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Wuhan National Biosafety Laboratory
Wuhan National Biosafety Laboratory is located in Zhengdian Scientific Park of Wuhan Institute of Virology ,CAS in Jiangxia District, Wuhan, Hubei Province. The laboratory is in central region of Central China, with mountains at three directions, convenient transportation and relatively independent environment. The facilities to be built include test facility for fulminant disease pathogens such as Cellular Level Biosafety Level 4 Laboratory, emerging disease research facility and fulminant disease pathogen storage facility (that is, BSL-4, BSL-3 and BSL-2 , ordinary laboratory, animal feeding room and relevant supporting facilities), which will finally form a relatively complete emerging disease research unit. The overall goal of the project is to build a high-level biosafety laboratory in Wuhan that is based on strict management system and open to domestic scientists to a limited extent, forming a relatively independent research platform that can research two or three types of fulminant infectious disease pathogens and develop the corresponding vaccines. This will also make up the weakness that China’s public health emergency response system is imperfect, and there is no adequate and effective technical support and drug reserve. By doing this, at the outbreak of a new infectious disease, active and scientific prevention and control measures can be taken, forming a new normal state for dealing with emerging disease and biological defense in the future. This will play a fundamental and technical supporting role in the prevention and control of major new infectious diseases in China, thus meeting the major strategic demand of the nation and revealing major scientific issues. The laboratory will become a base for research on the measures to be taken for prevention and control of emerging diseases in China, a preservation center for virus seeds, a reference laboratory of WHO and a node for disease network, and finally it will become a core in China’s emerging disease research network. At the same time, it can also effectively improve China’s capability in preventing and responding to biological wars and terrorist attacks and ensure biosafety of China.
Wuhan National Biosafety Laboratory is a major international science and technology cooperation project within the framework of the Agreement between China and French on Cooperation for Prevention and Control of Emerging Infectious Diseases as directly witnessed and promoted by heads of both countries in 2004. It is a critical big science facility filling the gap of China’s biosafety system and responding to major biosafety threats.
The main part of the BSL-4 laboratory building has four floors. The ground floor is for sewage treatment, life support and power distribution protection equipment; the second floor is core experiment zone, including three cellular level laboratories, two animal laboratories, one dissecting room and one bacteria (virus) preservation room, which can carry out research for three pathogens at the same time and carry out assessment on pathology of infections of small and medium animals and on drug efficacy. The laboratories can preserve virus seeds (BRC, Biological Resource Center). Walls of the core experiment zone are made of stainless steel of strong resistance to corrosion being put together with laser welding technology, which are independently developed by China and reach the international first-class standard; the third floor is for blast air and ventilation pipes; the fourth floor is for HVAC equipment and header pipe for blast air and ventilation.
Laboratory staffs will wear positive-pressure protective suite to make them totally insulated to the environment with potential pollution. Just like an astronaut in the space with the needed air being supplied with a controllable and safe pipe from the breathing air supply station. The laboratory staffs will complete the decontamination procedure for positive pressure work through chemical shower before leaving a laboratory with pollution. The waste water from the chemical shower and vital toxic wastewater generated from jobs in the laboratory will be centrally collected to the sewage treatment station through a double-layer sewer pipe collection system and will undergo high temperature disinfection at 135℃. The BSL-4 laboratory adopts a directional negative pressure system and double-layer filtering system to ensure that the air in the laboratory can be exhausted only after being filtered with a high efficiency particulate air HEPA filter with organized negative pressure control technology, thus avoiding any random leakage. Infectious solid wastes in the laboratory will firstly be disinfected in a two-leaf high-pressure sterilization pot and then be treated by harmless incineration. There is automatic interlocking device between any adjacent two doors in the laboratory’s core experiment zone, which can prevent the simultaneous opening of the two doors and avoid circulation of indoor air.
After the BSL-4 laboratory is put into operation formally, it will conduct research for natural focal viruses including Ebola virus and other emerging viruses, such as researches on rapid detection system, molecular epidemiology, infectious disease etiology, therapeutic antibody, vaccine and drug evaluation, and assessment on biological risk factors, thus building a biosafety platform in China for emerging and fulminant infectious diseases in terms of isolation and identification of pathogen, building of infection models, vaccine development, biological containment and research on mechanism of interaction between pathogen and the host.
The National Biosafety Laboratory, Wuhan (NBL4) has 2 cellular biosafety labs, 1 small-sized animal lab, 1 medium-sized animal lab, and 1 culture (virus) collection & use lab. Meanwhile, it is equipped with 4 double door leaf sterilizers, 1 sewage treatment unit, 14 ventilation and air conditioning systems as well as high efficiency filtration systems, 4 chemical showers, and 1 life support system to guarantee its safe operation.
It possesses complete level 4 biosafety protection facilities, management and personnel system, and has the comprehensive abilities to conduct level 4 detection, isolation and identification, pathogenic characteristic analysis, research on infection and pathogenic mechanisms, and the verification of antiviral drugs and vaccines on harmful virus, etc. It has been approved by the National Health Commission of the People's Republic of China to conduct pathogenic activities
The National Biosafety Laboratory, Wuhan (NBL3), covering an area of about 280 m2, is divided into the auxiliary working area and the protection area with its core working area, 140 m2, made up of 3 cell labs, 1 small-sized animal lab, 1 medium-sized animal lab, and 1 dissecting room. The P3 Laboratory, as the main auxiliary facility of the P4 Laboratory, plays a significant role in biosafety cluster platforms.
The scope of pathogenic activities that have been applied to be engaged in by the Laboratory is: the operation of infected materials that have not cultivated successfully for Ebola, SARS, Nipah, Marburg, Lassa fever virus, and Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever virus; pathogen cultivation, transformation, detection, susceptibility testing for mycobacterium tuberculosis and bacillus anthracis, and the experiment of small-sized animals' infection with mycobacterium tuberculosis; the isolation and cultivation, virus amplification and collection & use, detection of virus antigen and antibody, serological neutralization test and small-sized animal infection experiments for TBEV, CHIKV, MERS coronavirus.