CDC invites comments concerning Laboratory Response Network

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is calling for public comments and recommendations concerning the development of Laboratory Response Network.

The LRN, which operates under the CDC's National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infections, was established to maintain an integrated national and international network of laboratories capable of responding to suspected biological, chemical or radiological events or other public health emergencies.

The CDC, in compliance with federal regulations, will accept comments about proposed data collection projects related to laboratories participating in the LRN. The agency will accept comments and recommendations for the next two months. Specifically, the CDC is interested in ways to enhance the quality and usefulness of the information to be collected, as well as ways to minimize the burden on those who must submit information.

While federal, state and local laboratories may only join the LRN voluntarily, when they do so, they assume the responsibility to submit certain information to the CDC and to maintain records of their testing capabilities. Every other year, LRN labs are required to verify and update the information so the CDC can determine whether or not they are capable to respond to a public health emergency.

The LRN labs are required to obtain personal information about the individuals who have access to the LRN website and must submit the contact information of all laboratory personnel to the LRN Program Office.

In addition, LRN labs must be able to report testing results to the CDC using a software tool called the LRN Results Messenger. The software aids the CDC and other agencies in tracking the progression of possible events.