Contact:  Dr Otto Koekemoer

Biosafety Level 3 is applicable when diagnostic or research work is performed with zoonotic pathogens that may be harmful to humans or for which there is a strict requirement for containment. The BSL 3 laboratory is certified by DAFF and contains all the necessary equipment to protect both researchers and the environment against exposure to pathogens like avian influenza and Rift Valley fever viruses and the prion that causes BSE that might be contained in diagnostic samples.

The OVR BSL3 containment facility is designed with special engineering features focusing on the biosafety considerations for a BSL3 facility. Biosafety Level 3 is applicable to clinical, diagnostic, teaching, research, or production facilities in which work is done with pathogens which may cause serious or potentially lethal disease in humans or animals because of exposure through contaminative contact or inhalation. Working with BSL3 pathogens (avian influenza, rift valley fever, etc.) requires diligence from all users to maintain safe laboratory conditions, which includes essential knowledge of both the pathogen and the procedures, proper training, donning of Tyvek suites and adherence to safety practices. Failure to meet any of these expectations will result in removal of BSL3 access privileges. The facility has a refined ventilation system with HEPA filters that maintains negative room pressure to allow the containment of infectious agents and to facilitate decontamination through the ducting with the separation of rooms into the control room, change room, shower room and two separate working sections (Virology and the PCR sections). It is also build with an Effluent Decontamination System (EDS) where heat sterilization processes are used to change the properties of the wastewater (by removing harmful substances) in order to turn it into clean water that can be safely discharged into the environment (municipal sewage system).

The BSL3 laboratory plays an important role in the cultivation of zoonotic diseases for researches, research technicians and veterinarians associated with projects and programs to enhance laboratory biosafety and biosecurity.

BSL3.pngBSL3 Laboratory​

BSL1.pngBSL3 Laboratory access control​

BSL2.pngPPE used in the BSL3 laboratory​

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