Animal Biological Safety Levels


 ABSL  Agents Practices Safety Equipment
(Primary Barriers)
(Secondary Barriers)
1 Not known to consistently cause disease in healthy adults Standard animal care and management practices, including appropriate medical surveillance programs As required for normal care of each species Standard animal facility
• No recirculation of
  exhaust air
• Directional air flow
• Handwashing sink
2 Associated with human disease. Hazard: percutaneous exposure, ingestion, mucous membrane exposure ABSL-1 practices plus:
• Limited access
• Biohazard warning signs
• “Sharps” precautions
• Biosafety manual
• Decontamination of all
  infectious waste and of
  animal cages prior to
ABSL-1 equipment plus primary barriers:
• containment equipment
  appropriate for animal
• PPE: laboratory coats;
  gloves; face and
  respiratory protection
  as needed
ABSL-1 facility plus:
• Autoclave available
• Handwashing sink
  available in the animal
• Mechanical cage
  washer used
3 Indigenous or exotic agents with potential for aerosol transmission; disease may have serious health consequences  ABSL-2 practices plus:
• Controlled access
• Decontamination of
  clothing before laundering
• Cages decontaminated
  before bedding removed
• Disinfectant foot bath as
ABSL-2 equipment plus:
• Containment
  equipment for housing
  animals and cage
  dumping activities
• Class I or II BSCs
  available for
  (inoculation, necropsy)
  that may create
  infectious aerosols.
• PPE: appropriate
  respiratory protection
ABSL-2 facility plus:
• Physical separation
  from access corridors
• Self-closing, double-
  door access
• Sealed penetrations
• Sealed windows
• Autoclave available in
UF does not have any ABSL-4 spaces
Dangerous/exotic agents that pose high risk of life-threatening disease; aerosol-transmission, or related agents with unknown risk of transmission ABSL-3 practices plus:
• Entrance through change
  room where personal
  clothing is removed and
  laboratory clothing is put
  on; shower on exiting
• All wastes are
  decontaminated before
  removal from facility
ABSL-3 equipment plus:
Maximum containment equipment (i.e. Class III BSCs or partial containment equipment in combination with full-body, air-supplied, positive pressure personnel suit) used for all procedures and activities
ABSL-3 facility plus:
• Separate building or
  isolated zone
• Dedicated supply and
  exhaust, vacuum, and
  decon systems
• Other requirements
  outlined in the BMBL


  • ABSL Table. (2016, April 12). Retrieved September 26, 2016, from University of Missouri EH&S:
  • Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories (BMBL) 5th Edition. (2015, March 13). Retrieved September 26, 26, from CDC: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: