CASE CLOSED … what really happened in the 2001 anthrax attacks?

* In Week 9, the week (September 24th, 2001) the rabbits were shipped from Covance to USAMRIID Building 1425, Suite B3, how long did it take to bleed the 52 rabbits involved in the formaldehyde study?

Posted by DXer on January 4, 2012



8 Responses to “* In Week 9, the week (September 24th, 2001) the rabbits were shipped from Covance to USAMRIID Building 1425, Suite B3, how long did it take to bleed the 52 rabbits involved in the formaldehyde study?”

  1. DXer said

    The Animal Protocol B01-11 produced to me on November 13, 2013 explains:

    “Animals will be challenged by the s.c. route under conditions of BL-3 level biocontainment. … The agent used in this protocol will be virulent Ames strain of B. anthracis.”

    The FBI’s cotton candy “Ivins Theory” was premised on its claim that Dr. Ivins had no reason to be in the B3. The premise was incorrect.

    “s.c. route” means subcutaneous route. It was because challenge was by injection that it did not need to be done in the aerobiology building 1412 and could be done in building 1425, where Ivins’ B3 was located.

    Dr. Ivins preferred challenge by injection because it required fewer rooms and fewer personnel to conduct a challenge. see uploaded email.

  2. DXer said

    September 24 would have been week 5 (rather than 9) — with some scheduled bleeding done at USAMRIID for the later weeks. My mistake.

    I have the data for when the rabbits were at Covance — prior to shipping on September 24 — available to upload.

  3. DXer said

    I don’t know anything about bleeding rabbits, its purpose, how long it takes, or who was specified to do it. And I will need a copy of the unredacted, finally executed animal protocol for the rabbit formaldehyde experiment to see the mandated procedure.

    But I know about giving my guinea pig a hair cut. I tell her in advance that she has a salon appointment scheduled — but she’s always traumatized. “Wheek!” “Wheek!”

  4. BugMaster said

    Wouldn’t the bleed procedure be cardiac puncture rather than ear bleed? I would assume it would depend on how much material was needed.

    Rabbit anti-rpa-102 antibody would be needed to support the rpa-102 vaccine development process. In regards to the September 18th bleedings at Covance, would they not have involved cardiac puncture? (More material is recovered via cardiac puncture, and it is not fatal to the rabbit if done properly).

    As horrible as this procedure sounds, I have been told by an associate that once trained, it is not that traumatic to the rabbits, can be done repeatedly over time, and doesn’t put them at that much risk.

    But then, that is just one source of information. I will check again to confirm.

    • BugMaster said

      “once trained” of course, refers to the technician, not the wabbit!

    • DXer said

      No. I quote the paragraphs below as to when the ear bleed was used and when the cardiac puncture was used. Ear bleed was used the week of the 24th and cardiac puncture was used in week of October 1st. Cardiac puncture “is It is not an acceptable method for blood sampling purposes.” See rabbit formaldehyde protocol quoted below (which in turn is based on applicable SOPs).

  5. DXer said

    I have requested the USAMRIID SOP in effect for October 2001 and that request is pending.

    But the SOPs are developed by the ACUC and so while we await the authoritative guidance admissible in federal district court, let me borrow from the SOP used in a local laboratory in these parts.

    Sedate rabbit with 1 mg/kg of Acepromazine IM 15 minutes prior to blood draw.
    Place the rabbit in the restrainer.
    Shave or gently pluck the fur over the vessel.
    Rub or tap the area with your finger to dilate the vessel.
    Clean the skin with alcohol.
    Holding the needle with two fingers, penetrate the vein or artery with a small 20 or 22 gauge needle with the bevel up. Sampling of blood from the vein should be performed as close to the base of the ear as possible, whereas sampling from the artery should be performed nearer to the tip of the ear. Additional attempts can be made distally toward the ear tip for the vein and proximally toward the base for the artery. (See diagram.)
    Allow the arterial blood to drip from the needle hub and free catch it in an appropriate collection tube.
    After collecting the desired amount, apply pressure in the site to create hemostasis (clothes pin works well) for at least 2 minutes.
    Flip the ear back and forth to assure that bleeding will not re-start.
    Only release animal from restrainer when bleeding has completely stopped and no hematoma is formed.
    Log necessary information in the Rabbit Use Record.
    Complete anesthesia-operative report . Complete Anesthesia Monitoring/Surgery/Post Operative Form. Complete post-operative/anesthesia report.
    Check rabbit 15 min. to ½ hour later after being returned to cage.

    Now however long this takes, one would multiply it times 52 rabbits in estimating how long it would take to bleed the rabbits in week 9 (the week of September 24th).

    • DXer said

      The protocol for the study involving rabbits and formaldehyde above explains that “exsanguinating by cardiac stick” is done in connection with a rabbit when it dies. While we await for the USAMRIID promulgated SOP on the precise procedure, let’s consider a typical terminal cardiac blood collection SOP from a local research university involving rabbits.


      Intracardiac puncture for large volume blood collection is limited to terminal procedures only and is performed under general anesthesia. It is not an acceptable method for blood sampling purposes.
      Syringes (5-60 ml) with hypodermic needles (20-25G)
      Evacuated containers with 16-18G needles
      Anesthetic drugs – Ketamine HCl (100 mg/ml) and Xylazine (20 mg/ml)
      Isopropyl Alcohol
      Anesthetize rabbit with Ketamine/Xylazine at 35/5 mg/kg IM respectively.
      Once the animal is in surgical plane of anesthesia, lay animal on its back using the restraining board.
      Prep area with alcohol swab and insert needle at base of sternum (under the Xiphoid) at a 30-45° angle just lateral to the midline (rabbit’s left side). See diagram.
      Or, the needle can be inserted into the lateral thoracic region toward the area of maximal heart palpitation between ribs of rabbit’s left side midway between sternum and back under left elbow.
      If using syringe, aspirate slowly the desired amount. If using evacuated container, open clamp on collection set, the blood should flow quickly into the container. The animal succumbs to exsanguination.
      Verify that heart has stopped. If it is still beating, euthanize with Fatal Plus IV or intracardiac (100 mg/kg). This will ensure that the heart has stopped prior to disposal

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