Vol. 8, No. 3
March 2016

Practicing preparedness

Detecting highly infectious agents that may be used in bioterrorism events may be a little known responsibility of laboratories that perform microbiological cultures, but it is one of the most critical. The Hygienic Laboratory provided 24 laboratorians from across the state specialized training to identify these agents on March 22 and 23 at its Identification of Bioterrorism Agents: Wet Workshop.

Petri dishes with inactive cultures of highly infectious diseases – such as Brucella canis – used in the Wet Workshop lie on a laboratory table.Staff from sentinel laboratories examine disease cultures. Sentinel labs are capable of analyzing or referring specimens that may contain microbial agents or biological toxins. Two attendees pose in the Hygienic Laboratory’s Center for the Advancement for Laboratory Science during the March 22 Wet Workshop session.A laboratorian uses a microscope to identify an inactive specimen of a highly infectious disease.Katherine Hebbeln, Hygienic Laboratory clinical lab technical specialist, discusses testing for select agents with a laboratorian.Clinical laboratorians choose from more than 40 inactive cultures to identify them as part of their training.Wade Aldous, Hygienic Laboratory Disease Control Division director, examines a culture of a specimen.