HYBRID EVENT: You can participate in person at Paris, France or Virtually from your home or work.

6th Edition of World Congress on Infectious Diseases

June 24-26, 2024 | Paris, France

June 24 -26, 2024 | Paris, France
Infection 2024

Joo Hee Waelzlein

Speaker at Infectious Diseases Conferences - Joo Hee Waelzlein
Robert Koch-Institute, Germany
Title : Stability and disinfection studies for risk group 4 pathogens: Improving biosafety measures for laboratories and patient management


Our project highlights the critical need for scientific data in assessing the risks posed by emerging and re-emerging viruses, both during endemic and pandemic outbreaks. It emphasizes the importance of validated decontamination procedures and infection control measures with the aim to minimise person-to-person transmission, as well as transmission through environmental contamination.

There is a general lack of evidence-based scientific data guiding the implementation of infection control measures, particularly in handling infectious patient samples and contaminated materials. This issue extends to the need of improving biosafety measures in high-containment laboratories.

To address this lack of data, this study follows a three-fold approach:

1. Validation of sampling techniques: this involves validating defined sampling techniques to ensure reproducible results for swabs on various surfaces, thereby facilitating accurate assessment of environmental contamination.
2. Determining persistence of infectivity: these studies aim to determine the persistence of infectious particles derived from risk-group 4 pathogens in different (body) fluids and on various relevant surfaces across various environmental conditions. These data are crucial for understanding the longevity of viral presence and transmission potential in field, hospital and laboratory environments.
3. Validation of disinfection and decontamination procedures: different commercially available and commonly used disinfectants are tested for their ability to reduce viral load under various conditions including concentration, temperature and exposure time.

Ultimately, the results from these studies are meant to be used for providing improved evidence for infection control measures in hospital environments, thereby enhancing safety for both patients and healthcare workers. Especially in areas, in which high-risk viruses are endemic, this is of utmost importance in order to prevent disease spreading. In addition, the data are intended to be used for formulating and adjusting validated safety measures in high-containment laboratories. Finally, by filling knowledge gaps and optimising validating protocols, this study aims to contribute to a general pandemic preparedness, therefore minimising the risks of global infectious disease spreading.


Dr. Joo-Hee Wälzlein studied Biology at the Eberhard-Karls-University in Tübingen, Germany and graduated in 2003. She then joined the group of Prof. Kettenmann at the Max-Delbrück Center in Berlin, Germany and received her PhD in Medical Neurosciences in 2007. After several postdoctoral positions at King`s College/University College London (London, UK) in the field of prion research, she obtained a position as a research fellow at the Robert Koch-Institute in Berlin and is now working with high-risk viruses