International Reagent Resources



IRR Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Get the answers you need about International Reagent Resource (IRR) catalog and COVID-19 diagnostic supplies and reagents.

 

Table of Contents

COVID-19 FAQs

  1. What supplies are being distributed by IRR for COVID testing?
  2. I can't find a commercial COVID-19 reagent that used to be a part of IRR's catalog.  Where is it?
  3. Can I register this lab/hospital with IRR to receive COVID-19 testing supplies? 
  4. Should I use the Flu SC2 Multiplex Assay for COVID-19 testing or influenza testing? Is there a difference?
  5. Is the Flu SC2 Multiplex Assay able to detect the COVID-19 variants?
  6. Will IRR be providing enzyme and extraction kits for US influenza surveillance?
  7. Will US laboratories be required to re-extract RNA to subtype samples that are determined to be influenza A positive by the Flu SC2 Multiplex Assay?
  8. Will CDC continue to provide the CDC 2019-nCoV Real-Time RT-PCR Diagnostic Panel (EUA) (Catalog No. 2019-nCoVEUA-01) to US Domestic Labs?

General IRR FAQs

  1. Do you need to be funded by CDC to obtain IRR materials?
  2. How do I register with IRR?
  3. What is the relationship between IRR and ATCC?
  4. Who establishes the requirements for access and use of IRR materials?
  5. Who decides which reagents will be distributed by IRR?
  6. When is my order shipping?
  7. What email communications will I receive from IRR regarding pending orders? 
  8. If I need to modify my order, should I reorder?
  9. Why was my order quantity reduced or canceled?
  10. Why is [this item] out of stock? When can I order this? 
  11. Why do I have multiple sales order numbers for my order?
  12. How can I facilitate the acceptance of my permit when received by IRR?
  13. What is the international shipping process and what can I do to receive my shipment efficiently?

 

COVID-19 FAQs

 

1.  What supplies are being distributed by IRR for COVID testing? 

IRR provides CDC-manufactured kits and controls associated with its EUA applications to US laboratories. These include:

 

IRR provides CDC-manufactured kits and controls associated with its RUO applications to non-US laboratories. These include:

*In agreement with the World Health Organization (WHO), CDC’s Influenza Division is only providing enzyme (FR-1772) for the Flu SC2 Multiplex Assay to laboratories participating in the Global Influenza Surveillance and Response System (GISRS) from the world’s 50 least developed countries. IRR will notify laboratories regarding any changes in availability status in the future. 

 

2.  I can’t find a commercial COVID-19 reagent that used to be a part of IRR’s catalog. Where is it?

Commercially available COVID-19 reagents unrelated to the performance of a CDC EUA assay are no longer offered, as of November 1, 2020. These include testing kits, extraction kits, and consumables purchased from Perkin Elmer, ThermoFisher, and Abbott Molecular. Commercially available reagents that are used with a CDC EUA but manufactured outside of CDC are no longer offered as of January 1, 2021. These include consumables, extraction kits, and enzyme purchased from Roche, Qiagen, and ThermoFisher.  

 

3.  Can I register this lab/hospital with IRR to receive COVID-19 testing supplies?

CDC limits IRR registration and CDC’s SARS-CoV-2 diagnostic reagent distribution to U.S. state and/or local public health laboratories qualified by CDC to perform seasonal influenza surveillance testing and to local laboratories approved by their state public health laboratory to perform SARS-CoV-2 testing. During the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, CDC will defer the decision to authorize new laboratories to the corresponding state public health laboratory. Qualified laboratories must have the appropriate certifications (CLIA) to serve as a diagnostic laboratory as well as appropriate equipment, training, and demonstration of testing proficiency under their state laboratory’s stewardship in order to maintain their status as a qualified laboratory.

 

4.  Should I use the Flu SC2 Multiplex Assay for COVID-19 testing or influenza testing? Is there a difference?

The Flu SC2 Multiplex Assay can be used for COVID-19 and influenza testing. This assay can be used as a direct replacement for the Influenza A/B Typing Kit (VER 2) (IVD) (Catalog No. FluIVD03-9). The benefits of using this assay for both COVID-19 and influenza testing include increased processing of tests within a given period of time, supporting ongoing flu surveillance while also testing for SARS-CoV-2, and conserving important testing materials that are in short supply.

