University of Southern California (USC)’s Occupational Medicine for Biomedical Research Program is designed to protect employees who are engaged in biomedical research by providing up-to-date prophylactic measures that include immunizations and tests as well as rapid response to accidents and illnesses that may be work-related.
I work with a variety of biohazardous agents. What immunizations are available to me?
The Occupational Medicine Program currently offers immunization against various biohazardous agents used in research. In some cases, titers following vaccination are recommended by the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices to ensure immunity and those are offered also.
|Clostridium tetani||Tdap or Td|
|Diphtheria toxin||Tdap or Td|
|Hepatitis A virus||depends|
|Hepatitis B virus||HBV||Yes|
|Rabies virus||Pre-exposure and post-exposure||Yes|
|Vaccinia virus||ACAM 2000|
|Yellow Fever virus||YFV|
Are tests available to identify exposure to biohazardous agents?
Yes. In addition to immunizations and titers, various tests are available to identify inadvertent exposure to infectious disease agents. For example, those who work with Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) are offered either the standard skin test known as a PPD or the Interferon-gamma release assays (IGRAs) can differentiate between those who have been vaccinated with BCG and those who have had Mtb exposure.
|Mycobacterium tuberculosis||Mtb, PPD, or IGRA|
|Hepatitis B Virus||HBV|
|Hepatitis C Virus||HCV|
As research progresses to additional agents, additional immunizations and tests may be added.
I work with laboratory animals. How do I evaluate the potential risks of animal exposure?
Animal handlers may evaluate risks associated with exposure to animals via Animal Exposure Risk Assessment (ARA). This is part of the overall Animal Exposure Program that animal handlers are strongly encouraged to participate in.
The following resources are available to help you participate in the program and learn more: