Stanford University

Infectious Agents

Stanford University follows the categorizing of infectious agents into levels as described in Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories (BMBL) 5th Edition written and published by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and NIH. The BMBL describes combinations of microbiological practices, laboratory facilities, and safety equipment in combination with four biosafety levels for various agents infectious to humans. The descriptions of Biosafety Levels (BSL) 1 – 4 parallel those in the OBA – NIH Guidelines. Biosafety levels are also described for infectious disease activities that involve laboratory animals.

Additional resources for determining Biosafety Risk level of infectious agents can be found at:

The following Biosafety Level related documents are available:

Animal Biosafety Levels

Animal Biosafety Levels (ABSLs) refer to the use of rDNA or biohazardous agents in animals. All ABSLs are associated with detailed cage labeling requirements, biohazard carcass disposal practices, and personnel training. Note that certain ABSLs require specific housing designations. The Animal Housing and Biosafety Flow Chart contains specific information on ABSL housing.


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