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Ask a biosafety officer

How can I make a stage performance that includes a biosafety level 2 experiment?

Answer from a Biosafety Officer:

August 8, 2013

We do not recommend including a biosafety level 2 experiment in a live stage performance.  Biosafety level 2 (BSL-2) is appropriate for work with infectious agents that can cause disease in humans (1: Principles of Biosafety).  In other words, these infectious agents are human pathogens and are not appropriate for use in a public arena such as a stage performance.


It is important to remember that work with any microorganism is associated with risk.  Even infectious agents that are appropriate for use at BSL-1, while they are not normally associated with disease in healthy adults, can cause disease in infants, children, the elderly, and persons with weakened immune systems (1:  Principles of Biosafety).


1.     Wilson, D., and L. Chosewood, editors.  Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories (BMBL), 5th edition.  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and National Institutes of Health.  2009.  Accessed 07/27/2013.