Dr. Norman G. Anderson’s comments on Dr. Michael Montague’s post of August 30:
Global Screening for Human Viral Pathogens has been described in detail in a CDC publication
Briefly the procedure includes nationwide routine collection of both normal and diagnostic sera, shipment of these to centralized laboratories for analysis, pooling of excess diagnostic sera now routinely discarded (amounting to hundreds of liters per week), recovery of the viral loads from 100 liter batches using the K-II centrifuge (which I developed in collaboration with the Gas Cenrifuge program at Oak Ridge), further concentration and purification using microgradient ultracentrifuges recently developed, shotgun sequencing of the concentrates, and data reduction and sequence reconstruction.
Assuming 1 ml per original donor, and ten centrifuges in parallel, one million cases can be scanned per run, assuming sufficient collection. The total viral load is concentrated down to less than the average volume of one original sample, hence the final concentration can approach that in each original viremic donor. In general viremia peaks with fever, hence the importance of obtaining samples on admission, as can be done here. The methods apply equally well to urine, and modifications apply to tissues. A complete concentration run takes less than three days. The objective is a running inventory of all viruses in circulation in man.
The K-II centrifuge is used world-wide to purify commercial vaccines, especially those for influenza. Much of this work depends on studies done on marine viruses. Organization of this work is proceeding in China.
Dr. Norman G. Anderson: President, and Founder of the Viral Defense Foundation. Atomic Energy Commission Citation and Gold Medal for the invention and development of the K-II vaccine-purification ultracentrifuge, 1972. Over 250 publications and 44 issued patents.