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Safe Laboratory Practices
Laboratory Biosafety Level Criteria
Table1: Summary of  Recommended Biosafety  Levels for Infectious Agents
Table1a: Summary of Vertebrate Animal Biosafety Levels (ABSL)
Biological Emergencies
Biosafety Cabinets (BSC's)
Types of BSC's
Comparison of BSC's Characteristics
Selection of a BSC Through Risk Assessment
IBC Application Forms


The potential sources of laboratory-acquired infections due to the use and/or manipulation of hazardous biological agents are easily identified and controlled. In many cases, the infectious agent with which one is working is known, or there is awareness that the materials being manipulated (e.g. human blood and blood products, or tissue, etc) could contain harmful pathogens.

Potential human pathogens that are at the origin of most laboratory- acquired illnesses include: viruses, bacteria, rickettsiae and fungi. The acquisition of infections in the laboratory depends on,

  • the health and immune status or susceptibility of the worker,
  • concentrations and characteristics of the agent,
  • methods and operating procedures used to manipulate the agent and,
  • the appropriateness of the laboratory setting in which work with highly pathogenic agents is conducted.
Most laboratory-acquired infections are due to accidents involving cuts, bites, scratches, spills, sprays, and exposure to aerosols or needle-sticks.

Routes of infections include ingestion, inhalation and inoculation.

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