Scrub typhus is an important arthropod-borne disease causing significant acute febrile illness by infection with Orientia spp. Using a risk-based approach, this review examines current practice, the evidence base and regulatory requirements regarding matters of biosafety and biosecurity, and presents the case for reclassification from Risk Group 3 to Risk Group 2 along with recommendations for safe working practices of risk-based activities during the manipulation of Orientia spp. in the laboratory. We recommend to reclassify Orientia spp. to Risk Group 2 based on the classification for RG2 pathogens as being moderate individual risk, low community risk. We recommend that low risk activities, can be performed within a biological safety cabinet located in a Biosafety Level (BSL) 2 core laboratory using standard personal protective equipment. But when the risk assessment indicates, such as high concentration and volume, or aerosol generation, then a higher biocontainment level is warranted. For, the majority of animal activities involving Orientia spp., Animal BSL 2 (ABSL2) is recommended however where high risk activities are performed including necropsies, Animal BSL (ABSL3) is recommended.
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© 2019 The Author(s).
- Risk group
- Scrub typhus