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DHS seeks help in quickly detecting agricultural pathogens

Coping with
avian influenza

DHS is gathering information from potential small business 8(a) contractors about how they might assist the department by developing field-deployable detection systems that can detect agricultural pathogens -- such as foreign animal diseases and certain pests -- within minutes.

DHS wants to be able to use such detection systems during a disease outbreak or during routine surveillance, explains a notice published by the department’s chief procurement officer on Dec. 5.

“The cost to deploy tests must be inexpensive due to a large number of samples that are anticipated for processing,” says the notice.

The agricultural pathogens that DHS would like to be able to detect and identify include such foreign animal diseases as avian influenza, classic swine fever, foot-and-mouth disease, rift valley fever and others. The partial list of pests that concern the department includes Mediterranean fruit flies, bark and ambrosia beetles, Khapra beetles, potato brown rust and others.

The chief procurement officer emphasized that his office is only issuing a Request for Information (RFI), and has not committed itself to any future procurement. The department plans to conduct a workshop, “where capable contractors could demonstrate their capabilities in providing analytical approaches to meeting the possible future government needs,” explains the notice.

Further information is available from Vaughn Oswald, a contract specialist, at 202-254-2406 or vaughn.oswald@dhs.gov


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