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Biosecurity: New research laboratory for dangerous pathogens in Kazakhstan

08.04.2015 - Article

An international workshop was held in Almaty to inaugurate a new research laboratory dealing with typhus and encephalitis pathogens in ticks. The collaboration is part of the German Partnership Program for Excellence in Biological and Health Security.

On 28 and 29 March 2015, an international workshop on tick‑borne infectious diseases was held for the first time in the Kazakh city of Almaty. The workshop marked the inauguration of a new research laboratory dealing with typhus and encephalitis pathogens in ticks. Enhancing German‑Kazakh collaboration in the health sector forms part of the measures in the German Partnership Program for Excellence in Biological and Health Security.

Workshop participants from Germany, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan
Workshop participants from Germany, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan© AA

The event was opened by Renate Schimkoreit, German Consul‑General in Almaty, and Shalginbay Zhandossov, head of the Scientific Practical Centre for Sanitary‑Epidemiological Expertise and Monitoring in Kazakhstan. Over 30 people from various regions of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Germany took part in the conference. The event marked the inauguration of a laboratory where researchers will investigate the occurrence of dangerous typhus and encephalitis pathogens in ticks. The aim is to make access to these pathogens more difficult and to promote safety in dealing with them. The workshop and the inauguration of the laboratory took place within the framework of the German Partnership Program for Excellence in Biological and Health Security.

Enhancing biosecurity in partner countries

In the German Partnership Program for Excellence in Biological and Health Security, the German Government supports partner countries in taking a responsible approach to research and research findings and in promoting public health. Apart from safeguarding health, the primary aim of the program is to enhance biosecurity. The program’s concrete foreign and security policy goals are to minimise the misuse of biological materials, pathogens and toxins in criminal activities and terrorist attacks.

To this end, the laboratory in Almaty was renovated and equipped in cooperation with the Munich‑based Bundeswehr Institute of Microbiology, as part of the program. The German Partnership Program for Excellence in Biological and Health Security fosters safety in dealing with dangerous pathogens. It also plays a role in helping to meet the aims of the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BWC).

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