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The page below is a sample from the LabCE course Preliminary Identification of the Primary Select Agents of Bioterrorism. Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

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Role of a Sentinel Laboratory

The role of a sentinel laboratory is to utilize standardized testing protocols to rule-out critical biological agents and refer them to one of the Laboratory Response Network (LRN) reference laboratories, such as public health laboratories, for confirmation.
In the event that a potential agent of bioterrorism is suspected, the appropriate internal staff should be notified and then contact your LRN reference laboratory.
The sentinel laboratory should NOT:
  • Make the decision that a bioterrorism event has occurred
  • Contact law enforcement or public health officials