The Biosafety Research Road Map: The Search for Evidence to Support Practices in the Laboratory-SARS-CoV-2.
Blacksell SD., Dhawan S., Kusumoto M., Le KK., Summermatter K., O'Keefe J., Kozlovac J., Almuhairi SS., Sendow I., Scheel CM., Ahumibe A., Masuku ZM., Kojima K., Harper DR., Hamilton K.
IntroductionThe SARS-CoV-2 virus emerged as a novel virus and is the causative agent of the COVID-19 pandemic. It spreads readily human-to-human through droplets and aerosols. The Biosafety Research Roadmap aims to support the application of laboratory biological risk management by providing an evidence base for biosafety measures. This involves assessing the current biorisk management evidence base, identifying research and capability gaps, and providing recommendations on how an evidence-based approach can support biosafety and biosecurity, including in low-resource settings.MethodsA literature search was conducted to identify potential gaps in biosafety and focused on five main sections, including the route of inoculation/modes of transmission, infectious dose, laboratory-acquired infections, containment releases, and disinfection and decontamination strategies.ResultsThere are many knowledge gaps related to biosafety and biosecurity due to the SARS-CoV-2 virus's novelty, including infectious dose between variants, personal protective equipment for personnel handling samples while performing rapid diagnostic tests, and laboratory-acquired infections. Detecting vulnerabilities in the biorisk assessment for each agent is essential to contribute to the improvement and development of laboratory biosafety in local and national systems.