Biosafety levels and risk groups
A key component for safety within the Core is determining the biosafety level (BSL) and risk group (RG) for samples brought into the Core. Complete declaration of BSL and RG are necessary to ensure proper safety and disinfection SOPs are in place, keeping the Core safe for all staff and users. The table below summarizes the BSL:
The CDC/NIH define the BSLs as:
Biosafety Level 1 (BSL 1): well characterized agents not consistently known to cause disease in healthy adult humans of minimal potential hazard to laboratory personnel and the environment
Biosafety Level 2 (BSL 2): agents of moderate potential hazard to personnel and the environment
Biosafety Level 3 (BSL 3): indigenous or exotic agents which may cause serious or potentially lethal disease as a result of exposure by the inhalation route (applicable to clinical, diagnostic, teaching, research or production facilities)
Biosafety Level 4 (BSL 4): dangerous and exotic agents which pose a high individual risk of aerosol-transmitted laboratory infections and life-threatening disease
It is important to note that the BSL and RG may be different for your samples!
Risk groups, from the Canadian Laboratory Safety Guidelines:
Risk Group 1 (low individual and community risk). Any biological agent that is unlikely to cause disease in healthy workers or animals.
Risk Group 2 (moderate individual risk, limited community risk). Any pathogen that can cause human disease, but under normal circumstances is unlikely to be a serious hazard to laboratory workers, the community, livestock or the environment. Laboratory exposures rarely cause infection leading to serious disease, effective treatment and preventive measures are available and the risk of spread is limited.
Risk Group 3 (high individual risk, low community risk). Any pathogen that usually causes serious human disease, or can result in serious economic consequences but does not ordinarily spread by casual contact from one individual to another, or that causes disease treatable by antimicrobial or anti-parasitic agents.
Risk Group 4 (high individual and community risk). Any pathogen that usually produces very serious human disease, often untreatable, and may be readily transmitted from one individual to another, or from animal to human or vice-versa, directly or indirectly, or by casual contact.
If you are unsure how to classify your samples, please contact the Core manager.