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Aberdeen Proving Ground, IL, United States

Kilianski A.,Edgewood Chemical and Biological Center | O'Rourke A.T.,Emergency Preparedness and Response Unit | Carlson C.L.,Emergency Preparedness and Response Unit | Parikh S.M.,Emergency Preparedness and Response Unit | Shipman-Amuwo F.,Sinai Health System
Biosecurity and Bioterrorism | Year: 2014

Increasing threats of bioterrorism and the emergence of novel disease agents, including the recent international outbreaks of H7N9 influenza and MERS-CoV, have stressed the importance and highlighted the need for public health preparedness at local, regional, and national levels.To test plans that were developed for mass prophylaxis scenarios, in April 2013 the Cook Country Department of Public Health (CCDPH) and the Triple Community (TripCom) Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) executed a full-scale mass prophylaxis exercise in response to a simulated anthrax bioterrorism attack.The exercise took place over 2 days and included the TripCom Point-of-Dispensing (POD) Management Team, volunteers from the TripCom MRC, and neighboring public health departments and MRCs.Individuals from the community volunteered as actors during the exercise, while local municipal, police, and fire personnel coordinated their responses to create the most realistic simulation possible.The exercise was designed to test the capacity of TripCom and CCDPH to implement plans for organizing municipal staff and volunteers to efficiently distribute prophylaxis to the community.Based on results from POD clinic flow, accuracy of prophylaxis distribution, and observations from evaluators, the exercise was successful in demonstrating areas that were operationally efficient as well as identifying areas that can be improved on.These include improvements to the just-in-time training for POD staff, the health screening and consent forms handed out to patients, the physical setup of the POD, and the command structure and communication for the management of POD operations.This article demonstrates the need for full-scale exercises and identifies gaps in POD planning that can be integrated into future plans, exercises, and emergency response.© 2014 Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. Source

Blatny J.,FFI Fotsvarets | Fountain III A.W.,Edgewood Chemical and Biological Center
Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering | Year: 2011

To provide useful information during military operations, or as part of other security situations, a biological aerosol detector has to respond within seconds or minutes to an attack by virulent biological agents, and with low false alarms. Within this time frame, measuring virulence of a known microorganism is extremely difficult, especially if the microorganism is of unknown antigenic or nucleic acid properties. Measuring "live" characteristics of an organism directly is not generally an option, yet only viable organisms are potentially infectious. Fluorescence based instruments have been designed to optically determine if aerosol particles have viability characteristics. Still, such commercially available biological aerosol detection equipment needs to be improved for their use in military and civil applications. Air has an endogenous population of microorganisms that may interfere with alarm software technologies. To design robust algorithms, a comprehensive knowledge of the airborne biological background content is essential. For this reason, there is a need to study ambient live bacterial populations in as many locations as possible. Doing so will permit collection of data to define diverse biological characteristics that in turn can be used to fine tune alarm algorithms. To avoid false alarms, improving software technologies for biological detectors is a crucial feature requiring considerations of various parameters that can be applied to suppress alarm triggers. This NATO Task Group will aim for developing reference methods for monitoring biological aerosol characteristics to improve alarm algorithms for biological detection. Additionally, they will focus on developing reference standard methodology for monitoring biological aerosol characteristics to reduce false alarm rates. © 2011 SPIE. Source

Grant Glover T.,SAIC | Peterson G.W.,Edgewood Chemical and Biological Center | Schindler B.J.,SAIC | Britt D.,University of California at Los Angeles | Yaghi O.,University of California at Los Angeles
Chemical Engineering Science | Year: 2011

Metal organic framework (MOF-74) analogs have been synthesized using cobalt, magnesium, nickel, and zinc metal centers. The capability of these materials to remove ammonia, cyanogen chloride, and sulfur dioxide from air has been evaluated via fixed-bed breakthrough testing in both dry and humid conditions. Octane breakthrough tests were performed to determine the physisorption capacities of the materials. All materials were stored in air prior to use. Dynamic breakthrough capacities of the analogs were compared to 13X zeolite and BPL activated carbon. The impact of the metal center on the adsorption behavior is illustrated with each analog providing different ammonia and cyanogen chloride adsorption capacities. The results provide an important step in the assessment of the potential of MOFs to function as porous adsorbent materials. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Swietnicki W.,Bethesda University | Carmany D.,Battelle | Retford M.,Edgewood Chemical and Biological Center | Guelta M.,Edgewood Chemical and Biological Center | And 4 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2011

Yersinia pestis is a Gram negative zoonotic pathogen responsible for causing bubonic and pneumonic plague in humans. The pathogen uses a type III secretion system (T3SS) to deliver virulence factors directly from bacterium into host mammalian cells. The system contains a single ATPase, YscN, necessary for delivery of virulence factors. In this work, we show that deletion of the catalytic domain of the yscN gene in Y. pestis CO92 attenuated the strain over three million-fold in the Swiss-Webster mouse model of bubonic plague. The result validates the YscN protein as a therapeutic target for plague. The catalytic domain of the YscN protein was made using recombinant methods and its ATPase activity was characterized in vitro. To identify candidate therapeutics, we tested computationally selected small molecules for inhibition of YscN ATPase activity. The best inhibitors had measured IC50 values below 20 μM in an in vitro ATPase assay and were also found to inhibit the homologous BsaS protein from Burkholderia mallei animal-like T3SS at similar concentrations. Moreover, the compounds fully inhibited YopE secretion by attenuated Y. pestis in a bacterial cell culture and mammalian cells at μM concentrations. The data demonstrate the feasibility of targeting and inhibiting a critical protein transport ATPase of a bacterial virulence system. It is likely the same strategy could be applied to many other common human pathogens using type III secretion system, including enteropathogenic E. coli, Shigella flexneri, Salmonella typhimurium, and Burkholderia mallei/pseudomallei species. Source

Roy E.,Rigaku Raman Technologies Inc. | Wilcox P.G.,Edgewood Chemical and Biological Center | Hoffland S.,Edgewood Chemical and Biological Center | Pardoe I.,EXCET INC.
Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering | Year: 2015

Raman spectroscopy is a powerful tool for obtaining molecular structure information of a sample. While Raman spectroscopy is a common laboratory based analytical tool, miniaturization of opto-electronic components has allowed handheld Raman analyzers to become commercially available. These handheld systems are utilized by Military and First Responder operators tasked with rapidly identifying potentially hazardous chemicals in the field. However, one limitation of many handheld Raman detection systems is strong interference caused by fluorescence of the sample or underlying surface which obscures the characteristic Raman signature of the target analyte. Munitions grade chemical warfare agents (CWAs) are produced and stored in large batches and typically have more impurities from the storage container, degradation, or unreacted precursors. In this work, Raman spectra of munitions grade CWAs were collected using a handheld Raman spectrometer with a 1064 nm excitation laser. While Raman scattering generated by a 1064 nm laser is inherently less efficient than excitation at shorter wavelengths, high quality spectra were easily obtained due to significantly reduced fluorescence of the munitions grade CWAs. The spectra of these less pure, but more operationally relevant, munitions grade CWAs were then compared to spectra of CASARM grade CWAs, as well as Raman spectra collected using the more common 785 nm excitation laser. © 2015 SPIE. Source

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