Biosecurity measures in 48 isolation facilities managing highly infectious diseases

Vincenzo Puro, Francesco M. Fusco, Stefan Schilling, Gail Thomson, Giuseppina De Iaco, Philippe Brouqui, Helena C. Maltezou, Barbara Bannister, René Gottschalk, Hans Rheinhard Brodt, Giuseppe Ippolito

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Biosecurity measures are traditionally applied to laboratories, but they may also be usefully applied in highly specialized clinical settings, such as the isolation facilities for the management of patients with highly infectious diseases (eg, viral hemorrhagic fevers, SARS, smallpox, potentially severe pandemic flu, and MDR- and XDR-tuberculosis). In 2009 the European Network for Highly Infectious Diseases conducted a survey in 48 isolation facilities in 16 European countries to determine biosecurity measures for access control to the facility. Security personnel are present in 39 facilities (81%). In 35 facilities (73%), entrance to the isolation area is restricted; control methods include electronic keys, a PIN system, closed-circuit TV, and guards at the doors. In 25 facilities (52%), identification and registration of all staff entering and exiting the isolation area are required. Access control is used in most surveyed centers, but specific lacks exist in some facilities. Further data are needed to assess other biosecurity aspects, such as the security measures during the transportation of potentially contaminated materials and measures to address the risk of an "insider attack.".

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)208-214
Number of pages7
JournalBiosecurity and Bioterrorism
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health(social science)
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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