Core Partner, BSL4, EU


The Public Health Agency of Sweden is a government agency accountable to the Government (Ministry of Health and Social Affairs). The Public Health Agency of Sweden has a national responsibility for public health issues. The agency promotes good public health by building and disseminating knowledge, to health care and others responsible for infectious disease control and public health. The agency was established on January 1, 2014 and is a merger of the Swedish National Institute of Public Health (Folkhälsoinstitutet) and the Swedish Institute for Communicable Disease Control (Smittskyddsinstitutet).

The Agency also operates a high-containment laboratory to process samples from patients suspected to be infected with hemorrhagic fever viruses or other highly pathogenic viruses. The high-containment laboratory at the Public Health Agency of Sweden is the only biosafety level 4 (BSL-4) facility in the Nordic countries and one of few in Europe. At the laboratory, hemorrhagic fever viruses and other highly infectious pathogens in risk group 4 can be identified and further analysed. The laboratory also has the capability to identify hitherto unknown infectious agents by next generation sequencing (NGS) and advanced bioinformatics support. The Public Health Agency of Sweden conducts research aimed at strengthening national and European preparedness for outbreaks of severe communicable diseases. The Agency participates and even leading several international research projects concerning hemorrhagic fevers, and it is a member of several national and European networks. The Agency can also offer external researchers the opportunity to conduct projects in the high-containment laboratories. The BSL-4 laboratory at Sweden has been involved in several European projects (FP6, FP7 and H2020).

The profile of Public Health Agency of Sweden matches with the main objectives and planned tasks of the EVAg for the following reasons: Among the activities conducted in the P4 laboratory at FOHM, research on pathogenesis, developing antivirals and vaccines, biosafety, diagnosis, biological resources management, animal experimentation and training are of most importance. FOHM is the National reference center for risk group 4 pathogens.FOHM is also providing diagnostic 24/4 to several neighboring countries. In close link to diagnosis and research activities, the FOHM laboratory has established a management system for viral collection.