Labor Spiez (Spiez Laboratory)

2. Where is it located (include both address and geographical location)?

Labor Spiez, Bundesamt für Bevölkerungsschutz, Eidgenössisches Departement für Verteidigung, Bevölkerungsschutz und Sport, Austrasse, CH-3700 Spiez, Switzerland

N 46° 41' 26.32", E 7° 38' 39.41"

3. Floor area of laboratory areas by containment level
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
Total laboratory floor area (SqM)

4. The organizational structure of each facility

(viii) Briefly describe the publication policy of the facility

Publication in open literature.

(ix) Provide a list of publicly-available papers and reports resulting from the work published during the previous 12 months. (To include authors, titles and full references)

ARC: An Open Web-Platform for Request/Supply Matching for a Prioritized and Controlled COVID-19 Response. 
Courcol JD, Invernizzi CF, Landry ZC, Minisini M, Baumgartner DA, Bonhoeffer S, Chabriw B, Clerc EE, Daniels M, Getta P, Girod M, Kazala K, Markram H, Pasqualini A, Martínez-Pérez C, Peaudecerf FJ, Peaudecerf MS, Pfreundt U, Roller BRK, Słomka J, Vasse M, Wheeler JD, Metzger CMJA, Stocker R, Schürmann F.
Front Public Health. 2021 Feb 16;9:607677. doi: 10.3389/fpubh.2021.607677. eCollection 2021.
PMID: 33665184 

Rapid Identification of SARS-CoV-2 Variants of Concern Using a Portable peakPCR Platform. 
Bechtold P, Wagner P, Hosch S, Siegrist D, Ruiz-Serrano A, Gregorini M, Mpina M, Ondó FA, Obama J, Ayekaba MO, Engler O, Stark WJ, Daubenberger CA, Schindler T.
Anal Chem. 2021 Dec 14;93(49):16350-16359. doi: 10.1021/acs.analchem.1c02368. Epub 2021 Dec 1.
PMID: 34852455 

Identification of Novel Antiviral Compounds Targeting Entry of Hantaviruses. 
Mayor J, Torriani G, Engler O, Rothenberger S.
Viruses. 2021 Apr 16;13(4):685. doi: 10.3390/v13040685.
PMID: 33923413 

Antiviral Efficacy of Ribavirin and Favipiravir against Hantaan Virus. 
Mayor J, Engler O, Rothenberger S.
Microorganisms. 2021 Jun 15;9(6):1306. doi: 10.3390/microorganisms9061306.
PMID: 34203936 

Genomics and transcriptomics yields a system-level view of the biology of the pathogen Naegleria fowleri. 
Herman EK, Greninger A, van der Giezen M, Ginger ML, Ramirez-Macias I, Miller HC, Morgan MJ, Tsaousis AD, Velle K, Vargová R, Záhonová K, Najle SR, MacIntyre G, Muller N, Wittwer M, Zysset-Burri DC, Eliáš M, Slamovits CH, Weirauch MT, Fritz-Laylin L, Marciano-Cabral F, Puzon GJ, Walsh T, Chiu C, Dacks JB.
BMC Biol. 2021 Jul 22;19(1):142. doi: 10.1186/s12915-021-01078-1.
PMID: 34294116 

Whole-Genome Assemblies of 16 Burkholderia pseudomallei Isolates from Rivers in Laos. 
Liechti N, Zimmermann RE, Zopfi J, Robinson MT, Pierret A, Ribolzi O, Rattanavong S, Davong V, Newton PN, Wittwer M, Dance DAB.
Microbiol Resour Announc. 2021 Jan 28;10(4):e01226-20. doi: 10.1128/MRA.01226-20.
PMID: 33509986 

Accuracy of serological testing for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies: First results of a large mixed-method evaluation study. 
Brigger D, Horn MP, Pennington LF, Powell AE, Siegrist D, Weber B, Engler O, Piezzi V, Damonti L, Iseli P, Hauser C, Froehlich TK, Villiger PM, Bachmann MF, Leib SL, Bittel P, Fiedler M, Largiadèr CR, Marschall J, Stalder H, Kim PS, Jardetzky TS, Eggel A, Nagler M.
Allergy. 2021 Mar;76(3):853-865. doi: 10.1111/all.14608. Epub 2020 Nov 13.
PMID: 32997812 

Strengthening the United Nations Secretary-General's Mechanism to an alleged use of bioweapons through a quality-assured laboratory response. 
Appelt S, Rohleder AM, Invernizzi C, Mikulak R, Brinkmann A, Nitsche A, Krüger M, Dorner MB, Dorner BG, Scholz HC, Grunow R.
Nat Commun. 2021 May 25;12(1):3078. doi: 10.1038/s41467-021-23296-5.
PMID: 34035242 

5. Briefly describe the biological defence work carried out at the facility, including type(s) of micro-organisms(9) and/or toxins studied, as well as outdoor studies of biological aerosols.

Spiez Laboratory, which is part of the Federal Office 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, 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)
    • other bacterial pathogens according to requirements of the national coordination committee of the Regional Laboratory Network

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 17025:2017.

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(9) Including viruses and prions.