The Rodolphe Mérieux Laboratory of Rio Branco (Brazil) is the first biosafety level 3 (BSL3) laboratory to be built in the Amazon region. It is directed by Daniel da Matta.
It was founded at the same time as the Charles Mérieux Center for Infectious Disease, marking a key step in the fight against viral hepatitis – a major public health concern affecting thousands of patients in Amazonia.
Specialized testing and scientific research
Located within the FUNDHACRE de Rio Branco Hospital, the Rodolphe Mérieux Laboratory focuses on:
- Providing patients quality diagnostics for improved patient care;
- Contributing to teaching students of clinical biology and infectious diseases;
- Heading up research projects on local public health challenges, particularly viral hepatitis and COVID-19.
The lab performs routine tests as well as specialized tests for viral hepatitis – which has a significant impact on this region – and is active in the fields of tuberculosis and bacteriology.
The implementation of routine tests, specialized tests for viral hepatitis, a scourge in the region, as well as surveillance projects for circulating and emerging viruses, make it possible to improve patient monitoring and meet public health needs.
Amazonia’s first BSL3 laboratory
In addition to its biosafety level 3 – a first in the Amazon rainforest – the Rodolphe Mérieux Laboratory also features:
- Three BSL2 laboratories for bacteriology
- A molecular biology laboratory
The laboratory was designed to meet the specifications of the ISO 14644 standard, parts 1 and 4 (“Cleanrooms and associated controlled environments”).
The laboratory team, led by a biologist trained at UNIFESP, is made up of biologists, a researcher supervised by the University of Salvador de Bahia and a specialist engineer.
Brazil has 3 member institutions of the GABRIEL laboratory network: the Respiratory Viruses Laboratory of the Oswaldo Cruz Institute (Rio de Janeiro), the Bioinformatics Laboratory (LABINFO) of the National Laboratory for Scientific Informatics (LNCC) and the Institute of Tropical Medicine (IMT) of the University of São Paulo (USP).
- Acre State Hospital Foundation (FUNDHACRE)
- Laboratory of Bioinformatics (LABINFO) of the National Laboratory for Scientific Computing (LNCC)
- Maria Emília Foundation (FME)
- SOS Amazonia Association
- Salvador de Bahia University
- State of Acre / Secretary of Health of Acre (SESACRE)
- Tropical Medicine Institute (IMT) of the São Paulo University (USP)