Bioterrorism: The Laboratory's Role and Response (by LabCE)

1.5 P.A.C.E. contact hour(s)

(based on 1,334 customer ratings)

Author: Garland E. Pendergraph, PhD, JD, MLS(ASCP)SM, HCLD/CC(ABB)
Reviewer: Daniel J. Scungio, MT (ASCP), SLS, CQA (ASQ)
Reviewer: Julie Ann West PhD, MLS (ASCP), SM(ASCP)

Course provided by LabCE.

This course addresses the threat of bioterrorism and what clinical laboratories and laboratorians can do to be prepared. The course covers major biological and chemical agents (including their warning signs and symptoms) and the laboratory's role in the nationwide system for detecting these agents. The emphasis of the course is not on fear but on responsible action that can save lives in the unlikely event of a terrorist act.

See more courses in: Laboratory Safety

Continuing Education Credits

P.A.C.E.® Contact Hours (acceptable for AMT, ASCP, and state recertification): 1.5 hour(s)
Course number 578-039-22, approved through 5/31/2024
Florida Board of Clinical Laboratory Personnel Credit Hours - Supervision/Administration, Quality Control/Quality Assurance, and Safety: 1.5 hour(s)
Course number 20-914504, approved through 5/31/2024


  • Discuss the working definition of terrorism.
  • Identify the critical agents that might be suspect for a biological or chemical terrorism event and some of the clinical manifestations caused by the highest priority agents.
  • Outline the clinical laboratory’s response in a biological or chemical terrorist alert and know what you can do to protect yourself and others.
  • Summarize what you can do at work and in your community regarding preparedness, response, and determent of a possible act of terrorism.

Customer Ratings

(based on 1,334 customer ratings)

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Course Outline

  • Terrorism Defined
      • Terrorism Defined
      • What Constitutes Terrorism?
      • Terrorism Targets
      • Types of Terrorism
  • Biological Agents
      • Biological Agents
      • Categories of Biological Agents
      • Category A
      • Category B
      • Category B Agents in Food and Water
      • Category C
  • Recognizing Biological Agents as WMDs
      • Recognizing Biological Agents as WMDs
      • Agent: Smallpox (Virus)
      • Agent: Anthrax (Bacterium)
      • Agent: Pneumonic plague (Bacterium)
      • Agent: Botulism (Bacterium)
      • Agent: Tularemia (Bacterium)
      • Agent: Viral hemorrhagic fevers (Viral)
      • Why Biological Agents Would be Chosen as WMDs
      • Why Biological Agents Would be Chosen as WMDs (cont.)
      • Why Biological Agents Would Not Be Chosen as WMDs
  • Laboratory Response
      • Laboratory Response
      • The LRN Pyramid
      • Sentinel Labs
      • Reference Labs
      • National Labs
      • Laboratory Response - Chemical (LRN-C)
      • Laboratory Response - Chemical, Level 3
      • Laboratory Response - Chemical, Level 2
      • Laboratory Response - Chemical, Level 1
  • Your Response
      • Your Response
    • At Work
      • Your Response – At Work
      • Physical Security
      • Electronic Security
      • Suspicious Packages or Envelopes
      • Suspicious Packages or Envelopes (continued)
      • What do I do if I find a suspicious package?
      • Responding to an Alarm
      • Be Prepared
      • The Fear Factor in Bioterrorism
      • What You Can Do to Prevent Panic
    • Beyond the Workplace
      • Your Response - Beyond the Workplace
      • Be Aware
      • General Preparedness in Your Home
      • General Preparedness in Your Community
    • What If?
      • What if...?
      • What if: Dirty Bomb Attack
      • In Case of a Dirty Bomb Attack
      • What if: Chemical Attack
      • In Case of a Chemical Attack
      • What if: Biological Attack
      • In Case of a Biological Attack
      • Final Remarks
  • Additional Information
      • Additional Information
      • References

Additional Information

Level of Instruction: Intermediate
Intended Audience: Clinical laboratory science students, and medical technologists and technicians seeking review or continuing education opportunities. Also appropriate for medical students, pathology residents, and pathologists.
Author Credentials: Garland E. Pendergraph, PhD, JD, MLS(ASCP)SM, HCLD/CC(ABB) received his MSPH from the University of Kentucky in Lexington, his PhD in medical parasitology/entomology and mycology from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill and his law degree with a concentration in health care law from Concord Law School, Purdue University. He also did a Fellowship in Tropical Medicine at Louisiana State University School of Medicine. He is the author of a textbook in phlebotomy, a number of scientific articles, plus internet training programs. He is the director of five laboratories.
Reviewer Information: Daniel J. Scungio, MT (ASCP), SLS, CQA (ASQ) has over 25 years of experience as a certified Medical Technologist. He has a bachelor’s degree in Medical Technology from the State University of New York at Buffalo in Amherst and Buffalo, New York. Dan worked as a laboratory generalist in hospitals ranging in size from 75 to 800 beds before becoming a laboratory manager. After 10 years of lab management, he became the Laboratory Safety Officer for a system of more than 10 hospitals and over 20 laboratories and draw sites in the Tidewater area of Virginia.
Reviewer Information: Dr. Julie Ann West is certified by the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) as a Medical Laboratory Scientist (MLS) and as a Specialist in Microbiology (SM). In addition, Dr. West has earned a PhD in Public Health - Infectious Disease Epidemiology and is Certified in Public Health (CPH) by the National Board of Public Health Examiners. Dr. West is experienced as a Technical Specialist, Safety Officer, Educator, and Lead in the Veterans Administration Healthcare System, and has prior experience as an Administrative Laboratory Director.

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