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Containment Categories

Containment Categories for Commonly Used Agents/Cells:

  • BL1: Cell lines which are of sub-primate or normal primate origin, which do not harbor a primate virus, and which are not contaminated by fungi, bacteria, mycoplasma, etc.
  • BL2: Primate cell lines derived from lymphoid or tumor tissues, all cell lines exposed to or transformed by a primate oncogenic virus, all clinical materials, all mycoplasma-contaminated cell lines should be handled at BL2 containment, whether or not they have been shown to contain a BL2 agent.
  • Other: Cell lines known to contain/produce an infectious etiologic agent or virus can be classified at the same level as that recommended for the etiologic agent or virus.
  • BL1: recombinant DNA (generic K12 E. coli); murine retrovirus vectors; baculovirus; adeno-associated virus (AAV) and AAV vectors; herpesvirus saimiri; avian and murine retroviruses and vectors derived from these viruses.
  • BL2: moderately hazardous agents: adenovirus and adenovirus vectors; human herpesviruses 1 thru 7; human papillomaviruses; respiratory syncytial virus; poliovirus; influenza virus; enterotoxic E. coli; Neisseria; Staph and Strep; Mycoplasma; vaccinia virus and recombinant vaccinia virus vectors. Specific instructions on vaccinia virus vectors/recombinant vaccinia virus are available (see below).
  • BL2+: more hazardous agents under controlled/small scale conditions: lab scale HIV; lab scale HTLV; lab scale SIV; small scale work with Rickettsia spp.; SFV vectors (from Life Technologies: SFV is RG3, but this system was specifically approved at BL2); Note: See serum banking policy (this applies to BL2+ or higher organisms)
  • BL3: more hazardous agents, to be used in the MRB only: Mycobacterium tuberculosis; large-scale work with Rickettsia spp.; Note: See serum banking policy (this applies to BL2+ or higher organisms)
  • Other: If the organism/agent of interest is not listed, ask. Also, please consult with staff re. HIV vector systems.

NOTE: Consult the online NIH Guidelines for more complete and up-to-date information on containment issues. The above listings are for informational purposes only.