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Biosafety & Biosecurity

The manipulation of recombinant materials, human, animal, or plant pathogens in the laboratory may pose a risk to laboratory personnel and the environment. In general, the risk posed by the agent is a factor of its risk group level (pathogenicity and niche), laboratory procedures and processes, and the immune status of laboratory staff (host-parasite interactions). Therefore, a risk assessment must be conducted, considering techniques used to study the agent. The risk assessment may be complicated by using models to study the agents. Often the model itself may be a source of uncharacterized pathogenic organisms, allergens, or a means of transmitting the agent via shedding or direct inoculation due to bites or scratches. Registration with the Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) is required before initiating work with agents known to cause disease in humans, animals, or plants. Depending on the nature of the proposed research, approval may also be required by the Institutional Biosafety Committee, Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee, and Institutional Review Board.