The Approved List of biological agents

Date of publication:
Series code:
MISC208 (rev5)

The Approved List of biological agents provides the classification of biological agents as referred to in the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (COSHH). It is approved by the Advisory Committee on Dangerous Pathogens (ACDP) and is relevant to risk assessment for work with biological agents and the application of appropriate control measures.

The approved list is for use by people who deliberately work with biological agents, especially those in research, development, teaching or diagnostic laboratories and industrial processes, or those who work with humans or animals who are (or are suspected to be) infected with such an agent.

Over time, new biological agents emerge which are found to cause disease in humans and new treatments are developed. ACDP, in consultation with other experts, periodically reviews the list to consider any new evidence to support the addition of new agents or any changes to the classification of agents already listed.

This fifth edition of the Approved List of Biological Agents includes the following changes:

  • the hazard group classification for existing agents has been reviewed and reclassified where appropriate
  • previously unlisted biological agents have been classified and added to the list at Hazard Group 2 and Hazard Group 3
  • advice on available vaccines has been updated

If you are working with biological agents, it is important that you review the updated Approved List for any changes to ensure that you continue to implement the appropriate control measures in accordance with the hazard group classification.

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Updated: 2023-12-20