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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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Electron micrograph of smallpox viruses image courtesy of CDC

Role of a Sentinel Laboratory Regarding Toxins and Viruses

Always follow your facilities procedures and contact your Laboratory Response Network (LRN) reference laboratory for guidance with regard to the toxins and viruses that may be used as bioterrorism agents.

A sentinel laboratory should NOT attempt to:

  • Accept or process environmental or animal samples
  • Culture from clinical specimens or detect for these agents
  • Collect specimens for suspect viruses unless directed by a public health official

The laboratory testing listed on the following pages is intended ONLY as information. For suspect specimen collection, contact your LRN reference laboratory for guidance before collecting or referring specimens.