ARC Contents and Maintenance

What to know

  • The comprehensive Arbovirus Reference Collection (ARC) includes viruses from multiple families.
  • Chimeric viruses, antigens, antibodies, and RNA controls are available for some pathogens.
  • Hybridoma cells are also available.
Zika virus digitally colorized transmission electron microscopic image

Contents of the collection

The ARC collection includes:

  • Isolates from environmental and human sources, dating back to 1925
  • Chimeric viruses
  • Antibody, antigen, and RNA controls for isolates in the collection
  • Hybridoma cells

Donate specimens to improve public health

Support public health by depositing your isolates in CDC's Arbovirus Reference Collection (ARC). The ARC offers long-term curation, maintenance, and distribution of valuable isolates. Contact the ARC staff about depositing your isolates for long-term curation, maintenance, and distribution.


If you need reagents, visit our Arboviral Reagent Ordering System. Only U.S. public health laboratories are granted access to the ordering system.

Database design

  • New database released in 2017
  • Relational database in Structured Query Language (SQL) to ensure data accuracy, reduce redundancy, and increase data security
  • Added features include:
    • Bibliography section
    • Product inserts
    • Increased functionality for recording quality control testing results, isolate history, and passage history and lineage during virus maintenance
    • Increased functionality for order maintenance

Quality control testing

  • Viruses
    • Plaque titration to test for viability
    • Inclusivity and exclusivity testing
    • Mycoplasma contamination testing
  • Antigen
    • Infectivity assay to confirm the material is non-infectious
    • Activity testing in limited assays, if available
  • Antibody
    • Activity testing in limited assays, if available
  • RNA
    • Activity testing in specific assays

Virus maintenance

  • Track lineage
  • Minimize passage number
  • Perform phenotypic analysis
  • Compare growth in cell types now that suckling mouse brain is not the method of choice for replication
  • Obtain full genome with Next Generation Sequencing
    • Analysis and identification of unknown isolates and not fully characterized viruses
    • Expanded QC capabilities for historically maintained viruses