CDC Awards ATCC $16.9 Million Contract to Man CDC-IRR

If you fear the influenza virus will mutate and become a pandemic, you’ll be pleased to learn that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has awarded a $16.9 million one-year contract to American Type Culture Collection (ATCC) of Manassas, Va. to implement the CDC Influenza Reagent Resource (CDC-IRR), a secure, Web-based system intended to improve access to influenza viruses, test kits and other reagents for approved laboratories.

The system will allow researchers, developers and public health officials access to a repository of influenza viruses, including influenza viruses posing a potential pandemic risk, and kits and reagents (certain substances used in the testing process) through a secure Web portal for approved users.

In the event of an emerging pandemic, the CDC-IRR will serve as a source of reagents for qualified laboratories to provide additional support. During a pandemic, laboratories will play a critical role in detecting and confirming initial cases, characterizing viruses, monitoring the progression of the pandemic, and selecting vaccine strains.

This article was adapted from original CDC press release.

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