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Title: Perspective on Improving Environmental Monitoring of Biothreats

Abstract

For more than a decade, the United States has performed environmental monitoring by collecting and analyzing air samples for a handful of biological threat agents (BTAs) in order to detect a possible biological attack. This effort has faced numerous technical challenges including timeliness, sampling efficiency, sensitivity, specificity, and robustness. The cost of city-wide environmental monitoring using conventional technology has also been a challenge. A large group of scientists with expertise in bioterrorism defense met to assess the objectives and current efficacy of environmental monitoring and to identify operational and technological changes that could enhance its efficacy and cost-effectiveness, thus enhancing its value. The highest priority operational change that was identified was to abandon the current concept of city-wide environmental monitoring because the operational costs were too high and its value was compromised by low detection sensitivity and other environmental factors. Instead, it was suggested that the focus should primarily be on indoor monitoring and secondarily on special-event monitoring because objectives are tractable and these operational settings are aligned with likelihood and risk assessments. The highest priority technological change identified was the development of a reagent-less, real-time sensor that can identify a potential airborne release and trigger secondary tests of greatermore » sensitivity and specificity for occasional samples of interest. This technological change could be transformative with the potential to greatly reduce operational costs and thereby create the opportunity to expand the scope and effectiveness of environmental monitoring.« less

Authors:
; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1505947
Report Number(s):
PNNL-SA-141654
Journal ID: ISSN 2296-4185
DOE Contract Number:  
AC05-76RL01830
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Journal Name:
Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 6; Journal ID: ISSN 2296-4185
Publisher:
Frontiers Research Foundation
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English

Citation Formats

Dunbar, John, Pillai, Segaran, Wunschel, David, Dickens, Michael, Morse, Stephen A., Franz, David, Bartko, Andrew, Challacombe, Jean, Persons, Timothy, Hughes, Molly A., Blanke, Steve R., Holland, Robin, Hutchison, Janine, Merkley, Eric D., Campbell, Katrina, Branda, Catherine S., Sharma, Shashi, Lindler, Luther, Anderson, Kevin, and Hodge, David. Perspective on Improving Environmental Monitoring of Biothreats. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.3389/fbioe.2018.00147.
Dunbar, John, Pillai, Segaran, Wunschel, David, Dickens, Michael, Morse, Stephen A., Franz, David, Bartko, Andrew, Challacombe, Jean, Persons, Timothy, Hughes, Molly A., Blanke, Steve R., Holland, Robin, Hutchison, Janine, Merkley, Eric D., Campbell, Katrina, Branda, Catherine S., Sharma, Shashi, Lindler, Luther, Anderson, Kevin, & Hodge, David. Perspective on Improving Environmental Monitoring of Biothreats. United States. doi:10.3389/fbioe.2018.00147.
Dunbar, John, Pillai, Segaran, Wunschel, David, Dickens, Michael, Morse, Stephen A., Franz, David, Bartko, Andrew, Challacombe, Jean, Persons, Timothy, Hughes, Molly A., Blanke, Steve R., Holland, Robin, Hutchison, Janine, Merkley, Eric D., Campbell, Katrina, Branda, Catherine S., Sharma, Shashi, Lindler, Luther, Anderson, Kevin, and Hodge, David. Tue . "Perspective on Improving Environmental Monitoring of Biothreats". United States. doi:10.3389/fbioe.2018.00147.
@article{osti_1505947,
title = {Perspective on Improving Environmental Monitoring of Biothreats},
author = {Dunbar, John and Pillai, Segaran and Wunschel, David and Dickens, Michael and Morse, Stephen A. and Franz, David and Bartko, Andrew and Challacombe, Jean and Persons, Timothy and Hughes, Molly A. and Blanke, Steve R. and Holland, Robin and Hutchison, Janine and Merkley, Eric D. and Campbell, Katrina and Branda, Catherine S. and Sharma, Shashi and Lindler, Luther and Anderson, Kevin and Hodge, David},
abstractNote = {For more than a decade, the United States has performed environmental monitoring by collecting and analyzing air samples for a handful of biological threat agents (BTAs) in order to detect a possible biological attack. This effort has faced numerous technical challenges including timeliness, sampling efficiency, sensitivity, specificity, and robustness. The cost of city-wide environmental monitoring using conventional technology has also been a challenge. A large group of scientists with expertise in bioterrorism defense met to assess the objectives and current efficacy of environmental monitoring and to identify operational and technological changes that could enhance its efficacy and cost-effectiveness, thus enhancing its value. The highest priority operational change that was identified was to abandon the current concept of city-wide environmental monitoring because the operational costs were too high and its value was compromised by low detection sensitivity and other environmental factors. Instead, it was suggested that the focus should primarily be on indoor monitoring and secondarily on special-event monitoring because objectives are tractable and these operational settings are aligned with likelihood and risk assessments. The highest priority technological change identified was the development of a reagent-less, real-time sensor that can identify a potential airborne release and trigger secondary tests of greater sensitivity and specificity for occasional samples of interest. This technological change could be transformative with the potential to greatly reduce operational costs and thereby create the opportunity to expand the scope and effectiveness of environmental monitoring.},
doi = {10.3389/fbioe.2018.00147},
journal = {Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology},
issn = {2296-4185},
number = ,
volume = 6,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {10}
}