Enhanced Significance of Laboratory Biosafety and Biosecurity During COVID-19 Pandemic
KARAGÜL, MUSTAFA SENCER
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Seven coronavirus species, including severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), cause respiratory diseases in humans. Four of these species, namely, HCoV 229E, HCoV NL63, HCoV HKU1, and HCoV OC43, typically cause mild upper respiratory infection in babies, kids, and the elderly. Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus, Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus, and SARS-CoV-2 lead to more serious diseases in humans by infecting the lower respiratory tract. Epidemic and pandemic situations are the consequences of the rapid transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and large number of deaths. Evaluations related to the recent COVID-19 pandemic have revealed some requirements, which are not well known but essential for fighting against this disease. These requirements include the obligation to work at laboratories with high biosafety level (BSL) and conduction of studies under the guidance of biosafety and biosecurity simultaneously. Likewise, to overcome the hazardous microorganisms, laboratory research is required alongside therapeutic and diagnostic services in the field. This article aims to explain biosafety and biosecurity practices at BSL-3 laboratories, which are necessary for the studies of SARS-CoV-2 as the causative agent of COVID-19.
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