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Appl. Sci. 2012, 2(1), 13-23; doi:10.3390/app2010013
Article

Surface Sampling of a Dry Aerosol Deposited Ricin

1,* , 1
,
1
 and
2
1 Edgewood Chemical Biological Center, United States Army, Department of Defense, 5183 Blackhawk Road, Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD 21010, USA 2 Science Applications International Corporation, 1710 SAIC Drive, McLean, VA 22102, USA
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 8 December 2011 / Revised: 28 December 2011 / Accepted: 28 December 2011 / Published: 13 January 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers)
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Abstract

Sampling of small molecules from both porous and non-porous surfaces poses a significant challenge across biological agents. Particle sizes of toxins are smaller than living organisms and can be extremely toxic at low level concentrations. A small number of studies evaluating sampling efficiencies of commercial off the shelf (COTS) materials have been performed with toxins and proteins. However, they have been limited to non-ricin stimulants with drastically different physical properties than their native counterparts. We have identified a commercially available non-toxic recombinant ricin, complete with both A and B subunits present, which can be recognized by antibodies commonly used to assay native ricin. In evaluating recovery efficiency, we deposited the recombinant ricin by both liquid deposition, and as a dry aerosol. Our studies demonstrated a significant difference in recovery efficiencies from liquid deposited ricin, ranging between 30% and 70%, than from an aerosol generated deposition ranging from below detectable levels to 22%, depending on the contaminated surface and swab material being used. This study demonstrates the necessity for accurate dissemination techniques of sampling technologies for the consideration of use in an environment where suspected toxin contamination is being evaluated.
Keywords: surface sampling; recovery efficiency; bioterrorism; detection; ricin; toxin surface sampling; recovery efficiency; bioterrorism; detection; ricin; toxin
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Edmonds, J.M.; Collett, P.J.; Brown, R.L.; Mangaya, K. Surface Sampling of a Dry Aerosol Deposited Ricin. Appl. Sci. 2012, 2, 13-23.

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