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Preparedness for ebolavirus disease outbreak in Japan: Necessity of Biosafety level-4 facility

Preparedness for ebolavirus disease outbreak in Japan: Necessity of Biosafety level-4 facility

Uirusu 65(1): 89-94

Although a globe box-type highly contained laboratory with the internationally-recognized biosafety level-4 standards has been constructed in the Murayama Annex, the National Institute of Infectious Diseases, Tokyo, Japan (NIID) in 1981, the laboratory has never been operated as BSL-4 laboratory since its construction. Furthermore, there are no other BSL-4 laboratories in operation in Japan. The evidence indicates that infectious BSL-4 pathogens such as Ebola and Marburg viruses cannot be manipulated in Japan, making it impossible to study the BSL-4 pathogens using the infectious viruses. A large-scale outbreak of ebolavirus disease (EVD) has occurred in the western Africa such as Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia. Furthermore, the highly pathogenic pathogens' infectious diseases outbreaks such as SARS, Nipah encephalitis, Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) have emerged in the world. However, BSL-4 laboratories are not present in Japan, making it difficult to study these pathogens and infectious diseases. Because these emerging virus infections are caused by the zoonotic pathogens, the eradiation and the elimination of these infectious diseases are impossible. We need to develop the diagnostics, therapeutics, and preventive measures based on the studies of the highly pathogenic pathogens more in detail using the infectious microbes. Therefore, BSL-4 in operation in Japan is required to minimize the risk of and combat these emerging highly pathogenic pathogens' infectious diseases.

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Accession: 058609337

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PMID: 26923962

DOI: 10.2222/jsv.65.89

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