The laboratory is a pioneer in the study of viruses such as Ebola, as living entities
The center, installed in Wuhan, capital of the Hubei province, is the first to open in the Asian country, having the highest standard of biosecurity (level 4). The laboratory was built with the help of France, with French experts working in design, in security standards and staff training.
Although more than ten Chinese research institutes have already participated in Ebola virus studies, particularly with respect to diagnostic techniques and development of vaccines, the laboratory is a pioneer in the study of viruses such as Ebola, as living entities.
Yuan Zhiming, the director of the new Wuhan center, explained that without a level 4 security laboratory, „there is no way to experiment on living viruses or to test them on animals”, adding that until now, the Ebola research conducted in China was based on genes or proteins of the virus.
The project to create a level 4 laboratory was approved by the Chinese Government in 2003, after an outbreak of the avian influenza, but its construction only began in 2011.