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Centre de recherche
Wednesday, July 2 2014
Press release

One step further for research on infectious diseases

Montreal, Wednesday, July 2, 2014 – CHU Sainte-Justine is proud to announce the inauguration of a new biosafety containment level 3 laboratory (BSL-3). This laboratory will enable the secure study of dangerous viral diseases such as hepatitis C and infection with HIV – the virus that causes AIDS. These procedures require special precautions meant to avoid spreading.

A BSL-3 laboratory will allow. This type of work is needed for patients who are in treatment or being followed up at CHU Sainte-Justine and who suffer from or are affected by such diseases. According to Dr. Hugo Soudeyns, researcher and head of the laboratory, this is a major asset for CHU Sainte-Justine: “This laboratory will allow us to undertake and carry out further state-of-the-art research in the field of dangerous viral diseases in humans, including so-called emerging diseases such as West Nile Virus. This is a crucial element for the launching of major future research projets and for the completion of significant projects that are presently ongoing,” he said.

Dr. Soudeyns’ team focus is Hepatitis C, which causes liver diseases that are transmissible from an infected mother to her child. The team also conducts work on the HIV virus. HIV is also transmissible from mother to child during pregnancy and childbirth. However, good measures are in place to prevent such transmissions using special drugs called antiretroviral agents. More recently, a large-scale pan-Canadian study led by Dr. Soudeyns was started, which is aimed at determining whether treating an infected child with antiretroviral agents from birth would help prevent the development of the disease in a long-lasting manner.

Biosafety containment level 2 and 3 laboratories at CHU Sainte-Justine are fairly new facilities designed with the latest concepts and equipped with the newest technologies made available in 2014 (secured location, closed circuit cameras, high-performance ventilation systems, controlled access through biometric readers, etc.) Such facilities are rare and thereby constitute a major and attractive incentive for new researchers who wish to further their studies on infectious diseases affecting mothers and children.

“To obtain the right to operate this laboratory, facilities had to be federally certified by the Public Health Agency of Canada. Equipment and premises successfully passed this rigorous government inspection,” added Dr. Fabrice Brunet, Chief Executive Officer at CHU Sainte-Justine.

The construction of this laboratory was sponsored by the Canada Foundation for Innovation, the Ministère de la Santé et des Services Sociaux du Québec, the CHU Sainte-Justine Foundation and the CHU Sainte-Justine .


Centre hospitalier universitaire (CHU) Sainte-Justine is the largest mother-and-child centre in Canada and one of the 2nd largest pediatric centres in North America. CHU Sainte-Justine is a member of Université de Montréal’s extended network of excellence in health (RUIS), with 5,153 employees, including 1,392 nurses and nursing assistants, 1,036 health professionals, 520 physicians, dentists and pharmacists and 822 residents, as well as more than 200 researchers, 300 volunteers and 3,400 interns and students in all disciplines. CHUSJ has 484 beds, 35 of which are located at the Centre de réadaptation Marie Enfant (CRME), the only centre in Quebec exclusively dedicated to pediatric rehabilitation. The World Health Organization (WHO) has recognized CHU Sainte-Justine as a “health promoting hospital.” chu-sainte-justine.org



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