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Respiratory Synctial Virus (RSV)

Safety Data Sheet - Infectious Substances

Section I - Infectious Agent

Name: Respiratory synctial virus (RSV)

Characteristics: Paramyxoviridae, genus pneumovirus; pleomorphic, 150-300 nm diameter; enveloped virions; single stranded linear RNA genome.

Biosafety Level: NIH BSL 2

Section II - Health Hazard

Pathogenicity: Most common cause of common cold-like respiratory tract illness in young children - febrile bronchitis, pneumonia, bronchiolitis; causes common colds and rarely pneumonia in adults; reinfection common and generally results in mild upper respiratory infection.

Host Range: Humans

Mode of Transmission: Respiratory secretions; inhalation of aerosols; indirectly by hands, handkerchiefs and eating utensils or other items freshly soiled by respiratory discharges. Viral shedding may persist for several weeks after symptoms subside.

Incubation Period: 4-5 days.

Section III - Viability

Drug susceptibility: Ribavirin may be clinically beneficial when delivered by aerosol spray.

Susceptibility to Disinfectants: Susceptible to many disinfectants; 1% sodium hypochlorite, 70% ethanol, 2% gluteraldhyde.

Physical Inactivation: Sensitive to heating above 55 ÂșC, freezing and thawing; rapidly inactivated at pH <5.

Survival Outside of Host: Virus contaminated nasal secretions may remain viable up to 8 hours at room temperature on paper towels, cloths and rubber gloves.

Section IV - Medical

Surveillance: Pre-employment serum samples banked. Monitor for symptoms. Antigen detection can be performed on respiratory specimens after onset of clinical illness.

First Aid/Treatment: Consider administration of combination therapy of aerosolized ribavirin and immunoglobulin in high risk groups - contact office of Occupational Health for advice (UCSD-274-6206) and post-exposure serum sample. At UCSD, notify supervisor and EH&S as soon as possible after exposure. Supportive therapy is indicated for symptoms of suspected infections.

Immunization: None available.

Prophylaxis: Human immunoglobulin available.

Section V - Laboratory Hazards

Laboratory- acquired infections: Few cases reported; many cases probably occur but go unreported due to the frequency of infection in the population and difficulty in tracing to laboratory cause.

Sources/Specimens: Nasopharyngeal swab, nasal washes, and secretions; laboratory cultures.

Primary Hazards: Droplet or aerosol exposure of mucous membranes.

Special Hazards: None.

Section VI - Recommended Precautions

Containment Requirements: Biosafety level 2 plus UCSD Adeno special practices and BSL 2 containment facilities for all activities involving the virus and potentially infectious body fluids or tissues.

Protective Clothing: Laboratory coat, gloves, N-95 mask, goggles.

Section VII - Handling Information

Spills: Allow aerosols to settle for 15 minutes; wear protective clothing and gently cover the spill with adsorbent paper towel and apply freshly prepared 10% sodium hypochlorite starting at the perimeter and working towards the center; allow at least 30 minutes contact time before clean up.

Disposal: Decontaminate all wastes before disposal; steam sterilization, incineration, chemical disinfection. At UCSD, contaminated material may be sealed in labeled, doubled, red biohazard bags, transported in covered, leak proof containers to BFI disposal bins for eventual incineration.

Storage: In sealed containers that are appropriately labeled and in approved locations for BSL 2 materials at -700C.

Transport: Material must be sealed in primary and secondary containers, appropriately labeled.

Prepared by UCSD Program in Human Gene Therapy staff. Reviewed by UCSD Office of Environmental Health Safety. We accept no responsibility for the accuracy, sufficiency, or reliability of this information or for any loss or injury resulting from the use of this information.
(written August 20, 1998)