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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


Emerging infectious diseases

Publication Date





205 - 211


Animals, Humans, Communicable Diseases, Vaccines, Communicable Disease Control, Research, Informed Consent, Biological Specimen Banks, World Health Organization, Epidemics, Global Health