Select Agents

What is a 'select agent'?
The Anti-terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act was passed in 1996 and built upon the Biological Weapons Anti-terrorism Act (1989) and other earlier anti-terrorism legislation. This legislation directed the Department of Health and Human Services to develop and maintain a list of biological agents that could pose a threat to the public health and the regulate the transfer of such agents while maintaining the availability of these agents for research, education, and other legitimate purposes. In response to this legislation, the CDC developed a list of 31 infectious agents and 12 biological toxins with additional provisions for recombinant organisms and drug resistant organisms and exemptions for research quantities and vaccine strains of organisms. The list of organisms provided below is referred to as the select agent list.

The CDC has developed regulations on the transfer and transport of these select agents. The also require that facilities receiving these agents be registered with the federal government, that they fulfill the proper biosafety level requirements for handling, containment, and disposal, and that a person at the facility be responsible for the oversight of the transfer of such agents.

Any University research working with or storing select agents will be required to follow all applicable federal regulations. In addition, recent regulations have required that persons working with select agents or having access to laboratories where select agents used or stored, attest to the fact that they are not ‘restricted persons’. For information about use of select agents, please contact a biosafety officer in the Office of Research Compliance and Biosafety, 979.862.4549.

Records Retention
All research-related (data) records must be maintained for at least seven years after the project completion, per 15.99.03.M1.03 Guidelines for Gathering, Storage, and Retention of Data and Results.

Resources