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New Reference Laboratory in Sao Paulo starts to diagnose avian diseases

The unit is considered one of the most modern in the world and certified as highly bio-containing

The new laboratory of the LFDA-SP (Federal Laboratory for Agricultural Defense in Sao Paulo) destined to carry out tests for the diagnosis of avian influenza and Newcastle disease is already in operation. The lab has an area of ​​more than 2,000 m², of which 374 m² are of a high level of bioconception (NBA-3), started work in December 2020.

After the stages of commissioning and certification that took place in 2019 and 2020, the new NBA-3 laboratory at LFDA-SP was authorized by COMBioLAB (Permanent Commission for the Management of Biological Risks and Biosafety in Laboratories of the National Network of Agricultural Laboratories that handle biological agents and its parts, viruses and its parts and prions of interest in animal health) to manipulate highly virulent pathogens. Thus, activities related to virological diagnosis in suspected samples of avian influenza and Newcastle disease started to be carried out in the new structure.

Regarding biosafety, the new laboratory is one of the most modern in the world, being one of the few NBA-3 units dedicated exclusively to the diagnosis of avian diseases. The high biocontainment area has systems and equipment capable of detecting, identifying, propagating and manipulating microorganisms of high biological risk without posing a risk to the safety of the community and the environment.

The entire NBA-3 area is monitored by cameras 24/7 and access to the laboratory is controlled using individual passwords. The LFDA-SP is the second Brazilian laboratory to be classified as having a high level of biocontainment by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). The first was the laboratory of the LFDA-MG.

“With the transfer of virology activities to the new structure, the LFDA-SP starts to expand its activities as a world reference laboratory for the diagnosis of Newcastle disease and avian influenza [recognized by the OIE since 2016], being able to to safely receive suspicious samples from other countries on the continent,” highlights the general coordinator of Agricultural Laboratories, Rodrigo Nazareno.

The site will also be able to handle material with a high concentration and volume of viruses, expanding the possibility of producing reference materials and establishing new partnerships to carry out experiments that require the manipulation of highly pathogenic avian viruses.