The University of Toledo Department of Biological Sciences will host a workshop titled “Agents of Bioterrorism: Sentinel Training for Clinical Laboratories” Friday, Nov. 17, in Bowman-Oddy Laboratories.
The workshop will provide an overview of the sentinel clinical laboratory’s role in the identification of primary agents of bioterrorism and will emphasize how to safely handle suspect organisms in clinical specimens and cultures.
“Currently, very few labs in northwest Ohio are qualified to handle samples contaminated with bioterrorism agents,” said Dr. Bruce Bamber, associate professor and chair of the UT Department of Biological Sciences. “Protocols must be in place for the rapid and safe collection, handling, analysis, transport and storage of samples. Increasing the number of qualified medical testing laboratories increases the speed and effectiveness of our response to potential bioterrorism attacks in the northwest Ohio region.”
The Ohio Department of Health is hosting this workshop at various locations throughout the state to train practitioners of medical laboratory testing to respond safely and effectively to potential bioterrorism attacks.
“There is a clear need for expertise in the area of how to handle requests, handle specimens, identify potential bioterrorism agents, and report back to response agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Homeland Security, the Ohio Department of Health, and the patient’s physician,” Bamber said. “This expertise is needed to maintain a high state of general preparedness in case a bioterrorism attack takes place.”
The event is co-sponsored by the National Laboratory Training Network and the Ohio Department of Health Laboratory.