Questions and Answers about the ABCs Isolate Bank

Why is the isolate bank of interest?

The Active Bacterial Core surveillance (ABCs) Isolate Bank contains carefully collected and preserved isolates and crucial laboratory, clinical, and demographic data. These data help further research in a variety of fields, without typical limitations. This isolate bank offers unique research opportunities to investigate scientific questions extending beyond routine surveillance.

Where are isolates stored?

Isolates are stored in a restricted-access facility in Lawrenceville, Georgia, with 24-hour monitoring. All specimen storage units, which staff regularly monitor, are equipped with computerized climate control sensors. The shipping and handling process is also executed with maximum professionalism and detailed care.

How can my institution or I have access to the isolates?

Isolate bank custodians (at CDC) review requests for isolates prior to approval and release. CDC strictly enforces a limited distribution policy that prohibits the secondary distribution of ABCs isolates to third-party researchers. Currently, there is an $80 processing fee. Learn how to request isolates by visiting the Guidelines for Requesting Isolates webpage.

Which data are available?

The data available for each pathogen are:

Group A Streptococcus

  • Year of isolation
  • emm type and presence/absence of sof gene
  • Presence/absence of severe infections (e.g., necrotizing fasciitis or streptococcal toxic shock syndrome)
  • Minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) testing results to commonly used antibiotics

Group B Streptococcus

  • Year of isolation
  • Perinatal syndrome (early-onset, late-onset, pregnancy-associated)
  • Source (cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), blood, other)
  • Age group
  • Serotype
  • MIC testing results to commonly used antibiotics

Haemophilus influenzae

  • Year of isolation
  • Age group
  • Source (CSF, blood, other)
  • Serotype

Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus

The ABCs program no longer manages MRSA isolates. Find more information about MRSA surveillance.

Neisseria meningitidis

  • Year of isolation
  • Age group
  • Source (CSF, blood, other)
  • Serogroup

Streptococcus pneumoniae

  • Year of isolation
  • Age group
  • Source (CSF, blood, other)
  • Serotype
  • MIC testing results to commonly used antibiotics

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