Bio-ARROW - SmartForm - Microbes and Disease-Causing Agents
Only microbes and disease-causing agents that are directly worked with in this protocol should be added in this section. For example, if an animal you are working with is harboring a microbe that you did not introduce and you do not plan on culturing or replicating, the microbe does not need to be listed in this section. However, the potential for zoonosis to occur is still present and this should be noted in the "Emergency Response-Special" question.
Risk Groups (RG) are assigned to microbes based upon their potential to cause disease. Risk Groups and biosafety levels usually correlate however there are procedure or facility designs that may require a higher or lower biosafety level than the risk group level. RG1 agents are not associated with disease in humans. RG2 agents are associated with human disease which is rarely serious and for which preventive or therapeutic interventions are often available. RG3 agents are associated with serious or lethal human disease for which preventive or therapeutic interventions may be available. RG4 agents are likely to cause serious or lethal human disease for which preventive or therapeutic interventions are not usually available. To determine what risk group is appropriate, consult Appendix B of the NIH Guidelines: https://osp.od.nih.gov/biotechnology/biosafety-and-recombinant-dna-activities/ or call OBS (263-2037) for guidance. If your microbe is not on the list, choose the RG that fits best based upon the definitions given above.
For all Risk Group 2 and above microbes, strains should be listed if known. If handling a clinical strain, additional information should be added to the applicable sections of the protocol (e.g., Microbe Additional Information, Occupational Health Considerations, Research Description). This information is helpful for risk assessment and in the event of a lab exposure.
Opportunistic pathogens should be considered RG2 pathogens. See Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) – Appropriate Containment for Select Opportunistic and Borderline Pathogens - UW-Madison Policy Library (wisc.edu), for details.
If microbes are present in the lab but are not in use, enter them in this section and indicate they are storage only. If you have more than one biosafety protocol, you do not need to enter microbes that are covered by another protocol as storage only. For microbes at Risk Group 2 and above strains in storage only, please reach out to OBS for guidance.
Still have questions? Call the Office of Biological Safety (OBS) at 608-263-2037. We are happy to help.