The WSLH Communicable Disease Division received the top score amongst laboratories vying for renewal of National Influenza Reference Center (NIRC) status and funding.
As top scorer, the WSLH will be the sole national influenza reference center in the summer, as well as one of three during influenza season.
One of the reviewers commented on the WSLH renewal proposal, “An exceptional application overall with key strengths across all categories, little to no weaknesses.”
NIRCs are funded by the Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL), in cooperation with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Influenza Division (ID), to support national influenza surveillance initiatives. NIRCs serve as an extension of the CDC ID Virology Surveillance and Diagnosis Branch (VSDB) and provide services that are complementary to those at CDC based on methods and protocols provided by APHL and CDC. Services provided by the reference centers include: 1) influenza virus isolation and propagation; 2) antiviral resistance testing; and 3) genomic sequencing using next generation sequencing (NGS).