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List of Security Sensitive Biological Agents (SSBA)

The inclusion of agents on the List is derived from the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Report on the Regulation and Control of Biological Agents, which developed the COAG Biological Agents list (the COAG list) in November 2006. The working group assessed nearly 200 biological agents and using specified criteria, divided them into two Tiers: Tier 1 agents pose the greatest risk to Australia, while Tier 2 agents are rated less likely to pose a security risk.

Agents considered to be of safety concern are included on the List of Security Sensitive Biological Agents (the List of SSBAs). Regulation of Tier 1 SSBAs included on the List commenced in January 2009. On 17 November 2009 the List of SSBAs was varied to also include Tier 2 agents. The regulation of Tier 2 agents commenced on 31 January 2010.

Note: Following a review of the List of SSBAs, effective 14 March 2016, Salmonella Typhi (Typhoid) and Vibrio cholerae (Cholera) (serotypes O1 and O139) were removed from the list of SSBAs. Thus S. Typhi and V. cholerae are no longer considered SSBAs and thus are not subject to the requirements of the National Health Security Act 2007.

If you intend to handle any agent on the List of SSBAs you must contact the Office of Research Ethics, Compliance & Integrity in order to register the SSBAs.

Tier 1 SSBA  Tier 2 SSBA
Agent [Reportable quantity] Agent
Abrin [5 mg] African swine fever virus
Bacillus anthracis (Anthrax-virulent strains) Capripoxvirus (Sheep pox virus and Goat pox virus)
Botulinum toxin [0.5 mg] Classical swine fever virus
Ebolavirus Clostridium botulinum (Botulism; toxin-producing strains)
Foot-and-mouth disease virus Francisella tularensis (Tularemia)
Highly pathogenic influenza virus, infecting humans Lumpy skin disease virus
Marburgvirus Peste-des-petits-ruminants virus
Ricin [5 mg] Yellow fever virus (non-vaccine strains)
Rinderpest virus
SARS coronavirus
Variola virus (Smallpox)  
Yersinia pestis (Plague)  
  • Notes
    1. The agents above only refer to infectious, viable and pathogenic organisms or active toxins.
    2. Highly pathogenic influenza virus infecting humans' include influenza viral strains that fulfil all the criteria listed below:
      • Considered highly pathogenic in usual host animal;
      • Proven infection of humans; and
      • Involved in an outbreak of human disease.
      Examples of such viral strains include the 1918 pandemic Influenza virus A and Influenza virus A H5N1.
    1. 'Botulinum toxin' does not refer to a form approved for therapeutic use under the Therapeutic Goods Act 1989. For example, the forms of Botulinum toxin approved for therapeutic use and known under their commercial names Botox™ or Dysport™.
    2. The List is not a legislative instrument.

H1N1 Influenza 09 (Human Swine Influenza) Virus

Included on the List of SSBA is 'Highly pathogenic influenza virus, infecting humans'. As at 28 May 2009, the H1N1 influenza 09 (Human Swine Influenza) virus is not an SSBA for the purposes of the National Health Security Act 2007. This is because the virus does not meet all the criteria in note 2 of the List of SSBA.

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