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biosafety level designation

Sara Bondi sbondi at bestechcorp.com
Wed Sep 29 08:49:47 EST 2004

Dear Group,

     How does a bacteria gain Biosafety level designation? For
example, a strain of P. aeruginosa cultured from a wound in a hospital
is invariably designated BSL(biosafety level) 2... for obvious
reasons. However, another strain of P. aeruginosa cultured from the
soil is designated BSL 1. I understand how bacteria acquire antibiotic
resistance, and a bacterium's current resistance (or ability to
acquire more resistance, i.e. plasmids) is a major determinant of BSL.
But how does one test for BSL? Is it as simple as making a Kirby-Bauer
disk plate for that bacteria to see if it's resistant to any of the
major antibiotics, or is it more "scientific" than that? "More
scientific" meaning something more along the genetic line. Is there a
standard method for determining BSL, and if so, is there a lab that
performs the required experiments? Any info, websites, references,
etc. leading to an answer to this question are greatly appreciated.


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