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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2020

Biosafety considerations and risk reduction strategy for a new veterinary faculty building and teaching hospital in Sweden

Wierup, Martin; Allard Bengtsson, Ulrika; Vågsholm, Ivar


Introduction: This paper describes a hazard- and risk-based strategy and recommendations on relevant biosafety levels in facility design of a new veterinary faculty building including a veterinary medical teaching hospital. Both animal and human health were considered.

Materials and methods: Agents listed in the regulatory frameworks on animal and human health were identified as the main potential hazards. Suggestions on biosafety level and facility design were based on the official risk grouping of those agents, the associated risk management procedures, and biosafety experiences from previous faculty buildings.

Results and Discussion: It was suggested that VHC should not be designed for work with agents requiring facilities at biosafety levels 3 and 4, and that actions in cases of accidental exposure to notifiable infections should follow the regulatory requirements. Facilities requiring biosafety level 2 were identified from risk scenarios and transmission routes. Experiences from the first five years of operation revealed good prevention of spread of infection from patients in isolation facilities and successful elimination of Salmonella and MRSA from the large animal clinic.

Conclusion: In order to avoid costly construction mistakes, an overall biosafety strategy should be formulated and used as guidance for architects and other relevant stakeholders designing facilities for the animal health sector. Regulatory requirements on infectious diseases must be complied with.


Biosafety; Animal health; Occupational health; Veterinary teaching hospital design; Regulatory framework

Published in

Infection Ecology & Epidemiology
2020, volume: 10, article number: 1761588

Authors' information

Allard Bengtsson, Ulrika
National Veterinary Institute (SVA)

UKÄ Subject classification

Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
Medical Bioscience

Publication Identifiers


URI (permanent link to this page)