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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 2

Dry swab versus other sampling methods for 28 locations, Brentwood postal facility, December 17–19, 2001

Method Dry swab
No. concordant samplesa
No. discordant samplesb
Positive (%) Negative (%) Dry positive Dry negative rsc p valued
Wet swab 4 (14) 15 (54) 0 9 0.43 0.024
HEPA vacuum 4 (14) 5 (18) 0 19 0.21 0.282
Wipe 4 (14) 5 (18) 0 19 0.07 0.719

aTwo samples from the same location are concordant if both positive or both negative for Bacillus anthracis spores.
bTwo samples from the same location are discordant if one is positive and the other negative for B. anthracis spores.
crs denotes Spearman’s correlation coefficient between level of B. anthracis (CFU/cm2) obtained by using the dry swab method and the level of B. anthracis obtained by using the comparison sampling method.
dp value for null hypothesis of zero correlation.

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