After this lab you should be able to:
- List important safety rules.
- Identify infractions in safety.
- Comply with and perform the correct safety procedures during lab.
- Define Biosafety Levels (BSL-1-4).
- Compare and contrast BSL-1 and BLS-2 organisms and their lab safety requirements.
At College of the Canyons we are very concerned about safety in our Intro to Microbiology labs. Safety is more important than anything else and many of our rules, techniques, and behaviors we teach are to ensure the safety of our students, staff, instructors, etc. In 2013 the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) established guidelines for teaching labs. Most of the organisms we use in our labs are BSL-1; however, we follow the BSL-2 guidelines because we feel that they instruct students on preferred safety procedures and we occasionally use Staphylococcus aureus, a BSL-2 bacterium. ASM worked on guidelines due to infections acquired from clinical and teaching labs, noted below. The organism in question is a BSL 2 bacterium and is NOT used in our laboratories.
“The low reported incidence of infections associated with microbiology teaching laboratories suggests that these laboratories are relatively safe (3). However, the importance of biosafety in the laboratory is highlighted by recent multi-state infections by Salmonella Typhimurium associated with clinical and teaching laboratories. Between August 2010 and June 2011 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) linked Salmonella Typhimurium infections in 109 individuals ranging in age from one to 91 years old to a strain used in clinical and teaching laboratories. The infections included twelve hospitalizations and one death (1).” 1
Contributors and Attributions
Kelly C. Burke (College of the Canyons)