While the cultivation and the direct isolation of the bacterium from VX-680 purchase environmental samples can be difficult and time-consuming HDAC inhibitor compared to molecular methods, e.g. PCR, it is still considered the most sensitive method for the detection of B. anthracis in environmental samples . In fact, the biomolecular methods based on the amplification of DNA extracted directly from the environmental sample are not very sensitive. It is known that the spores release their DNA with much difficulty and, furthermore, the examined sample may contain chemicals or organic substances that might interfere with the processes of amplification . Finally, the sensitivity
of this method is limited by the very small amount of extract which can be examined . In this work we report the results of a qualitative analytical method capable of detecting very low levels of B. anthracis environmental contamination. We compare the Ground Anthrax Bacillus Refined Isolation (GABRI) method with the classic method as described in the OIE Terrestrial Manual 2012. The comparison involved artificially anthrax-contaminated soil samples as well as naturally contaminated soil samples collected in farms of Bangladesh that had suffered from confirmed outbreaks of anthrax . Methods Ethics statement Experiments described in this paper, previously authorized
by the Italian Ministry of Health, (DSVET 0003319-P-13/06/2011), have been conducted without using animals. NSC23766 in vitro Preparation of anthrax spores The pathogen strain A0843 of B. anthracis was seeded on sporulation agar  and incubated at 37°C for 24 hours and then at 23°C. Every 10 days it was tested to verify the level
of sporulation and when it reached around 90%, the spores were collected in a sterile saline solution. After three washes, the the suspension was incubated at 56°C for 20 min to eliminate any residual vegetative forms. Preparation of artificially contaminated soil samples About 500 grams of soil were collected from the public gardens of the city of Foggia (Italy). The sample was tested and found negative for B. anthracis. Twelve aliquots of 7.5 grams each were prepared and 500 spores of the B. anthracis strain A0843 were added to each aliquot. Six aliquots were examined by the classic method and six aliquots were examined by the GABRI method. Naturally contaminated soil samples In December 2010, eight farms were visited in Bangladesh where there had been confirmed anthrax outbreaks earlier in the year . Soil samples were collected from selected sites on these farms and were sent for analysis to the Reference Anthrax Institute (Foggia, Italy). The list of samples is reported in Table 1. Table 1 Naturally anthrax spore-contaminated soil samples examined by the classic method at three dilution levels and by the GABRI method Soil sample (Subdistricts of Bangladesh) CFU of B.