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The Office of Research Support (ORS) does not administer or oversee HOP policy 5-2011 or training related to the policy. ORS administers HOP policy 7-1210, “Promoting Objectivity in Research by Managing, Reducing or Eliminating Financial Conflicts of Interest” so if you conduct research and have:

  1. Not submitted a Financial Interest Disclosure (FID), you will need to complete mandatory training and file a FID. Instructions for completing these requirements are located at http://www.utexas.edu/research/rsc/coi/training.html.
  2. Previously submitted a FID, you are not required to complete additional training nor re-disclose the same information to comply with the UTS 180/HOP 5-2011 policy requirements.   However, you may have other responsibilities under that policy.

HOP policy 5-2011 QUESTIONS? Contact the Provost’s Office evpp_coi@austin.utexas.edu or call Mike Kerker, Associate Vice Provost at (512) 471-2694.

Biocontainment Conditions

All biocontainment conditions set by the IBC and required PPE as determined by the Biosafety Officer (BSO) are conditions of approval for all protocols. Biocontainment conditions cannot be lowered without IBC approval.

In terms of physical biocontainment, four biosafety levels are described.  These biosafety levels consist of a combination of lab practices and techniques, safety equipment, and lab facilities appropriate for the risk of the operations being performed.  Biosafety level 4 provides the most stringent biocontainment conditions, biosafety level 1 the least stringent. Since the University does not have BSL-4 facilities, work requiring BSL-4 biocontainment on campus will not be approved.

The NIH Guidelines contains details pertaining to the different levels of physical containment in appendices G, K, P, and Q. Containment levels BL-1 through BL-4 in the NIH Guidelines are very similar to BSL-1 through BSL-4 described in the Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories or BMBL.  The nomenclature used to describe these biocontainment conditions differs slightly between the two federal agencies; however both designate the same combination of lab practices, techniques, safety equipment and lab facilities.

Since most researchers are familiar with the BSL nomenclature, the IBC will use BSL-1 through BSL-3 and ABSL-1 through ABSL-3 to describe conditions of laboratory and animal biocontainment set by the committee.  Work involving recombinant plants will use the NIH Guidelines nomenclature of BL1-P through BL3-P to describe laboratory and greenhouse biocontainment conditions.  All waste, material generated during research using recombinant and synthetic nucleic acid molecules and biohazardous materials including genetically modified organisms, plants and animals must be handled as biohazardous and disposed of as biohazardous waste.

Work with toxins and human or primate fluids, tissue, and cells may require additional safety practices as determined by the BSO.

BSL-1, ABSL-1, BL1-P Biocontainment Conditions

BSL-1 Containment

BSL-1 biocontainment is appropriate for most work using risk group 1 agents and other low risk work as determined by the IBC.  The lab displayed here is an example of a basic wet lab at biosafety level 1 or BSL-1. BLS-1 genetically modified organisms and waste generated during such research must be handled as biohazardous.

Basic Wet Lab at BSL-1.  Showing lab coats, eye protection, and a fume hood.

Graphics kindly provided by CUH2A, Princeton, NJ, USA WHO Biosafety Manual 3rd ed., 2004

ABSL-1

Standard animal housing conditions used by the Animal Resource Center is ABSL-1 biocontainment. ABSL-1 animal care is generally performed by ARC personnel.  ABSL-1 containment is the appropriate for housing most low risk animals and transgenic rodents as determined by the IBC that:

  • do not contain a transgene under the control of a gammaretorviral LTR,
  • do not contain more than one-half of an exogenous viral genome, human cells or tissue
  • have been exposed to infectious agents

BL1-P

Standard conditions for the use of plant tissue culture rooms, growth chambers within labs, open benches and greenhouses expand on BSL-1 to include additional biocontainment practices if botanical reproductive structures are produced.

BSL-1/ABSL-1 PPE

Basic personal protective equipment includes lab coat or other protective outer layer and eye protection such as safety glasses or face shield. Additional PPE may be recommended or required.

BSL-2 and ABSL-2 Biocontainment Conditions

BSL-2

Biosafety level 2 labs are for work using risk group 2 agents and procedures that are likely to generate aerosols.

The BSL-2 lab, as shown here, builds on BSL-1 and includes a biosafety cabinet, biohazard signs on doors and equipment, controlled entry, separate collection and disposal of biohazardous waste, and personal protective equipment for lab personnel.

BSL-2 lab howing biosafety cabinet, biohazard signs on doors and equipment, controlled entry, separate collection and disposal of biohazardous waste, and personal protective equipment for lab personnel.<

Graphics kindly provided by CUH2A, Princeton, NJ, USA WHO Biosafety Manual 3rd ed., 2004

ABSL-2

Animals housed under ABSL-2 biocontainment conditions include cage signage identifying the infectious agent and are isolated from untreated ABSL-1 animals. Cage changes are performed by lab personnel, with cage and bedding treated as hazardous.

Some work with viral vectors requires ABSL-2 biocontainment for at least 72 hours post infection. Approval for lowering biocontainment from ABSL-2 to ABSL-1 must be specified in the IBC approval letter.

BSL-2/ABSL-2 PPE

Basic personal protective equipment includes a lab coat or other protective outer layer, gloves and eye protection such as lab safety glasses or face shield. Additional PPE may be recommended or required.

BSL-3 and ABSL-3 Biocontainment Conditions

BSL-3

Biosafety level 3 labs are used in research conducted on RG-3 agents, some select agents and toxins, and other modified biohazardous materials as determined by the IBC. This is the highest biocontainment level currently on the UT campus.

The BSL-3 lab as shown here builds on BSL-2 with separation from the general traffic flow and controlled and restricted access through an anteroom. Other key elements include inward directional airflow, the requirement that all work with infectious agents must be done in a biosafety cabinet, the use of specialized personal protective equipment, and all waste and other materials must be decontaminated or autoclaved before leaving BSL-3 biocontainment.

BSL-3 lab showing biosafety cabinet, biohazard signs, controlled entry, autoclamves, fume hoods, separate collection and disposal of biohazardous waste, and personal protective equipment for lab personnel.<

Graphics kindly provided by CUH2A, Princeton, NJ, USA WHO Biosafety Manual 3rd ed., 2004

ABSL-3

ABSL-3 housing conditions include housing animals in the BSL-3 biocontainment laboratory in HEPA filtered cages. Rodent cages may be required to be housed in the biosafety cabinet.  All animal work, cage changes are performed in the biosafety cabinet by lab personnel trained and qualified for access to the BSL-3 laboratory. All cages and bedding must be autoclaved prior to removal from the BSL-3 lab. Animals and tissue from animals must be autoclaved or the infectious material inactivated prior to removal from the BSL-3 lab.

BSL-3/ABSL-3 PPE

Basic personal protective equipment includes a solid front gown lab coat or other protective outer layer, gloves and eye protection such as safety glasses or face shield and additional PPE such as a respirator and lab clothing dedicated to the BSL-3 lab may be recommended or required.