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The FSU Biological Safety Committee requires that research with infectious microorganisms, recombinant DNA (rDNA, biological toxins and human blood/body fluids and tissues be registered prior to the initiation of work as described below. For this registration, a pathogen is defined as any organism known to cause infection or suspected of causing infection in humans, animals, insects or plants. Registration forms for rDNA and Infectious Agents are available on the EH&S website at

Exposure Control Plan – The Exposure Control Plan is required for any laboratory in which personnel will be working with human blood, tissues or bodily fluids.  Contact the Biological Safety Office (BSO) for more information.

Biosafety Manual – A Biosafety Manual is required for any BSL2 or BSL3 laboratory.  This  manual is developed in consultation with the BSO.

All faculty, staff and students who are working with microbiological organisms or materials potentially infected with microbial organisms must follow the guidelines specified in Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories (BMBL). The biological agents from the BMBL can be found in Biological Agents and Associated Biosafety Levels and Biosafety Level Summary Table. These guidelines describe four biosafety levels which specify microbiological practices, laboratory facilities and safety equipment. Work with infectious agents is assigned to a specific biosafety level based on the potential hazard of the agent to people. These four biosafety levels are similarly described for infectious disease activities in which small laboratory animals are used. In general, the Biosafety levels (BSL 1-4) include progressive safety measures to minimize the potential of a laboratory acquired infection and illness.  All researchers should review the standard microbiological practices required for safely working with BSL1 (nonpathogenic organisms) and the increased safety measures required for the BSL2 and BSL3 agents with which they are working.  (No BSL4 agents are used at FSU).  No work with BSL2 or BSL3 agents may begin without authorization of the BSO.  

Additional Information and Resources:

  1. Biosafety in the Laboratory – Prudent Practices for the Handling and Disposal of Infectious Materials (NRC, 1989):  full text can be read online at
  2. The Laboratory Biosafety Manual (WHO 3rd edition):  a PDF file can be downloaded from
    (available in French, Spanish, Chinese, Portuguese, Russian, Italian, Vietnamese, Japanese and Serbian from the WHO website at
  3. Case studies describing laboratory acquired illnesses from routine lab work with E. coli 0157:H7,