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Serum, Plasma, and Urine Specimens

Serum, Plasma, and Urine Specimens Repository

Serum, plasma, and urine specimens are obtained from NHANES study participants ages six years and older who have given consent for their specimens to be used in future research studies. Serum specimens are currently available from NHANES III (Fall 1988 – Fall 1994); and serum, urine, and a limited amount of plasma specimens are available from continuous NHANES (1999 – present). Serum specimens are also available for participants ages 3-5 years. Serum specimens for participants ages 0-2 years are available only from NHANES 2003-2006. In total, we have over 1 million combined serum, plasma, and urine specimens available. Please see the specimen tables below for more information.


Research Proposal Guidelines

  • All proposals seeking the use of NHANES serum, plasma, or urine for research must not produce laboratory results that are clinically significant. Clinical significance is defined as:
    • The findings are valid and performed by a CLIA-certified laboratory,
    • The findings may have significant implications for the subjects’ health concerns, and
    • A course of action is readily available to ameliorate or treat the concerns.
  • All proposals will be evaluated by the NHANES Project Officer and a technical panel for scientific merit. The proposal is then reviewed by the NCHS Ethics Review Board (ERB) for any potential human subjects concerns.

Please see the Federal Register [PDF-84 KB] to submit a proposal and for evaluation criteria.

Please use the proposal template [PDF – 129 KB] to write your proposal.

Submit all proposals via email to NHANES Biospecimen Program


Frequently Asked Questions

How long is the evaluation process?

The entire review process can range from 2-4 months.

What happens after my proposal is approved?

The NHANES Project Officer will contact you to arrange the transfer of specimens after the Materials Transfer Agreement (MTA) has been signed. An interagency agreement will be developed to transfer funds for federal agencies, or an invoice will be sent for the cost of the specimens for non-federal institutions.

What kind of studies can I do with the NHANES biospecimens?

NHANES is a nationally representative survey and biospecimens are best utilized to determine the prevalence of laboratory markers of public health concern using the survey sample weights. Case-control studies are discouraged.

How much does it cost to use stored biospecimens?

The current cost is $13.00 per vial.

Is there a time limit on how long I can use the serum, plasma, and urine specimens?

The ERB allows the protocol to continue for five years. If additional time is needed to complete the research, a new protocol must be submitted.


Data Documentation Files using Serum, Plasma, and Urine Specimens

IgG Antibody to Hepatitis E Virus and anti-HEV Western Blot
Released: September, 2016

Food Specific IgE(s) Sera
Released: May, 2015

Monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS)
Released: January, 2015

IgG and IgM Antibody to Hepatitis E Virus
Released: May, 2013

Monoclonal Gammopathy of Undetermined Significance
Released: August, 2012

Partial Hepatitis C Virus RNA Sequences Isolated from Individuals
Released: August, 2012

ß-trace Protein ß2 Microglobulin
Released: April, 2012

Cystatin C, ß-trace Protein ß2 Microglobulin
Released: April, 2012

Racial/Ethnic Variation in Sex Steroid Hormone Concentrations Across Age in US Men
Released: October, 2011

Inhibin B, Leuteinizing Hormone and Testosterone
Released: December, 2009

Antibody to MUMPs
Released: June, 2009

Mumps Antibody – Serum
Released: June 2009

Released: May, 2009

Antibody to Hepatitis E Virus IgG
Released: August, 2008

Antibody to Periodontal Pathogens
Released: August, 2008

Cystatin C
Released: May, 2007

Antibody to Human Herpes Virus 8
Released: March, 2007

Antibody to Toxocara Larva Migrans
Released: January, 2007

Insulin Like Growth Factor (IGF-I and IGF Binding Protein-3
Released: October, 2006

Racial/Ethnic Variation in Sex Steroid Hormone Concentrations Across Age in US Men
Released: October, 2006

Antibody to GAD65
Released: September, 2006

Optical Density to Cytomegalovirus
Released: May, 2006

Antibody to Cytomegalovirus IgG and IgM
Released: January, 2006

Pertussis Sera
Released: July, 2005

Norovirus Antibody
Released: July, 2017

Cytomegalovirus genotypes
Released: June, 2017

Cytomegalovirus shedding
Released: January, 2016

Urinary cytomegalovirus shedding
Released: January, 2016

Telomere Mean and Standard Deviation
Released: February, 2015

Anti-Mullerian Hormone (AMH) & Inhibin-B
Released: January, 2015

Sex Steroid Hormone – Men
Released: March, 2013

Perfluoroaokyl Chemicals – Serum
Released: September, 2012

Aflatoxin B1-lysine – Serum
Released: August, 2012

Monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS)
Released: August, 2012

Autoantibodies – Immunofluorescence & Immunoprecipitation Analyses
Released: February, 2012

Folic Acid – Unmetabolized
Released: July, 2010

Mumps Antibody – Serum
Released: June, 2009

Varicella-Zoster Virus Antibody
Released: March, 2009

Transferrin Receptor – Pregnant Women
Released: August, 2008

Cystatin C
Released: June, 2008

Cytomegalovirus IgG Antibodies – Serum
Released: March, 2008

Herpes Simplex Virus Type-1
Released: October, 2006

Antibody to Toxocara spp
Released: January, 2017

Toxoplasma Gondii Antibody – Serum
Released: January, 2016

Hepatitis C Antibody Reflex Testing – Serum
Released: February, 2015



Publications Using Serum, Plasma, and Urine Specimens

A list of publications using data resulting from collected Sera, Plasma, and Urine specimens.