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U.S. Plague Fatality 'Isolated' Lab Incident, New Report Confirms
Date:6/29/2011

Center in Omaha, noted that genetic research advances now allow investigators to rapidly assess epidemiological concerns in such cases.

"Our ability to investigate this kind of situation, and perform the genetic tests that identify the underlying susceptibility of an individual, would not have been possible even a few years ago," he said.

"In fact, just a few years ago we might have been very, very concerned about this," Hinrichs said. "But because we could actually genotype this individual and prove that he had this mutation, the explanation for this outcome is totally acceptable and understandable."

More information

For more on the plague, visit the U.S. National Institutes of Health.

SOURCES: Karen Frank, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor, and director, clinical microbiology and immunology laboratories, department of pathology, University of Chicago Medical Center, Chicago; Steven Hinrichs, M.D., chairman, department of pathology and microbiology, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha; June 30, 2011, New England Journal of Medicine


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