Special Issue "Tropical Laboratory Safety Including Biosafety"

A special issue of Tropical Medicine and Infectious Disease (ISSN 2414-6366).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2018).

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Stuart Blacksell Website E-Mail
Centre for Tropical Medicine and Global Health, Nuffield Department of Clinical Medicine, University of Oxford, Old Road Campus, Roosevelt Drive, Oxford OX3 7FZ, UK
Interests: Southeast Asia; Asia; viral diseases.; rickettsial diseases; biosafety; zoonosis; diagnostics
Co-Guest Editor
Mr. Allan Bennett Website E-Mail
Public Health England Porton Down, UK
Interests: air microbiology; water microbiology; biosafety; biocontainment; disinfection; healthcare acquired infection

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The frequent outbreaks of emerging and re-emerging diseases in recent years have raised concerns over the preparedness of the animal-health and human-health communities in responding to outbreaks of novel infectious diseases. The biosafety and biocontainment in laboratories, required to handle infectious agents, is presently well recognized as a necessary infrastructure in infectious diseases preparedness and response.

The requirement for biosafety and biocontainment infrastructure in microbiology laboratories and animal facilities to appropriately and safely handle pathogens is a fundamental of providing a safe workplace and external environment. These issues are magnified in the tropics and in other low-resource environments laboratories where capacity to implement a safe working environment with a relation to infectious materials and chemicals is often limited by a lack of knowledgeable staff, poor safety culture and reduced access to financial resources.

Furthermore, the need for hospitals laboratories and allied diagnostic facilities to meet minimum biosafety requirements of the International Health Regulations as well as national biosafety and biosecurity regulations and legislation presents a constant challenge to laboratories in low resource and tropical regions. Often, this is compounded by issues relating to a lack of sustainability of biocontainment laboratory design and construction, as well as the financial and technical needs relating to ongoing laboratory maintenance requirements.

The development of regional biosafety resources and provision of the biosafety cabinet services, equipment and supplies related to biosafety management, trainings and technical assistance on biosafety-related issues also presents an ongoing challenge to laboratory management, national governments and international donor organisations

Specific issues that may be suitable in this Special Issue may include, but are not limited, to

  • Low-resource laboratory safety including biosafety and chemical safety
  • Renewable and low energy laboratory design including sustainable aspects of construction and maintenance
  • Biosafety and biocontainment levels and their relevance in tropical and low resource environments
  • Issues relating to primary and secondary biological containment including biological safety cabinets
  • Suitability of Personal Protective Equipment in the tropics and in other low-resource environments
  • Decontamination and disinfection in the tropics and in other low-resource environments
  • Biosafety and Biosecurity regulations and legislation

We look forward to your provocative contributions on this interesting and important topic.

Prof. Stuart Blacksell
Guest Editor

Mr. Allan Bennett
Co-Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Tropical Medicine and Infectious Disease is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Biosafety
  • Biorisk
  • Biosafety training
  • Low-resource laboratory safety
  • Chemical safety
  • Low-energy laboratory design
  • Sustainable laboratories and maintenance
  • Biosafety levels
  • Biocontainment
  • Tropical laboratory safety
  • Biological safety cabinet
  • Emerging pandemic threats
  • Personal protective equipment

