High Risk Specimens / Risk of Infection

The laboratory is not able to handle Group 4 pathogens. The Advisory Committee on Dangerous Pathogens has classified micro-organisms into four hazard groups (Approved List of Biological Agents, 3rd Edition, 2013):

  • Groups 1 and 2 organisms are not held to pose significant risk to laboratory staff or the community and specimens are accepted without restriction.
  • Group 3 organisms may cause severe human disease presenting a serious hazard to laboratory workers and presenting a risk of spread in the community. These specimens are considered “High risk”.

Group 4 microorganisms include the viral haemorrhagic fevers. The laboratory will not accept Group 4 pathogens. Definition of "Risk of Infection/High Risk" Specimens

  • Specimens containing any of the Group 3 pathogens. The most likely to occur in routine specimens are: Hepatitis B and C viruses and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), Mycobacterium tuberculosis (TB), Salmonella paratyphi A, Salmonella typhi, Brucella spp and Coxiella burnetii.
  • Group 4 pathogens will not be handled.