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									University of Nottingham
Risk Assessment for Genetic Modification                                    Version 4 Sept 2011




           RISK ASSESSMENT FOR GENETICALLY MODIFIED
          MICRO-ORGANISMS [excluding plant pathogens]
For completion by GMSC admin.
Assessment #                                Final class of activity

HSE Notification ref
Date of approval                            Review frequency

CPW reference                               HSE reference
If applicable                               If applicable


PART 1
The following sections should be completed by the Principal Investigator/Project Leader
1 Administrative details.
School                                    Principal
                                          Investigator
Department                                Other staff
                                          involved ** see
                                          note below
If this RA is being submitted under a
connected programme of work give
CPW Reference & Title
If this project involves the use of
radioactive substances in association
with the genetically modified organism
give radiation project code.
2   Title of project




3 Location of work activities
Give details of where different GM activities will take place e.g. manipulation, growth,
storage, disposal etc.

                 Building
                 Activity                        Room ID           Approved Containment
                                                                  Level for the lab/location




** Note – if workers are from a different School/Department than the PI please make this clear
on the form.




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University of Nottingham
Risk Assessment for Genetic Modification                                     Version 4 Sept 2011



IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR COMPLETION OF THIS FORM

In order to be able to review and approve your project the GMSC need to fully understand
what you intend to do and the reasoning behind your conclusions as to the nature of the risk
and the control measures to be applied.

Therefore when completing risk assessments please observe the following conventions:

   Avoid the use of jargon

   Provide full explanation for any abbreviations used – for example by using the full wording
    in the first instance followed by the abbreviation in brackets, thereafter the abbreviation
    can be used.

   Give full information about the function of genes.

   Avoid single word answers and give full justification for ‘yes/no’ answers.

   Use terminology and detail that can be understood by people who do not have intimate
    knowledge of the work and science underpinning it.


4    Scientific goals and major aims of the project
This information should provide a useful background and put the work in context. If presenting
the scientific goals poses problems in relation to intellectual property rights or commercial
sensitivity, please contact the Chair of the relevant GMSC/University Biosafety Adviser




5    Overview of the different types of GMM that will be constructed
This overview should consist of 1 or 2 paragraphs, outlining the scope of the project and setting
the boundaries of exactly what work will be done. This overview should be complemented in
sections 5.1-5.3 below, with lists of recipient strains, vectors and inserts that will be used in the
project.




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University of Nottingham
Risk Assessment for Genetic Modification                                      Version 4 Sept 2011


5.1     Details of recipient organism and cell lines
Give the name of the strain, the name of the wild-type organism from which it is derived and the
extent to which it is disabled. It would also be useful to indicate which group of Biological Agents
[ as defined by ACDP] the organism/cell line should be assigned to. This will assist in the
provisional classification of the activity.
Note: Where cell cultures are the final recipient it is necessary to assign the cultures to a
containment level on the basis of any possible presence of adventitious agents. [ see section
2.6 of SAGCM Compendium Of Guidance]



5.2     Details of vector(s)
Non-viral vectors give details of whether they are non-mobilisable, mobilisation defective
or self-mobilisable. [ see section 2.1 p12 of SAGCM Compendium Of Guidance]




Viral vectors give details of mechanisms of attenuation and any disabling mutations.
It would also be useful to indicate which group of Biological Agents [as defined by ACDP] the
viral vector should be assigned to. This will assist in the provisional classification of the activity.
The SAGCM Compendium Of Guidance part 2.6 to 2.11 gives detailed guidance on common
viral vectors.




5.3 Function of inserted gene(s)

In doing this, genes should be identified in such a way that an outside reviewer will have a
general idea of their function i.e. providing a three-letter names is not sufficient and the full name
of the gene must be given. Where the function of a gene is unknown, it may help to provide
details of any known homologies. [ see section 2.6 p14 of SAGCM Compendium Of
Guidance]




6         Indication of the most hazardous GMM
Considering both human health and the environment the most hazardous GMM that will be
constructed in this work should be identified. This will be the most hazardous combination of
recipient strain, vector and inserted material from the lists made under part (c). With some
projects it will not be clear that any one GMM will be any more hazardous than any of the others
(e.g. if all the work is class 1). If this is the case this should be stated.




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University of Nottingham
Risk Assessment for Genetic Modification                                     Version 4 Sept 2011

7 Additional work involving animals [including insects and invertebrates]
                                                                                             YES/NO
Does the work involve
1) the infection of animals with the GMM?       [If yes complete Appendix A]
2) The production of a genetically modified animal. [If yes complete Appendix B]

If appendix A or b is completed ensure this and the main assessment is forwarded to
the manager of the BMSU/JABU as appropriate.

