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HIV-1 attenuation and working in cat three conditions

Tim Fitzmaurice tjf11 at cus.cam.ac.uk
Fri Oct 27 06:44:01 EST 1995

On 26 Oct 1995, Patricia Novelli wrote:
> A list of questions:
> 1) Is there an official document in UK that lists all the necessary
> precautions a researcher must undergo before, during and after
> working in Cat 3 conditions?
Yes there is, the Biological safety officers of any departments with
it must have a copy, it lists all four containment levels.
> what does one have to do before entering a cat 3 lab? undergo counselling?
> give a serum sample? have a medical? read certain articles/books?
Know what you are doing and stick to the rules of work. We've got a Cat3 lab
here and there shoudl be a copy of the protocols we have floating about, 
if its ready as the suite has only just been classified.

> how much experience of cat 2 work is necessary before performing cat 3 
> work?
Technically none, you are required to be knowledgeable about the 
techniques used and the operating procedures, and Cat 2 work is good practice
to get the basics....
> how much time is usually spent supervising a new cat 3 scientist 
> before allowing him/her to work alone totally unsupervised?
Infinite, you are technically not allowed to be unsupervised if you are doing
CAt3 work I believe. There must be someone who looks in or can be 
contacted at the very least.

> what are the top golden approved univeral rules of cat 3 work?
Hmmmmm, I'll have to dig out my copy of the rules (which are for category 3
GMOs, same system as Hazrd group 3 organisms)
> Any help would be appreciated. I just want to make sure that I am getting 
> all the necessary training and advice before I handle the real thing!!
Well what work have you done before....
> 2) Does anyone know of different selection pressures exerted on HIV-1
> according to which cell / cell line is being used? Can passaging HIV
> in culture generate attenuation or other mutations? Which cell lines 
> would be used for this? Anyone doing/ done this work?
I don't know, but I may know a man who does, we just had a new post doc 
join our lab and he's worked with HIV in the past.


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