Staff working at CSIRO’s Australian Animal Health Laboratory in Geelong, Victoria, Australia, wear special plastic suits with their own air supply. To decontaminate, staff will undertake a four-minute chemical disinfectant shower in the suit before removing it.

The Australian Animal Health Laboratory is the world's most advanced biosecure laboratory.

Safeguarding Australia against infectious diseases

We protect the health of Australia's people, animals, environment and trade through our research to detect and control infectious diseases.

  • 27 May 2008 | Updated 3 July 2012


Emerging infectious diseases pose a constant threat to human health and wellbeing as well as to Australia's environment, industries and trade.

Zoonotic pathogens, which can pass from animals to humans, pose a risk to Australia's health and trade.

We are taking a ‘One Health’ approach –a collaborative effort of multiple disciplines working locally, nationally, and globally to attain optimal health for people, animals and the environment.

Our research aims to transform animal biosecurity by reducing the risk of invasion or emergence of infectious diseases, and by limiting the spread of disease during a potential outbreak.

We are studying new and emerging zoonotic diseases – those that can pass from animals to people – such as bird flu and Hendra virus, as well as vector-borne (insect-borne) diseases of livestock.

Our researchers are providing surveillance of diseases and infection threats, creating tools for rapid detection and control of disease outbreaks, and studying safe ways of developing animals that are naturally resistant to infectious diseases.

Our biosecure facilities at the Australian Animal Health Laboratory are ideally suited to conducting such research, ensuring the safety of our staff and the Australian community and environment.

Our research and outcomes

Mitigation of disease impact through modification of the host response

CSIRO’s Mitigation of disease impact through modification of the host response research aims to develop novel strategies and products to limit the spread of major animal diseases.

Hendra virus

In 1994, a deadly new virus threatened to stop Australia's premier horse race – the Melbourne Cup. This virus is now known as Hendra virus.

Fighting Nipah virus

In 1998-99, an outbreak of a new virus now called Nipah virus killed more than 100 people and thousands of pigs in Malaysia.

Australian bat lyssavirus

In 1996, a new virus was discovered in Australian bats - identified as a lyssavirus, this virus is a close relative to common rabies found overseas. Since its discovery, bat lyssavirus has killed two people in Australia.  

Our partners

Our key collaborators and supporters include:

Learn more about research at the Australian Animal Health Laboratory.