Physical Containment Lab (PC3)
The PC3 laboratory at St Vincent's Centre for Applied
Medical Research (AMR) is a modern purpose built and modular facility
giving researchers the flexibility to handle a number of infective
organisms and genetically modified organisms (GMO) at any one time. This
is the only PC3 facility with such capacity and enables unique research
into the immunology, natural history and pathogenesis of these
infections. Certification by OGTR ensures standards and work practices
are complied with and permits research involving GMO to be carried out.
Physical containment facilities are designed to ensure
infectious microorganisms are safely contained inside the laboratory.
This protects the surrounding environment and the workers inside the
facility from any risk of contamination.
All procedures involving the manipulation of infectious
materials are conducted within biological safety cabinets, specially
designed biological safety cabinets (hoods), or other physical
containment devices, or by personnel wearing appropriate personal
protective clothing and equipment. The laboratory has special
engineering and design features which ensure all waste is sterilised
before leaving the facility, the exhausted air is filtered to remove any
airborne contaminants, staff are highly trained and strict work
practices are followed.
The facility is certifed by the Federal Government Office
of the Gene Technology Regulator (OGTR) ensuring the standards and
workpractices are complied with and permits research involving
genetically modifed microorganisms (GMO) to be carried out.
Microorganisms are classified according to their degree of
risk. This is based on the pathogenicity of the agent, the mode of
transmission, the host range of the agent and the availability of
effective preventive measures and treatment.
Risk Group 2 (moderate individual risk, limited community
risk) - a pathogen that can cause human, plant or animal disease, but is
unlikely to be a serious hazard to laboratory workers, the community,
livestock, or the environment; laboratory exposure may cause infection,
but effective treatment and preventive measures are available, and the
risk of spread is limited. Generally work with Risk Group 2
microorganisms shall be carried out in Physical Containment level 2
Risk Group 3 (high individual risk, limited community risk)
- a pathogen that usually causes serious human, plant or animal disease
and may present a serious hazard to laboratory workers. It could
present a risk if spread in the community or environment, but there are
usually effective preventative measures or treatment available. Work
with Risk Group 3 microorganisms shall be carried out in Physical
Containment level 3 (PC3).
Human Immunodeficiency Virus-1 (HIV-1) and Simian
Immunodeficiency Virus (SIV) are considered Risk
GAMR_Mediakoo_images_030roup 3 and infective materials must be handled
in a Biological Safety Cabinet Class II in a PC3 laboratory.
For further information about this facility contact the
Facility Manager and Research Program Head - Professor Anthony