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Division of High-Consequence Pathogens and Pathology (DHCPP)


The Division of High Consequence Pathogens and Pathology (DHCPP) maximizes public health and safety nationally and internationally through the diagnosis, prevention, and control of disease, disability, and death caused by suspected and known viral, bacterial, prion, and related infections. In carrying out its mission, DHCPP:

  1. Conducts surveillance, investigations, and studies of viral and bacterial diseases, including bioterrorism agents, as well as of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, or prion diseases, and severe diseases of unknown, but suspected infectious, etiology to define their etiology and epidemiology, and to develop effective methods for diagnosis, treatment, control, and prevention;
  2. Conducts or participates in clinical, field, and laboratory research to develop, evaluate, and improve laboratory methods, materials, and therapeutic practices used for diagnosis, treatment, control, and prevention of viral, bacterial, and prion diseases, including bioterrorism agents;
  3. Conducts research on virus and bacterial transmission to develop effective control and prevention strategies and on vaccine effectiveness to assess prevention potential;
  4. Conducts laboratory, clinical, and epidemiologic studies of highly hazardous disease agents that require biosafety level 3 or biosafety level 4 security for their safe handling;
  5. Conducts ecological studies to develop and evaluate disease control and prevention measures;
  6. Provides epidemic aid, epidemiologic consultation, reference and diagnostic services, and technical assistance to state and local health departments, other federal agencies, and national and international health organizations;
  7. Provides scientific and technical assistance to other CDC components when the work requires unique expertise or specialized equipment not available in other components;
  8. Provides routine and specialized laboratory training in the diagnosis, isolation, and characterization of viral and bacterial agents to personnel from state and local health departments and other national and international organizations;
  9. Provides training opportunities for EIS officers and others in CDC sponsored programs, including postgraduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and other public health and laboratory scientists;
  10. Provides expert pathological support for various infectious diseases to other groups at CDC, state and local health departments, other OID components, and national and international organizations; and
  11. Serves as appropriately designated national and WHO Collaborating Centers for viral and bacterial diseases.

Scope of Work Chart

View a breakdown of the agents and issues the division works with, divided out by branch and office.

DHCPP scope of work chart

DHCPP Print Materials

You can order printed copies of some of our publications free of charge. Quantities are limited.

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