Risk Assessment

The CSB/SJU Biology Safety Committee is responsible for assessing the risks and applying the recommended biosafety levels. Risk assessment includes identifying the potential hazards and considers, if available, specific information of pathogenicity, virulence, antibiotic resistance patterns, vaccine and treatment availability. Also included are considerations about facility design and availability of appropriate engineering controls (secondary containment) and use of personal protective equipment (primary containment.)

The designs of CSB/SJU laboratories are appropriate for Biosafety Level I and II and Animal Biosafety Level I and II situations. Activities that are designated Biosafety Level III or IV or Animal Biosafety Level III or IV cannot be performed in these laboratories. Sufficient containment is not available for this level of risk

Each Biosafety and Animal Safety Level requires specific precautions and procedures, which are outlined in the “Safe Practices and Procedures.” Biosafety Level I is defined as “suitable for work involving well-characterized agents not known to consistently cause disease in healthy adult humans, and of minimal potential hazard to laboratory personnel and the environment.” Examples of organisms or materials that fall into this category are Bacillis subtilis, Escherichia coli K12, Saccharomyces cerevisiae and non-primate continuous cell lines.

Biosafety Level II is defined as “suitable for work involving agents of moderate potential hazard to personnel and the environment.” Examples of organisms and materials that fall in this category are Salmonella spp, Toxoplasma spp, Herpesvirus simae, Candida albicans, and poorly characterized mammalian cell lines. The necessity for use of biological safety cabinet during some manipulations of BSL II organisms requires that work with these organisms is restricted to laboratories containing this equipment (NSC 203 or NSC 223) or the work plan ensures adequate containment and protection.

Animal Biosafety Level I is “suitable for work with well-characterized agents not known to cause disease in healthy human adults.” Animal Biosafety Level II involves practices for work with agents associated with human disease that pose a moderate potential hazard to the environment. Both Animal Biosafety Levels address primarily animals kept in permanent facilities. However, animals obtained either commercially or by trapping or short-term use should follow the same procedures. Latent infections are more common in field-captured animals.

Table A contains a list of agents to which CSB/SJU faculty, staff and students might be exposed and appropriate precautions.