Thursday, 17 April 2014
A routine inventory at a Parisian research body revealed over 2,300 samples of the potentially deadly SARS virus are missing, The Independent reports.
The renowned Institute Pasteur in France admitted on Monday that it had misplaced 2,349 of the vials and, despite enlisting help from France’s drug and health safety agency, have been unable to find them. The investigation by the ANSM at the unnamed laboratory failed to locate the samples, which have been missing since January. It has now filed a case to the prosecutor of Paris to investigate the disappearance.
The Institute Pasteur has been quick to reassure the public that the vials do not pose any risk, according to The Local.
“The tubes concerned have no infectious potential,” a statement said. “Independent experts referred by health authorities have qualified the risk as ‘nil’ in regards to available evidence and literature on the survival of the SAS virus.”
They also dismissed the threat of samples being misused because none of the tubes contained the complete virus, only fragments.
“We knew from the beginning that the samples were not infectious, as the independent experts confirmed,” said Christian Bréchot, President of L’Institut Pasteur said.