containment of biohazards


Summary: Physical and biological barriers against the spread of potentially hazardous biologically active agents such as bacteria, viruses, recombinant nucleotides, contaminated bio-specimens, etc. Typically involves the use of specialized equipment, facilities, procedures, professional personnel and established protocols.

Top Publications

  1. Shurtleff A, Garza N, Lackemeyer M, Carrion R, Griffiths A, Patterson J, et al. The impact of regulations, safety considerations and physical limitations on research progress at maximum biocontainment. Viruses. 2012;4:3932-51 pubmed
    ..The possibilities and limitations of biomedical research involving microbial pathogens of biodefense concern in BSL-4 containment laboratories are explored in this review. ..
  2. Kortepeter M, Martin J, Rusnak J, Cieslak T, Warfield K, Anderson E, et al. Managing potential laboratory exposure to ebola virus by using a patient biocontainment care unit. Emerg Infect Dis. 2008;14:881-7 pubmed publisher
    ..Research facilities contemplating work with pathogens requiring Biosafety Level 4 laboratory precautions should be mindful of the occupational health issues highlighted in this article...
  3. Osterholm M, Henderson D. Public health and biosecurity. Life sciences at a crossroads: respiratory transmissible H5N1. Science. 2012;335:801-2 pubmed publisher
  4. Perez D. Public health and biosecurity. H5N1 debates: hung up on the wrong questions. Science. 2012;335:799-801 pubmed publisher
  5. Lawler A. Biodefense labs. Boston University Under Fire for Pathogen Mishap. Science. 2005;307:501 pubmed
  6. Kaiser J. Biosafety breaches. Accidents spur a closer look at risks at biodefense labs. Science. 2007;317:1852-4 pubmed
  7. Le Duc J, Anderson K, Bloom M, Estep J, Feldmann H, Geisbert J, et al. Framework for leadership and training of Biosafety Level 4 laboratory workers. Emerg Infect Dis. 2008;14:1685-8 pubmed publisher
    ..Although standardized certification of training does not formally exist, the directors agreed that facility-specific, time-limited documentation to recognize specific skills and experiences of trained persons is needed. ..
  8. Marklund L. Patient care in a biological safety level-4 (BSL-4) environment. Crit Care Nurs Clin North Am. 2003;15:245-55 pubmed
  9. Christopher G, Eitzen E. Air evacuation under high-level biosafety containment: the aeromedical isolation team. Emerg Infect Dis. 1999;5:241-6 pubmed
    ..This article also examines technical aspects of the team's equipment, training, capabilities, and deployments. ..

More Information


  1. Nolte K, Taylor D, Richmond J. Biosafety considerations for autopsy. Am J Forensic Med Pathol. 2002;23:107-22 pubmed
    ..These risks can be substantially mitigated through proper assessment, personal protective equipment, appropriate autopsy procedures, and facility design. ..
  2. Gronvall G, Fitzgerald J, Chamberlain A, Inglesby T, O Toole T. High-containment biodefense research laboratories: meeting report and center recommendations. Biosecur Bioterror. 2007;5:75-85 pubmed
  3. Goto M, Yamashita T, Misawa S, Komori T, Okuzumi K, Takahashi T. [Current biosafety in clinical laboratories in Japan: report of questionnaires' data obtained from clinical laboratory personnel in Japan]. Kansenshogaku Zasshi. 2007;81:39-44 pubmed
    ..These results suggest that biosafety systems are woefully lacking or inadequate in clinical laboratories in Japan and must be established at the earliest possible opportunity...
  4. Steinbrook R. Research in the hot zone. N Engl J Med. 2006;354:109-12 pubmed
  5. Pastel R, Demmin G, Severson G, Torres Cruz R, Trevino J, Kelly J, et al. Clinical laboratories, the select agent program, and biological surety (biosurety). Clin Lab Med. 2006;26:299-312, vii pubmed
    ..Both sets of regulations have four pillars (safety, physical security, agent account-ability, and personnel reliability) that are built on a foundation of training and covered by a roof of management (operations and plans). ..
  6. Bente D, Friesen J, White K, Koll J, Kobinger G. A computerized data-capture system for animal biosafety level 4 laboratories. J Am Assoc Lab Anim Sci. 2011;50:660-4 pubmed
  7. Kraemer J, Gostin L. Public Health and biosecurity. The limits of government regulation of science. Science. 2012;335:1047-9 pubmed publisher
  8. Hulbert R, Cotter P. Laboratory Maintenance of Bordetella pertussis. Curr Protoc Microbiol. 2009;Chapter 4:Unit 4B.1 pubmed publisher
    ..Appropriate laboratory safety protocols are required to prevent the generation of aerosols, which could potentially spread this highly infectious agent. ..
