The Public Health Agency of Sweden
Published 13 June 2018

High-containment laboratory

The Public Health Agency of Sweden is always on standby to conduct microbiological analyses of high-consequence infectious agents that pose a danger to society. For this purpose, the Agency operates a high-containment laboratory to process samples from patients suspected to be infected with haemorrhagic fever viruses or other highly pathogenic viruses.

Effective communicable disease control requires access to advanced laboratories

Customer support

Tel: +46-10-205 24 44

Weekdays 08.00–16.30 CET

E-mail to Customer support

The high-containment laboratory at the Public Health Agency of Sweden in Solna is the only biosafety level 4 (BSL-4) facility in the Nordic countries and one of few in Europe. At the laboratory, haemorrhagic fever viruses and other highly infectious pathogens in risk group 4 can be identified and further analysed. The laboratory also has the capability to identify hitherto unknown infectious agents by next generation sequencing (NGS) and advanced bioinformatics support. There are approximately 20 staff members working either at or in connection with the facility, which consists of two separate modules.

Preparedness and diagnostics

The Public Health Agency of Sweden follows current outbreaks of infectious diseases around the world to be prepared for possible exported cases to Sweden. The laboratory service is available for Swedish healthcare givers and contract costumers round-the-clock every day of the year for analysis of specimens from patients suspected to be infected with a high consequence viral pathogen that pose a danger to society. The laboratory is always operational, and within two hours of notification from a healthcare facility, laboratory staff can initiate analyses of samples suspected to contain viral haemorrhagic fever viruses such as Ebola and Marburg viruses.

The following methodologies are available for diagnostic testing of viruses in risk group 4.

  • Molecular biological analyses (Q-PCR, conventional PCR, partial or complete sequencing of virus genomes, NGS)
  • Serological analyses (including virus neutralisation)
  • Electron microscopy
  • Virus cultivation/isolation
  • Experimental biomedicine

The diagnostic techniques are quality assured through participation in European networks of high containment laboratories. A virology laboratory as well as a bacteriology laboratory (both biosafety level 3 [BSL-3]) are located adjacent to the BSL-4 facility. At the BSL-3 laboratories it is possible to perform differential diagnostics for instance malaria and dengue fever, or bacterial diseases like anthrax, melioidosis and brucellosis.

Contact

If you are interested in our services please contact our customer support during office hours, see above.

For our contract customers, for referral of diagnostic samples please contact customer support during office hours (weekdays 08.00–16.30 CET) or after office hours our clinical microbiologist on duty on +46-10-205 24 00.