Korea Center for Disease Prevention and Control said Monday it had begun to operate two specialized pathogen resource banks starting this month, and expanded the scope of tasks completed by the National Pathogen Support Bank.
The center designated the Korea University as the virus pathogen resource bank, and Catholic Kwandong University as the resource bank for human pathogenic fungi, it said.
A pathogen is a microorganism that causes infectious diseases in humans. When developing vaccines, therapeutic agents, and diagnostic agents, it is necessary to use pathogen resources suitable for the Korean environment since pathogen resources differ depending on country of origin and method of infection,
The move to designate the two hospitals stems from an urgent need to allow researchers to have access to domestic pathogen resources, as many countries do under the Nagoya Protocol, not sharing pathogen resource banks.
It designated the two universities by the Article 9 of the Act on the promotion of collection, management, and utilization of pathogen resources, which went into effect in February. The two universities will serve as specialized pathogen resource banks and a biologic resource center.
The agency also said it would expand the scope of tasks performed by the National Pathogen Support Bank so that it can gather, analyze, evaluate, conserve and distribute pathogens.
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