Research Integrity & Safety Support Services

Biosafety Definitions

ABSLAnimal-based research at the specified BSL level
BSL1Well characterized agents not known to cause disease in healthy adults
BSL2Agents associated with human disease which is rarely serious or for which preventative or therapeutic interventions are often available
BSL3Agents that are associated with serious or lethal human disease for which preventative or therapeutic interventions may be available (high individual risk, low community risk)
Responsible Official (RO)The individual, designated by the University, with the authority and control to ensure    compliance with the regulations in 42 CFR 73.
Risk GroupClassification of a  biohazardous agent  is based upon its relative risk (often corresponds with the designated BSL level but not always*)

* The correlations between Risk Group and Biosafety Level depends on risk assessment (e.g. quantity of agent, how it is used, etc.). Work with certain Risk Group agents may be upgraded to the higher Biosafety Level based upon the nature of the research or certain procedures involved in the study (e.g. Producing large quantities of a Risk Group 2 agent may requiire BSL3 protections).

For specific questions, contact the Office of Biosafety at