Safety Procedures for Working with Retroviruses

These procedures are carried out at Biosafety Level 2. The proper institutional guidelines should be followed before using retroviruses. When handling retroviruses observe the following safety precautions:

1. Wear a lab coat and gloves. Minimize touching surfaces with gloved hands.

2. All work is performed in a biological safety cabinet.

3. If using pipets to transfer small volumes of retroviral supernatant, use disposable tips which contain aerosol resistant barriers.

4. Liquid waste is aspirated into a flask which contains approx 100 mL of liquid bleach at full strength.

5. All the solid waste which is generated (pipets, tips, gloves, dishes, and so forth) must be disinfected by bleaching or autoclaving before disposal. When beginning, put a small autoclavable bag in the hood and place solid waste into it as it is generated. When finished, tape the bag shut in the hood and autoclave.

6. Clean any spills of supernatant with 10% bleach.

7. When finished working with retroviral producer cells, wipe the biological safety cabinet and pipetor with 70% ethanol.

8. Expose the biological safety cabinet to UV light for a minimum of 30 min after working with retroviruses in the biosafety hood.

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