  9. Oliveira J, Ferreira A, Costa Feitosa M, Paredes Moreira M. [Social representations about occupational risk in the perspective of the health worker]. Rev Gaucha Enferm. 2009;30:99-105 pubmed
  10. Gupta J. Land use planning in India. J Hazard Mater. 2006;130:300-6 pubmed
    ..level of industrialization in different parts, need for creation of jobs, eco-sensitive regions, tribal regions, historical monuments, etc. This paper discusses the current scene in India and the near future aspects. ..
  11. Dowall S, Graham V, Tipton T, Hewson R. Multiplex cytokine profiling with highly pathogenic material: use of formalin solution in luminex analysis. J Immunol Methods. 2009;348:30-5 pubmed publisher
    ..This methodology thus extends the use of luminex technology for material that contains highly pathogenic biological agents. ..
  12. Obot Akata C, Blair L, Barr E, Storch S, Vigil G, Campen M. Development of a head-out plethysmograph system for non-human primates in an Animal Biosafety Level 3 facility. J Pharmacol Toxicol Methods. 2007;55:96-102 pubmed
    ..This system will have clear uses in the development of novel therapeutics and vaccines for the treatment of SAs in NHPs. ..
  13. Lambert M, Poljak Z, Arsenault J, D Allaire S. Epidemiological investigations in regard to porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) in Quebec, Canada. Part 1: biosecurity practices and their geographical distribution in two areas of different swine density. Prev Vet Med. 2012;104:74-83 pubmed publisher
    ..Vicinity of sites with different biosecurity levels also suggests difficulties in planning priorities of intervention based on geographical distribution of sites. ..
  14. Herfst S, Schrauwen E, Linster M, Chutinimitkul S, de Wit E, Munster V, et al. Airborne transmission of influenza A/H5N1 virus between ferrets. Science. 2012;336:1534-41 pubmed publisher
    ..Thus, avian A/H5N1 influenza viruses can acquire the capacity for airborne transmission between mammals without recombination in an intermediate host and therefore constitute a risk for human pandemic influenza. ..
  15. Vonesch N, Tomao P, Di Renzi S, Vita S, Signorini S. [Biosafety in laboratories concerning exposure to biological agents]. G Ital Med Lav Ergon. 2006;28:444-56 pubmed
    ..This paper describes some aspects that include good microbiological practices (GMPs), appropriate containment equipment, practices and operational procedures to minimize workers' risk of injury or illness...
  16. Spence J, Wright L, Clark V. Laboratory maintenance of Neisseria gonorrhoeae. Curr Protoc Microbiol. 2008;Chapter 4:Unit 4A.1 pubmed publisher
    ..This unit provides information for both aerobic and anaerobic growth, basic long-term and daily maintenance of gonococcal cultures, as well as safety considerations for laboratory studies. ..
  17. Fox J. National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity reviews papers, holds second meeting. Biosecur Bioterror. 2006;4:9-11 pubmed
  18. Gbaguidi Haore H, Bertrand X, Muller A, Thouverez M, Talon D. [Are isolation measures needed in the hospital management of Acinetobacter baumannii colonizations-infections?]. Med Mal Infect. 2006;36:201-6 pubmed
    ..Genotyping results show the importance of cross-transmission in these units. Finally, observed results suggest that some measures of isolation precautions in addition to standard precautions are needed to prevent outbreaks of Ab. ..
  19. Gonder J. Select agent regulations. ILAR J. 2005;46:4-7 pubmed
    ..A brief overview of recent regulations is presented, as well as where to obtain additional information on regulations, standards, and guidelines related to work with select agents and toxins. ..
  20. Girard M. More on research in France. Science. 2004;304:1745; author reply 1745 pubmed
  21. Sosa E, Alvarez Ramirez J. Time-correlations in the dynamics of hazardous material pipelines incidents. J Hazard Mater. 2009;165:1204-9 pubmed publisher
    ..But, if we consider incidents with a large severity index (spills and property damage), the phenomenon is unpredictable, since it approaches a Poissonian process (random, independent and uncorrelated). ..
