Viral Special Pathogens Branch (VSPB)

The Viral Special Pathogens Branch’s (VSPB) charter is the study of highly infectious viruses, many of which cause hemorrhagic manifestations in humans. Our daily work involves the investigation of viruses of Ebola virus, Marburg virus, Lassa fever virus, Rift Valley fever virus, Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever virus, other Arenavirus and Hantavirus, and additional recently identified and emerging viral species.

Mission Statement:

  1. Provides epidemic aid and conducts epidemiologic studies on the detection, prevention, and control of highly hazardous viral diseases;
  2. Provides primary isolation, identification, and characterization of highly hazardous disease agents that require biosafety level 3 or biosafety level 4 laboratory conditions for their safe handling;
  3. Develops, evaluates, and improves methods for treatment, prevention, and laboratory diagnosis of hazardous disease agents;
  4. Conducts laboratory, clinical, and epidemiologic investigations on the pathogenesis, pathophysiology, and prevention of viral infections caused by highly hazardous viruses;
  5. Provides consultation on the clinical and epidemiologic management of suspected cases and/or epidemics of these diseases;
  6. Consults with national and international scientists on the design, staffing, and efficient operation of a high hazard pathogen laboratory program;
  7. Serves as a WHO Collaborating Center for Virus Reference and Research for Viral Hemorrhagic Fevers; and
  8. Develops and evaluates health education programs for educating the general public and health professionals about infection, treatment, infection control in clinical settings, prevention, and laboratory diagnosis of highly hazardous viral diseases.