When using arthropods that can transmit infectious diseases, there is a need for good work practices, trained personnel, and suitable facilities that safeguard personnel and the environment against an involuntary release. The guide Arthropod containment guidelines contains information on normal and special practices, safety equipment, and the most suitable facilities for the biosafety level required.

It defines the following biocontainment levels:

•ACL-1. Suitable for work with uninfected arthropods or those infected with a non-pathogen. This group also includes arthropods native to the local region and non-native arthropods that upon escape would be inviable or become only temporarily established in the area. This category encompasses most educational use of arthropods.

•ACL-2. Suitable for working with arthropods infected with BSL-2 agents, or that are suspected of being infected with such agents. Uninfected genetically-modified arthropods are also handled at this biocontainment level. This level builds on ACL-1 practices and the physical containment and the design of the facilities is more stringent. Access is more restricted than in ACL-1.

•ACL-3. Suitable for work with arthropods that are, or may be, infected with BSL-3 agents associated with human or animal disease. ACL-3 requirements build upon those of ACL-2 and particular emphasis is placed on access control and microbiological containment to determine which facilities and practices are the most suitable for handling the arthropods.

The CBS has ultimate authority to determine whether the containment level indicated in the experiment is the correct one.

Further information.