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About the AR Isolate Bank

Located at and managed by CDC, in collaboration with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the AR Isolate Bank provides a unique solution to experts seeking to find the latest and highest-quality resistance samples. Registered users can order “isolates for action,” a subset of known threats that are collected during CDC’s ongoing surveillance and outbreak activities and then combined into panels to drive public health efficiency and innovation.

The AR Isolate Bank advances the fight against antibiotic resistance:

  • Microbiologists and lab directors use AR Isolate Bank samples to validate new lab tests, which can help improve patient care.
  • Drug and diagnostic manufacturers use AR Isolate Bank samples to challenge new products, like diagnostic assays and new antibiotics, and accelerate research and development.
  • Researchers use AR Isolate Bank samples to build solutions against the latest resistance threats.

Since its launch in July 2015 to October 2017, CDC has provided more than 1,426 isolate panels to 508 recognized institutions. Each order is accompanied by information regarding isolate susceptibility and/or resistance profile(s), known resistance biomarkers, and publically-available NCBI data.

Because antibiotic resistance occurs as part of a natural evolution process, it can be significantly slowed but not stopped. Alongside prevention strategies, new diagnostic tests and antibiotic drugs can support earlier diagnoses and more effective treatment options that can slow antibiotic resistance.

Learn more about CDC's work to combat antibiotic resistance       .

Other Resources

The CDC and FDA AR Isolate Bank is a unique resource because it delivers curated isolate panels from CDC’s vast collection of resistant organisms. Individual isolates are available from other sources:

  • The Active Bacterial Core surveillance (ABCs) Isolate Bank. An extensive collection of isolates for ABCs pathogens: group A Streptococcus, group B Streptococcus, Streptococcus pneumoniae, Neisseria meningitidis, and Haemophilus influenzae. ABCs is a core program within CDC’s Emerging Infections Program (EIP) network. EIP is a collaboration between CDC, state health departments, and academic institutions. ABCs is an active laboratory- and population-based surveillance system for invasive bacterial pathogens of public health importance.
  • Within the U.S. Military Health System, the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR) maintains a collection of well-characterized resistant isolates gathered from participating military hospitals through its Multidrug-resistant Organism Repository and Surveillance Network (MRSN)       .
  • The Antibacterial Resistance Leadership Group (ARLG) maintains a Virtual Biorepository       that provides investigators with access to clinically well-characterized Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria.
  • BEI Resources      . Established by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) to provide tools and information for studying Category A, B, and C priority pathogens, emerging infectious disease agents, non-pathogenic microbes and other microbiological materials of relevance to the research community.