Knowledge management in Biosecurity: its suitability for reducing risks in laboratories


Knowledge management in Biosecurity: its suitability for reducing risks in laboratories


Gestión del conocimiento en Bioseguridad: su conveniencia para la disminución de riesgos en los laboratorios



María del Carmen Galdós Sánchez, Manuel Maurilio Basulto Barroso, Lidyce Quesada Leyva

Universidad de Ciencias Médicas de Camagüey. Cuba.



To the editor:

Taking into account the latent risks threat in the laboratory work, the authors need to emphasize in the continuous training about the necessary biosecurity measures to preserve the health of the professionals and workers in these entities, as well as the community.

Biosecurity should be understood as a doctrine of behavior aimed at achieving attitudes and behaviors that reduce the risk of the health worker to acquire infections in the workplace. It also involves all those who are in the care environment, which must be designed within the framework of a risk reduction strategy.1 It is a usually ignored topic in laboratories, either due to lack of knowledge, lack of proper training of the technical staff, or above all because of the belief: "nothing is going to happen to me".

Biosecurity as a formal discipline during the 70s, in operational response to the potential risks of biological agents modified by molecular engineering. In 1983, the World Health Organization (WHO) published the Laboratory Biosecurity Manual, recognized as the international reference publication.2

In 1985, the Center for Disease Control in Atlanta (CDC) adopted a strategy of "universal precautions for blood and body fluids" to refer to the concerns that existed about the transmission of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), in the workplace.3 The appearance of the mentioned virus originated a publication of international, national, regional and provincial biosecurity norms, of scientific and assistance institutions; also the growing concern about bioterrorism has aroused great interest in issues related to biosecurity in recent years.4

It is important to highlight the education and ongoing training of medical and non-medical personnel as the only way to promote compliance with biosafety regulations. These measures tend not only to prevent dissemination among patients, but also to protect workers, their families and the environment.5,6

The guarantee of learning biosecurity is given by the adequate training of human resources that work against physical, chemical, psycho-physiological and fundamentally biological risks. Human errors and incorrect techniques can endanger even the best measures to protect laboratory personnel. For this reason, it is a key element to prevent acquired infections, incidents and accidents in the laboratory, be aware of the risk and be well informed and instructed on how to recognize and combat the dangers involved in working in that environment.7,8

The training process should begin with the leaders, who should ensure that safety procedures and practices in the laboratory are part of the basic training of employees, especially the new ones. They should make available to the personnel the code of practice and local guidelines, including the safety or operations manual.9,10 This knowledge favors compliance with good practices in the laboratory, the use of appropriate techniques as well as the correct use of protection means to preserve the community and the preparation of contingency plans for natural and biological disasters.4

In Camagüey, the Center for Immunology and Biological Products (Cenipbi) has the conditions to train professionals on the subject in the municipalities of the province. There biosafety has as key word training; this strategy allows establishing the bases for a safe and orderly work environment.

Learning needs on biosafety have been identified among professionals who request services in basic biomedical sciences laboratories and in health institutions in the province, due to differences in the training and profile of those working on topics related to this discipline; Therefore, to base the methodology for knowledge management with the implementation of a biosecurity course of biomedical basic science laboratories, in the field of specialties related to health, allows the development of a setting for knowledge management, science, innovation and technology at the university and participating health centers to enhance the level of theoretical knowledge and link them with practice.


Declaration of interests

The authors declare no conflict of interest.



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Submitted: Mar 19 2018.
Accepted: Sept 11 2018.



María del Carmen Galdós Sánchez. Camagüey University of Medical Sciences. Cuba. E-mail:



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