Research Division

Classification of microorganisms by Risk Group

Microorganisms are classified into Risk Groups based on their potential impact on humans and the environment. These lists are not exhaustive, and microorganisms are generally classified as follows:

Risk Group 1 (RG1): Low individual and low community risk. These microorganisms are unlikely to cause disease.

Risk Group 2 (RG2): Moderate individual risk, limited community risk. These microorganisms are unlikely to be a significant risk to laboratory workers or the environment, but exposure may cause infection. 

Risk Group 3 (RG3): High individual risk, limited/moderate community risk. These microorganisms usually cause serious disease and may present a significant risk to laboratory workers, but may only present a moderate risk of spreading amongst a community. 

Risk Group 4 (RG4): High individual and high community risk. These microorganisms usually cause life-threatening disease and may be readily transmissable. Effective treatments are not usually available.

Risk Groups correlate with Physical Containment (PC) facility requirements, ie. RG2 organisms should only be used in a PC2 (or higher) facility.

As there are no PC3 or PC4 facilities at the University of Tasmania, work with RG3 and RG4 organisms at the University is strictly prohibited.


Risk Group Tables

Human and Animal Risk Groups

Plant Pathogen Risk Groups

Aquatic Risk Groups