Coronavirus – Disease, Medical Sciences Involved & Preventive Measures

Mobile Virology Research and Diagnostics Laboratory (MVRDL)


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: BSL ratings

Mains level: Not Much

The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has developed a mobile virology research lab.

We can expect a  prelim question on BSL ratings as the term is widely appearing in news these days.

About the MVRDL

  • The MVRDL is the combination of a bio-safety level (BSL)-3 lab and a BSL-2 lab and was set up in a record time of 15 days.
  • It can process 1,000-2,000 samples a day.
  • The mobile lab will be helpful in carrying out a diagnosis of COVID-19 and in virus-culturing for drug screening, convalescent plasma-derived therapy, comprehensive immune profiling of patients towards vaccine etc.

What are Biosafety Level (BSL) Ratings?

  • A BSL is a set of biocontainment precautions required to isolate dangerous biological agents in an enclosed laboratory facility.
  • The levels of containment range from the lowest biosafety level 1 (BSL-1) to the highest at level 4 (BSL-4).
  • BSL-1 is suitable for work with well-characterized agents which do not cause disease in healthy humans.
  • BSL- 2 is suitable for work involving agents of the moderate potential hazard to personnel and the environment.
  • BSL-3 is appropriate for work involving microbes which can cause serious and potentially lethal disease via the inhalation route.
  • BSL-4 is the highest level of biosafety precautions and is appropriate for work with agents that could easily be aerosol-transmitted within the laboratory and cause severe to fatal disease in humans for which there are no available vaccines or treatments.

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