UK foot and mouth lab leaks again

A Surrey, UK, lab thought to be the linkurl:source;http://www.the-scientist.com/news/display/53474/ of a foot and mouth disease (FMD) outbreak in August again ran afoul of biosafety practices last week, when a leaking valve likely released live FMD virus into a contained drainage system. Merial, a company on the site that makes FMD vaccine, had been banned from using live virus after the August outbreak, but the government restored its license to work with FMD earlier this month when biosafety

By | November 26, 2007

A Surrey, UK, lab thought to be the linkurl:source;http://www.the-scientist.com/news/display/53474/ of a foot and mouth disease (FMD) outbreak in August again ran afoul of biosafety practices last week, when a leaking valve likely released live FMD virus into a contained drainage system. Merial, a company on the site that makes FMD vaccine, had been banned from using live virus after the August outbreak, but the government restored its license to work with FMD earlier this month when biosafety measures were upgraded. The leak, which occurred on Monday (November 19), came to light when the workers noticed a shortfall in the amount of virus being recovered in the vaccine production process, according to a Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) linkurl:report.;http://www.defra.gov.uk/corporate/ministers/statements/hb071122.htm Engineers called to inspect the system found that problem lay in a valve separating a line carrying live virus from a line carrying waste on its way to a chemical treatment facility. Merial reported the problem to Defra late Tuesday afternoon. Inspectors who visited the site Wednesday said they believe that no virus escaped into the environment. "The extensive layers of biosecurity that we require?effectively contained the virus in the closed, re-lined drainage system before deactivation in the chemical treatment facility," Defra's report states. But the incident raises the question of whether the facility is equipped to be handling live virus at all, according to UK linkurl:media;http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article2922474.ece reports. The company's license to work with both FMD and bluetongue virus have again been suspended.

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