Aikimbayev’s National Scientific Center for Especially Dangerous Infections (NSCEDI) is currently the only scientific center in Kazakhstan dealing with the problems of especially dangerous infections (EDI). The mission of the NSCEDI is currently to develop and implement scientific support for monitoring especially dangerous infections and sanitary and epidemiological well-being of the population; to develop and manufacture diagnostic and preventive drugs, train personnel, and perform the functions of the Republican collection and depository of pathogens of especially dangerous infections.
NSCEDI is an advisory and methodological center of Kazakhstan on EDI issues; a reference center for plague and cholera; a holder of zoological and parasitological collections (4-th place in the world and 2-nd in the CIS); the only holder of the nursery of SPF-category laboratory animals in the Republic of Kazakhstan.
Since 1998, NSCEDI has become an active participant in research conducted in the framework of projects organized and funded by the international funds of ISTC, CRDF, COPERNICUS, and the Wildlife Foundation. A number of these projects were carried out jointly with scientists from other research organizations and universities in Kazakhstan. Organizations of the sanitary and epidemiological service of Kazakhstan, especially regional anti-plague stations, were involved in the project. NSCEDI scientists maintain close scientific ties with research centers dealing with EDI issues in many countries around the world: The US, France, UK, Canada, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Spain and Mongolia. Special importance is attached to the preservation of cooperation with scientific centers of the CIS.
Thanks to participation in international projects, NSCEDI and anti-plague stations employees were able to have direct and close contact with the world’s leading specialists in the field of infectious pathology, participate in international conferences and trainings, and publish their research data in leading international publications. The financial resources allocated within the framework of international projects made it possible to significantly upgrade the material base and conduct training of specialists. Modern equipment was obtained, the latest research technologies were mastered and put into operation.
Today, NSCEDI is an active participant in the international biosafety and biosecurity system. At the initiative of NSCEDI and with the support of international biosecurity organizations, the Biosecurity Association of Central Asia and the Caucasus was established in May 2009, which also includes employees of anti-plague stations. This organization was created to coordinate research and practical activities to improve the effectiveness of biosafety in the region.
Today, NSCEDI is a unique institution that uses innovative diagnostic, information and production technologies. The Central Reference Laboratory of NSCEDI, with laboratories of biosecurity levels 2 and 3, has extensive capabilities for studying a wide range of human and animal bacteria and viruses, which will help to strengthen the sanitary protection of borders against the import of diseases and improve the response to infectious disease outbreaks.
The final result of the research of the Center’s scientists is to improve the system of epidemiological monitoring of quarantine and especially dangerous infections (EDI), aimed at preserving the health of the people by reducing the risks of epidemic spread of EDI.
To solve practical problems of EDI prevention on the territory of Kazakhstan and implement scientific achievements in practice, NSCEDI provides methodological guidance to 9 anti-plague stations located in 8 regions of the country where there are natural foci of plague. Currently, Kazakhstan has a network of anti-plague organizations that monitor the state of natural EDI foci and ensure the biological safety of the country.
NSCEDI provides advisory and methodological assistance to anti-plague stations (APS), reviews and analyzes their annual plans and reports, and evaluates documents for obtaining permission for APS laboratories to work with pathogens of groups I-II. Based on the analysis and generalization of the survey results, weekly and monthly information on the epizootic situation for plague and cholera is prepared, as well as an annual analytical report on plague and cholera.
The interaction of the anti-plague stations with NSCEDI is organized in order to increase the efficiency of work to ensure the sanitary and epidemiological welfare of the population for dangerous infectious diseases in the Republic of Kazakhstan and determines the directions and procedures for the implementation of state sanitary and epidemiological surveillance and sanitary protection of the territory of the Republic of Kazakhstan, as well as biological safety in work with pathogenic microorganisms.
The activities of NSCEDI correspond to national priorities: monitoring of quarantine and especially dangerous infections is an element of the national security of the state.