USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) announced on Monday the availability of a sources sought notice that will be posted for 30 days to gather information from interested diagnostics manufacturers on their ability to supply test kits for three major livestock diseases: foot-and-mouth disease (FMD), African swine fever (ASF) and classical swine fever (CSF).
APHIS said it plans to analyze information gathered through the sources sought notice to determine whether it would be possible to include test kits and their components in the National Animal Vaccine and Veterinary Countermeasures Bank (NAVVCB).
The 2018 Farm Bill created and provided funding for the NAVVCB to allow USDA to stockpile animal vaccine and countermeasures including diagnostic assays to use in the event of an FMD outbreak or other high-impact foreign animal diseases. More information is available here.
“USDA anticipates the potential need for diagnostic kits and reagents from more than one source to ensure an adequate supply of these products for a sudden surge of diagnostic samples that could result from an infectious disease epidemic,” a USDA release said. “Limited reagent availability during the COVID pandemic highlighted the potential need for a diagnostics stockpile to support a nationwide large-scale foreign animal disease outbreak.”
Understanding options for sourcing these vital test kits and components is important, APHIS believes. APHIS wants to maintain a sufficient supply of diagnostic kits and reagents to facilitate disease surveillance and monitoring of animals in the event of a nationally significant infectious disease outbreak.
The sources sought notice may be viewed here. The deadline is Sept. 3.
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