Planning to work with SARS-CoV-2 or COVID-19 Specimens/Samples?
The global pandemic affecting the whole planet is leading many in the research community to pursue new projects to develop analytical tests or experiments to better understand the virus. UNL has seen multiple projects proposed and started since the pandemic began earlier in 2020.
If you are planning to work with COVID-19 clinical materials or SARS-CoV-2 related materials, it is important to contact EHS Biosafety staff to assist with conducting a risk assessment before finalizing those plans or submitting a grant proposal. Almost all work with these will require submission of a new IBC protocol or an amendement to your existing IBC protocol. The UNL Biosafety Officer or another member of the EHS Biosafety team can assist with making the determination if an IBC protocol or amendment are required.
Please review the SARS-CoV-2 Biosafety and Biocontainment Research Guide to determine the requirements and actions needed to undertake the planned research. If your research plans are not explicitly addressed in the guide, but will involve COVID-19 or SARS-CoV-2 related materials, please contact the Biosafety Officer using the link above.
External SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 Resources
- Considerations for Handling Potential SARS-CoV-2 Samples (ABSA International)
- SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 TOOLBOX (ABSA International)
UNL SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 Biosafety Links
- SARS-CoV-2 Biosafety and Biocontainment Research Guide
- EHS SOP: BSL-2 Enhanced Containment Practices for Handling Potential SARS-CoV-2 Specimens and Samples
IBC Approval Considerations
Any UNL researcher who is planning to receive any biological specimens from COVID-19 patients (or any other materials associated with the SARS-CoV-2 virus) must submit a new IBC protocol amendment form through NUgrant.
IBC review amd approval of the submitted New Protocol or Amendment Form describing the proposed work, risk assessment and containment plan must occure before any material is received.
Other policies related to the receipt and work with pathogens and other potentially infectious materials include:
- Transport of Biohazardous Materials at UNL
- Security Advice for Biological Research Facilities
- Chemical Disinfectants for Biohazardous Materials
- Guidance for Collection and Storage of Human Samples
- Working in a Biosafety Cabinet
- Avoiding the Production of Biological Aerosols
The UNL Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) is charged with oversight of research, clinical/diagnostic and teaching activities involving recombinant and synthetic nucleic acids, human-derived materials, bloodborne pathogens and other biological agents including bacteria, viruses, parasites, fungi, and toxins. The scope, requirements, and roll of the IBC is described in the UNL Biosafety Guidelines.