Animal Biosafety Level 1

This protocol has been developed by the Office of Animal Resources and Environmental Health & Safety for use of recombinant DNA or organisms or synthetic nucleic acids in rodents, when assigned to Animal Biosafety Level 1 (ABSL1) by the Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC).


Research Staff and Office of Animal Resources (OAR) Personnel

  1. Exposed animals transported between the Animal Care facilities and investigator laboratories must be transported in their cage with the filter top securely in place and on a cart with a cloth over the cage.
    1. Barrier housed animals cannot leave the OAR housing facility. Following prior approval by OAR veterinary staff, a procedure room within the barrier facility may be used.
  2. Animal carcasses/tissues must be double-bagged in plastic bags and staged for disposal by placing the bag(s) in red "biohazard" labeled containers located within the walk-in coolers, refrigerators, or freezers of each animal facility.

General Policies

  1. Access is limited to necessary personnel.
  2. Eating, drinking, smoking, and storing of food for human use are not permitted in the animal room.
  3. Personnel must always wear gloves and a lab coat when handling animals, cages or injecting agents.  Remove gloves before leaving the animal room, discarding the PPE in the biohazard containers located in procedure rooms.
  4. Personnel must wash their hands before leaving the room or animal facility.

Use of Agent

  1. Reconstitution/dilution of the rDNA or synthetic nucleic acid will NOT be permitted in OAR facilities.
  2. All contaminated materials used by the investigator (needles, syringes, vials, gloves, etc.) must be properly disposed of in the appropriate biohazard containers, i.e., needles, syringes and vials placed in a sharps container, and gloves, etc. placed in the biohazard box/container. Biohazard containers are located in procedure rooms.

Cage handling

  1. Upon initial animal inoculation, the PI will label cages with the grey “ABSL-1 rDNA or synthetic nucleic acid” card which may be obtained from OAR staff.
  • Cage card includes the statement: “Waste in this cage must be disposed of in a RED BIOHAZARD BAG.  Waste must not be landfilled.”
  1. Animal Cage labels must include:
  • Agent(s) in use
  • Contact name
  • Contact phone number
  1. Waste from cages labeled with a grey card must be placed in a RED BIOHAZARD BAG.
  2. If research staff wishes to change the cage prior to the regular husbandry schedule, s/he may do so with the following precautions:
    1. To ensure proper waste disposal, a half-sized grey card must be placed face up in the dirty (empty) cage to inform the cage wash caretaker of possible contamination of ABSL-1 rDNA or synthetic nucleic acids in the bedding.
    2. Filter tops will be placed on the cage prior to putting them with other dirty caging intended for cage washing.

OAR Personnel

Infected Animal Disposal

  1. If an animal is found dead in the cage, notify the investigator. If the carcass is no longer needed, double-bag it in biohazard bags prior to removal from the room and stage for disposal, as described above.
  2. If the investigator wants the carcass, double-bag the carcass in biohazard bags prior to removal from the room and place on the shelf in the cooler; label with the date, investigators name and write “save” by the investigator’s name.
  3. If weekend or holiday animal deaths occur, the carcass should be double-bagged in biohazard bags, placed on the shelf in the cooler, and labeled with the date, investigator’s name, and write "save" by the investigator's name. The investigator should be contacted on the next regular workday to determine the disposition of the carcass (i.e. investigator pickup or placed in biohazard containers in the facility’s cooler).