8 Are you confident that for all of the GMMs covered by this assessment
there are no harmful properties associated with the recipient strain, the
vector, or the inserted material?
If YES you must justify your answer
If the answer is `No' or you are in any way unsure, Part 2 of this form must be completed.
Note: For aspects of work involving cell cultures the GM assessment should only focus on the
         hazard of the cells and their modification [e.g. expression of toxic genes] It is permissible
         to use a higher containment level than indicated by the class of GM for the cell line
         without this meaning a higher class of activity.




9 Are you confident that the final GMMs will not be hazardous to humans
or the environment, even in the event of a total breach of containment?
If YES you must justify your answer
If the answer is `No' or you are in any way unsure, Part 2 of this form must be completed




10 Any waste generated must be inactivated by validated means YES / NO
[by disinfection/autoclaving] before being sent for incineration in
accordance with the University Code of Practice. Please confirm
this is the case. If NO confirm derogation is in place to allow for
off site treatment


If the GMM meets both of the criteria in sections 8 & 9 above and you able to confidently
assign the activity to Class 1, sign the form below and submit to your local GMSC for review
and approval. Work should not be started until you have the approval of the GMSC.
I confirm that for the above reasons this activity can be assigned to YES / NO
Class 1 [delete as appropriate – if NO complete part 2 of this form]
          Signature of Principal Investigator                              Date




Approved as a Class 1 activity
    Names & Signature of GMSC Chair & BSO                                 Approval Date




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University of Nottingham
Risk Assessment for Genetic Modification                                   Version 4 Sept 2011

PART 2
To be used where more detailed risk assessment is required. This part of the form should
focus on the most hazardous GMM(s) identified in PART 1 (6). In cases where there are two
or more hazardous GMMs with quite different properties two or more copies of PART 2 may
need to be completed. However where properties are similar, the information may be suitably
included in one for,

1    IDENTIFY HAZARDS TO HUMAN HEALTH
1.1 What are the hazards associated with the recipient micro-organism [ bacterial host
or viral vector]. Consider if the organism has the organism been assigned to a particular
Group of biological agent by the ACDP Approved List. Consider also the host range, tissue
tropism, mode of transmission, and disease symptoms. Indicate if any vaccine/prophylaxis is
available.
Also give details of any disabling mutations and whether there is any possibility of any such
mutation being complemented or reverting.



1.2 Identify hazards arising directly from the product of the inserted
genes
Consider if the gene is an oncogene or encodes for a toxin, an oncogenic or allergenic
protein, a modulator of growth or differentiation [e.g. cytokine or hormone] or any other protein
that may result in a potentially harmful activity.
It is also important to consider the potential for over expression – this could result in a toxic
protein being expressed at much greater level than normal. Or a normal human gene may be
harmful if over-expressed, particularly if this is in tissues that do not normally express the
protein. If the function of the gene is unknown it would be useful to describe the function of
any known homologues.




1.3 Identify any hazards arising from alteration of existing traits.
   [pathogenicity, host range, tissue tropism, mode of transmission,
   changing host immune response].
Consider whether the inserted gene encodes a pathogenicity determinant, such as an
adhesin, a penetration factor or a surface component providing resistance to host defence
mechanisms. Another important consideration is whether the inserted gene encodes a
surface component, envelope protein or capsid protein that might bind to a different receptor
to that used by the recipient micro-organism. Consideration should also be given to whether
the inserted DNA (or the plasmid sequence) encodes resistance to a drug or antibiotic that
might be used for the treatment of a laboratory-acquired infection.




1.4 Identify the potential hazards of sequences within the GMM being
transferred to related microorganisms
Factors to consider include whether widespread dissemination of the inserted gene as a result,
for example, of either gene transfer or recombination of the GMM with a wild-type micro-
organism, would be a matter of concern. If this is the case an important consideration will be
whether, in the event of a breach of containment the GMM could survive in the environment for
long enough for such a gene transfer to take place.




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University of Nottingham
Risk Assessment for Genetic Modification                                  Version 4 Sept 2011



2 Assignment of a provisional containment level that is adequate to
protect against hazards to human health
This step will involve considering the containment level necessary to control the risk of the
recipient microorganism (i.e. the ACDP Hazard Group of the recipient micro-organism) and
making a judgement about whether the modification will result in a GMM, which is more
hazardous, less hazardous, or about the same. Sometimes it may help to compare the GMM
with the relative hazard presented by other organisms that would fall within the same ACDP
Hazard Group as the GMM.