  22. Paweska J, Jansen van Vuren P, Meier G, le Roux C, Conteh O, Kemp A, et al. South African Ebola diagnostic response in Sierra Leone: A modular high biosafety field laboratory. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2017;11:e0005665 pubmed publisher
  23. Galván E, Nair M, Chen H, Del Piero F, Schifferli D. Biosafety level 2 model of pneumonic plague and protection studies with F1 and Psa. Infect Immun. 2010;78:3443-53 pubmed publisher
    ..Therefore, further investigations to fully characterize the protective properties of the Psa fimbriae are warranted. ..
  24. Los M. Minimization and prevention of phage infections in bioprocesses. Methods Mol Biol. 2012;834:305-15 pubmed publisher
    ..This issue is discussed on the basis of literature survey and experience of Phage Consultants. ..
  25. Groemer G, Hauth S, Luger U, Bickert K, Sattler B, Hauth E, et al. The Aouda.X space suit simulator and its applications to astrobiology. Astrobiology. 2012;12:125-34 pubmed publisher
    ..We report on the performance envelope of the Aouda.X system and its operational limitations. ..
  26. Gioia F, Ciriello P. The containment of oil spills in porous media using xanthan/aluminum solutions, gelled by gaseous CO2 or by AlCl3 solutions. J Hazard Mater. 2006;138:500-6 pubmed
    ..For both gelling systems we have studied both theoretically and experimentally the rate of formation of the gel layer which progressively thickens after the insufflation of CO(2) or after the addition of the AlCl(3) solution. ..
  27. Eckebrecht T. Occupational standards for the protection of employees in biotechnology. Int Arch Occup Environ Health. 2000;73 Suppl:S4-7 pubmed
    ..For accidental exposures medical emergency plans should be prepared. Occupational medical examination programs, vaccinations and counseling of employees must be adapted to the outcome of the risk assessment. ..
  28. Steidler L. Genetically engineered probiotics. Best Pract Res Clin Gastroenterol. 2003;17:861-76 pubmed
    ..If designed carefully and with absolute attention to biological safety in its broadest sense, the development of genetically modified probiotics has the potential to revolutionize alimentary health. ..
  29. Vichard P, Talon D, Jeunet L. [The importance of isolating septic patients in an autonomous unit in orthopedic surgery and traumatology]. Bull Acad Natl Med. 2003;187:905-18; discussion 918-20 pubmed
    ..nor should they be overlooked in outpatient and emergency care--often the first step in orthopedic surgery. Sepsis Containment Units are essential and merit further development. ..
  30. Copps J. Issues related to the use of animals in biocontainment research facilities. ILAR J. 2005;46:34-43 pubmed
    ..The challenges of working with infectious disease agents in high levels of containment, and some solutions to these challenges, are described from an animal care point of view. ..
  31. Prabhakar U, Makhija N. Bio-medical waste management: a study to assess the knowledge of nursing personnel. Nurs J India. 2004;95:173-4 pubmed
  32. Gordon S, Fisher S, Raymond R. Elimination of mouse allergens in the working environment: assessment of individually ventilated cage systems and ventilated cabinets in the containment of mouse allergens. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2001;108:288-94 pubmed
    ..Respiratory protection should be used whenever "unsealed" IVC systems are operated at positive pressure or during "cleaning out" in class I--type cabinets. ..
  33. Maksimova E, Popova L. Expression of cloned genes of transgenic microorganisms introduced into man-made ecosystems. Adv Space Res. 2001;27:1581-6 pubmed
    ..The conducted investigations can provide a basis for the use of marker transgenic microorganisms in closed ecosystems of different types. Grant numbers: 99-04-96017, 00-07-9011. ..
  34. Garcia Sastre A. Working safely with H5N1 viruses. MBio. 2012;3:e00049-12 pubmed publisher
    ..Rational countermeasures for preventing the spread of influenza can be developed only by gaining a thorough knowledge of the molecular mechanisms at work in host specificity and transmission. ..
  35. Larsen M, Biermann K, Jacobs W. Analyses of Mycobacterium tuberculosis proteins. Curr Protoc Microbiol. 2007;Chapter 10:Unit 10A.4 pubmed publisher
    ..This unit includes protocols for the isolation of proteins from Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Considerations for working with M. tuberculosis at Biosafety Level 3 containment are also discussed. ..
  36. Josko D. Botulin toxin: a weapon in terrorism. Clin Lab Sci. 2004;17:30-4 pubmed
    ..Due to the severity and potency of this neurotoxin, its importance as a biological weapon is of major concern to public health officials. ..
