Open Menu Close Menu Open Search Close Search

Information from:  Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories (BMBL) 5th Edition (December 2009) [Download complete list as PDF]


Agent Name

Containment Recommendations

Select Agent

Bacillus anthracis

BSL-3: Production quantities, high concentrations of cultures, screening environmental samples (especially powders) from anthrax-contaminated locations, and for activities with a high potential for aerosol production.

BSL-2: Clinical materials and diagnostic quantities of infectious cultures. ABSL-2: Rodent studies

B. anthracis is a Select Agent

Bordetella pertussis

BSL-3: Production operations.

BSL-2: Known or potentially infectious clinical material and cultures.

ABSL-2: Experimentally infected animals.

Brucella species

BSL-3 and ABSL-3: All manipulations of cultures of pathogenic Brucella spp. listed in this summary, and for experimental animal studies.

BSL-3: Products of conception due to the high concentration of organisms per gram of tissue.

BSL-2: Routine clinical specimens of human or animal origin.

Brucella abortus, Brucella melitensis, and Brucella suis

Select Agents

Burkholderia mallei

BSL-3:Infectious aerosols, droplets, centrifugation, handling infected animals, or when large quantities of the agent are produced.

ABSL-3: B. pseudomallei and B. mallei are two closely related select agents that cause melioidosis and glanders, respectively. B. mallei causes natural glanders, a rare disease of equids (1), although it can also cause rare infections in humans (2). By contrast, the disease caused by B. pseudomallei, human melioidosis, is endemic to much of Southeast Asia, northern Australia, and other parts of the Tropics.

BSL-2: Primary isolations from patient fluids or tissues in a BSC.

B. mallei is a Select Agent

Burkholderia pseudomallei

BSL-2: Clinical specimens of melioidosis and B. pseudomallei cultures, in BSC.

BSL-3: Aerosols or droplets, production quantities should be confined to facilities with all pertinent primary containment against escape of aerosols. ABSL-3

B. pseudomallei is a Select Agent

Chlamydia psittaci (Chlamydophila psittaci), C. trachomatis, C.

pneumoniae (Chlamydophila pneumoniae)

BSL-2: Clinical specimens, cultures of ocular or genital serovars (A through K) of C. trachomatis or C. pneumoniae.

BSL-3: Necropsy of infected birds, tissues or cultures of C. psittaci strains of avian origin.

BSL-2 with BSL-3 practices and BSC: Non-avian strains of C. psittaci

ABSL-3: Infected caged birds.

BSL-3: Clinical, culture specimens of LGV serovars (L1 through L3) of C. trachomatis.

BSL-2 with BSL-3 practices and BSC: LGV serovars of C. trachomatis

ABSL-2: Animals infected with genital serovars of C. trachomatis or C. pneumoniae.

BSL-3: Any of these species with high potential for droplet or aerosol production, large quantities or concentrations.

Neurotoxin producing Clostridia species

Clostridium botulinum, and rare strains of C. baratii and C. butyricum,

BSL-3: Aerosol or droplet production, routine handling of larger quantities of the organism or of the toxin.

ABSL-2: Diagnostic studies and titration of toxin.

Neurotoxin producing Clostridia species are Select Agents

Francisella tularensis

BSL-3 and ABSL-3: Cultures (including preparatory work), animal necropsies, animal studies. Manipulation of reduced virulence strains at high concentrations.

BSL-2: Clinical materials of human or animal origin. Characterized strains of reduced virulence such as F. tularensis Type B (strain LVS) and F. tularensis subsp novicida (strain U112) can be manipulated in BSL-2.

F. tularensis is a Select Agent

Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex

BSL-3: Cultures of any of the subspecies of the M. tuberculosis complex, animal studies using NHP.

BSL-3: Practices should include respiratory protection, implementation of procedures and equipment to prevent and contain aerosols.

BSL-2: Non-aerosol-producing manipulations of clinical specimens; all aerosol-generating activities in a BSC. Manipulation of small quantities of the attenuated vaccine strain M. bovis Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) can be performed at BSL-2 in laboratories that do not culture M. tuberculosis and do not have BSL-3.

ABSL-2: Animal studies using guinea pigs or mice.

Neisseria gonorrhoeae

BSL- 3: High risk of aerosol or droplet production, production quantities, high concentrations.

BSL-2: Clinical materials or cultures.


Neisseria meningitidis

BSL-3: Droplet or aerosol production, production quantities, high concentrations.

BSL-2: Specimens, cultures for N. meningitidis not associated with invasive disease may be handled with rigorous application of BSL-2 standard practices, special practices, and safety equipment.


Salmonella Typhi

ABSL-3 conditions may be considered for protocols involving aerosols.

BSL-2: Strict compliance.


Yersinia pestis

BSL-3: Droplet, aerosol production, large scale production or high concentrations.

ABSL-2 or ABSL-3

BSL-3 facilities and arthropod containment level 3 practices for all with infected arthropods.

BSL-2 clinical materials and cultures; necropsies in a BSC.

Yersinia pestis is an HHS Select Agent

Arbo- & Related Zoonotic Viruses