A highly sophisticated Biosafety Level 3 (BSL 3) containment laboratory at the Saskatchewan Disease Control Laboratory (SDCL) officially began operations earlier this month.
The SDCL provides a range of services for regional public health institutions including testing for and monitoring of: environmental specimens, food-borne illnesses, communicable diseases, and influenza. The laboratory also supports the biosafety and biohazard spill response programs for the province.
The new BSL 3 lab provides a safe and secure environment for handling dangerous microbes such as tuberculosis, anthrax, tularemia, and pandemic influenza, as well as newly emerging diseases.
“This new lab’s improved testing capability and faster intervention will allow us to do a broader range of testing in-province for a number of diseases – and will prove very significant in the event of a public health crisis such as SARS or another influenza pandemic,” stated Health Minister Dustin Duncan.
The BSL 3 lab received required certifications over the summer by the Public Health Agency of Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. SDCL is located at Innovation Place, adjacent to the University of Regina. The state-of-the-art facility opened in 2010.
Source: Government of Saskatchewan