Biosafety level 3 practices, safety equipment, facility design and construction are applicable to clinical, diagnostic, teaching, research or production facilities in which work is done with indigenous or exotic agents with a potential for respiratory transmission, and which may cause serious and potentially lethal infection. Mycobacterium tuberculosis, St. Louis encephalitis virus, and Coxiella burnetii are representative of the microorganisms assigned to this biosafety level.

A BSL-3 laboratory has special engineering and design features, and a biosafety manual specific to the laboratory and organisms in use. The biosafety manual is prepared or adopted by the laboratory director, and biosafety precautions are incorporated into the labs standard operating procedures.

High containment biosafety level 3 (BSL-3/ABSL-3) laboratories for animals and research must be certified for use before initial operation, and on an annual basis to ensure that critical system components (HVAC/exhaust fans, air valves, fan motors) are operating to maintain the design parameters of the laboratory.

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