SVIMS to set up bio-safety lab for virology research

SVIMS Director Dr B Vengamma. (R) A replica of BSL-3 lab
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SVIMS Director Dr B Vengamma. (R) A replica of BSL-3 lab

Highlights

Collaborates with DRDO to set up Rs 69-lakh level-3 lab

Tirupati: A bio-safety lab level – 3, worth Rs 69 lakh, will come up at SVIMS soon in collaboration with the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). This modern lab is intended for research in virology where viral cultures and mutations among other advanced studies can be done. This facility will be established under mobile shelter which looks like a container so as to be positioned anywhere to study the viruses based on the requirements. Apart from performing various laboratory screenings etc, it enables the test services at remote places and extensive research on identification of viruses and related agents causing morbidity. This proposed lab will also enable the researchers and doctors to undertake research activities on the existing as well as new viruses. The BSL – 3 lab equipped with a negative pressure, ante room and air lock with HEPA filters in exhaust air design for specimen processing and virus culture as per WHO guidelines. When a particular virus is found at any specific area, the lab can be put up there to start research on that.

Modern technology and advanced equipment will be made available in it as required by the researchers and medical experts. All precautions will be taken into consideration from the

PPEs to be used inside the lab to sample collection and experiments to ensure the safety of the researchers and other staff.

The SVIMS is currently having BSL-2 and BSL-3 is soon going to upgrade the facility in the Institute. While the equipment to be set up in BSL-3 used to be imported in the past, now DRDO has taken initiative to manufacture it indigenously with other companies. They have given the quotation for Rs 69 lakh to SVIMS for this laboratory.

Speaking to The Hans India, the Director cum Vice Chancellor Dr B Vengamma said that the equipment is ready and DRDO has arranged Rs 25 lakh donation through Sri City MD Ravindra Sannareddy. The equipment worth Rs 30 lakh will be sponsored by the DRDO recommended company which manufactured it.

SVIMS has been planning to use the funds from Sri Balaji Aarogya Vara Prasadini (SBAVP) scheme to meet its obligation of providing the balance Rs 14 lakh. Now it is under the approval stage and the lab will become a reality very soon which will be located near the Centre for Advanced Research (CfAR) building in the campus. Specialised virologists are also to be appointed to carryout research in BSL-3, she disclosed.

The institute is also contemplating the idea of launching three new branches in the institute – Geriatrics, Clinical Immunology and Genetics which was in principle approved, said Dr Vengamma. They were planning to take the financial support from SBAVP for these courses too.



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