Labor Spiez (Spiez Laboratory)

[Declared in accordance with Form A Part 2(iii)]

2. Responsible public or private organization or company
Federal Office for Civil Protection, Federal Department of Defence, Civil Protection and Sports
3. Location and postal address
Labor Spiez, Bundesamt für Bevölkerungsschutz, Eidgenössisches Departement für Verteidigung, Bevölkerungsschutz und Sport, Austrasse, CH-3700 Spiez, Switzerland
4. Source(s) of financing of the reported activity, including indication if the activity is wholly or partly financed by the Ministry of Defence

Swiss Confederation (Federal Department of Defence, Civil Protection and Sports)

5. Number of maximum containment units5 within the research centre and/or laboratory, with an indication of their respective size (SqM):
BL 4 , 118.00 SqM
Of note, the BSL4 unit is operational and holds a license as follows: “Development of methods to detect and analyze viral pathogens of risk group 4 (clinical samples, environmental samples, including samples suspect of bioterrorism origin) as well as evaluation of antiviral substances, neutralizing antibodies and decontamination solutions”.
BL 3 , 126.00 SqM
BL 2 , 483.00 SqM
6. Scope and general description of activities, including type(s) of micro-organisms and/or toxins as appropriate

Spiez Laboratory, which is part of the Federal Department for Civil Protection, is the Swiss Center of Expertise in NBC Protection. Its Biology Division has a range of activities including research, development, test & evaluation, training, as well as diagnosis in the fields of virology, bacteriology, toxinology and biosafety. The tasks include analysis of unknown samples, diagnostics and identification of potential biological warfare and bioterror agents, food and water analysis for the Swiss Armed Forces, and research & development in coordination with contractors. Spiez Laboratory deals with many different biological agents and toxins known to be pathogenic for humans.

Spiez Laboratory is also a National Reference Center mandated by the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health and a National Reference Laboratory mandated by the Swiss Federal Food Safety and Veterinary Office as follows:

  • National Reference Center for Anthrax
    • Bacillus anthracis (anthrax)
    • Francisella tularensis (tularemia)
    • Yersinia pestis (plague)
    • Brucella spp. (brucellosis)
    • Burkholderia pseudomallei (melioidosis)
    • Clostridium botulinum (botulism)
    • other bacterial pathogens according to requirements of the national coordination committee of the Regional Laboratory Network
  • National Reference Center for Tick-Transmitted Diseases
    • Tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBE)
    • Coxiella burnetii (Q fever)
    • Borrelia burgdorferi s.l. (Lyme disease)
    • Other rare / emerging tick-transmitted pathogens
  • National Reference Laboratory for Staphylococcus enterotoxins
    • Staphylococcus enterotoxin B
    • other Staphylococcus enterotoxins

In addition, Spiez Laboratory supports the National Reference Center for Emerging Viral Infections responsible for the detection of emerging and reemerging viruses of all biosafety levels, especially hemorrhagic fever viruses and variola virus.

Spiez Laboratory's Biology Division holds an accreditation by the Swiss Accreditation Service as "Testing laboratory for the detection of biological agents" (STS 0054) according to the international standard ISO/IEC 17025:2005.

For additional information please visit:

(4) For facilities with maximum containment units participating in the national biological defence research and development programme, please fill in name of facility and mark "Declared in accordance with Form A, part 2 (iii)".

(5) In accordance with the latest edition of the WHO Laboratory Biosafety Manual, or equivalent.