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
- 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
- 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.