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3. Laboratory safety: an overview


The person supervising the production and testing of the I-2 thermostable Newcastle disease vaccine is responsible for ensuring that laboratory staff are familiar with the laboratory safety rules and regulations. It then becomes the responsibility of each person involved with the production of the vaccine to work within this framework. Laboratory staff must give due consideration to their own and their colleague's safety. The maintenance of clean and tidy work areas is an important precaution that is easy to implement.

Safety manual

Every laboratory should have a safety manual. Ensure all the procedures involved with the production and testing of I-2 Newcastle disease vaccine are covered in the laboratory safety manual.

This manual does not take the place of a laboratory safety manual

A list of some of the safety issues to be addressed in a laboratory safety manual


First aid

Safe use of laboratory glassware

Safety with handling boiling liquids

Cleaning up spills and broken glass

Decontamination of benches and waste

Recycling of infected materials for example, needles and syringes

Safe use of chemicals

A list of basic laboratory rules

Always wash hands thoroughly with soap on entering and leaving the laboratory.

Do not eat, drink or smoke in the laboratory.

Always wear a laboratory coat.

Label all reagents clearly with contents, date and the initials of the person who prepared the reagent.

Do not pipette by mouth.

Dispose of discarded materials as instructed.

Human infection with Newcastle disease virus

There have been instances recorded of human infection with Newcastle disease virus. On one occasion, allantoic fluid containing virulent Newcastle disease virus splashed into the eye. A mild conjunctivitis resulted. The author is unaware of more serious infections with Newcastle disease virus. It is important to take care when handling live Newcastle disease virus including the I-2 strain. Avoid contact with the virus.


More information about basic laboratory safety can be found at the following websites.

University of Calgary

University of California

University of Sydney

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Howard Hughes Medical Institute

The Office of Safety at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute has a useful website with access to Laboratory Chemical Safety Summaries and training materials.

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