In light of the evolving national response efforts to COVID–19, we regret to inform you that the following workshops have been canceled. APHL and Georgia Department of Public Health staff will be meeting to determine when these workshops can be rescheduled.

​Georgia Public Health Laboratory
Decatur, GA
8:30 am - 5:00 pm


April 30, 2020


May 5, 2020


May 7, 2020


Georgia Department of Public Health
Association of Public Health Laboratories

​About Agents of Bioterrorism: Sentinel Training for Clinical Laboratories

This one-day, intermediate-level, hands-on workshop will provide an overview of the sentinel clinical laboratory’s role in the presumptive identification of the primary agents of bioterrorism. Laboratory exercises will demonstrate the culture, staining and biochemical characteristics of Bacillus, Burkholderia, Yersinia, Brucella, and Francisella species. The safety implications of handling suspect organisms in clinical isolates and culture and suspect toxins will be emphasized. Policies related to chain-of-custody specimens will be reviewed. View the course flyer for more information.​

At the conclusion of this program, participants will be able to​:

  • Discuss the role of the clinical laboratorian in the presumptive identification of organisms and toxins targeted for use in bioterrorism.
  • Explain the safety implications of handling suspect samples in clinical specimens and isolates.
  • Identify culture, staining, and biochemical characteristics of the primary agents likely to be involved in a bioterrorist event including, Bacillus anthracis, Brucella spp., Burkholderia spp., Francisella tularensis, and Yersinia pestis.
  • Describe the development and implementation of lab-specific biosafety and biosecurity plans in hospital facilities utilizing federal recommendations and guidelines.
  • Outline the process for contacting appropriate personnel and transporting samples suspected of containing Variola major (smallpox), or ricin or botulinum toxins to the Georgia Public Health Laboratory.


Georgia Department of Public Health, Georgia Public Health Laboratory

  • Mathews Athiyal, MS, MB(ASCP), Biosafety Officer, Training Coordinator
  • Suresh Pai, Ph.D., M(ASCP), Emergency Preparedness Unit Director

Who Should Attend

This program is designed for the microbiologist with bench-level clinical microbiology experience, with preference given to applicants that have not attended the course in the past. Only persons with experience working in the laboratory setting will be permitted to attend.

Continuing Education Credit

APHL is approved as a provider of continuing education programs in the clinical laboratory sciences by the ASCLS P.A.C.E.® Program. Participants who successfully complete each program will be awarded 7.5 contact hours. P.A.C.E.® is accepted by all licensure states except Florida.

To receive continuing education credit, you must view the program and complete the online evaluation within 30 days of the event.

​Special Accommodations

Individuals seeking special accommodations should submit a request in writing to at least three weeks prior to the course. For more information call 800.536.NLTN (6586) or 240.485.2727.

Registration Information

Registra​ti​on is free, but must be completed a week prior to the seminar. If you have difficulty with the online registration process, please refer to these instructions or contact Marisa Barley at or 240.485.384​3.