Methods of collecting suspected material vary with the nature and source,
that is, living or dead tissue, body secretions, water, and material from
Sampling varies with the method of agent release, such as
aerosols from spray devices or bombs. If the agent is released as an
aerosol, every effort should be made to obtain a sample as near the point
of release as possible.
The number, as well as the viability of the
microorganisms in an aerosol, will decrease with the passage of time and
distance from the point of release.
Samples of vegetation, water, and other material on which the agent has
impacted may be of value in helping confirm the identity of the agent.
The samples contain interfering contamination and yield a smaller number
of microorganisms than were present in the original aerosol.
samples should be taken as soon after release and as near the point of
release as possible.
Vegetation, water, and other solid and liquid
samples are collected by placing contaminated portions of each in sterile
Samples from contaminated surfaces may be obtained by
rubbing the surfaces with a sterile moistened cotton Swab and placing it
in a sterile, capped container. Samples should be sent to the nearest
designated laboratory for identification by the fastest method.
The identification of microorganisms is a difficult and time-consuming
process. The methods used are generally dependent upon obtaining living
confirm the identity of a microorganism.
The identification phase of
detection is accomplished to determine which of the possible
antipersonnel agents were used in an attack. Identification can aid in:
Confirming that an attack has taken place.
Determining the proper therapy to combat agent effects on
Estimating the expected number and type of casualties in the
Determining the time-to-casualties, if the time of the attack
Epidemiology is the study of the aspects of disease and is used during
epidemics or sudden outbreaks of disease.
Epidemiology is the least
desirable phase in determining that a biological attack