alexa A rapid screening method for the detection of viable spores in powder using bioluminescence.
General Science

General Science

Journal of Bioterrorism & Biodefense

Author(s): Lee J, Deininger RA

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Abstract A rapid diagnosis of a biological threat in a powder sample is important for fi rst responders who have to make decisions on-site. The present culture-based method does not provide timely results, which is a critical barrier for a quick response when a suspicious powder sample is found. The ATP bioluminescence method, combined with a heat shock, was investigated to determine the presence of spores in powder. The results show that only spore-containing powder samples provided a dramatic increase in the bioluminescence signal after the heat shock, which induces germination of the spores. Various conditions were tested to fi nd the most effective and rapid germination procedure. Elevated temperatures (37 degrees C and 50 degrees C) were more effective in germination than room temperature. At 50 degrees C, a double-strength germinant was more effective in germination than the regular strength. The 37 degrees C/15 min procedure induced the germination of spores most effectively, while a 50 degrees C/2 min procedure provided reasonably high signals, so it could make the entire procedure even faster (< 5 min). The detection limit of the bioluminescence method is < 100 spores. Copyright 2004 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. This article was published in Luminescence and referenced in Journal of Bioterrorism & Biodefense

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