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Zika - Current National Biocontainment Laboratories and Regional Biocontainment Laboratories

Zika virus is classified as biological safety level (BSL) 2 pathogen.

Revised diagnostic testing for Zika, chikungunya, and dengue viruses in US Public Health Laboratories - February 7, 2016
(see page 2, of 6 page .PDF file)

Large quantities and/or high concentrations of any virus have the potential to overwhelm both innate immune mechanisms and vaccine-induced immunity. When a BSL-2 virus is being produced in large quantities or in high concentrations, additional risk assessment is required. This might indicate BSL-3 practices, including additional respiratory protection, based on the risk assessment of the proposed experiment.
(BSL2+ or BSL3 are the security enhancements being used for Zika by lab biosafety committees. BSL2+ means BSL2 containment with BSL3 practices and PPE.)
(See page 3, of 35 page .PDF file);%20F:%20Arboviruses%20and%20Related%20Zoonotic%20Viruses%20[PDF%20-%20665%20KB]
Also see Biosafety Level (BSL) Practices Chart within the link below . . .

National & Regional Biocontainment Laboratories

In February 2002, consultations between the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and its Blue Ribbon Panel on Bioterrorism produced several recommendations for NIAID to better protect people from the threat of bioterrorism. Fulfilling some of those recommendations required more laboratory space for working with dangerous pathogens than was previously available in the United States. In September 2003 and September 2005, NIAID announced the recipients of grants partially funding the construction of two National Biocontainment Laboratories (NBLs) and thirteen Regional Biocontainment Laboratories (RBLs), increasing Biosafety Level-4 (BSL-4) and BSL-3 lab space nationwide.

The NBLs and RBLs are operated by the grant recipients, research institutions across the country. These labs support biodefense and emerging infectious diseases research as resources that provide lab space for basic research of dangerous pathogens and development of new vaccines and treatments. The NBLs are required to have BSL-4, BSL-3, and BSL-2 labs, animal facilities, insectary facilities, clinical facilities, and research support space. The RBLs are required to have BSL-3 and BSL-2 labs, animal facilities, and research support space. While fulfilling the need of researchers occupying the facility, the NBLs and RBLs can be used by other biodefense researchers within the region, particularly those within the Regional Centers of Excellence in Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases. In addition, these labs are available to provide assistance to national, state, and local public health efforts during a biological attack.

Current National Biocontainment Laboratories and Regional Biocontainment Laboratories

Section VIII-F: Arboviruses and Related Zoonotic Viruses (see page 33, of 35 page .PDF file);%20F:%20Arboviruses%20and%20Related%20Zoonotic%20Viruses%20[PDF%20-%20665%20KB]</a>

Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories (BMBL) 5th Edition


The CDC Trioplex rRT-PCR and Zika MAC-ELISA (testing for anti-Zika IgM) are available to qualified laboratories in the United States. Eligible public health laboratories are those who have demonstrated proficiency with ELISA-based serological methods (for CDC Zika MAC-ELISA) or with rRT-PCR (for CDC Trioplex rRT-PCR) and who have facilities, personnel and equipment appropriate to the safe handling of specimens suspected of containing Zika, dengue, or chikungunya viruses. State, local, and territorial public health departments interested in obtaining the materials described above should contact ***@***.*** for an application.

CDC-designated laboratories who perform the CDC Zika MAC-ELISA and/or Trioplex rRT-PCR are first required to demonstrate proficiency with the assay(s) by successfully testing verification panels for each assay. Only labs that have been notified by CDC that they have successfully completed the verification testing are authorized to use the CDC assays for diagnostic testing.

CDC - Approved Lab Tests for Zika


Update - Lab Guidance - July 28, 2016

Ideal timing of specimens for serology:


Acute       3 to 10 days after onset of symptoms

Convalescent2-3 weeks after acute sample

Testing Results

Given the current volume of samples, test results will not be available for at least 3 weeks after specimen receipt. Reporting times for test results may be longer during summer months or when arbovirus activity increases. Initial serological testing will be performed using IgM capture ELISA and IgG ELISA (as appropriate for clinical presentation). If the initial results are positive, further confirmatory testing may delay the reporting of final results. ALL RESULTS WILL BE SENT TO THE APPROPRIATE STATE HEALTH DEPARTMENT. Specimens should NOT be submitted directly to CDC. All submissions should go through your state or local health department.

CDC - Division of Vector-Borne Diseases (DVBD) - Instructions for Submitting Diagnostic Specimens to the DVBD Arbovirus Diagnostic Laboratory

CDC - Zika Virus - For Laboratories

Setting Up a Biosafety Level 2 Laboratory




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