3 Consider the nature of the work to be under taken and review of control
measures to be applied.
Identify procedures likely to generate aerosol
[e,g sonicaton. vigorous mixing/shaking,
centrifugation.

Will work be carried out in a safety cabinet [MSC]
or isolator
What type of MSC will be used?
Identify any other controls

Does the procedure require the use of
sharps/glass Pasteur pipettes.
Justify use

Animal Work
Does the work involve
3) the infection of animals with the GMM?
4) The production of a genetically modified
     animal.
If the answer to either of the above is yes
complete the relevant          additional Animal
assessment form [Appendix A or B] and ensure
this and the main assessment is forwarded to the
manager of the BMSU/JABU as appropriate.




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University of Nottingham
Risk Assessment for Genetic Modification                                     Version 4 Sept 2011


4       Treatment of waste
How will waste materials be disposed of? Where procedures are detailed in a local code of
practice or other document and are considered adequate it is appropriate to just make reference
to the relevant document.

Solid waste




Liquid waste


Infected animal
carcasses
Validation of Inactivation of waste
Disinfectants
These should have been validated under conditions of use [e.g. to show disinfectant is effective
in presence of high levels of protein].

Give details of in house validation or justification for reliance on manufacturers validation data.




Validation systems for autoclaves




5      Emergency procedures
Is an Emergency Plan required in the event of breach of containment. If yes provide detail.




Are the standard procedures for spillage contained within local rules adequte? If not
provide details of specific measures. these can be referred to Give details of procedures for
spillage of material both within and outside of the safety cabinet.




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University of Nottingham
Risk Assessment for Genetic Modification                                Version 4 Sept 2011




6        Occupational health issues

Where health effects have been identified in the advice of the Occupational
Health Physician should be sought in relation to completion of this section

                                                                    Detail

Does the nature of this work preclude any
workers who have a serious skin condition
(e.g., eczema) or other health problems that
might make them more susceptible to
infection (eg., some kind of immunological
defect)?

Give details of any pre-employment
screening, vaccinations or ongoing health
surveillance that is required. This may
include the provision of medical information
cards and exit medicals.

    7   IDENTIFY HAZARDS TO THE ENVIRONMENT
7.1 Is the recipient micro-organism capable of infecting any plant, animal or insect species.
Check whether the organism is listed as an animal pathogen controlled by DEFRA. Also give
consideration to the possibility of any disabling mutations being complemented or reverting.




7.2 Identify hazards arising directly from the product of the inserted genes
Consider if the gene encodes for an insect or animal for a toxin or a product which can cause
silencing of a gene encoding for a crucial metabolic enzyme in susceptible host.


7.3 Identify any hazards arising from alteration of existing traits.
   [pathogenicity, host range, tissue tropism, mode of transmission,
   changing host immune response].
Consider whether the inserted gene encodes a pathogenicity determinant, such as an adhesin,
a penetration factor or a surface component providing resistance to host defence mechanisms.
Another important consideration is whether the inserted gene encodes a surface component,
envelope protein or capsid protein that might bind to a different receptor to that used by the
recipient micro-organism.



7.4 Identify the potential hazards of sequences within the GMM being
transferred to related microorganisms
Factors to consider include whether widespread dissemination of the inserted gene as a result,
for example, of either gene transfer or recombination of the GMM with a wild-type micro-
organism, would be a matter of concern. If this is the case an important consideration will be
whether, in the event of a breach of containment the GMM could survive in the environment for
long enough for such a gene transfer to take place.




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University of Nottingham
Risk Assessment for Genetic Modification                                     Version 4 Sept 2011

8 Will the provisional level of containment assigned in Section 2 above
be sufficient to protect both humans and the environment?
Additional measures may be needed to protect the environment, to provide the necessary
degree of protection for human health or to provide additional safeguards for particular work
procedures. If NO – give details of additional measures:




9    Assignment of final containment level and class
Note: For aspects of work involving cell cultures the GM assessment should only focus on the
hazard of the cells and their modification [e.g. expression of toxic genes] It is permissible to use
a higher containment level than indicated by the class of GM for the cell line without this
meaning a higher class of activity.

Aspects assigned to Class 1

Aspects assigned to Class 2

Aspects assigned to Class 3




          Signature of Principal Investigator                                  Date



        Comments of GMSC




           Signatures of GMSC Chair & BSO                                      Date




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