The rise of maximum containment laboratories

By Erik English | June 22, 2023

The world’s deadliest diseases are studied in maximum containment laboratories, which trace their origins back to the first major outbreak of Marburg virus in Europe. The number of labs has grown significantly since the early 2000s and more labs are being planned in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

These facilities play a crucial role in studying infectious diseases, including those with pandemic potential. However, the rapid expansion of these labs worldwide raises important questions around biosafety and biosecurity.

The Bulletin interviewed Filippa Lentzos to review the four biosafety levels and to understand the benefits these labs provide for studying pandemic capable diseases, as well as the risks they pose in a future during which pandemics may become more common.

For more information, check out the Bulletin's map of maximum containment labs around the world.

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Keywords: BSL-4, biorisk, biosafety, biosecurity
Topics: Biosecurity


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