Bacillus anthracis spores have been used as biological weapons and the possibility of their further use requires surveillance systems that can accurately and reliably detect their presence in the environment. These systems must collect samples, process the samples, and detect the spores. Suitable reference materials will allow the testing of each of these steps to determine the sensitivity and specificity of the detection systems. The development of uniform and well-characterized reference materials will allow the comparison of different devices and technologies as well as assure the continued performance of detection systems. This paper discusses the special requirements of reference materials for Bacillus anthracis spores that could be used for testing detection systems. The detection of Bacillus anthracis spores is based on recognition of specific characteristics (markers) on either the spore surface or in the nucleic acids (DNA). We have reviewed the specific markers and their relevance to characterization of reference materials. We have also included the approach for the characterization of candidate reference materials that we are developing at the NIST laboratories. Additional applications of spore reference materials would include testing sporicidal treatments, techniques for sampling the environment and remediation of spore-contaminated environments.
Citation: Journal of Research (NIST JRES) -
NIST Pub Series: Journal of Research (NIST JRES)
Pub Type: NIST Pubs
anthrax, Bacillus anthracis, bacteria, biological threat, detection, reference materials, spores