Biosafety in Biomedical and Microbiological Laboratories

If disease causing organisms that effect public health are required to be handled with biosafety
level 2 practices in the laboratory setting, how can the same disease organisms  be safe in
reclaimed irrigation water and sludge biosolids spread on crops, school grounds, and home

Also see MSDS page
Biosafety Level 2 practices, equipment, and facility design and construction are applicable to clinical,
diagnostic, teaching, and other laboratories in which work is done with the broad spectrum of
indigenous moderate-risk agents that are present in the community and associated with human disease
of varying severity. With good microbiological techniques, these agents can be used safely in activities
conducted on the open bench, provided the potential for producing splashes or aerosols is low. Hepatitis
B virus, HIV, the salmonellae, and Toxoplasma spp. are representative of microorganisms assigned to
this containment level. Biosafety Level 2 is appropriate when work is done with any human-derived
blood, body fluids, tissues, or primary human cell lines where the presence of an infectious agent may
be unknown. (Laboratory personnel working with human-derived materials should refer to the OSHA
Bloodborne Pathogen Standard(2)for specific required precautions.)

Primary hazards to personnel working with these agents relate to accidental percutaneous or mucous
membrane exposures, or ingestion of infectious materials. Extreme caution should be taken with
contaminated needles or sharp instruments. Even though organisms routinely manipulated at Biosafety
Level 2 are not known to be transmissible by the aerosol route, procedures with aerosol or high splash
potential that may increase the risk of such personnel exposure must be conducted in primary
containment equipment, or in devices such as a BSC or safety centrifuge cups. Other primary barriers
should be used as appropriate, such as splash shields, face protection, gowns, and gloves.

Secondary barriers such as handwashing sinks and waste decontamination facilities must be available to
reduce potential environmental contamination.

Section VII Agent Summary Statements

Bacterial Agents  

Bacillus anthracis  
Bordetella pertussis  
Brucella (B. abortus, B. canis, B. melitensis, B. suis)  
Burkholderia pseudomallei (Pseudomonas pseudomallei)  
Campylobacter (C. jejuni/C. coli, C. fetus subsp. fetus)  
Chlamydia psittaci, C. pneumoniae, C. trachomatis  
Clostridium botulinum  
Clostridium tetani
Corynebacterium diphtheriae  
Escherichia coli (Cytotoxin-producing (VTEC/SLT) organisms)      (Fecal Coliform)
Francisella tularensis  
Helicobacter pylori  
Leptospira interrogans - all serovars
Listeria monocytogenes
Legionella pneumophila ; other Legionella-like agents  
Mycobacterium leprae  
Mycobacterium spp. other than M. tuberculosis, M. bovis or M. leprae
Mycobacterium tuberculosis, M. bovis
Neisseria gonorrhoeae
Neisseria meningitidis
Salmonella - all serotypes except typhi                                              (Coliform)
Salmonella typhi                                                                             (Coliform)    
Shigella spp.                                                                                   (Coliform)
Treponema pallidum
Vibrionic enteritis (Vibrio cholerae, V. para-haemolyticus)                   (Coliform)
Yersinia pestis                                                                                (Coliform)

Fungal Agents    

Blastomyces dermatitidis
Coccidioides immitis
Cryptococcus neoformans
Histoplasma capsulatum  
Sporothrix schenckii  
Pathogenic Members of the Genera Epidermophyton, Microsporum, and Trichophyton  
Miscellaneous Molds

Parasitic Agents   

Blood and Tissue Protozoal Parasites of Humans
Intestinal Protozoal Parasites of Humans
Trematode Parasites of Humans (Schistosoma spp. and Fasciola spp.)  
Cestode Parasites of Humans - Echinococcus granulosus, Taenia solium (cysticercus cellulosae) and
Hymenolepis nana.
Nematode Parasites of Humans


Rickettsial Agents   

Coxiella burnetii
Rickettsia prowazekii, Rickettsia typhi (R. mooseri), Orientia (Rickettsia) tsutsugamushi and Spotted
Fever Group agents of human disease; Rickettsia rickettsii, Rickettsia conorii, Rickettsia akari,
Rickettsia australis, Rickettsia siberica, and Rickettsia japonicum

Viral Agents (other than arboviruses)    

Hendra and Hendra-like Viruses (includes virus formerly known as Equine Morbillivirus
Hepatitis A Virus, Hepatitis E Virus
Hepatitis B Virus, Hepatitis C Virus (formerly known as nonA nonB Virus), Hepatitis D Virus
Herpesvirus simiae (Cercopithecine herpesvirus [CHV-1], B-virus)
Human Herpesviruses
Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis Virus
Rabies Virus
Retroviruses, including Human and Simian Immunodeficiency Viruses (HIV and SIV)  
Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies (Creutzfeldt-Jakob, kuru and related agents
Vesicular Stomatitis Virus

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This page last reviewed: June 17, 1999

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