Biosafety Covid-19

During this Covid-19 outbreak there are many questions raised on how to handle human material. Therefore, the KI biosafety committee has come out with guidelines for handling of SARS-CoV-2, as well as blood and other human samples with suspected/confirmed infection with SARS-CoV-2.

Illustration av coronaviruset
Illustration av coronavirus Foto: Getty Images

The Swedish Work Environment Authority has classified SARS-CoV-2 as a risk group 3 pathogen. The virus is highly infectious and transmits through droplets, aerosol and contact. To avoid laboratory-acquired infection, great care must be taken during work with SARS-CoV-2 or human samples infected with the virus.

Guidelines at Karolinska Institutet for handling of SARS-CoV-2, as well as blood and other human samples with suspected/confirmed infection with SARS-CoV-2" can be found on the staff Biosafety website. 

  • Cultures of SARS-CoV-2 and handling of cultured material must be done in BSL-3
  • Sorting cells with known or suspected SARS-CoV-2 infection must be done in BSL-3
  • Handling of human fluid from lavage or aspirate such as BAL and nasopharynx aspirate must be done in BSL-3.
  • PBMC prepared from infected blood put into culture must be handled in BSL-3.
  • All handling of blood and other human samples with suspected/confirmed infection with SARS-CoV-2 must take place inside a microbiological safety cabinet class II until the material is inactivated. After that, work with inactivated material can be done in BSL-2 outside the safety cabinet