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1.  A Rapid Antimicrobial Susceptibility Test for Bacillus anthracis▿  
An effective public health response to a deliberate release of Bacillus anthracis will require a rapid distribution of antimicrobial agents for postexposure prophylaxis and treatment. However, conventional antimicrobial susceptibility testing for B. anthracis requires a 16- to 20-h incubation period. To reduce this time, we have combined a modified broth microdilution (BMD) susceptibility testing method with real-time quantitative PCR (qPCR). The growth or inhibition of growth of B. anthracis cells incubated in 2-fold dilutions of ciprofloxacin (CIP) (0.015 to 16 μg/ml) or doxycycline (DOX) (0.06 to 64 μg/ml) was determined by comparing the fluorescence threshold cycle (CT) generated by target amplification from cells incubated with each drug concentration with the CT of the no-drug (positive growth) control. This ΔCT readily differentiated susceptible and nonsusceptible strains. Among susceptible strains, the median ΔCT values were ≥7.51 cycles for CIP and ≥7.08 cycles for DOX when drug concentrations were at or above the CLSI breakpoint for susceptibility. For CIP- and DOX-nonsusceptible strains, the ΔCT was <1.0 cycle at the breakpoint for susceptibility. When evaluated with 14 genetically and geographically diverse strains of B. anthracis, the rapid method provided the same susceptibility results as conventional methods but required less than 6 h, significantly decreasing the time required for the selection and distribution of appropriate medical countermeasures.
PMCID: PMC2897299  PMID: 20439614
2.  Quantitative evaluation of bacteria released by bathers in a marine water 
Water research  2006;41(1):3-10.
Enterococci, a common fecal indicator, and Staphylococcus aureus, a common skin pathogen, can be shed by bathers affecting the quality of recreational waters and resulting in possible human health impacts. Due to limited information available concerning human shedding of these microbes, this study focused on estimating the amounts of enterococci and S. aureus shed by bathers directly off their skin and indirectly via sand adhered to skin. Two sets of experiments were conducted at a marine beach located in Miami-Dade County, Florida. The first study, referred to as the “large pool” study, involved 10 volunteers who immersed their bodies in 4700 L during four 15 min cycles with exposure to beach sand in cycles 3 and 4. The “small pool” study involved 10 volunteers who were exposed to beach sand for 30 min before they individually entered a small tub. After each individual was rinsed with off-shore marine water, sand and rinse water were collected and analyzed for enterococci. Results from the “large pool” study showed that bathers shed concentrations of enterococci and S. aureus on the order of 6 × 105 and 6 × 106 colony forming units (CFU) per person in the first 15 min exposure period, respectively. Significant reductions in the bacteria shed per bather (50% reductions for S. aureus and 40% for enterococci) were observed in the subsequent bathing cycles. The “small pool” study results indicated that the enterococci contribution from sand adhered to skin was small (about 2% of the total) in comparison with the amount shed directly from the bodies of the volunteers. Results indicated that bathers transport significant amounts of enterococci and S. aureus to the water column, and thus human microbial bathing load should be considered as a non-point source when designing recreational water quality models.
PMCID: PMC2633726  PMID: 17113123
Recreational water; Bacteria indicators; Enterococci; Staphylococcus aureus; Bathers; Sediments; Beach sand; Non-point pollution sources; Water quality models
3.  First Case of Bioterrorism-Related Inhalational Anthrax in the United States, Palm Beach County, Florida, 2001 
Emerging Infectious Diseases  2002;8(10):1029-1034.
On October 4, 2001, we confirmed the first bioterrorism-related anthrax case identified in the United States in a resident of Palm Beach County, Florida. Epidemiologic investigation indicated that exposure occurred at the workplace through intentionally contaminated mail. One additional case of inhalational anthrax was identified from the index patient’s workplace. Among 1,076 nasal cultures performed to assess exposure, Bacillus anthracis was isolated from a co-worker later confirmed as being infected, as well as from an asymptomatic mail-handler in the same workplace. Environmental cultures for B. anthracis showed contamination at the workplace and six county postal facilities. Environmental and nasal swab cultures were useful epidemiologic tools that helped direct the investigation towards the infection source and transmission vehicle. We identified 1,114 persons at risk and offered antimicrobial prophylaxis.
PMCID: PMC2730309  PMID: 12396910
Anthrax; Bacillus anthracis; bioterrorism; nasal swab cultures; environmental cultures
4.  Bioterrorism-Related Anthrax: International Response by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 
Emerging Infectious Diseases  2002;8(10):1056-1059.
After reports of the intentional release of Bacillus anthracis in the United States, epidemiologists, laboratorians, and clinicians around the world were called upon to respond to widespread political and public concerns. To respond to inquiries from other countries regarding anthrax and bioterrorism, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention established an international team in its Emergency Operations Center. From October 12, 2001, to January 2, 2002, this team received 130 requests from 70 countries and 2 territories. Requests originated from ministries of health, international organizations, and physicians and included subjects ranging from laboratory procedures and clinical evaluations to assessments of environmental and occupational health risks. The information and technical support provided by the international team helped allay fears, prevent unnecessary antibiotic treatment, and enhance laboratory-based surveillance for bioterrorism events worldwide.
PMCID: PMC2730286  PMID: 12396915
anthrax; bioterrorism; international; Bacillus anthracis

Results 1-4 (4)