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Pandemic Preparedness Capabilities

Testing BSL3 Biomedicum capabilities and more

PI(s)/Head responsible for the resource:

Antonio Rothfuchs

Host organisation(s):

Karolinska Institutet

Resource description:

The Biosafety Level 3 (BSL3) research infrastructure at Biomedicum has been seamlessly integrated into the PLP capability of SciLifeLab (see details on the previous project grant). The facility offers specialised platforms in BSL3 for high-throughput (HTP) drug screening and pathogen aerobiology. The facility also leads the Swedish BSL3 Network (SB3N), a first-of-kind network for academic BSL3 laboratories in Sweden to interact with each other. The project has 3 aims divided into 3 work packages (WPs), and uses the pandemic pathogen Monkeypox virus (MPXV) as a demonstrator.

The Aims of the project are to:

  1. Test the access pipelines for MPXV isolates from the latest outbreak (WP1)

  2. Test the workflows of the specialised platforms build in BSL3 Biomedicum (WP2)

  3. Perform a comprehensive consequence analysis of identified bottlenecks (WP3)

There is an overwhelming consensus among the academic members of SB3N that Swedish SARS-CoV-2 strains were difficult to obtain during the COVID-19 pandemic. In WP1 we will investigate this by requesting access to Swedish MPXV isolates from the 2022 outbreak. Isolates will be requested from FoHM and from laboratories in the healthcare regions that have PLP projects. We will map hurdles in delivery of isolates. In WP2 we will test the ability of BSL3 Biomedicum to adapt MPXV to its high-end platforms for HTP antiviral screening and pathogen investigation in aerosols. These activities support both PLP and biodefense applications. In WP3 we will perform a consequence analysis to evaluate workflows in access to isolates and in the adaptation of our specialised platforms to MPXV. We will be supported by FoHM in this process to systematically analyse pros, cons, and challenges. Finally, risk mitigation measures will be proposed and communicated to counter hurdles in access to strains, and to counter choke points in our established high-end platforms. This will prepare us when we shift gears again to wartime/early pandemic activities.

Contact information:

Marianna Tampere
Coordinator Swedish BSL3 Network

Antonio Gigliotti Rothfuchs
BSL3 Director