Comprehensive Laboratory Evaluation of a Highly Specific Lateral Flow Assay for the Presumptive Identification of Bacillus anthracis Spores in Suspicious White Powders and Environmental Samples

Jason G. Ramage, Kristin W. Prentice, Lindsay Depalma, Kodumudi S. Venkateswaran, Sruti Chivukula, Carol Chapman, Melissa Bell, Shomik Datta, Ajay Singh, Alex Hoffmaster, Jawad Sarwar, Nishanth Parameswaran, Mrinmayi Joshi, Nagarajan Thirunavkkarasu, Viswanathan V Krishnan, Stephen Morse, Julie R. Avila, Shashi Sharma, Peter L. Estacio, Larry StankerDavid R. Hodge, Segaran P. Pillai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

We conducted a comprehensive, multiphase laboratory evaluation of the Anthrax BioThreat Alert® test strip, a lateral flow immunoassay (LFA) for the rapid detection of Bacillus anthracis spores. The study, conducted at 2 sites, evaluated this assay for the detection of spores from the Ames and Sterne strains of B. anthracis, as well as those from an additional 22 strains. Phylogenetic near neighbors, environmental background organisms, white powders, and environmental samples were also tested. The Anthrax LFA demonstrated a limit of detection of about 106 spores/mL (ca. 1.5 × 105 spores/assay). In this study, overall sensitivity of the LFA was 99.3%, and the specificity was 98.6%. The results indicated that the specificity, sensitivity, limit of detection, dynamic range, and repeatability of the assay support its use in the field for the purpose of qualitatively evaluating suspicious white powders and environmental samples for the presumptive presence of B. anthracis spores.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)351-365
Number of pages15
JournalHealth security
Volume14
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2016
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Safety Research
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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    Ramage, J. G., Prentice, K. W., Depalma, L., Venkateswaran, K. S., Chivukula, S., Chapman, C., Bell, M., Datta, S., Singh, A., Hoffmaster, A., Sarwar, J., Parameswaran, N., Joshi, M., Thirunavkkarasu, N., Krishnan, V. V., Morse, S., Avila, J. R., Sharma, S., Estacio, P. L., ... Pillai, S. P. (2016). Comprehensive Laboratory Evaluation of a Highly Specific Lateral Flow Assay for the Presumptive Identification of Bacillus anthracis Spores in Suspicious White Powders and Environmental Samples. Health security, 14(5), 351-365. https://doi.org/10.1089/hs.2016.0041