Recommendations for Diagnostic Laboratory Biosafety

On January 6th, 2012, the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) published the results of a CDC Biosafety Blue Ribbon Panel regarding animal and human diagnostic laboratory biosafety practice.  The article can be found in MMWR Supplement 61(01); 1-105.  This link lists Guidelines, the Appendix, and a full text copy of the report.  This guidance is meant to supplement, not replace, the Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories, 5th edition (BMBL-5). BMBL-5, however, was not designed to address the day-to-day operations of diagnostic laboratories in human and animal medicine, and a panel was convened by the CDC to address diagnostic lab biosafety needs.  The guidelines were intended to promote a “culture of safety” and “address the unique needs of the diagnostic laboratory”.  A separate section describes unique challenges to veterinary laboratories.  These recommendations were intended as recommendations, not requirements.  The main goal of the guidance is to reduce laboratory-acquired infections (LAIs) and assess the risk of biological agents or samples, and detail fundamental safety practices.  In addition, specific chapters detail guidelines for laboratories based on the agent or class of agents they handle.

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