First “WHO BioHub Facility” Launched

What is the News?

The World Health Organization(WHO) and the Swiss Confederation have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to launch the first WHO BioHub Facility.

About WHO BioHub Facility:
  • BioHub Facility has been launched to enhance the rapid sharing of viruses and other pathogens between laboratories and partners globally.
  • Based in: Spiez, Switzerland.

Key Features of the WHO BioHub Facility:

  • Firstly, the facility will help in the safe reception, storage, and preparation of biological materials for distribution to other laboratories. It will help in global preparedness against these pathogens.
  • Secondly, the facility will enable member states to share biological materials with and via the BioHub. However, its sharing will take place under pre-agreed conditions, including biosafety, biosecurity, and other applicable regulations.
    • Currently, most pathogen sharing is done bilaterally between countries and on an ad hoc basis. It can be slow and leave some countries without access to the benefits and tools.
  • Lastly, WHO will broaden the use of biological materials by qualified entities – such as manufacturers – for the development of medical by-products for fair allocation to countries.
What are Pathogens?
  • A Pathogen is usually defined as a microorganism that causes or can cause disease.
Types of Pathogens:
  • Viruses: Viruses are made up of a piece of genetic code such as DNA or RNA, and protected by a coating of protein. Once you’re infected, viruses invade host cells within your body. They then use the components of the host cell to replicate, producing more viruses.
  • Bacteria: Bacteria are microorganisms made of a single cell. They have the ability to live in just about any environment including in and on your body. Not all bacteria cause infections. Those that can are called pathogenic bacteria. Antibiotics are used to treat bacterial infections.
  • Fungi: Fungi can be found just about everywhere in the environment, including indoors, outdoors, and on human skin. They cause infection when they overgrow.
  • Parasites: Parasites are organisms that behave like tiny animals, living in or on a host and feeding from or at the expense of the host. Though parasitic infections are more common in tropical and subtropical regions, they can occur anywhere.

Source: Down To Earth

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