FABA in collaboration with FABA Bangladesh Chapter, FABA Academy, and University of Hyderabad (UoH) Aspire BioNEST conducted the Workshop on “Biosafety and Biosecurity in Microbiological, Biomedical Research, Diagnosis and Clinical Care” virtually on weekends and spanned a total of 7 days (22nd October to 6th November, 2021). Nearly 128 participants, from Bangladesh, India, Malaysia, Morocco, and Nigeria participated in this workshop. Of these, 40 % were from various leading biopharma industries, including Indian Immunologicals Limited, Biological E. Limited, Curateq Biologics Private Limited, Integrated Cleanroom Technologies Private Limited, Hetero Biopharma Limited, Biosafe Lab India Private Limited, and Syngene International Limited. Altogether, 25 experts from the academy, industry and Government agencies participated as resource persons.
This training workshop constituted of 13 modules focusing on ensuring biosafety and biosecurity in human and animal health research and diagnostic and in production facilities and to protect the environment from biohazards. This training package has created a thorough understanding onbiosafetyand biosecurity while generatingknowledge andskillsand aiming to motivate the individuals to apply biosafety principles and practices in research, diagnostics, and biopharma industries. The workshop also providedin-depth knowledge on writing Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) forhealthcare facilities, laboratory testing, operations, and management. At theend of each day, the knowledge gained by the participants was assessed through a mini quiz.
The 7-day workshop was opened on Oct 22 by the Executive President of FABA, Professor Pallu Reddanna and the keynote was presented by Ms Maureen Elis, Director of International Programs at MCE Biosafety Consulting, Canada and Executive Director of the International Federation of Biosafety Associations (IFBA) where Vice Chancellor of the Jessore University of Science and Technology, Professor Dr Anwar Hossain was present as the Chief Guest. The topics of the various modules included on the first day of the workshop covered History and development of biosafety and biosecurity principles, Biosafety and Biosecurity practices in Human health laboratories and in Pharmaceutical industries, under the theme of Biosafety and Biosafety in Human Health. Prof. Dr. Md Rakibul Islam, Dept. of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Dhaka; Prof. Dr. Lim Yang Mooi, Institute of Postgraduate Studies and Research, Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman, Malaysia; and Dr. Md Asadulghani conducted the training modules and shared their knowledge with the audience on that day of the program.
October 23rd witnessed the proceedings of the second theme: Biosafety and Biosecurity in Animal Health. On that day, the topics covered were Biosafety and Biosecurity in Animal Health laboratories and Biosafety and Biosecurity Animal production and Veterinary Medicine. The session was proceeded by Dr. Girish S Kirimanjeswara, Dept. of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences, The Pennsylvania State University; and Prof. Dr. Md Shahidul Islam, Dept. of Biotechnology, Bangladesh Agricultural University. On October 24th, the lectures were delivered on Biological Safety Cabinet Selection, Installation and Certification and Biohazardous Waste Management, by Dr Asadulghani and Prof. Dr. Lim Yang Mooi, respectively. Mr. Sunil Aggarwal, Deputy General Manager, Ramky Enviro Engineers Ltd gave a special lecture on “Safe transportation and disposal of the hospital or pharmaceutical waste in accordance with all regulatory and legal requirements as well as sustainable development goals” after the training sessions of that day.
Biosafety and Biosecurity practices in clinical care was the theme on October 29th. Dr. Chandan Kumar Roy from Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University conducted the session on the given topic which was followed by the special lecture on “Growing importance of infection control and biosafety in post-covid world, by Dr. Ranga Reddy Burri, President Infection Control Academy of India. The participants were then enlightened on the topic “Biosafety and biosecurity for hospital, clinics and laboratories: Tips to practitioners” with the second special lecture on that day by Prof. T V Rao, formerly professor of microbiology, TMC Kollam Kerala.
On October 30th, the theme was “Biosafety and Biosecurity on High Containment Laboratories.” The first session of the day witnessed talks by Dr. Vikram Saini, Dept. of Biotechnology, AIIMS on the topic “Requirements for laboratory Diagnosis and Research with RG3 agents. The subsequent sessions were on implementing biosafety and biosecurity in microbiological and biomedical research and developing high containment facilities and biosafety and biosecurity program by Prof. Dr. Shailendra K Saxena, Professor and Head, Center for advanced research, King Georges Medical University, Lucknow and Dr. Harinarayana Rao, BSL-3 laboratory, University of Hyderabad, respectively. On this day also there was a special lecture on history and development of high containment laboratories in India by Dr. Ravisekhar Gadepalli, Dept. of Microbiology, AIIMS Jodhpur. The day ended with learning on the cost effective and sustainable solutions for high containment facility operations and maintenance by Ms. Maureen Elis, Executive Director, international Federation of Biosafety Associations.
The theme on October 31st was Biosafety and Biosecurity in Biotechnology Applications. Prof. Dr. Md. Rakibul Islam introduced viral vectors in biotechnology from the perspective of Biosafety and Biosecurity to the audience. Biosafety and biosecurity aspects in animal health industry was put forth by Dr. Rajeev Jha, Strategic research and technical timeline coordinator, PT, Central Proteina Prima, Indonesia. Dr. Ranjan Chakrabarti, Former VP- Biologics, United States Pharmacopeia India Pvt. Ltd. ended the day’s discussion with cleanroom consideration and microbial testing for developing quality medicinal product.
On November 6th, the session started with understanding standard operating procedures (SOP) and Hands on training on writing SOP with Dr. Natasha K Griffith, Associate Director of Operations, High containment zone at Georgia State University. The panel discussion on the topic “Issues and Challenges in Handling Emerging and Re-emerging Infectious Agents Like SARS Cov2” was the highlight of the closing ceremony. The panel was moderated by Prof. Dr. Lim Yang Mooi. Among the panelists were Dr. Pragya Yadav from ICMR-National Institute of Virology Dept, of Health Research, MoHFW; Dr. Harinarayana Rao, Dr. Ranjan Chakrabarti, Dr. Ravisekhar Gadeapalli, Dr. Md Giasuddin, Former Director, National Reference Laboratory of Avian Influenza and Consultant Bangladesh Livestock Research Institute, One Health Poultry Hub; Dr. Natasha K Griffith and Dr. Md Asadulghani.
The unique feature of the workshop includes pre- and post- assessment of the knowledge of the participants every day. Overall, there was an improvement of 30-80% in the knowledge of the participants at the end of the workshop.
The workshop ended with an address by the Chief Guest Dr. Anwar Nasim, former President of Pakistan Academy of Sciences and Founder President of FABA, who congratulated the entire cohort for the success of the workshop. The closing remarks were made by Prof. Dr. Md Aftab Ali Sheikh, Chairman, Bangladesh Council of Scientific and Industrial Research; Dr. Md Salimullah, Director-General, National Institute of Biotechnology/ Chairman, FABA Bangladesh Chapter; Dr. Suresh Pothani, Executive secretary, FABA and Prof. Pallu Reddanna, Executive President. The workshop concluded with a vote of thanks from Dr. Asadulghani.
The Federation of Asian Biotech Associations (FABA) (biofaba.org.in)