  37. Smith D, Grotelueschen D. Biosecurity and biocontainment of bovine viral diarrhea virus. Vet Clin North Am Food Anim Pract. 2004;20:131-49 pubmed
    ..If it is clear that the virus is not present in a herd then, biosecurity actions must be taken to prevent introducing the virus into the herd. ..
  38. Wells J. Mucosal vaccination and therapy with genetically modified lactic acid bacteria. Annu Rev Food Sci Technol. 2011;2:423-45 pubmed publisher
    ..lactis that secretes Il-10 should pave the way for new LAB delivery applications in the future. ..
  39. Cortes M, Nessar R, Singh A. Laboratory maintenance of Mycobacterium abscessus. Curr Protoc Microbiol. 2010;Chapter 10:Unit 10D.1 pubmed publisher
    ..It also contains recommendations concerning long-term strain storage. M. abscessus is a Biosafety Level 2 organism, and the required safety measures are also discussed. ..
  40. Biedrzycki B. The medical waste revolution is on the horizon: Part II. ONS News. 2004;19:13 pubmed
  41. Samuel J, Hendrix L. Laboratory maintenance of Coxiella burnetii. Curr Protoc Microbiol. 2009;Chapter 6:Unit 6C.1 pubmed publisher
    ..burnetii is accomplished through conversion of optical density to dry weight or, more precisely, by RT-PCR to determine genome equivalents. Serum antibody titer to C. burnetii is determined by microagglutination assay or ELISA. ..
  42. Nicholson W, Schuerger A, Race M. Migrating microbes and planetary protection. Trends Microbiol. 2009;17:389-92 pubmed publisher
    ..As plans proceed for future life detection and human exploration missions, planetary protection considerations are again uppermost on the agendas of mission planners, and microbiologists have an important role to play. ..
  43. King N. The ethics of biodefense. Bioethics. 2005;19:432-46 pubmed
    ..It concludes with a call for ethicists to study not only the ethical issues raised in biodefense programs, but also the ethics of biodefense more generally. ..
  44. Lee P. Biocontainment strategies for live lactic acid bacteria vaccine vectors. Bioeng Bugs. 2010;1:75-7 pubmed publisher
    ..Furthermore, the possibilities of transgene horizontal transfer must be minimized, and GMM lethality for biocontainment should be achieved in an unconfined environment. ..
  45. Sherman M, Weaver S. Structure of the recombinant alphavirus Western equine encephalitis virus revealed by cryoelectron microscopy. J Virol. 2010;84:9775-82 pubmed publisher
    ..Surprisingly, the nucleocapsid of WEEV, a New World virus, is more similar to the Old World alphavirus Sindbis virus than to other New World alphaviruses...
  46. Tucker J. Avoiding the biological security dilemma: A response to Petro and Carus. Biosecur Bioterror. 2006;4:195-9; discussion 200-3 pubmed
  47. Enserink M. Infectious diseases. Singapore lab faulted in SARS case. Science. 2003;301:1824 pubmed
  48. Mortland K, Mortland D. Biosafety considerations in laboratory design. Clin Leadersh Manag Rev. 2003;17:175-7 pubmed
  49. Perfetto S, Ambrozak D, Koup R, Roederer M. Measuring containment of viable infectious cell sorting in high-velocity cell sorters. Cytometry A. 2003;52:122-30 pubmed
    ..With this monitoring system in place, aerosols can be efficiently measured, thus reducing the risk to the operator while sorting viable infectious cells. ..
  50. Rizal D, Tani S, Nishiyama K, Suzuki K. Safety and reliability analysis in a polyvinyl chloride batch process using dynamic simulator-case study: Loss of containment incident. J Hazard Mater. 2006;137:1309-20 pubmed
    ..Japan). A case study is focused on the loss of containment (LOC) incident at polyvinyl chloride (PVC) batch process which is consumed the hazardous material, vinyl chloride monomer (VCM). ..
  51. Blaine J. Establishing a national biological laboratory safety and security monitoring program. Biosecur Bioterror. 2012;10:396-400 pubmed publisher
  52. Enserink M. Biosecurity. Reports blame animal health lab in foot-and-mouth whodunit. Science. 2007;317:1486 pubmed
  53. Veluri V, Justus A. Risk-based containment and air monitoring criteria for work with dispersible radioactive materials. Health Phys. 2013;104:419-27 pubmed publisher
    ..Examples are provided that demonstrate the effective use of each criterion. Comparison to other often used criteria is provided. ..