Bill Kournikakis

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Parameters of a plaque assay for avirulent strains of Newcastle disease virus (NDV) were optimized for reproducibility and optimum titer in LLC-MK2 cells. Plaques were visible after 2 days and maximum virus titers were reached in 3 days. Virus titers were not affected by continued incubation through 6 days, although plaque size increased. An adsorption(More)
Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) is characterized by a risk of nosocomial transmission; however, the risk of airborne transmission of SARS is unknown. During the Toronto outbreaks of SARS, we investigated environmental contamination in SARS units, by employing novel air sampling and conventional surface swabbing. Two polymerase chain reaction(More)
On October 12, 2001, two envelopes containing Bacillus anthracis spores passed through a sorting machine in a postal facility in Washington, D.C. When anthrax infection was identified in postal workers 9 days later, the facility was closed. To determine if exposure to airborne B. anthracis spores continued to occur, we performed air sampling around the(More)
CONTEXT The recent events increasing the threat of bioterrorism have prompted a widespread search for defenses against this peril. OBJECTIVE To evaluate the anthrax-protective effect of beta1,3-glucan immune modulators (PGG-glucan and WGP beta glucan) in an experimental animal model. DESIGN Beta1,3-glucan immune modulators were administered by(More)
This report is the first detailed and quantitative study of potential mitigation procedures intended to deal with anthrax letters using a simulated anthrax letter release within an actual office building. Spore aerosols were created by opening letters containing 0.1 g of dry powdered Bacillus atrophaeus spores. Culturable aerosol samples were collected(More)
The induction of mucosal immune responses by a liposome-formulated Y. pestis vaccine (formaldehyde-killed whole cell vaccine; KWC) was evaluated. We demonstrated that intranasal immunization of mice with Y. pestis KWC vaccine, formulated with liposomes, significantly enhanced mucosal immune responses in the lung when compared to the responses induced with(More)
Dry anthrax spore powder is readily disseminated as an aerosol and it is possible that passive dispersion when opening a letter containing anthrax spores may result in lethal doses to humans. The specific aim of this study was to quantify the respirable aerosol hazard associated with opening an envelope/letter contaminated with a dry spore powder of the(More)
Chemiluminescent assays have been used to quantify phagocytic activity since 1972. In recent years these assays have been adapted to the 96-well microplate format as new luminometers have been developed. In this report we describe the optimization of a lucigenin enhanced phagocyte chemiluminescent assay using a Titertek Luminoskan. Factors such as cell(More)
In 2001, letters filled with a powder containing anthrax (Bacillus anthracis) spores were delivered by mail to a number of governmental and media locations within the United States. In response, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provided guidelines for office personnel who might encounter a letter containing suspicious powder. These(More)
Microbial forensics is a relatively new scientific discipline dedicated to analysing microbiological evidence from a crime for attribution purposes. It builds on traditional microbiology and epidemiology but within a legal framework. Important motives for forensic investigations include interdiction of criminals, prosecution of justice, and ideally,(More)