Biosecurity

In 2008 the Australian Government established a two-tiered list of Security Sensitive Biological Agents (SSBA) as part of the SSBA Regulatory Scheme for the control of select agents and toxins. Funding was subsequently made available through the Department of Health to establish RCPAQAP Biosecurity, with the aim of providing a quality assurance and proficiency testing program (PTP) for Tier 1 and Tier 2 SSBA, other potential agents and communicable disease threats. The program now offers surveys free of charge to Australian laboratories and for a fee to approved overseas laboratories with a view to building and enhancing laboratory capacity and capability to detect, analyze, identify and report on these agents.

Refer to the Australian Government Department of Health website for current Security Sensitive Biological Agents Lists

For more information including the survey dispatch schedule please review the Documents tab in the myQAP portal.

SSBA Bacterial Specimen

Organism or Toxin

Yersinia pestis

Francisella tularensis

Sample Type and Tests

Inactivated bacteria, Microscopy, NAT, Immunofluorescence tests

Frequency / Number of samples

2 surveys per year / Number of samples TBA

Note

Available free of charge to Australian laboratories that require the capability to test for SSBA, other potential agents and communicable disease threats and to Australian Government Department of Health approved international laboratories for a fee that reflects the cost of the modules’ production.

SSBA Biopreparedness Exercise

Organism or Toxin

Vector borne organism

Sample Type and Tests

Inactivated virus and sera NAT and serology test

Frequency / Number of samples

1 survey per year / Number of samples TBA

Note

Specimen Modules available to selected laboratories within Australia and offered free of charge and, where appropriate, to Australian Government Department of Health approved international laboratories for a fee that reflects the cost of the modules’ production. They are real-time exercises designed to test the biopreparedness of a select group of laboratories. It is recommended that laboratories involve clinicians when participating in these exercises.

SSBA eLearning

Organism or Toxin

Anthrax

Ebola

Plague

Abrin and Ricin

Smallpox

Botulism

Sample Type and Tests

N/A

Frequency / Number of samples

1 survey per year / Number of samples TBA

Note

Available to all laboratories within Australia and to RCPA Microbiology Registrars free of charge and to Australian Government Department of Health approved international laboratories for a fee that reflects the cost of the modules’ production.

SSBA Viral Specimen

Organism or Toxin

Ebolavirus

Yellow fever virus

Sample Type and Tests

Inactivated virus

NAT

Frequency / Number of samples

2 surveys per year / Number of samples TBA

Note

Available free of charge to Australian laboratories that require the capability to test for SSBA, other potential agents and communicable disease threats and to Australian Government Department of Health approved international laboratories for a fee that reflects the cost of the modules’ production.

Whole Genome Sequencing

Organism or Toxin

Specimens to be determined

Sample Type and Tests

Live bacteria for Whole Genome Sequencing

Frequency / Number of samples

1 survey per year / Number of samples TBA

Note

Available free of charge to Australian laboratories that require the capability to test for SSBA, other potential agents and communicable disease threats and to Australian Government Department of Health approved international laboratories for a fee that reflects the cost of the modules’ production.