Phase I SBIR proposals will be accepted. Fast-track proposals will not be accepted. Phase I clinical trials will not be accepted. Number of anticipated awards: 1 Budget (total costs): Phase I up to $243,500 for up to 6 months; Phase II of up to $1,972,828 and a Phase II duration of up to 2 years PROPOSALS THAT EXCEED THE BUDGET OR PROJECT DURATION LISTED ABOVE MAY NOT BE FUNDED. Background Acute infections of measles, mumps, rubella, and varicella continue to place an undue burden on public health systems despite the availability of vaccines for all four pathogens. Over 100,000 deaths are still attributed to measles infection globally each year, and rubella Page 136 infection continues to cause over 100,000 children to be born with congenital rubella syndrome annually – mostly in developing countries. Sporadic mumps and varicella outbreaks – ranging from tens to thousands of cases – continue to occur in the United States. Strong surveillance systems are necessary for detecting sporadic cases of disease, preventing disease outbreaks, and maintaining disease elimination status. An essential component of surveillance is laboratory testing to rapidly confirm the presence of a specific pathogen and to help guide the public health response.