Biosafety recommendations for work with influenza viruses containing a hemagglutinin from the A/goose/Guangdong/1/96 lineage
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Biosafety recommendations for work with influenza viruses containing a hemagglutinin from the A/goose/Guangdong/1/96 lineage

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      The CDC and National Institutes of Health (NIH) Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories (BMBL) manual describes biosafety recommendations for work involving highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) (US Department of Health and Human Services [HHS], CDC. Biosafety in microbiological and biomedical laboratories, 5th ed. Atlanta, GA: CDC; 2009. HHS publication no. [CDC] 21-1112. Available at The U.S. Department of Agriculture Guidelines for Avian Influenza Viruses builds on the BMBL manual and provides additional biosafety and biocontainment guidelines for laboratories working with HPAI (US Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Agricultural Select Agent Program. Guidelines for avian influenza viruses. Washington, DC: US Department of Agriculture; 2011. Available at ). The recommendations in this report, which are intended for laboratories in the United States, outline the essential baseline biosafety measures for working with the subset of influenza viruses that contain a hemagglutinin (HA) from the HPAI influenza A/goose/Guangdong/1/96 lineage, including reassortant influenza viruses created in a laboratory setting. All H5N1 influenza virus clades known to infect humans to date have been derived from this lineage (WHO/OIE/FAO H5N1 Evolution Working Group. Continued evolution of highly pathogenic avian influenza A [H5N1]: updated nomenclature. Influenza Other Respir Viruses 2012;6:1-5). In 2009, the NIH Guidelines for Research Involving Recombinant or Synthetic Nucleic Acid Molecules were amended to include specific biosafety and biocontainment recommendations for laboratories working with Recombinant Risk Group 3 influenza viruses, including HPAI H5N1 influenza viruses within the Goose/Guangdong/1/96-like H5 lineage. In February 2013, the NIH guidelines were further revised to provide additional biosafety containment enhancements and practices for research with HPAI H5N1 viruses that are transmissible among mammals by respiratory droplets (i.e., mammalian-transmissible HPAI H5N1) (National Institutes of Health, Office of Biotechnology Activities. NIH guidelines for research involving recombinant or synthetic nucleic acid molecules. Appendix G-II-C-5: biosafety level 3 enhanced for research involving risk group 3 influenza viruses. Bethesda, MD: National Institutes of Health; 2013. Available at ). The recent revisions to the NIH guidelines focus on a smaller subset of viruses but are applicable and consistent with the recommendations in this report. The biosafety recommendations in this report were developed by CDC with advice from the Intragovernmental Select Agents and Toxins Technical Advisory Committee, which is a panel composed of federal government subject-matter experts, and from public input received in response to the request for information that was published in the Federal Register on October 17, 2012 (US Department of Health and Human Services, CDC. Influenza viruses containing the hemagglutinin from the Goose/ Guangdong/1/96 lineage; proposed rule; request for information and comment. 42 CFR, Part 73. Federal Register 2012;77:63783-5). Work with HPAI H5N1 virus should be conducted, at a minimum, at biosafety level 3 (BSL-3), with specific enhancements to protect workers, the public, animal health, and animal products. Original clinical specimens suspected of containing viruses of this lineage can only be handled at BSL-2 if the procedures do not involve the propagation of the virus. An appropriate biosafety level should be determined in accordance with a biosafety risk assessment. Additional information on performing biosafety risk assessments and establishing effective biosafety containment is available in the BMBL manual.
    • Content Notes:
      prepared by Denise Gangadharan, Jacinta Smith, Robbin Weyant.

      June 28, 2013.

      The material in this report originated in the Division of Select Agents and Toxins, Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response.

      Also available via the World Wide Web as an Acrobat .pdf file (451.42 KB, 12 p.).

      Includes bibliographical references (p. 7).

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