Pathogenic microorganisms

Some of our people study pathogenic or infectious microorganisms, trying to find cures for diseases of people, animals and plants.

All microorganisms in Risk Groups (RG) 2, 3 or 4 need to be handled at the appropriate corresponding Physical Containment (PC) level (eg. PC2 for RG2).

For information about how to handle the samples, refer to Sections 3-5 of the Australian/New Zealand Standard 2243.3:2010.  The A/NZS2243.3:2010 can be accessed by searching the library databases for ‘Standards Australia online premium’, and then searching the SAI Global database for ‘2243.3’.

If you can handle your microorganism at the same PC level as their RG then you don’t need Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) approval.  This includes handling the microorganism entirely within a Class II Biosafety Cabinet if it can be infective via the respiratory route.  However, if you need to use non-Standard methods, then please contact the Biosafety Advisor, who will help you to seek IBC assessment of your methods, and approval, before you can begin work.

It is recommended that you get the appropriate immunisations listed in The Australian Immunisation Handbook 10th Edition 2015.   There may be other vaccinations available that are relevant to the samples you are handling.