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Dev Biol (Basel). 2007;128:59-68.

Regulatory constraints for the transport of samples and compliance with the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) standards for biosecurity and biocontainment.

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  • 1World Organisation for Animal Health, OIE, Paris, France.


The International Regulations for transport of infectious substances, including diagnostic specimens, are based on the United Nations Model Regulations and are the standard for transport by all means of transportation including air transport; the International Air Transport Association (IATA) regulation specifically addresses air shipment. In 2005 and 2006 there were major improvements in the procedures for shipping infectious substances. These substances are divided into Category A, which includes primarily cultures of the more pathogenic agents and Category B, all the other substances. Category A shipments must have a Dangerous Goods Certificate and meet other requirements. Category B shipments, which include most diagnostic tissue specimens, do not. These regulations specifically exempt certain substances, including those that have been neutralized or inactivated to destroy pathogens and samples from "normal" animals. The packaging requirements help insure that biocontainment is maintained during shipment to protect the shipper and the environment. The packaging requirements and the shipping procedures provide a chain of custody and assist in supporting biosecurity. The more stringent Category A requirements provide increased biocontainment and biosecurity safeguards for these potentially more dangerous substances. In addition, National requirements, such as import permits and the US select agent requirements, provide an added measure of biocontainment and biosecurity.

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