collect an additional HEPA vacuum sock sample across the entire which had been sampled by WIPE.

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