P1 lab facility A basic laboratory such as could be found lining the hallways of university science departments, found within the centers for disease control and prevention's high-security laboratories.

P2 lab facility A laboratory within the centers FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION^ high-security laboratories. Entry is limited to trained, authorized personnel who perform research work under hoods that suck air away from the experiment, up a ventilator duct, and past scrubbers that disinfect the air with ultraviolet light and microscopically gridded fibers.

P-3 biosafety level Applicable to clinical, teaching, research, or production facilities in which work is done with agents that may cause serious or potentially lethal reactions as a result of exposure by inhalation. Special airflows and filters and an antechamber with a sink, must be installed. protective garments must always be worn, and nothing may be taken out of the room without being sterilized. See P1 lab facility; P2 lab facility; P3 lab


P3 lab facility A lab within the centers for disease control and prevention's high-security laboratories in which scientists perform high-security research. Researchers are generally required to pass through a series of guarded locked doors, presenting their security pass for entry. All personnel shower before and after entry with disinfectant soap and wear head-to-toe protective clothing, a gauze face mask, double latex gloves, and a radiation badge that monitors levels of exposure to isotopes used in research. One enters the inner core of the facility after passing through two or more double air-locked doors lined with microbe-killing ultraviolet lights. Rooms in the inner core of the facility are generally kept under pressure and direct all air—and all microbes—toward special ventilators in which the microbes are destroyed by ultraviolet lights. The remaining air is filtered through several layers of sheets that strain out anything bigger than a large molecule.

p24 A protein antigen from HIV's core. The p24 level can be measured in blood and other body fluids; this level has been used to monitor viral activity. This is not considered a very accurate method, however, due to the existence of p24 antibody that binds with the antigen and makes it undetectable.

p24 antigen test A laboratory test (also called the p24 antigen capture assay) that detects the presence of HIV in the blood. p24 is one of the several proteins that make up HIV; its presence therefore indicates the presence of HIV. This test is not especially sensitive, and most people with HIV infection test negative.

Levels of p24 are highest early and late in the disease. The number of HIV viruses is likewise highest at those times. Some physicians therefore suggest that the p24 antigen test might help track the course of the disease in people with HIV infection. It might identify people with HIV infection who are likely to develop symptoms and who are most likely to transmit the virus to others. It might also help evaluate response to antiviral drugs.

P450 enzyme system This is the system of enzymes, located in the liver and the intestines, responsible for the processing in the body of

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