Biosafety Containment for Animal Labs

The following are the recommended biocontainment levels for working with vertebrate animals in the laboratory based on the 5th ed. of Biosafety in Biomedical and Microbiological Laboratories (BMBL). The BMBL provides guidance for working with infected animals as well as animals that may naturally harbor zoonotic infectious agents. Biocontainment levels may be raised or lowered based on risk assessment for specific protocols.

Animal Biosafety Level 1 (ABSL-1)

  • Work with agents in animals that are not known to cause disease in healthy humans
  • Work with laboratory animals (except specimen collection in Non-Human Primates NHP)
  • Work with wild animals that have been screened/quarantined
  • Work with fixed tissues from NHP or wild animals (BSL-1)

Special Requirements

  • No special requirements unless working with recombinant materials or microbiological agents. EHS will conduct an ABSL-1 inspection of the lab.
  • Researchers working with recombinant or microbiological agents will be required to post biohazard signs, participate in biosafety training, develop a biosafety manual and submit a biosafety form to the IBC for review.

Animal Biosafety Level 2 (ABSL-2)

  • Work with agents in animals known to cause human disease
  • Work with wild animals that have not been screened/quarantined and are known or suspected to carry zoonotic infectious agents
  • Clinical specimen collection (blood or body fluids) from NHP
  • Work with fresh (unfixed) tissues from NHP or other wild animals suspected to carry zoonotic infectious agents. (BSL-2 if working with tissues only)

Special Requirements

  • Researchers working at ABSL-2 will be required to post biohazard signs, participate in biosafety training, develop a biosafety manual and submit a biosafety form to the IBC for review.
  • Personnel are required to complete AALAS animal biosafety training if they are working with ABSL-2 pathogens or vectors.
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