Biological safety risk group definitions

The classification of biological agents into the four risk groups applies for both so-called natural biological agents and genetically modified organisms.

Risk group definition (based on the WHO classification):
 
Risk group 1 biological agent means one that is unlikely or has so far never been observed to present any hazard to man or the environment.
Risk group 2 biological agent means one that can cause human disease and might be a hazard to workers; it is unlikely to spread to the community; there is usually effective prophylaxis or treatment available.
Risk group 3 biological agent means one that can cause severe human disease and present a serious hazard to workers; it may present a risk of spreading to the community, but there is usually effective prophylaxis or treatment available.
Risk group 4 biological agent means one that causes severe human disease and is a serious hazard to workers; it may present a high risk of spreading to the community; there is usually no effective prophylaxis or treatment available.
 

 
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