Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC)

Saint Louis University's Institutional Biosafety Committee is responsible for biological research and safety at SLU.

This includes: 

  • Research involving ANY human, plant, or animal pathogen* requires the submission of an IBC application and approval by the IBC.
  • Annual bloodborne pathogen training is required for research using ANY type of human specimen.
  • The PI is required to submit an annual application update/modification/termination form.
  • All BSL-2 laboratories and ABSL-2 facilities require an annual inspection.
  • All rDNA work requires, at the minimum, IBC Chair notification.
  • The use of human and/or nonhuman primate cell culture in research requires an IBC application, BSL-2 lab certification, bloodborne pathogen training and handling within a class II or class III biosafety cabinet.

Biosafety Levels

BSL Agents Practices Primary Barriers and Safety Equipment Facilities (Secondary Barriers)
1 Not known to consistently cause disease in healthy adults Standard Microbiological Practices None required Open bench and sink required
2 Agents associated with human disease. Routes of transmission include percutaneous injury, ingestion and mucous membrane exposure. BSL-1 practices plus:
  • Limited access
  • Biohazard warning sign
  • “Sharps” precautions
  • Biosafety manual defining any needed waste decontamination or medical surveillance policies
Primary barriers:
  • Class I or II BSCs or other physical containment devices used for all manipulations of agents that cause splashes or aerosols of infectious materials
  • PPE: Laboratory coats, gloves, face protection as needed
BSL-1 plus autoclave available

Indigenous or exotic agents with potential for aerosol transmission.

Disease may have serious or lethal consequences.

BSL-2 practice plus:
  • Controlled access
  • Decontamination of all waste
  • Decontamination of laboratory clothing before laundering
  • Baseline serum
Primary barriers:
  • Class I or II BSCs or other physical containment devices used for all open manipulations of agents
  • PPE: Protective laboratory clothing; gloves; respiratory protection as needed
BSL-2 plus:
  • Physical separation from access corridors
  • Self-closing, double-door access
  • Exhaust air not recirculated
  • Negative airflow into laboratory

Dangerous/exotic agents which pose high risk of life-threatening disease.

Aerosol-transitted laboratory infections have occurred; or related agents with unknown risk of transmission.

BSL-3 practices plus:
  • Clothing change before entering
  • Shower on exit
  • All material decontaminated on exit from facility
Primary barriers: All procedures conducted in Class III BSCs or Class I or II BSCs in combination with full-body, air-supplied, positive pressure personnel suit BSL-3 plus:
  • Separate building or isolated zone
  • Dedicated supply and exhaust, vacuum, and decontamination systems

Summary of recommended biosafety levels for infectious agents.