The U.S. Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine (USAFSAM) recently signed a limited-purpose Material Transfer Agreement Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (MTACRADA) with the University Hospitals of Cleveland, Ohio. This unique agreement doesn’t include a financial contribution, rather the hospital is providing USAFSAM with frozen bed bugs collected from patients with symptomatic illness for testing and evaluation. In return, USAFSAM will share the test data with the hospital.
Bedbug infestation has become a national problem. Although traditional testing has shown that the insects do not transfer known viruses to humans, further testing needs to be done to detect the possible transfer of novel viruses.
As part of the Air Force Research Laboratory, 711th Human Performance Wing (HPW), USAFSAM strives to continually work towards detecting new and emerging pathogens. With the material from the hospital, the lab plans to utilize next generation sequence testing (Illumina miSeq and the Pacbio) to investigate sequences that aren’t in current databases.
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