Author Archives: Francesc Xavier Abad
Viral Comments (40): Biosafety through risk assessments. More flexibility, for sure, but more dispersion aswell?
Viral comments (39): Infectious Diseases One Health Master at CReSA; a path that starts with a lot of road to walk.
Emerging and re-emerging diseases have fuelled the construction and operation of high number of high biocontainment facilities (or Biosafety level 3) and maximum biocontainment (Biosafety level 4) facilities. Only those centres can manipulate and propagate hazardous and easily transmissible pathogens, even lethal ones, safely. This implies that professionals dedicated to issues of emerging or re-emerging infectious diseases, and in particular also zoonotic diseases, should have not only theoretical knowledge, but also practical, of the facilities in which they will potentially work or that they should manage in the future.
For almost three decades (the first edition of LBM, Laboratory Biosafety Manual of the World Health Organization, WHO, is from 1983) Biosafety has been implanted, stumbling in some cases, in different countries of different continents. Biosafety grouped and groups together a set of techniques and procedures that seek to control exposure to pathogens, protecting the laboratorial workforce, but also the community that surrounds them, in the face of involuntary or accidental releases.
Since 2015, the World Health Organization (WHO) has been developing and polishing a “tool” (risk assessment committees of experts based on the available information) to try to identify those diseases that represent (or will represent) a risk to public health due to its epidemic potential and against which there are no countermeasures or these are considered insufficient.
Laboratories of high biocontainment (BSL3) and maximum biocontainment (BSL4) worldwide represent the highest levels of biological containment, offering great protection for the user, the sample and the environment.
It already seem distant history the outbreaks of H5N8 highly pathogenic, for birds not for people, avian influenza, which took place a few months ago in Catalonia, which had an index case featuring a stork found dead in early February in the Aigüamolls de l’Empordà. The outbreak is over and nowadays, the farms, after the entry of sentinels that have given negative results are again under exploitation.
A few days ago, in Barcelona, an interesting debate was held on viruses transmitted by arthropods, that is, mosquitoes and ticks among others. The debate was a B-DEBATE, from the International Center for Scientific Debate, organized by Biocat, La Caixa Foundation and Barcelona Institute of Global Health (ISGlobal) and was quite interesting. A few notes.