FDA develops reference sequence data for test and vaccine developers

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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has developed quality-controlled reference sequence data for the SARS-CoV-2 reference strain, according to an announcement made Wednesday.

The FDA collaborated with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Biodefense and Emerging Infections Research Resources Repository (BEI Resources), the Institute for Genome Sciences at the University of Maryland, and the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) at the National Institutes of Health to develop the reference strain for the United States.

The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and resulting public health emergency has led to an unprecedented number of Emergency Use Authorizations (EUAs) for diagnostic tests, the agency said. Availability of traceable and quality-controlled data will help test developers and vaccine developers expedite development of medical countermeasures, identify new or more stable targets for future tests, enable in silico confirmation of targets, support development of synthetic reference material, and enable viral population or quasi species analysis.

Researchers are encouraged to contribute samples to the FDA for free sequencing and analysis. Click here to learn more.  

Editor’s note: Click here for more information and ongoing COVID-19 updates for integrative healthcare professionals.