News from the FDA/CDC

FDA invites sample submission for FDA-ARGOS database


The Food and Drug Administration has invited submission of pathogen samples for its Database for Reference Grade Microbial Sequences (FDA-ARGOS), which seeks to support research and regulatory decisions regarding DNA testing for pathogens with quality-controlled and curated genomic sequence data. Such testing and devices could be used as medical countermeasures against biothreats such as Ebola and Zika.

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Infectious disease next-generation sequencing could use DNA analysis to help identify pathogens – from viruses to parasites – faster and more efficiently by, in theory, accomplishing with one test what was only possible before with many, according to the FDA. In order to not only further development of such tests and devices but also aid regulatory and scientific review of them, the FDA has collaborated with the Department of Defense, the National Center for Biotechnology Information, and Institute for Genome Sciences at the University of Maryland, Baltimore, to create FDA-ARGOS.

However, the FDA and its collaborators need samples of pathogens to continue developing the database, so they’ve invited health care professionals to submit samples for that purpose. More information, including preferred organism list and submission guidelines, can be found on the FDA-ARGOS website.

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