Development of the Laboratory Response Network (LRN)

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The page below is a sample from the LabCE course Preliminary Identification of the Primary Select Agents of Bioterrorism. Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

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Development of the Laboratory Response Network (LRN)

The Laboratory Response Network (LRN) was created under a presidential directive as part of the government bioterrorism response program. The initial partners included the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL). The LRN became operational in 1999. Due to the limited ability to respond to a bioterrorism event, the initial objective was to improve the nation's public health laboratory infrastructure.
Since its inception, the LRB has grown to include federal, state, and local public health, veterinary, military, food testing, environmental, and international laboratories, as well as other federal partners (such as scientific organizations like the American Society for Microbiology [ASM], College of American Pathologists [CAP], Association of Public Health Laboratories [APHL}, and American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians [AAVLD]). The linking of laboratories and partners is the strength of the LRN. This national security network of laboratories has maintained and improved response to bioterrorism, emerging infectious diseases, chemical terrorism, and other public health emergencies.
At present, the LRN is divided into LRN-B (for biological threats and emerging infectious diseases) and LRN-C (for chemical threats). (Chemical threats are beyond the scope of this course.)