The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) announced Aug. 3 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 will analyze information gathered through the sources sought notice to determine whether it would be appropriate and feasible to include test kits and their components in the National Animal Vaccine & Veterinary Countermeasures Bank (NAVVCB).
APHIS noted that 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.
According to the agency, limited reagent availability during the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the potential need for a diagnostics stockpile to support a large-scale foreign animal disease outbreak nationwide.
APHIS said it is taking this action to better understand options for sourcing these vital test kits and components. The agency's goal is to ensure a sufficient supply of diagnostic kits and reagents to sustain disease surveillance and monitoring of animals during an infectious disease outbreak of national significance.
The sources sought notice is available through beta.sam.gov. Interested manufacturers should respond by Sept. 3, 2020.
The 2018 farm bill established and provided funding for NAVVCB, which allows USDA to stockpile animal vaccines and countermeasures, including diagnostic assays, to use in the event of an outbreak of FMD or other high-impact foreign animal diseases such as ASF and CSF. More information about NAVVCB and other animal health programs is available on the APHIS website.