Table E8-2 Number of sites with BSL-4 laboratories (December 2007)a

   Government Private Research Council University
BSL-4 5 2* (Now 1) 3 0

*There is now only one private BSL-4 site.

SOURCE: Contains Parliamentary information licensed under the Open Parliament Licence v1.0.

a pp 24-25 & Ev 52

Of the eight government sites, five can operate at BSL-4 for human pathogens (ACDP4), although only four actually operate at this level, and three at BSL-4 for animal pathogens (SAPO4). Seven sites have facilities to work with infected animals.5 The facilities at each site vary in size from a single room to multiple suites or even individual buildings of BSL-4 laboratories.6 All BSL-4 facilities are located in the South East of England, ranging from rural settings to suburban areas and cities (there are three BSL-4 sites in or near London).7 In addition to these BSL-4 laboratories for research and diagnostics, there are also two High Security Disease Isolation Units (HSDUs) for the care of patients with viral haemorrhagic fevers, such as Ebola or Lassa. One is in Coppetts Wood, London, which would also be used for a postmortem requiring BSL-4, and the other is under development at the Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle.8

Details of eight of the UK BSL-4 sites are provided in the UK Government Confidence Building Measure (CBM) submission to the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC), as shown in Table E8-3.9

Table E8-3 Details of UK BSL-4 laboratories, covering data for 2010a

Type Operator Funding Facilities Activities
Government Defence science and technology laboratory (Dstl). porton Down. Wiltshire Ministry of Defence Two BSL-4 laboratories (335 m2 total) R&D into protective measures against biological weapons
Government Centre for Emergency preparedness and Response. Health protection Agency (HPA). porton Down. Wiltshire Department of Health Two BSL-4 units (59 m2; and 46 m ) Diagnosis and research on viruses including Lassa. Ebola. Marburg and other haemorrhagic fever viruses.
Government Health Protection Agency (HPA). Colindale, London Department of Health One BSL-4 unit (30 m2) Applied diagnostic R&D. and diagnostic services for Herpes B; viral haemorrhagic fever infections (Lassa fever, Ebola, Marburg, Congo-Crimean haemorrhagic fever); avian influenza; and SARS
Government National Institute for Biological Department of Health and Two BSL-4 units (each 59 m2) Activities related to development of assays and testing of reagents


5 Ev162.

6 pp 24-25 & Ev 162.


8 pp 24-25.

9 UK BWC CBM 2009:$file/BWC_CBM_2009_UK.pdf.

The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement