The BSL-4 high security laboratory


The first high-security laboratory was already built at BNITM in the 1980s. Since the beginning of 2014, the BNITM has had a new high-security laboratory of the highest security level (S4) according to the Genetic Engineering Law. Here, work can be carried out with organisms of the highest biological risk group (Ebola, Marburg, Crimean-Congo, and Lassa virus). In addition, the laboratory has capacities for experiments with small animal models. The S4 thus represents the core infrastructure of the virological working groups for tropical pathogens.

A researcher leaves the airlock in the direction of the laboratory. He is wearing a white full suit and yellow rubber boots. He wears a transparent bonnet over his head. In his hand he carries a blue hose.
A researcher in a high-security laboratory wearing a full protective suit.   ©BNITM

The High Security Laboratory is a partner in the following infrastructure projects:


Duties and services:

  • As part of the European Virus Archive (EVA), the S4 provides high quality production and archiving of virus strains - currently around 100 rare tropical viruses. The viruses and derived products are made available to research groups worldwide via the EVA portal.
  • Collaboration with the WHO within the framework of the WHO Collaborating Centre for Arbovirus and Haemorrhagic Fever Reference and Research on viral haemorrhagic fever (VHF) outbreaks.
  • Basic research on the pathogenesis of VHFs, especially Lassa fever.
  • Translational and pre-clinical research to develop diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines for VHF.
  • Clinical trial research on the pathogenesis of VHF and the development of diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines.


Within the framework of the Eutricod project, there is in principle the possibility of S4 trainings for scientists from other European countries.


  • Prof. Dr  Stephan Günther
  • Head of Department of Virology
  • phone: +49 40 285380-547
  • fax: +49 40 285380-459
  • email: