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Tuesday, 02 January 2018 13:09

Inside the Hot Zone: A Discussion of Ebola Virus and BSL4 containment with Anthony Griffiths and Ricardo Carrion

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working in BSL4 labDr. Anthony Griffiths and Dr. Ricardo Carrion are scientists at the Texas Biomedical Research Institute who work on some of the most dangerous viruses in the world under Biological Safety Level 4 (BSL4) containment. BSL4 is the highest form of biological containment that is required for viruses that have a high level of lethality and for which there is no cure.

The ebola virus caused a huge outbreak in Western Africa in 2014 that led to over 11,000 deaths, and when an ebola-infected patient arrived in the United States it led to widespread panic. 

Dr. Griffiths and Dr. Carrion are performing research with the ebola virus within a BSL4 laboratory, and are developing therapeutics and vaccines against ebola infections. Dr. Griffiths and Dr. Carrion discuss what it’s like to work in a BSL4 laboratory, what is the outlook for an effective ebola vaccine, and how to work with ebola-infected fruit bats in a BSL4 lab. 

The MicroCase for listeners to solve is about Prickly Pete, a crusty ranch hand who comes down with a mysterious disease after Mrs. Butterworth, his favorite cow dies.


  • Karl Klose, Ph.D. (UTSA)
  • Jesus Romo (UTSA)
  • Dr. Anthony Griffiths
  • Dr. Ricardo Carrion

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Take a tour inside a BSL4 lab along with the hosts of This Week in Virology.

Last modified on Monday, 15 January 2018 01:19
Karl Klose

Karl Klose, Ph.D. is a Professor of Microbiology at the University of Texas San Antonio, the Director of the South Texas Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases (STCEID), and host of microTalk. He oversees the research on infectious diseases that is carried out in his laboratory by undergraduate, Masters’, and Ph.D. students, as well as research staff. He also teaches microbiology to undergraduate and graduate students.

Karl is enthusiastic about enlightening people to the fascinating world of microbes.  He has given two TED talks on antibiotic resistance. He has been a visiting professor in Kolkata India and Valparaiso Chile.  He has spent the past two years visiting ASM branch meetings through the Distinguished Lecturer program.  You can find Karl on Twitter and you can find STCEID on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram.