• 28 May 2019 7:16 AM | Daniel Kümin (Administrator)

    SBNet's Secretary General was interviewed following SBNet's successful application to become a member of suissepro. The interview has now been published in SafetyPlus and may be found here.

  • 22 May 2019 9:17 AM | Daniel Kümin (Administrator)

    The Scuola Universitaria Professionale delle Svizzera Italiana (SUPSI) is proud to announce its training course on MALDI-TOF mass spectronomy. The course is scheduled for October 23rd - 25th 2019 at SUPSI.

    During the course participants will have the possibility to work with and compare all machines and databases on the market (Vitek-MS, Bruker Biotyper, Saramis , ....). There will be a theoretical introduction to the basics of MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry, presentation of the different systems available for clinical diagnostics and research, laboratory applications for the identification of microorganisms from clinical and environmental samples (bacteria, filamentous fungi, yeasts) and from insects (mosquitoes), using different instruments and databases. In addition, a series of presentations given by experts will provide the needed basic concepts and the appropriate tools for the evaluation of the analyses.

    Please see the link for further information and how to register for the course.

  • 20 May 2019 9:25 AM | Daniel Kümin (Administrator)

    Earlier this year SBNet was asked to evaluate the proposed changes to the Containment Ordinance. Whilst some proposed changes were highly welcomed by council, others, especially those concerned with laboratory biosecurity aspects, were strongly opposed. Unfortunately, it appears that authorities do not agree with SBNet's view on these issues which is why we feel the need to further address the proposed amendments with regard to the introduction of additional laboratory biosecurity measures.

    Please follow this link to SBNet Council's open letter to all interested parties (German only).

    We kindly ask you to voice your oppinions towards these changes and address them with the relevant authorities.

  • 16 May 2019 1:31 PM | Daniel Kümin (Administrator)

    SBNet successfully applied for membership in suissepro. Membership was granted by the delegates of suissepro on April 4th 2019.

    Suissepro is the umbrella association of the different associations for worker's health and safety in Switzerland. For more information please visit their website at

    SBNet council is convinced that our members will benefit in many ways from working more closely with the member associations of suissepro.

    For those of you interested, SBNet members now also profit from discounted subscriptions to SafetyPlus which is the new official publication of suissepro.

  • 14 May 2019 3:46 PM | Daniel Kümin (Administrator)

    Please find the link to the article below the abstract.

    The Global Polio Eradication Initiative continues to make progress toward the eradication target. Indigenous wild poliovirus (WPV) type 2 was last detected in 1999, WPV type 3 was last detected in 2012, and over the past 2 years WPV type 1 has been detected only in parts of 2 countries (Afghanistan and Pakistan). Once the eradication of poliomyelitis is achieved, infectious and potentially infectious poliovirus materials retained in laboratories, vaccine production sites, and other storage facilities will continue to pose a risk for poliovirus reintroduction into communities. The recent breach in containment of WPV type 2 in an inactivated poliovirus vaccine manufacturing site in the Netherlands prompted this review, which summarizes information on facility-associated release of polioviruses into communities reported over >8 decades. Successful polio eradication requires the management of poliovirus containment posteradication to prevent the consequences of the reestablishment of poliovirus transmission.


  • 17 Apr 2019 8:19 AM | Daniel Kümin (Administrator)

    Please see the following link for a treatise on incorporating concerns for dual-use into science education: Novossiolova, 2019.

  • 12 Apr 2019 3:52 PM | Daniel Kümin (Administrator)

    The Lab Excellence Academy (LEAC) offers a course titled "Faszination Biosafety - Aktuelle Trends und Risiken".

    More information may be obtained on their website or in the attached flyer.

  • 09 Apr 2019 8:13 AM | Daniel Kümin (Administrator)

    Laboratory exposure to Coccidioides: lessons learnt in a non-endemic country

    Coccidioides is a primary pathogenic fungus, which infects humans through highly infectious arthroconidia, causing substantial morbidity including life-threatening disseminated infections. Due to the low infectious dose, laboratory personnel might become infected during diagnostic procedures. Accordingly, coccidioidomycosis is reported as the most frequent laboratory-acquired systemic mycosis worldwide. This risk is aggravated in nonendemic countries, where the diagnosis may not be suspected. We report on an inadvertent exposure of 44 persons to Coccidioides posadasii in a clinical microbiology laboratory in Chile, the measures of containment after rapid diagnosis with matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry, and the lessons learnt in a non-endemic setting.

    Floor and environmental contamination during glove disposal

    Background: Evidence suggests that doffing and possibly disposal of used personal protective equipment (PPE) can lead to environmental contamination. Aim: To ascertain the potential for site and floor contamination when medical gloves are inappropriately disposed. Methods: Fifteen healthcare workers (HCWs) disposed of gloves inoculated with bacteriophage and a chemical dye into a wastebasket, located 1.22 m away. Following each trial, designated sample areas were visually inspected with a blacklight for fluorescent dye stains and swabbed with a 3M Letheen Broth sponge to quantify the bacteriophage. Findings: The area closest to the participant (<0.30 m) had the highest bacteriophage concentrations (geomean: 6.9  103 pfu/100 cm2 ; range: 8.07 to 3.93  107 pfu/100 cm2 ). Bacteriophage concentrations were significantly higher (P < 0.05) in areas 0.61 m compared to >0.61 m from the HCWs. Although the farthest distances (1.22e1.52 m) resulted in 14% bacteriophage- and 4% fluorescent dye-positive occurrences, there was no significant difference (P ¼ 0.069) between the tracers. The bacteriophage and chemical dye indicate highest environmental contamination nearest the HCWs and both tracers could be appropriate for PPE disposal training. Conclusion: HCWs use gloves every workday and potentially could contaminate surrounding surfaces and floors, during improper disposal practices. Therefore, proper disposal techniques are required to minimize pathogen transmission by establishing industry-wide policies, adequate training, and education to HCWs.

  • 05 Apr 2019 9:01 AM | Daniel Kümin (Administrator)

    The journal Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases published an article on laboratory containment and management of gene drive systems in arthropods. Please refer to the abstract below as well as the link to the article website.

    Recommendations for Laboratory Containment and Management of Gene Drive Systems in Arthropods

    Versatile molecular tools for creating driving transgenes and other invasive genetic factors present regulatory, ethical, and environmental challenges that should be addressed to ensure their safe use. In this article, we discuss driving transgenes and invasive genetic factors that can potentially spread after their introduction into a small proportion of individuals in a population. The potential of invasive genetic factors to increase their number in natural populations presents challenges that require additional safety measures not provided by previous recommendations regarding accidental release of arthropods. In addition to providing physical containment, invasive genetic factors require greater attention to strain management, including their distribution and identity confirmation. In this study, we focus on insects containing such factors with recommendations for investigators who are creating them, institutional biosafety committees charged with ensuring safety, funding agencies providing support, those managing insectaries handling these materials who are responsible for containment, and other persons who will be receiving insects—transgenic or not—from these facilities. We give specific examples of efforts to modify mosquitoes for mosquito-borne disease control, but similar considerations are relevant to other arthropods that are important to human health, the environment, and agriculture.

    Link to article.

  • 05 Mar 2019 7:26 AM | Daniel Kümin (Administrator)

    OIE just published new guidelines to address the dual-use condundrum in research, specifically, research into animal pathogens. The guidelines may be found at the following link.

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