 

5.  Is the Flu SC2 Multiplex Assay able to detect the COVID-19 variants? 

The SARS component of the Flu SC2 assay targets a highly-conserved region of the genome. Currently, the CDC Influenza SARS-CoV-2 (Flu SC2) multiplex assay reliably detects the SARS-CoV-2 variants in circulation. CDC continues to assess assay performance via frequent in silico analysis. If evidence emerges that the performance of the multiplex assay is compromised for a specific variant, CDC will communicate with public health partners. On March 30, 2021, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) posted a new Web page about the impact of viral mutations on COVID-19 molecular tests. The FDA will update this page as significant new information becomes available.

 

6.  Will IRR be providing enzyme and extraction kits for US influenza surveillance?

Enzymes for influenza A subtyping/B lineage testing are no longer offered, as of December 31, 2020. In accordance with each states’ novel virus detection goals for the 2020-2021 influenza season, CDC’s Influenza Division had set aside a quantity of enzyme for influenza A subtyping/B lineage testing in September 2020. For states that have not ordered the full quantity of enzyme within their reserve as of December 31, 2020, contact IRROrders@cdc.gov to submit a request for the remainder.

Extraction kits under FR catalog numbers will not be available for ordering for influenza surveillance during the 2020-2021 influenza season.

 

7.  Will US laboratories be required to re-extract RNA to subtype samples that are determined to be influenza A positive by the Flu SC2 Multiplex Assay? 

If laboratories are using an extraction method that is also cleared for use with CDC’s Human Influenza Virus Real-Time RT-PCR Diagnostic Panels (IVD), then they do NOT need to re-extract RNA from COVID-19 samples for subtyping.

For extraction chemistries that are not cleared for use with CDC’s Human Influenza Virus Real-Time RT-PCR Diagnostic Panels (IVD), laboratories are encouraged to use the Flu SC2 Multiplex Assay for diagnosis to meet CLIA requirements. They can then proceed under research use only (RUO) conditions, with influenza A subtyping and influenza B lineage typing assays for surveillance purposes only, so that re-extraction of the sample is not required.

 

8.  Will CDC continue to provide the CDC 2019-nCoV Real-Time RT-PCR Diagnostic Panel (EUA) (Catalog No. 2019-nCoVEUA-01) to US domestic labs?

CDC will continue to provide the CDC 2019-nCoV Real-Time RT-PCR Diagnostic Panel (EUA) (Catalog No. 2019-nCoVEUA-01) as long as states’ demand for this item remains high. Labs are strongly encouraged to continue to maintain diversified RT-PCR testing strategies in order to mitigate supply chain bottlenecks.

 

General IRR FAQs

 

9.  Do you need to be funded by CDC to obtain IRR materials?

No, eligible recipients do not need to be funded by CDC.

 

10.  How do I register with IRR?

For individuals to register with IRR, 1) their institution must have a signed User Agreement (UA) with ATCC and 2) the individual must submit the registration paperwork, which includes: an acknowledgement of the UA, an application, and a BSL checklist (for BSL 2 or greater). Registrations, logins, and passwords are tied to the individual registrant. Organizations can have multiple registered users, and IRR recommends having at least two per institution.

You can find information about registration, forms, and eligibility under IRR’s Register tab. If you are a current registrant, and need access to additional material, please contact a customer service representative at contact@internationalreagentresource.org.

 

11.  What is the relationship between IRR and ATCC?

CDC awarded a contract for establishing a reagent repository to ATCC in February 2019. As a contractor for CDC, ATCC is responsible for production and distribution of reagents defined within their contract’s statement of work.

 

12.  Who establishes the requirements for access and use of IRR materials?

Policies and practices mandated for access and use of IRR materials are set by CDC.

 

13.  Who decides which reagents will be distributed by IRR?

The reagents provided by IRR are received and prepared in response to the needs of the scientific community as determined by researchers at CDC and other HHS agencies. IRR actively solicits recommendations from researchers for materials to acquire and/or produce.

 

14.  When is my order shipping?

Shipping turnaround varies by the destination country. Domestic US orders typically ship within 2-3 business days from order approval.

