4.2. Cell lines

All employees are entitled to:

  • Information on exposure risk and safety precautions

    Copyright: Colourbox

  • thorough introduction and training in sterile technics and work with cell cultures before work can be done by the employee.

Risk of transmission of infection when working with cell lines

The greatest risk of exposure when working with cell lines is the occurrence of the pathogen of the disease. Commercially available cell lines have been tested for a range of potential pathogenic viruses and bacteria. Cell lines infected with agents that may cause moderate diseases are labeled with a higher risk level (BSL 2). Cell line providers recommend that all cell lines, although labeled as BSL 1, are treated as potentially infected BSL 2, since they can not test for all types of viruses and bacteria.

The closer the genetic similarity of the cell line is to human beings, the higher the risk of infection transmission. This is due to the relationship with the host and the human immunological response factors. Human cell lines therefore involve the greatest risk. Other factors that also occur and which must be considered are the concentration of cells and the number of cell lines one has been exposed to.

The risk of transmission of cells from human or other animal species is considered to be minimal.

See Biosafety level assessed by ATCC and DSMZ.