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Recent years have seen unprecedented investment in research and development for countermeasures for high-threat pathogens, including specific and ambitious objectives for development of diagnostics, therapeutics, and vaccines. The inadequate availability of biological reference materials for these pathogens poses a genuine obstacle in pursuit of these objectives, and the lack of a comprehensive and equitable framework for developing reference materials is a weakness. We outline the need for internationally standardized biological materials for high-threat pathogens as a core element of global health security. We also outline the key components of a framework for addressing this deficiency.

Original publication




Journal article


Emerg Infect Dis

Publication Date





205 - 211


Ebola virus disease, Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus, World Health Organization, biological standardization, bioterrorism and preparedness, emerging infectious diseases, epidemic preparedness, global health security, infectious diseases, reference preparations, research and development, vaccines, viruses, zoonoses