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A/BSL-2, BSL-2+ with enhanced practices

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Biosafety Level 2 (BSL-2) or Animal Biosafety Level 2 (ABSL-2) is appropriate for work with biological materials that may cause infectious disease. The laboratory must follow basic facility practices, such as no fabric chairs or rugs, impervious, cleanable surfaces, containing a sink and an eyewash station. PPE such as a lab coat and gloves at minimum is required. A BSL-2 SOP, detailing the risks of working with the biological material, the PPE worn, and other practices used in the lab to minimize risk, is required to be approved by OESO Biological Safety every 3 years, or when procedures or biological materials are added or changed. 

For some biological materials or experiments, additional precautions above those recommended for work at BSL-2 may be needed. For example, work with open containers of lentiviral vectors and animal inoculations should occur in a Class II Biological Safety Cabinet (BSC). This containment level is often referred to as BSL-2+ or BSL-2 Enhanced. Enhancements could include things like requiring double gloves, working only in a biosafety cabinet, or the need for respiratory protection. These enhancements will be spelled out in the laboratory’s approved BSL-2 SOP.

Specific basic research examples warranting BSL-2+ containment include:

  • Some use of HIV, HBV or HCV, or patient samples containing these.
  • Use of any biological agent that requires BSL-2+ containment in accordance with a federal or state health authority permit (i.e., USDA APHIS, CDC, etc.)
  • Use of any emerging infectious agent as determined by the Biosafety Officer, other biosafety professionals, and the Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) with input from the Principal Investigator