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Biosecur Bioterror. 2012 Jun;10(2):203-7. doi: 10.1089/bsp.2011.0055. Epub 2012 May 9.

A program against bacterial bioterrorism: improved patient management and acquisition of new knowledge on infectious diseases.

Author information

1
Department of Clinical Microbiology, Odense University Hospital, Odense, Denmark. michael.kemp@ouh.regionsyddanmark.dk

Abstract

In 2002 it was decided to establish laboratory facilities in Denmark for diagnosing agents associated with bioterrorism in order to make an immediate appropriate response to the release of such agents possible. Molecular assays for detection of specific agents and molecular and proteomic techniques for identification of bacteria were introduced as part of the program. All assays and techniques were made accessible for use in diagnosing patients, even when an intentional release was not suspected. Medical expertise on different diseases was established at the department as an integrated part of the program. The analyses included PCR assays for specific bacteria, identification of isolated bacteria by DNA sequencing, detection and identification of bacteria in clinical sample material by universal bacterial PCR and DNA sequencing, and identification of bacteria by mass spectrometry. The established analyses formed a basis on which a series of further developments was built. In addition to reducing the time for obtaining diagnoses and improving the accuracy of diagnosis of individual infected patients, the analyses provided new knowledge on the frequency and distribution of some bacterial infections, including Q fever, tularemia, trench fever, brucellosis, and melioidosis. The implementation of an antibioterrorism program in a clinical diagnostic setting improved the diagnostic possibilities for patients in Denmark and provided new epidemiologic information. It also introduced a number of diagnostic assays for bacterial infections not associated with bioterrorism that are difficult to culture or identify.

PMID:
22571372
DOI:
10.1089/bsp.2011.0055
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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