I have been enjoying reading the responses to your post and I am glad you reached out.
I would like to clarify a point. Organisms are not defined by the space in which they are handled.
They are assigned a Risk Group. So, in this example, we would say that S. aureus is a RG2, (which you can look up on the ABSA site http://www.absa.org/riskgroups/bacteriasearch.php?genus=&species=aureus).
It is a small distinction, but an important one.
The biosafety level can change depending on how the organism will be handled. Some RG2 infectious agents may require a higher biosafety level which is determined by the Risk Assessment (such as if you intend to aerosolize them, they may need BSL3). RG2 does not always equal BSL2. And RG3 does not always mean it must be in BSL3.
I hope this makes sense. When working with your lab staff, teach them to reference the agents by their Risk Group!
Beth Welmaker, CCHO, MS
Environmental Health & Safety Manager
Translating Research Into Health
11350 SW Village Parkway- Third Floor
Port Saint Lucie, FL 34987
We have a push for undergrad research (at our primarily undergrad institution), and a student wants to work with a Level 2 organism (Staph. aureus) under the supervision of our cell biologist. This will be the first time a non-faculty member has worked directly with a level 2 organism here. Please share thoughts about whether this is/is not advisable, the relative risks, etc. Being the first time this has come up, we are in a position to formulate our policy. Many thanks.
Chemical Hygiene Officer
Biology & Chemistry Laboratory Coordinator
St. Ambrose University
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