Governance Governance & COVID-19


COVID-19 caused by the SARS-CoV-2 corona virus represents a great challenge for our healthcare systems. The situation and the working conditions are difficult in many places and direct patient care has the highest priority.


The Medical University partners are doing a great job in patient diagnosis, care and treatment. In addition, there are also  research activities.towards finding ways to deal with the COVID-19 disease. Biobanks can support researchers and provide key services to them, such as:

  • Efficient and high-quality storage of samples in clinical and research settings;

  • Samples from healthy individuals, to be used as control (collected 2-3 months before outbreak in each country);

  • Provide guidance and standards for targeted identification, collection and conservation of important samples.


Search the BBMRI-ERIC Directory for COVID-19 biobank sample collections ... open Directory


What partners do


MED UNI GRAZ (with Institute of Pathology and Biobank Graz)

Available resources:

  • Austria's highest biosecurity laboratory and autopsy area (BSL-3)

  • Access to patient samples

  • Isolation of pathogens from autopsy cases (BSL-3)

  • SARS-CoV2 virus culture (BSL-3)

  • Inhibitor testing

  • Support in diagnostic assay development



Media reports about the High Security Lab at Med Uni Graz:




MED UNI INNSBRUCK (with Biobank Innsbruck)

Available resources:

  • Samples from patients with COVID-19 collected in clinical setting from the Tyrol region (Austria COVID-19 hotspot), linked to clinical data.




MED UNI VIENNA (with MedUniWien Biobank)

Available resources:

  • Serum samples collected before the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak for validation of serologic (IgG, IgM) tests, as those samples might be definitively free from antibodies against the virus;

  • Collections from patients with COVID-19 collected in clinical setting are currently in planning.

  • Samples from population-based cohorts collected after the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak (e.g. collected during prophylactic health examination programs, emergency department/primary care visits, etc.) that might help to estimate the actual seroprevalence of the virus in the different areas.



See more on other European Biobanks on BBMRI-ERIC >>



Guidelines for handling COVID-19 (SARS-Cov-2 containing) specimens:


  • Laboratory Biosafety Guidelines for Handling and Processing Specimens Associated with Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

Interim guideline (31 March 2020) ... open


  • FAQs about Laboratory Biosafety & SARS-CoV-2 from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC)

View details on specimen handling

  • WHO Laboratory biosafety guidance related to the novel coronavirus

Interim guidance (12 Feb 2020)  .. open>>


  • Dealing with COVID-19 contaminated waste

from Austrian Federal Ministry for Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technologyy ... open guideline (German)


  • Air Transport of COVID-19 Contaminated Samples

Novel Coronavirus (Covid-19)
Dangerous goods (including alcohol based sanitizers) guidance for Operators – 07 March 2020 
... open guideance

"... Based on the experience of shipping specimens of SARS, swine flu, MERS and other similar types of viruses, WHO and national health authorities such as the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) are advising health authorities to ship specimens of Covid-19 as UN 3373, Biological substance, Category B. To ensure that the global response to suspected cases of Covid-19 is as rapid as possible, it is important that specimens can be transported to laboratories for analysis without delay. ..."

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COVID-10 research funding

... links to current fundings - March 2020 & COVID 19

What partners do .... March 2020