Non-US shipments may take longer depending on the destination country’s import process, flight availability, and COVID-19 restrictions. Service disruptions due to flight cancelations, diminished operational and transport capacity, lock-downs, and embargos continue to cause significant delays. We are constantly evaluating courier services and regulation changes to determine the most efficient way to ship. See the FAQ below for more information on the international shipping process.

 

15.  What email communications will I receive from IRR regarding pending orders?

Laboratories will receive the following email updates after submitting orders:

  • Order received: This email acknowledges receipt of order before orders are confirmed or approved.
  • Order confirmed: This email informs the laboratory of items that are approved, reduced or cancelled.
  • Order shipped: This email indicates when items have shipped, and may contain FedEx tracking numbers if available.

 

16.  If I need to modify my order, should I reorder?

If you have already submitted an order but it has not shipped, please do not resubmit the order if you need to modify it. Instead, send an email to IRR Customer Service (contact@internationalreagentresource.org) to request a modification to your existing order.

Orders that have already shipped cannot be modified.

 

17.  Why was my order quantity reduced or canceled?

CDC may reduce or cancel some of the quantities ordered to ensure that states and counties across the United States can continue critical testing. Adjustments to quantities in your order reflects what IRR can supply at this time. IRR staff will continue to work diligently to secure additional inventory and fulfill as many requests as possible.

 

18.  Why is [this item] out of stock? When can I order this?

IRR will update the availability status to “Temporarily Out of Stock” when inventory is not available. Supplies with this status cannot be ordered at this time.

 

19.  Why do I have multiple sales order numbers for my order?

Once your order is reviewed and approved, you will receive a confirmation email with your sales order number(s). You may receive multiple sales order numbers for your items depending on their catalog number prefixes. The prefixes relate to which CDC program or activity has contributed financial support for these items and are necessary to track ongoing support. Separating orders also avoids program-specific shipping delays potentially affecting large or mixed program orders that may require multiple program approvals. IRR will ship items together when possible; however, separating sales order numbers ensures that orders are shipped as efficiently as possible.

 

20.  How can I facilitate the acceptance of my permit when received by IRR?

When applying for permits and forms, please:

  • Do NOT reference IRR or ATCC Catalog Numbers in the Material Description fields found on the permits and/or forms.
  • Make sure your name and address on the permit applications and/or forms are exactly as they appear on your IRR account ship-to address.
  • Shipper Name must include: International Reagent Resource (ATCC)

 

21.  What is the international shipping process and what can I do to receive my shipment efficiently?

Once you have placed your order, ATCC will coordinate the shipment on behalf of CDC/IRR. You must respond to emails from contact@internationalreagentresource.org to schedule the shipment.

Step 1: SHIPMENT NOTIFICATION
To initiate the shipment, you will need to provide the following information: 1) The international customs airport closest to your shipping address and (if applicable) provide your intermediate consignee 2) The status of any import permits required by your government 3) Confirmation that you agree to the terms and conditions of the shipment.

Step 2: IMPORT DOCUMENTS
Documentation requirements for import vary by country and occasionally between shipments. You will need to check with your government to identify all import permits required for your order. Sharing information with IRR about your document needs, potential obstacles, and anticipated timeline will enable IRR to better assist you.

Common document requests include: certificates of analysis, donation letters, commercial invoices, packing slips, a copy of the airway bill, certificate of quality, and certificate of origin.

Some adjustments to invoice format may also be possible upon request. However, IRR cannot disguise or remove the name of the intended recipient or destination laboratory.

Step 3: SCHEDULE SHIPMENT
IRR will work with you and couriers to coordinate the shipment. Once the shipment has been scheduled, the freight forwarder will provide you with flight details and notifications for FedEx shipments will be sent from nonreply@atcc.org. You will be required to pick up the shipment from the international customs airport that you provided during the shipment initiation.  To avoid the shipment getting detained at the airport, check with customs to ensure you have all the required paperwork to receive your shipment. If you experience difficulties clearing the shipment, please arrange for the shipment to be placed in cold storage. IRR is not responsible for the order clearing your customs process.

Step 4: RECEIPT CONFIRMATION
Once you have received the shipment, you will need to confirm that the shipment was picked up from customs and received in good condition. This confirmation is very important for troubleshooting delays and reporting damaged goods. Failure to confirm receipt of the shipment could delay IRR’s ability to provide your lab with reagents in the future.

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