Biological Safety: Principles and Practices, 4th Edition

Editors: Diane O. Fleming1, Debra L. Hunt2
Affiliations: 1: Biosafety Consultant, Bowie, MD 20716; 2: Environmental Safety, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC 27710
Content Type: Reference
Format: Electronic
Publication Year: 2006

Category: Clinical Microbiology; Applied and Industrial Microbiology

MyBook is a cheap paperback edition of the original book and will be sold at uniform, low price.

The fourth edition of continues the format of the previous edition, focusing closely on infectious and toxic biological agents and their identification and control. Several major events have had an impact on the fields of biosafety and biosecurity since the publication of the third edition, notably the anthrax mailings of 2001 and the promulgation regulations for select agents. This newest edition examines significant developments throughout the field and discusses current regulations including those handed down from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Written by authorities with decades of experience in the field, the book is divided into five main sections that comprehensively cover the identification, assessment, and management of biological hazards. Chapters outline the human, animal, and agricultural considerations of a wide range of specific biohazards, from pathogenic organisms, viruses, prions, and cell cultures, to toxins and allergens. Numerous chapters detail practical systems for biohazard control. A brand-new chapter details critical safety considerations in a maximum containment (BSL 4) laboratory. Appropriate updates have been made to chapters carried over from the third edition, and a host of new contributors offer fresh perspectives on topic such as packaging and shipping of biological materials.

This book presents the essentials for a comprehensive biological safety program in venues ranging from the basic research laboratory to agricultural, pharmaceutical, educational, and commercial laboratories. , is an indispensable resource for those involved in biological safety, including program managers, biological safety professionals, members of biohazard review committees, principles investigators, administrators, and students.

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Doody Enterprises

15 August 2013

At A Glance

Written by recognized authorities with decades of experience in the biological safety field, the third edition of this best-selling volume is an essential resource as well as an excellent text for courses in biosafety. The epidemiology of laboratory-associated infections, including some previously unreported cases, is thoroughly covered. Detailed chapters cover hazard assessments of the wide range of pathogens and biological toxins encountered in biomedical laboratories as well as other occupational settings. All facets of hazard control, from personal protective equipment to institution wide provisions and policies, are discussed.


As the subtitle indicates, the editors seek to address both principles of control and the practice of biosafety with this book.


The fourth edition broadens the original scope of the book in the wake of recent untoward events, e.g., the 2002 anthrax letters. It also addresses Select Agent regulations disseminated by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Notwithstanding other good journal articles and useful websites, this book is a complete syllabus of pertinent information.


The editors indicate that it should be used as a resource by biosafety professionals, those who teach, and those who work with pathogenic agents in research, production, and teaching. More than 50 authors contribute the 33 chapters.


Since publication of the third edition, editors Fleming and Hunt have insisted on a useful update to each chapter. This is readily apparent in chapters addressing laboratory variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and infectious disease epidemiology, among others. The book's major sections are organized along the lines of hazard identification (microbial flora, agents, laboratory considerations, and epidemiology); hazard assessment (risk assessment, bacterial pathogens, protozoal, helminthic, mycotic and viral agents, airborne issues, cell lines, allergens and biological toxins); hazard control (design, primary barriers, personal protection, standard precautions, prudent practices, decontamination and shipping biological materials); administrative controls (biological safety program management, compliance, occupational medicine, and measuring effectiveness); and special considerations (biosafety of prion diseases, safety for BSL-4, biosafety and viral gene transfer factors, biosafety in the teaching laboratory and
in the pharmaceutical industry, large-scale production of microorganisms, special considerations for agriculture pathogen biosafety and regulatory impacts).


There is little doubt that there is a considerable demand for this material. The field of likely coverage, e.g., teaching laboratories, the pharmaceutical industry, large-scale production facilities, and those involving agricultural pathogens is similarly vast. Many of us have at least seen earlier editions, if not used them. Broadly written books devoted to microbiology, infectious disease, or even occupational health are certainly not a good substitute for this book. I think it will find its way into nearly every regulated facility (and most are these days!). I can envision it will be read in its entirety by biohazard specialists, but be of use to a much broader panel of professionals, including physicians, microbiologists, veterinarians, and industrial hygienists, both in the U.S. and abroad.

Doody Enterprises

Reviewer: J. Thomas Pierce, MBBS PhD (Navy Environmental Health Center)

Review Date: Unknown

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