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessCommunication
The Convergence of High-Consequence Livestock and Human Pathogen Research and Development: A Paradox of Zoonotic Disease
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2018, 3(2), 55; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed3020055 - 30 May 2018
Cited by 1
Abstract
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that zoonotic diseases transmitted from animals to humans account for 75 percent of new and emerging infectious diseases. Globally, high-consequence pathogens that impact livestock and have the potential for human transmission create research paradoxes and operational challenges [...] Read more.
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that zoonotic diseases transmitted from animals to humans account for 75 percent of new and emerging infectious diseases. Globally, high-consequence pathogens that impact livestock and have the potential for human transmission create research paradoxes and operational challenges for the high-containment laboratories that conduct work with them. These specialized facilities are required for conducting all phases of research on high-consequence pathogens (basic, applied, and translational) with an emphasis on both the generation of fundamental knowledge and product development. To achieve this research mission, a highly-trained workforce is required and flexible operational methods are needed. In addition, working with certain pathogens requires compliance with regulations such as the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Select Agent regulations, which adds to the operational burden. The vast experience from the existing studies at Plum Island Animal Disease Center, other U.S. laboratories, and those in Europe and Australia with biosafety level 4 (BSL-4) facilities designed for large animals, clearly demonstrates the valuable contribution this capability brings to the efforts to detect, prepare, prevent and respond to livestock and potential zoonotic threats. To raise awareness of these challenges, which include biosafety and biosecurity issues, we held a workshop at the 2018 American Society for Microbiology (ASM) Biothreats conference to further discuss the topic with invited experts and audience participants. The workshop covered the subjects of research funding and metrics, economic sustainment of drug and vaccine development pipelines, workforce turnover, and the challenges of maintaining operational readiness of high containment laboratories. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tropical Laboratory Safety Including Biosafety)
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Open AccessArticle
A Tool for Assessment of Animal Health Laboratory Safety and Biosecurity: The Safety Module of the Food and Agriculture Organization’s Laboratory Mapping Tool
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2018, 3(1), 33; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed3010033 - 14 Mar 2018
Cited by 1
Abstract
The Laboratory Management Tool (LMT) is a standardized spreadsheet-based assessment tool developed to help support national, regional, and global efforts to maintain an effective network of animal health and veterinary public health laboratories. The safety and biosecurity module of the LMT (LMT-S) includes [...] Read more.
The Laboratory Management Tool (LMT) is a standardized spreadsheet-based assessment tool developed to help support national, regional, and global efforts to maintain an effective network of animal health and veterinary public health laboratories. The safety and biosecurity module of the LMT (LMT-S) includes 98 measures covering administrative, operational, engineering, and personal protective equipment practices used to provide laboratory safety and biosecurity. Performance aspects of laboratory infrastructure and technical compliance considered fundamental for ensuring that a laboratory is able to appropriately function in a safe and biosecure manner are systematically queried and scored for compliance on a four-point scale providing for a semi-quantitative assessment. Data collected is used to generate graphs and tables mapping levels of compliance with international standards and good practices, as well as for documenting progress over time. The LMT-S was employed by trained auditors in 34 laboratories located in 19 countries between 2015 and 2017. The tool is intended to help standardize animal health laboratory assessments, document compliance with recognized laboratory safety and biosecurity measures, serve as a self-help and training tool, and assist global laboratory development efforts by providing an accurate measurement of laboratory safety and biosecurity at local, national, and regional levels. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tropical Laboratory Safety Including Biosafety)
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Open AccessCommunication
Promoting Scientific Transparency to Facilitate the Safe and Open International Exchange of Biological Materials and Electronic Data
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2017, 2(4), 57; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed2040057 - 31 Oct 2017
Cited by 3
Abstract
Scientific communication, collaboration and progress are enhanced through the exchange of data, materials and ideas. Recent advances in technology, commercial proprietary discovery and current local and global events (e.g., emerging human, animal and plant disease outbreaks) have increased the demand, and shortened optimal [...] Read more.
Scientific communication, collaboration and progress are enhanced through the exchange of data, materials and ideas. Recent advances in technology, commercial proprietary discovery and current local and global events (e.g., emerging human, animal and plant disease outbreaks) have increased the demand, and shortened optimal timelines for material and data exchange, both domestically and internationally. Specific circumstances in each case, such as the type of material being transferred (i.e., select agent, disease-causing agent and assessed biosafety risk level) and current events, dictate the level of agreements and requirements. Recent lessons learned from emerging disease issues and emergencies have demonstrated that human engagement and increased science diplomacy are needed to reinforce and sustain biosafety and biosecurity practices and processes, for better scientific transparency. A reasonable and accepted framework of guidance for open sharing of data and materials is needed that can be applied on multiple cooperative levels, including global and national. Although numerous agreement variations already exist for the exchange of materials and data, regulations to guide the development of both the language and implementation of such agreements are limited. Without such regulations, scientific exchange is often restricted, limiting opportunities for international capacity building, collaboration and cooperation. In this article, we present and discuss several international case histories that illustrate the complex nature of scientific exchange. Recommendations are made for a dual bottom-up and top-down approach that includes all stakeholders from beginning negotiation stages to emphasize trust and cooperation. The broader aim of this approach is to increase international scientific transparency and trust in a safe and open manner, supporting increased global one health security. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tropical Laboratory Safety Including Biosafety)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
A Review of Laboratory-Acquired Infections in the Asia-Pacific: Understanding Risk and the Need for Improved Biosafety for Veterinary and Zoonotic Diseases
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2018, 3(2), 36; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed3020036 - 26 Mar 2018
Cited by 4
Abstract
A rapid review was performed to determine (1) the number and causes of reported laboratory-acquired infections (LAI) in the Asia-Pacific region; (2) their significance and threat to the community; (3) the primary risk factors associated with LAIs; (4) the consequences in the event [...] Read more.
A rapid review was performed to determine (1) the number and causes of reported laboratory-acquired infections (LAI) in the Asia-Pacific region; (2) their significance and threat to the community; (3) the primary risk factors associated with LAIs; (4) the consequences in the event of a LAI or pathogen escape; and (5) to make general recommendations regarding biosafety practices for diagnosis and research in the Asia-Pacific region. A search for LAI and zoonoses in the Asia-Pacific region using online search engines revealed a relatively low number of reports. Only 27 LAI reports were published between 1982 and 2016. The most common pathogens associated with LAIs were dengue virus, Arthroderma spp., Brucella spp., Mycobacterium spp., Rickettsia spp., and Shigella spp. Seventy-eight percent (21 out of 27 LAI reports) occurred in high-income countries (i.e., Australia, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, and Taiwan) where laboratories were likely to comply with international biosafety standards. Two upper-middle income countries (China (2), and Malaysia (2)) and one lower-middle income country (India (2)) reported LAI incidents. The majority of the reports (fifty-two percent (14/27)) of LAIs occurred in research laboratories. Five LAI reports were from clinical or diagnostic laboratories that are considered at the frontier for zoonotic disease detection. Governments and laboratories in the Asia-Pacific region should be encouraged to report LAI cases as it provides a useful tool to monitor unintended release of zoonotic pathogens and to further improve laboratory biosafety. Non-reporting of LAI events could pose a risk of disease transmission from infected laboratory staff to communities and the environment. The international community has an important and continuing role to play in supporting laboratories in the Asia-Pacific region to ensure that they maintain the safe working environment for the staff and their families, and the wider community. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tropical Laboratory Safety Including Biosafety)
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