Malicious and dangerous viruses will be researched in the new laboratory near Prague

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Imported samples were examined in the local laboratories during the covid pandemic, more than a hundred volunteers worked here. Now here, the fight against the covid virus is entering the next phase, and scientists are, for example, investigating the further development and mutations of the virus and what cells it attacks and why.

The reconstruction of the existing laboratory with lower security to a workplace with higher security labeled BSL3 cost almost 40 million, in addition to this there is equipment for another 25 million crowns.

Photo: Radek Plavecký, Law

Laboratory workers must work with dangerous viruses in a special environment

“The opening of the BSL3 laboratory will allow us to conduct experiments and study viruses that cannot be studied in a regular laboratory. For example, with the covid virus, scientists already have an assumption where it could develop and can investigate whether the substances and vaccines we have will still work,” virologist Ruth Tachezy from the Faculty of Science of the UK told Novinka. “It will also be possible to study the interaction of viruses with the mechanisms of natural immunity, opening ways to slow down or stop the multiplication of viruses,” added Tachezy.

Photo: Radek Plavecký, Law

Research in the new laboratory of the biomedical center in Vestec near Prague.

Entry to the new laboratory is possible only under special conditions, through two rooms with different pressure. In the laboratory itself, there is the greatest negative pressure to prevent the escape of contaminated air. Laboratory workers must wear protective overalls, wear a mask with a breathing device and an air filter on their head. “If there is any leakage and contamination, we are protected thanks to the filter,” pointed out one of the laboratory workers, Olena Berehovska. “We have two gloves on our hands, although it is more difficult to work with and requires more patience, but it is necessary for protection,” she added.

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Photo: Radek Plavecký, Law

Dangerously spreading viruses can be studied in a new secure laboratory

A maximum of ten laboratory technicians can work here. They have four handling boxes, a box with sleeves for working with the most dangerous viruses. “All infected samples are examined under a microscope in a closed container,” Zora Mělková from the 1st Faculty of Medicine of Charles University pointed out another safety rule.

In addition to covid, scientists here will research, for example, the hepatitis B virus, i.e. the causative agent of jaundice B. “The research is focused on treating this disease, in order to remove the virus from the body. Hepatitis infects liver cells, that’s why we grow cells, infect them and examine reactions to various substances,” explained Markéta Pimková Polidarová from the Faculty of Science. “The laboratory will allow us to study hepatitis B and D virus infection leading to cirrhosis and liver cancer. These experiments should lead to the clarification of the mechanisms that would lead to a cure,” added Ruth Tachezy.

Magdaléna Jančářová, on the other hand, heads the laboratory of the biology of insect viruses and deals with the aforementioned Rift Valley fever. It occurs mainly in sub-Saharan Africa and is mainly spread by mosquitoes. But there is a risk of introduction to Europe, so scientists are investigating what other insects can spread it. This is aimed at the timely protection of the population.

Whooping cough has been confirmed in 5,300 people. Easter slowed down the spread

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The article is in Czech

Czechia

Tags: Malicious dangerous viruses researched laboratory Prague

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