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Questions and Answers

What is the value of the AR Isolate Bank?

The purpose of this bacterial bank is to provide panels of resistant bacteria that can be used to challenge diagnostic devices and new antibiotic agents. The use of the AR Isolate Bank panels will support biotech and diagnostic efforts in researching, designing, and testing clinical assays or newer antimicrobial agents, and will be a valuable resource for manufacturers conducting studies in support of regulatory submissions to FDA. This in turn will support earlier diagnoses and more effective treatment options that can slow antibiotic resistance.

Where and how are isolates stored?

The isolates are stored at -70 degrees Celsius in a restricted-access facility in Atlanta, GA. Shipping and handling is also executed with safety and professionalism.

Can anyone have access to the isolates?

No. Isolates will only be provided to recognized institutions with confirmed biosafety officers. Each request for isolates will be reviewed by the CDC Isolate Bank custodians.

How can my institution have access to the isolates?

Requests for isolates are reviewed by the CDC isolate bank custodians. Approved requesters are required to provide a FedEx number for shipping. Learn how to request isolates by visiting the Requesting Isolates page .

Which data are available?

Pathogens include information on storage and propagation procedures, biosafety information, MIC results and interpretation, and known resistance mechanisms.  If isolates have been sequenced, the accession link is provided.

Are all isolates sequenced?

No. Isolate sequencing data is added as it becomes available.

Can I order single isolates?

You can only order entire panels through the website.  If you have a request for a single isolate or special order request, please contact us at

What is the cost for the isolates?

There is no cost for the isolate panels, however we do ask that the requestor pay shipping.  Upon receiving your request, a representative will contact you to confirm your order and request a FedEx number for shipping.

What is the estimated shipping cost?

For 1 to 2 collections, the shipment weight is ~15-20 lbs (due to dry ice in the shipping container) and they should consult FedEx or other appropriate shipping company for the shipping cost of this weight from CDC’s zip code of 30329 to the final destination zip code.

How soon should I expect to receive communication after submitting an order via the website?

You will receive a confirmation email within two working days of submitting your order request.  Once we have all the requested information from you, we will ship the isolate.  Please note that our shipping days are Monday-Wednesday (excluding holidays).  If you have not received a confirmation email, please contact us at

How soon should I expect to receive my order?

You should receive your isolate within 10 business days of submitting all required paperwork.  Our shipping days are Monday-Wednesday (excluding holidays).  We will do our best to communicate any delays in processing the order.

How do I avoid delays in my order?

Please make sure:

  • There are no blanks on the forms
  • No cellphones/personal email addresses are used on any of the forms
  • If contact phone requires an extension number please list it
  • Requestor and Biosafety official are not the same individual
  • FedEx account numbers are nine digits

How are isolates packed and shipped?

Each isolate is contained into 2 ml cryovial, stored in cryo/freezer boxes (5x5x2”) with 81 cell dividers. They are shipped by priority overnight with dry ice.

Do all isolates come in one package?

It depends on how many and what panels are included in the order. One big box can contain about 10~12 panels. The Enteric Diversity Panel is always packed separately.

Are isolates shipped with any culturing instructions?

No. All storage and propagation information is available on the website.

Do you accept international orders?

The AR isolate bank does not routinely accept orders from laboratories outside of the United States. This is because we are unable to routinely assess the safety measures implemented by potential recipient laboratories and their ability to safely handle resistant pathogenic bacteria. We can consider requests to ship isolates to public health authorities (ministers of health) in other countries and allow those authorities to share the isolates with laboratories they have identified as suitable recipients. Under these conditions, CDC does not use the agreement forms available on this website, instead we implement a material transfer that is specific to the request being made. If you would like to pursue this option, please contact informing us of the exact request and provide a contact at the recipient minister of health office.

Are there additional Federal resources for isolates?

Within the U.S. Military Health System, the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR) maintains a collection of well-characterized resistant isolates collected from participating military hospitals through its Multidrug-resistant Organism Repository and Surveillance Network (MRSN). More information and contact information can be found on the MRSN website.

The Antibacterial Resistance Leadership Group (ARLG) maintains a Virtual Biorepository that provides investigators with access to clinically well-characterized Gram-positive and Gram- negative bacteria for the development of diagnostic tests, novel antimicrobial compounds and for studies evaluating mechanisms of resistance.  More information can be found on the ARLG’s website under Virtual Biorepository.

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