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Bangladesh is a country in southern Asia, in the Ganges River delta, on the Bay of Bengal. In recent years laboratory capacity has grown to meet the needs of diagnosing illnesses and conducting research on endemic and emerging pathogens in humans and animals in Bangladesh. Human Nipah outbreaks in Bangladesh are unlike other Nipah outbreaks as they exhibit person-to-person transmission and recur in a specific region almost annually during the winter and spring. Both the International Centre Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (icddr,b) and the Bangladesh Institute of Epidemiology Disease Control and Research (IEDCR) work in collaboration with US CDC teams investigating the Nipah outbreaks.

TB isolates are found to be resistant to at least one drug, with approximately 5% showing multi-drug resistance since 2005, underscoring the need for appropriate containment and inventory procedures. Other endemic diseases such as B. anthracis are transmitted to the human population by contaminated meat, with the most recent outbreak occurring 2010-2011.

Like surrounding countries, Bangladesh also has had reported cases of H5N1 in birds that have culminated in human infections. Animal diseases are diagnosed and researched at the Bangladesh Livestock Research Institute (BLRI).

The establishment of the Bangladesh Biosafety & Biosecurity Association (BBBA) was initiated in August 2011 (http://virtualbiosecuritycenter.org/blog/op-ed-enhancing-biosecurity-and-biosafety-in-bangladesh) to foster best and sustainable biosafety and biosecurity practices in Bangladesh considering the current situation of infectious diseases outbreaks and increasing demands for research and diagnostics of these disease-causing agents. Virtual Biosecurity Center (VBC) and Biosafety Biosecurity International (BBI) supported the initiation of the activity regarding the formation of BBBA. icddr,b played the key role organizing and hosting all those activities. Enhancing Biosafety biosecurity by inculcating local scientists in the ethical considerations of conducting life-sciences research and the development of codes of conducts for such research; promoting local leadership for a sustained Biosafety Biosecurity presence; and laying the foundation to create a Bangladesh Biosafety and Biosecurity Association (BBBA), which can promote codes, support local learning initiatives, and as a professional society play a role in promulgating national Biosafety and Biosecurity legislation is a holistic approach.

The benefits envisioned by the Association are:

  • A coordinated national biosafety and biosecurity network;
  • Standardized biosafety, biosecurity and containment procedures and practices;
  • Expert knowledge accessible to national regulatory groups in all aspects of biological safety and security;
  • Development and advancement of national biosafety and biosecurity expertise.

From today, January 1 2012, BBBA is open to anyone working in the field of Biosafety Biosecurity, anywhere in this world, providing networking opportunities, disseminating the Knowledge and Science of Biosafety and Biosecurity.

President, BBBA

(January 1 2012)