Migrant Serum Bank

Circular building surrounded by South African people waiting in the grass for medical care

South African people waiting in the grass for medical care

The Migrant Serum Bank (MSB), a serum repository, was established in 2002 to provide the opportunity to understand important public health problems, such as vaccine-preventable diseases, intestinal parasites and other emerging infectious diseases that might affect migrant populations. Over 500,000 immigrants and refugees, who resettle to the US annually, are required to undergo medical examinations that address a limited number of communicable diseases of public health importance. The MSB is composed of anonymous sera remaining from blood collected for these medical screening for US-bound immigrants and refugees.

As of 2008, the MSB has obtained more than 30,000 sera from immigrants and refugees from Africa, Asia, Middle East, and Mexico. These specimens are available for investigators once a study proposal has been approved by the Division of Global Migration and Quarantine.

For additional information on MSB and request for sera, contact Deborah Lee at DLEE1@cdc.gov.

Recent Uses of Serum Bank Specimens

Study Start Date Population Objective Publication
Prevalence of schistosoma and strongyloides infections—US-bound refugees 2007 Congolese, Liberian, Burmese To assess seroprevalence and demographic distributions of schistosoma and stronglyoides infections
Entamoeba histolytica Seroepidemiology 2005 Liberian, Somali, Hmong To assess whether seropositive sera recognize epitopes in a candidate vaccine
Intestinal helminth testing 2004 Somali To determine the seroprevalence of schistosoma and strongloides Posey DL, et al. High prevalence and presumptive treatment of schistosomiasis and strongyloidiasis among African refugees. Clin Infect Dis. 2007 Nov 15;45(10):1310-5.
Immunodot testing 2004 Somali, Hmong To assess seroprevalence of vaccine-preventable diseases by using Immunodot assay
Varicella seroprevalence 2003 Liberian, Somali To assess varicella zoster virus antibody