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Volume 8, Number 10—October 2002
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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Table 1

Sample summary statistics for Bacillus anthracis culture analysis, Brentwood Mail Processing and Distribution Center, December 17–19, 2001

Method No. samples tested B. anthracis detected
(%) Rangeb
(CFU/cm2) Medianb
(CFU/cm2) Levela
Negative Low Medium High
Dry swab 28 4 (14) 0.45–232.5 60.9 24 1 1 2
Wet swab 67 36 (54) 0.78–232.5 15.5 31 4 14 18
HEPAvacuum 64 51 (80) 0.3–81,000 23.1 13 9 14 28
Wipe 67 58 (87) 0.02–232.5c 5.4 9 9 36 13

aLevel of B. anthracis (CFU/cm2): negative = 0, low = 0.1–1.6, medium=1.7–15.5, and high=>15.5.
bPositive samples only.
c232.5 CFU/cm2 is the maximum value considered too numerous to count for a concentration; 300 CFU is the maximum value considered too numerous to count for a culture.

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