CDC – Federal Business Opportunity to Study Morgellons

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Coordinating Center for Infectious Diseases (CCID), National Center for Zoonotic, Vectorborne, and Enteric Diseases (NCZVED), Division of Parasitic Diseases is seeking to award a sole source commercial contract for investigation in California of an unexplained dermopathy (Skin Condition) which some refer to as Morgellons.

The Government has determined that Kaiser Permanente (KP), Northern California is the only responsible source to meet the Government’s needs. Morgellons is a rare condition with a heavy concentration in California, and KP is the only organization that has the location, coverage area, and membership size to provide the large sample size required for the study. Minimum managed care organization membership required to satisfy this study is 25% of the population in the region selected. Other minimum vendor qualifications for this requirement are: electronic health records that have been implemented in the organization at least since January 2006; ability to conduct electronic queries of medical records, including progress notes, to identify clinical conditions and complaints; health maintenance organization with at least 3 million enrollees and coverage of at least 25% of the population in the chosen geographic area; location in a geographic area with a large number of suspected cases; experience in conducting clinical and epidemiologic studies; adequate qualified personnel to successfully perform the requested services by the date required.

The proposed effort will involve the following: describing the clinical and epidemiologic features of persons who have reported themselves as having this unexplained skin condition, including assessing the frequency of co-morbid conditions (e.g., neurocognitive deficits, neurologic conditions, major psychiatric disorders); collecting information to generate hypotheses about possible risk factors for this condition; collecting skin biopsies to assess the histopathologic features of the skin condition ; obtaining fibers or threads from patients with the condition to determine their potential etiology; describing the geographic distribution of this condition; estimating rates of illness in the population; and describing health care utilization among persons with the condition.

Total period of performance will be seven (9) months from date of award. The Government intends to issue a Request for Quotation (RFQ) on 31 July 2007, with award anticipated by 31 August 2007. All responsible sources may submit a bid, proposal, or quotation which shall be considered by the agency.

Well, I guess we’ll just have to wait until March (or May?) 2008 for the results. It certainly will be very interesting though.