Institutionalizing a Prefabricated Bio-Safety Level-3 Laboratory: Lessons from Bangladesh

In collaboration with the National TB Control Program (NTP) in Bangladesh, the USAID-funded Challenge TB established a high-quality Bio-Safety Level-3 Laboratory (BSL-3 lab) in Sylhet to accelerate TB and DR-TB diagnosis and treatment in the northeast region of the country. The BSL-3 lab, the highest level of safety of its type in Bangladesh, provides rapid and quality services. It has state-of-the-art diagnostic technologies that are particularly effective in testing for DR-TB. The laboratory can be used to perform solid culture and drug susceptibility testing (DST) for first- and second-line TB medicines and also provides support to the rapid diagnosis of rifampicin-resistant TB through GeneXpert and other novel diagnostic tools. This technical highlight describes the implementation process to establishing this laboratory as a center of excellence to provide TB and DR-TB diagnostic services, build staff capacity at the regional level, conduct operational research, and serve as a TB education center.