Development of a Biosecurity Checklist for Laboratory Assessment and Monitoring

Sabrina Brizee, Mark W. J. van Passel, Linda M. van den Berg, Daniel Feakes, Ana Izar, Kathryn Tham Bee Lin, Yuwana Podin, Zalini Yunus, and Diederik A. Bleijs.


Introduction: Laboratory biosecurity is of continuously growing interest due to increasing concerns about deliberate misuse of biological materials and emerging biological risks. These risks continue to be magnified by globalization, the rapid pace of scientific development, and dual-use technologies. Worldwide laboratory capacities are expanding, which calls for concrete actions to improve laboratory biosafety and biosecurity practices to protect researchers and the community. Hence, laboratories require comprehensive biorisk management programs to minimize the risk of accidental and deliberate release of infectious biological materials.

Objective: Malaysia has prioritized the concern of national biosecurity and aims to consolidate laboratory biosecurity performance to detect and prevent the deliberate release of biological agents.

Methods: Two 3-day workshops were organized over the course of four months in which Malaysia collaborated with The Netherlands. This bilateral engagement aimed to integrate biosecurity practices in their national biorisk management programs, and resulted into a comprehensive biosecurity checklist for laboratory assessment and monitoring.

Results: This biosecurity checklist is based on Malaysian and Dutch expert opinions and national and international guidelines and regulations. The biosecurity checklist is a survey-driven tool that consists of a set of concrete questions for each key biosecurity area, which are discussion points for assessment.

Conclusion: We display a practical biosecurity checklist for laboratory assessment and monitoring. Although the presented checklist was the template for the specific Malaysia checklist, it could serve as a template for other countries.