Infectious Microbes Grouped According to Risk*
† Prions cannot be destroyed by steam autoclaving, advises Alan Munn from Griffith University in Southport, Queensland, Australia. The Australian Standard for decontamination is high-concentration sodium hypochlorite for at least 60 minutes. Vaporized hydrogen peroxide and phenolics can also be used. High temperature incineration converts protein to carbon, nitrogen and water making survival a challenge for any infecting prions; however, prion-contaminated material is disinfected some more before transport to the incineration site. Prions are not considered very contagious thus, as in the U.S., BSL-2 (PC-2 in Australia) containment is considered sufficient.
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