Biosafety Measures for the Laboratories Engaged in the Diagnosis/Research of SARS-CoV-2
Rajeev Ranjan*, Jitendra K Biswal, Jajati K Mohapatra, Shyam Singh Dahiya, Smrutirekha Mallick and Nihar Ranjan Sahoo
ICAR-Directorate of Foot and Mouth Disease, International Centre for Foot and Mouth Disease, Arugul, Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India
*Corresponding Author: Rajeev Ranjan, ICAR-Directorate of Foot and Mouth Disease, International Centre for Foot and Mouth Disease, Arugul, Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India.
June 27, 2022; Published: July 29, 2022
Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) infection emerged in Wuhan city of China, December 2019 and subsequently WHO announced COVID-19 pandemic. In the absence of effective antiviral drugs, change in genomic make-up which leads to evolution of new variant, effective biosafety measure in place, front line health care workers or laboratory personnel engaged in diagnosis and research are always at risk. As per the scientific risk assessments, the SARS-CoV-2 comes under Risk group 3 pathogens, and to prevent laboratory-acquired infections and disease transmission in the local population and environment, adequate biosafety containment levels are required. Therefore, non-propagative work and diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 with inactivated samples should be performed at least under Biosafety Level 2 (BSL2), while diagnosis with non-inactivated samples should be carried out under BSL3 or BSL2 with inward unidirectional air flow along with BSL3 safety equipments and work practices. However, SARS-CoV-2 culture and isolation, as well as research and development activities, must take place inside the BSL3 containment facility. We attempted to establish adequate and efficient biosafety strategies for avoiding SARS-CoV-2 infections within the laboratory. This may be accomplished by conducting a systematic and comprehensive biosafety risk assessment on a continuous basis in order to cope with evolving risks in the laboratory setting. Furthermore, the healthcare workers in hospital or researchers in the laboratories may be unaware of the possibility of aerosols and droplets mediated infection in the laboratory during the process of centrifugation, vortexing, pipetting, and so on, or by SARS-CoV-2 infected individual during the process of breathing, coughing and sneezing and that aerosolized virus may travel up to 1- 6 m. Therefore, aim of this review is to describe the importance of biosafety measures against SARS-CoV-2 that should be introduced in laboratories undertaking diagnosis/research on SARS-CoV-2/any mutant form of SARS-CoV-2 like omicron suspected samples.
Keywords: Laboratory; Biosafety; Research; Diagnosis; Risk Assessment; SARS-CoV-2; COVID-19
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