Annex 2: List of classified biological agents (infection risk groups)

Micro-organisms shall be classified into four risk groups, according to their level of risk of infection:
  1. a.
    Infection risk group 1: a biological agent that is unlikely to cause infectious disease in humans.
  2. b.
    Infection risk group 2: a biological agent that can cause infectious disease in humans and might be a hazard to employees; it is unlikely to spread to the community; there is usually effective prophylaxis or treatment available.
  3. c.
    Infection risk group 3: a biological agent that can cause severe infectious disease in humans and present a serious hazard to employees; it may present a risk of spreading to the community, but there is usually effective prophylaxis or treatment available.
  4. d.
    Infection risk group 4: a biological agent that causes severe infectious disease in human and is a serious hazard to employees; it may present a high risk of spreading to the community; there is usually no effective prophylaxis or treatment available.
The list is limited to biological agents that cause infectious disease in humans. In addition, the list provides an overview of the following comments:
  • -
    A: may cause allergic reactions
  • -
    D: Registers of employees who are exposed to the biological agent shall be stored for at least ten years after the most recently known exposure event
  • -
    T: Induces the formation of toxins, may cause toxic reactions
  • -
    V: Effective vaccine available
Bacteria and similar
Infection risk groupComment
Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans2
Actinomadura madurae2
Actinomadura pelletieri2
Actinomyces gerencseriae2
Actinomyces israelii2
Actinomyces pyogenes2
Actinomyces spp.12
Arcanobacterium haemolyticum (Corynebacterium haemolyticum)2
Bacillus anthracis3
Bacteroides fragilis2
Bartonella bacilliformis2
Bartonella (Rochalimea) spp.12
Bordetella bronchiseptica2
Bordetella parapertussis2
Bordetella pertussis2V
Borrelia burgdorferi2
Borrelia duttonii2
Borrelia recurrentis2
Borrelia spp.12
Brucella abortus3
Brucella canis3
Brucella melitensis3
Brucella suis3
Burkholderia mallei (Pseudomonas mallei)3
Burkholderia pseudomallei (Pseudomonas pseudomallei)3
Campylobacter fetus2
Campylobacter jejuni2
Campylobacter spp.12
Cardiobacterium hominis2
Chlamydia pneumoniae2
Chlamydia trachomatis2
Chlamydia psittaci (avian strains)3
Chlamydia psittaci (other strains)2
Clostridium botulinum2T
Clostridium perfringens2
Clostridium tetani2T, V
Clostridium spp.12
Corynebacterium diphtheriae2T, V
Corynebacterium minutissimum2
Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis2
Corynebacterium spp.12
Coxiella burnetii3
Edwardsiella tarda2
Ehrlichia sennetsu (Rickettsia sennetsu)2
Ehrlichia spp.12
Eikenella corrodens2
Enterobacter aerogenes/cloacae2
Enterobacter spp.12
Enterococcus spp.12
Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae2
Escherichia coli22
Escherichia coli, verocytotoxic strains e.g. O157:H7 or O10333T
Flavobacterium meningosepticum2
Fluoribacter bozemanae (Legionella)2
Francisella tularensis (Type A)3
Francisella tularensis (Type B)2
Fusobacterium necrophorum2
Gardnerella vaginalis2
Haemophilus ducreyi2
Haemophilus influenzae2V
Haemophilus spp.12
Helicobacter pylori2
Klebsiella oxytoca2
Klebsiella pneumoniae2
Klebsiella spp.12
Legionella pneumophila2
Legionella spp.12
Leptospira interrogans (all serotypes)2
Listeria monocytogenes2
Listeria ivanovii2
Morganella morganii2
Mycobacterium africanum3V
Mycobacterium avium/intracellulare2
Mycobacterium bovis (except BCG strains)3V
Mycobacterium chelonae2
Mycobacterium fortuitum2
Mycobacterium kansasii2
Mycobacterium leprae3
Mycobacterium malmoense2
Mycobacterium marinum2
Mycobacterium microti33
Mycobacterium paratuberculosis2
Mycobacterium scrofulaceum2
Mycobacterium simiae2
Mycobacterium szulgai2
Mycobacterium tuberculosis3V
Mycobacterium ulcerans33
Mycobacterium xenopi2
Mycoplasma caviae2
Mycoplasma hominis2
Mycoplasma pneumoniae2
Neisseria gonorrhoeae2
Neisseria meningitidis2V
Nocardia asteroides2
Nocardia brasiliensis2
Nocardia farcinica2
Nocardia nova2
Nocardia otitidiscaviarum2
Pasteurella multocida2
Pasteurella spp.12
Peptostreptococcus anaerobius2
Plesiomonas shigelloides2
Porphyromonas spp.12
Prevotella spp.12
Proteus mirabilis2
Proteus penneri2
Proteus vulgaris2
Providencia alcalifaciens2
Providencia rettgeri2
Providencia spp.12
Pseudomonas aeruginosa2
Rhodococcus equi2
Rickettsia akari33
Rickettsia canada33
Rickettsia conorii3
Rickettsia montana33
Rickettsia typhi (mooseri)3
Rickettsia prowazekii3
Rickettsia rickettsii3
Rickettsia tsutsugamushi3
Rickettsia spp.12
Bartonella quintana (Rochalimaea quintana)2
Salmonella arizonae2
Salmonella enteritidis2
Salmonella typhimurium2
Salmonella paratyphi A, B, CC2
Salmonella typhi33V
Salmonella (other serotypes)2
Serpulina spp.12
Shigella boydii2
Shigella dysenteriae (Type 1)33T
Shigella dysenteriae (except Type 1)2
Shigella flexneri2
Shigella sonnei2
Staphylococcus aureus2
Streptobacillus moniliformis2
Streptococcus pneumoniae2V
Streptococcus pyogenes2
Streptococcus suis2
Streptococcus spp.12
Treponema carateum2
Treponema pallidum2
Treponema pertenue2
Treponema spp.12
Vibrio cholerae (including El Tor)2V
Vibrio parahaemoloyticus2
Vibrio spp.12
Yersinia enterocolitica2
Yersinia pestis3V
Yersinia pseudotuberculosis2
Yersinia spp.12
1 The term ‘spp.’ refers to other species of the same genus known to be human pathogens.
2 With the exception of non-pathogenic strains.
3 Usually not spread by airborne transmission.
4 Hepatitis D virus infections is pathogenic in employees only in the presence of simultaneous or secondary infection caused by the hepatitis B virus. Vaccination against the hepatitis B virus will therefore protect employees who are not infected by the virus against the hepatitis D virus (Delta).
5 Only for types A and B.
6 Recommended for work involving direct contact with these agents.
7 Two viruses are identified: one a type of the buffalopox virus and the other a variant of the Vaccinia virus.
8 Variant of the cowpox virus.
9 Variant of the Vaccinia virus.
10 At present, there is no evidence of disease in humans caused by retroviruses of simian origin. As a precaution, containment level 3 is recommended for work involving exposure to such retroviruses.
11 There is no evidence of in humans of infections caused by the agents responsible for other TSEs than BSE in animals. The containment level used for agents in infection risk group 3 (with pertaining footnote 3) is nevertheless recommended as a precaution for laboratory work, with the exception of laboratory work involving identified Scrapie agents for which containment level 2 is sufficient.