First step towards detecting exposure to biowarfare agents

March 11, 2003

BALTIMORE - March 11, 2003 - Army researchers are laying the groundwork for what one day could be a test to identify individuals who have been exposed to biological agents. They present their findings today at the American Society for Microbiology's Biodefense Research Meeting.

"Recent events have demonstrated that assessing exposure to a biological threat agent well in advance of onset of illness or at various stages post-exposure would be an important capability to have among the diagnostic options," says Marti Jett of the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, the scientist directing the study.

After exposure to a biological agent an individual's cells begin to react almost immediately. This reaction is characterized by a unique combination of genes activated or expressed in response to the organism. Jett and colleagues from Walter Reed and the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases have identified the unique gene expression patterns from human cells induced in response to 8 different biothreat agents.

"The overall objective has been to create a library of host gene expression responses typical of various biological threat and infectious agents and to begin to correlate gene patterns to predict course of impending illness," says Jett. "New technology currently can be used to profile approximately 400 genes in a few hours. This offers possibilities utilizing host gene expression responses for rapid detection of potentially exposed individuals."
-end-
The American Society for Microbiology (ASM) is the largest single life science society, composed of over 42,000 scientists, teachers, physicians, and health professionals. Its mission is to promote research and training in the microbiological sciences and to assist communication between scientists, policymakers, and the public to improve health, economic well being, and the environment.

Further information on the ASM Biodefense Research Meeting can be found online at www.asmbiodefense.org.

American Society for Microbiology

Related Infectious Diseases Articles from Brightsurf:

Understanding the spread of infectious diseases
Physicists at M√ľnster University (Germany) have shown in model simulations that the COVID-19 infection rates decrease significantly through social distancing.

Forecasting elections with a model of infectious diseases
Election forecasting is an innately challenging endeavor, with results that can be difficult to interpret and may leave many questions unanswered after close races unfold.

COVID-19 a reminder of the challenge of emerging infectious diseases
The emergence and rapid increase in cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), a respiratory illness caused by a novel coronavirus, pose complex challenges to the global public health, research and medical communities, write federal scientists from NIH's National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Certain antidepressants could provide treatment for multiple infectious diseases
Some antidepressants could potentially be used to treat a wide range of diseases caused by bacteria living within cells, according to work by researchers in the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine and collaborators at other institutions.

Opioid epidemic is increasing rates of some infectious diseases
The US faces a public health crisis as the opioid epidemic fuels growing rates of certain infectious diseases, including HIV/AIDS, hepatitis, heart infections, and skin and soft tissue infections.

Infectious diseases could be diagnosed with smartphones in sub-Saharan Africa
A new Imperial-led review has outlined how health workers could use existing phones to predict and curb the spread of infectious diseases.

The Lancet Infectious Diseases: Experts warn of a surge in vector-borne diseases as humanitarian crisis in Venezuela worsens
The ongoing humanitarian crisis in Venezuela is accelerating the re-emergence of vector-borne diseases such as malaria, Chagas disease, dengue, and Zika virus, and threatens to jeopardize public health gains in the country over the past two decades, warn leading public health experts.

Glow-in-the-dark paper as a rapid test for infectious diseases
Researchers from Eindhoven University of Technology (The Netherlands) and Keio University (Japan) present a practicable and reliable way to test for infectious diseases.

Math shows how human behavior spreads infectious diseases
Mathematics can help public health workers better understand and influence human behaviors that lead to the spread of infectious disease, according to a study from the University of Waterloo.

Many Americans say infectious and emerging diseases in other countries will threaten the US
An overwhelming majority of Americans (95%) think infectious and emerging diseases facing other countries will pose a 'major' or 'minor' threat to the U.S. in the next few years, but more than half (61%) say they are confident the federal government can prevent a major infectious disease outbreak in the US, according to a new national public opinion survey commissioned by Research!America and the American Society for Microbiology.

Read More: Infectious Diseases News and Infectious Diseases Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.