Non-pathogenic Escherichia coli Strains Biological Agent Reference Sheet (BARS)
|Agent Type||Risk Group||Biosafety Level||Animal Housing Biosafety Level|
Risk Group: RG-1 not associated with disease in healthy human adults.
Agent Type: Bacteria
Description: Gram-negative rod; motile, aerobic; does not contain toxin genes (stx1/stx2), often derivatives of either B or K strains. Examples include: E. coli K12, E. coli 25922, E. coli Nissle, E. coli Castellani and Chalmers ATCC 700728, and other E. coli strains approved by EHS Biosafety pending documented absence of shiga-toxin producing genes.
Host Range: Humans, mammals, fish, and reptiles. Host Shedding: Feces
Route of Exposure to Humans: Direct Contact, Mucous Membranes, Ingestion
Infectious Dose: N/A Incubation Period: N/A
Signs and symptoms of infection may include:
Attenuated strains of E. coli may pose a risk to immunocompromised individuals.
Immunizations: None available Prophylaxis*: Not applicable
*Formal medical advice is obtained during medical consultations with Cornell Health or primary healthcare provider as needed.
|Survival Outside Host||Disinfection|
Undetectable after 6 weeks in fecal material; undetectable after 2 months in soil.
Survives well in foods: up to 50 min in butter; 10 days in cream; survives well in hamburger meat; does not survive long in slurry systems (innoculum of 108 cfu/mL became undetectable after 9 days).
1:10 Bleach Dilution
For more guidance on disinfection see: disinfectant selection.
- Handling of sharps (needles, scalpels, microtome blades, broken glass, etc.)
- Splash/droplet-creating activities (shaking incubators, liquid culturing, mechanical pipetting)
- Equipment contamination
- Exposed skin/uncovered wounds
Laboratory Acquired Infection (LAI) History: Four reported cases of laboratory infections with wild type infectious E. coli since 1981.
Laboratory Handling Guidelines
Laboratory Biosafety Level (BSL): BSL-1
|Lab Engineering Controls||Personal Protective Equipment|
Waste Management: Regulated Medical Waste (RMW)
Shipping Guidance: Refer to EHS Biological Materials Shipping
Animal Vivarium Guidance
Animal Housing Biosafety Level (ABSL): ABSL-1
Animal Biosecurity: No concerns
Perform Inoculations: On a Benchtop
Change Cages: On a Benchtop
Exposure and Spill Procedures
Mucous Membranes: Flush eyes, mouth, or nose for 15 minutes at an eyewash station. See: responding to exposures.
Other Exposures: Wash with soap and water for 15 minutes (open wounds, sores, etc.) or a minimum of 20 seconds for areas with intact skin. See: responding to exposures.
Small Spills: Notify others working in the lab. Evacuate area and allow 30 minutes for aerosols to settle. Don appropriate PPE. Cover area of the spill with paper towels and apply disinfectant, working from the perimeter toward the center. Allow 30 minutes of contact time before disposal and cleanup of spill materials. See: spill cleanup.
Large Spills: Request assistance from the EHS Spill Team by calling CUPD dispatch. Call 911 from a campus phone or 607-255-1111 from a mobile phone.
Incident Reporting: Immediately report the incident to supervisor and complete the EHS online injury/illness report as soon as possible.
- For students, seek medical attention at Cornell Health or local primary care provider. Call Cornell Health at 607-255-5155 (24-hour phone consultation line) or a local urgent care.
- For faculty and staff, seek medical evaluation with a local primary care provider or urgent care. Cornell Health does not see employees for post-exposure care.
- Emergencies: Call 911 from a campus phone or 607-255-1111 from a mobile phone.
Cornell EHS would like to thank Emory University for the use of their Biological Agent Reference Sheet (BARS) format and some content.