Typical Terms

(taken from the 2011 AALAS 'Lab Animal Reference Book' unless otherwise indicated)

ABSL 1 thru 4 - Animal Biosafety Level, sometimes simply BSL; Only ABSL 1 and 2 work is conducted at Cal Poly Pomona LAFs, where 1 involves viable microorganisms not known to cause disease in healthy adult humans and 2 presents a greater risk which can be guarded by PPE and good lab practices. Levels 3 and 4 involve agents with the potential to cause serious harm and can be life-threatening.

Allergens - A substance that is recognized as foreign by the immune system and that causes an allergic reaction.

BSC - Biological Safety Cabinet; A type of cabinet that is used for working with harmful organisms to protect both the worker and the environment through the use of controlled and filtered (HEPA) air flow.

Ergonomics - The science of designing the workplace to minimize physical fatigue, discomfort, and injuries to the worker while maximizing productivity. Ergonomic designs often place the least amount of stress possible on the human body.

Immuno-competent - Having the ability to develop an immune response (not susceptible to the harmful effects of a pathogen or antigen, to be able to resist invasion and infection by foreign organisms or substances).

Immuno-suppressed, or -deficient, or -incompetent - Lacking one or more elements of a working immune system and thus unable to mount a normal immune response. The term can apply to both humans and laboratory animals.

LAF or LAFs - Abbreviation for laboratory animal facility where animals are housed for approved purposes in research, teaching, or testing. A location such as a classroom or in the field may temporarily become a LAF. [not from the reference book]

PPE - Personal protective equipment; clothing and other work accessories designed to create a barrier against workplace hazards.

Zoonosis - zoonotic disease (plural zoonoses); A disease that can be transmitted from animals to humans or from humans to animals. Zoonotic organisms may or may not be able to replicate in the human host.