Safety/Risk Group Guide


(Difference between revisions)
Line 26: Line 26:
<div class="underconst">
<div class="underconst">
<h3>This page is under construction.</h3>
<h3>This page is under construction.</h3>
<p>To learn more about Risk Groups and BioSafety Levels, consult the WHO Biosafety Manual.</p>
<p>To learn more about Risk Groups and BioSafety Levels, consult the <a href="">WHO Biosafety Manual</a>.</p>

Revision as of 18:29, 12 May 2014

Questions or feedback?
Email safety AT igem DOT org!

This page is under construction.

To learn more about Risk Groups and BioSafety Levels, consult the WHO Biosafety Manual.

Risk Groups

Common iGEM Organisms
Species Risk Group
Escherichia coli K-12 (and derivatives: DH5alpha, etc) RG 1
Bacillus subtilis RG 1
Yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) RG 1

What is risk group

Different countries may disagree about the danger of some microorganisms, and may assign the same organism to different Risk Groups. Often, this is because the same organism is more dangerous in certain parts of the world. For example, a pathogen that is more deadly in hot climates might be rated Risk Group 3 by countries with hot weather, but the same organism might be rated Risk Group 2 in countries with very cold weather.

A note about E. coli K-12

Escherichia coli is the most commonly used bacterium in molecular biology. E. coli bacteria naturally live inside the human digestive system. Many strains of E. coli cause terrible diseases. These disease-causing strains are often called "enterotoxic", "enterohemorrhagic", etc. Famous strains such as E. coli O157:H7 have caused many deaths. Most disease-causing strains of E. coli are considered Risk Group 2.

E. coli K-12 is a "lab strain". Elaborate on the exact difference between E. coli K-12 and other strains. K-12 strains cannot survive in the human digestive system, and do not produce toxins. E. coli K-12 is considered Risk Group 1. Likewise, K-12's derivative strains (such as DH5alpha, TOP10, etc.) are also considered Risk Group 1. Always check your strain!

How can I find out the Risk Group of my organism?

Reliable sources include DSMZ, ABSA, NIH Guidelines

Laboratory Biosafety Levels

Quick Lesson on Biosafety Levels

This "Quick Learn Lesson" will give you a general idea of what the four BioSafety Levels look like. It is prepared by the U.S. Government, so it uses U.S. definitions for each Level. Most countries will use a very similar system, but some details may vary.

Most countries divide biological laboratories into four levels, based on their ability to contain increasingly dangerous pathogens.

The World Health Organization defines Level 1 as the most safe, and Level 4 as the most dangerous. Most countries in the world follow this system, and iGEM follows this system as well.

Note: A smaller number of countries, mostly those that were formerly part of the Soviet Union, use a different system where the numbers are reversed (with Level 1 being the most dangerous). Make sure you know which system your country uses!

Biosafety Level 1

Biosafety Level 2

Biosafety Level 3

Biosafety Level 4