DePaul University Research Services > Research Protections > Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) > Risk Group/Biosafety > Category 2: Naturally Infected Vertebrate Animals

Category 2: Naturally Infected Vertebrate Animals

Summary of Recommended Biosafety Levels for Activities in Which Experimentally or Naturally Infected Vertebrate Animals Are Used

Biosafety Level 1

Agents

Not known to consistently cause disease in healthy human adults.

Practices

Standard animal care and management practices, including appropriate medical surveillance programs.

Safety Equipment - Primary Barriers

As required for normal care of each species.

Facilities - Second Barriers

Standard animal facility; No recirculation of exhaust air, Directional air flow recommended; Handwashing sink recommended. ​

Biosafety Level 2

Agents

Associated with human disease. Hazard: percutaneous exposure, ingestion, mucous membrane exposure.

Practices

ABSL-1 practices plus: Limited access; Biohazard warning signs; Sharps precautions; Biosafety manual; Decontamination of all infectious wastes and of animal cages prior to washing.

Safety Equipment - Primary Barriers

ABSL-1 equipment plus primary barriers: containment equipment appropriate for animal species.

PPE: laboratory coats, gloves, face and respiratory protection as needed.​

Facilities - Second Barriers

ABSL-1 facility plus: Autoclave available; Handwashing sink available in the animal room; Mechanical cage washer used. ​

Biosafety Level 3

Agents

Associated with human disease. Hazard: percutaneous exposure, ingestion, mucous membrane exposure.

Practices

ABSL-1 practices plus: Limited access; Biohazard warning signs; Sharps precautions; Biosafety manual; Decontamination of all infectious wastes and of animal cages prior to washing.

Safety Equipment - Primary Barriers

ABSL-1 equipment plus primary barriers: containment equipment appropriate for animal species.

PPE: laboratory coats, gloves, face and respiratory protection as needed.​

Facilities

ABSL-1 facility plus: Autoclave available; Handwashing sink available in the animal room; Mechanical cage washer used. ​

Biosafety Level 3

Agents

Indigenous or exotic agents with potential for aerosol transmission; disease may have serious health effects.

Practices

ABSL-2 practices plus: Controlled access; Decontamination of clothing before laundering; Cages decontaminated before bedding removed; Disinfectant footbath as needed.

Safety Equipment - Primary Barriers

ABSL-2 equipment plus: Containment equipment for housing animals and cage dumping activities Class I or II BSCs available for manipulative procedures (inoculation, necropsy) that may create infectious aerosols. PPEs: appropriate respiratory protection.

Facilities - Secondary Barriers

ABSL-2 facility plus: Physical separation from access corridors; Self-closing, double-door access; Sealed penetrations; Sealed windows; Autoclave available in facility. ​

Biosafety Level 4

Agents

Dangerous/exotic agents that pose high risk of life threatening disease; aerosol transmission, or related agents with unknown risk of transmission.

Practices

ABSL-3 practices plus: Entrance through change room where personal clothing is removed and laboratory clothing is put on; shower on exiting; All wastes are decontaminated before removal from the facility.

Safety Equipment - Primary Barriers

ABSL-3 equipment plus: Maximum containment equipment (i.e., Class III BSC or partial containment equipment in combination with full body, air-supplied positive-pressure personnel suit) used for all procedures and activities.

Facilities - Secondary Barriers

ABSL-3 facility plus: Separate building or isolated zone; Dedicated supply and exhaust, vacuum and decontamination systems; Other requirements outlined in the text. ​

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