Lab Matters Winter 2023 | Page 33


APHL and CDC Partner with the Institute of Epidemiological Diagnosis and Reference Laboratory

By Tyler Wolford , manager , Emergency Preparedness and Response and Rana Rahmat , specialist , Laboratory Response Network
The Laboratory Response Network ( LRN ) represents a cooperative initiative involving several key entities , including APHL , the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ( CDC ), the Federal Bureau of Investigation ( FBI ), and the US Department of Defense ( DoD ). It serves as a seamlessly integrated network encompassing state and local public health laboratories , federal agencies , military institutions and international laboratories with the expertise and resources required to address potential biological , chemical and radiological threats . Within the LRN , the LRN for Biological Threats Preparedness ( LRN-B ) plays a vital role in preparing for and swiftly responding to biological threats such as anthrax , as well as emerging infectious diseases like Ebola .
Beyond their proactive response to threats , the LRN actively collaborates with and provides support to laboratories in other countries when necessary . These collaborative efforts with neighboring nations like Canada and Mexico play a pivotal role in reinforcing the preparedness system by facilitating the exchange of knowledge and information , as well as aiding these laboratories in their strategic planning . A recent example of these cooperative efforts was in August 2023 , when representatives from APHL and CDC , along with the Arizona State Public Health Laboratory , conducted an on-site visit to the Institute of Epidemiological Diagnosis and Reference ( InDRE ), a public health laboratory in Mexico City . This international partnership assisted the InDRE laboratory in identifying its training requirements and laying the groundwork for implementation of operational LRN capabilities . These potential training opportunities will include :
• LRN methods for threat agent detection ( e . g ., time resolved fluorescence and polymerase chain reaction ).
Attendees from CDC , InDRE and APHL gathered to discuss training opportunities and expanded partnerships
• Collection and processing of food and powder samples .
• Response to emergencies and contingencies within a biological containment laboratory .
• Selection , set-up , use and removal of personal protective equipment ( PPE ).
• Biological Safety Laboratory 3 ( BSL-3 ) standard biosafety and biosecurity practices and procedures , including cleaning and disinfection methods .
• Use of Class III biological safety cabinets .
APHL has maintained a longstanding association with the Canadian Public Health Laboratory Network ( CPHLN ), fostering direct communication between CPHLN laboratories and state public health laboratories , promoting the exchange of ideas and information . Additionally , the CPHLN- APHL partnership paves the way for cooperative endeavors addressing technical challenges and other activities that mutually benefit their members .
• Responsiveness to epidemiological emergencies in urban and rural areas .
• First aids and first psychological aids within biological containment facilities .
The LRN-B extends its educational offerings domestically as well , with more extensive methods courses . These include the LRN Rapid Methods Course , which concentrates on molecular detection techniques and sample handling and the LRN Conventional Methods Course , which encompasses traditional microbiological detection methods like culturing , microscopy , gram staining and biochemical testing . Moreover , the LRN-B facilitates unique training opportunities for emerging technologies . In February 2018 , APHL and CDC co-hosted a training session on the Botulinum Neurotoxin EndoPep – Mass Spectrometry assay , attended by 14 laboratory scientists who received specialized training . In February 2023 , five LRN-B laboratories and their staff participated in a virtual training for a new resazurin dye-based rapid antimicrobial susceptibility test for Bacillus anthracis . This virtual training opportunity will pave the way for more accessible trainings in the future .
These partnerships and international collaborations play a pivotal role in the establishment of a robust public health infrastructure capable of effectively addressing both day-to-day threats and global public health crises . Such relationships facilitate the seamless exchange of knowledge , information and resources essential for fortifying various facets of the public health system . g
This article was 100 % funded with federal funds from a federal program of $ 3,073,185 . The production of this article was supported by Cooperative Agreement # NU60OE000104 , funded by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ( CDC ). Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of , nor an endorsement by , CDC , HHS or the US Government .
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