for micro-organisms based on their biological risks
These lists concern natural micro-organisms. They give the inherent risk of a pathogen and are based on the ability of the micro-organism to cause disease to humans, animals or plants on the basis of such factors as the severity of the disease it causes, the routes of infection, its virulence and infectivity. Other aspects such as the existence of effective therapies, possible effects on other species or possible environmental effects can also be taken into account.
The Regional decrees classify human and animal pathogens into three classes of risk and plant pathogens into two classes of risk.
The classification lists published in the Regional decrees were established in 1998 taking into account relevant Community legislation, international or national classification schemes as well as relevant scientific publications (see international classifications).
As a consequence of the evolution of scientific knowledge these lists were recently revised for taxonomy and biological risk class. The nomenclature
of classified micro-organisms used to establish these lists
reflects and is in conformity with the latest international
agreements of the taxonomy and nomenclature of micro-organisms.
As these revised classification lists provide updated information on pathogenic organisms, the user is advised to consult these revised lists for performing a risk assessment in the frame of the contained use legislation.
The revised classification lists are accompanied by an introductive note, explaining more in detail the methodology that has been used to establish the revised lists.
before, classification of a micro-organism on the basis of
its biological risk is only a first step in the risk assessment.
It gives only a provisional
of the level of risk of the activity and the corresponding
set of containment and other protective measures. It should
be followed by a thorough consideration of how the micro-organism
is to be manipulated.
A final assessment
of risk based on all these considerations is therefore
to set the appropriate containment conditions
for the experiment. The containment level required may
be equivalent to the risk classification of the micro-organism
or it may be raised or lowered as a result of
the above considerations.