The Federal Select Agent Program (FSAP) regulates the possession, use, and transfer of biological select agents and toxins that have the potential to pose a severe threat to public, animal or plant health, or to animal or plant products. Common examples of select agents and toxins include the organisms that cause anthrax, smallpox, and bubonic plague, as well as the toxin ricin.

While potentially dangerous, work with select agents and toxins provides important scientific discoveries that have led to improved detection, prevention, diagnostic, and treatment options for diseases considered to be some of the most threatening to public, animal, and plant health. FSAP allows laboratories to conduct lifesaving research on these potentially dangerous materials while making sure it is done as safely and securely as possible.

The program is managed jointly by:

  • The Division of Select Agents and Toxins at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) which is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
  • The Division of Agricultural Select Agents and Toxins at the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, which is part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)

The program currently regulates 68 select agents and toxins (link to list provided below). The list is reviewed at least every two years to determine if agents or toxins need to be added to or deleted from the list. The select agent regulations also established a procedure by which an attenuated strain of a select biological agent or toxin that does not pose a severe threat to public health and safety, animal health, or animal products may be excluded from the requirements of the select agent regulations. A link to the list of excluded strains and toxins is provided below.

Oversight at LSUHSC

Research at LSUHSC using agents and toxins on the FSAP list is overseen jointly by the IBC and the department of Environmental Health & Safety (EHS). EHS requirments are outlined in the Select Agents Policy linked below. Investigators should use the standard IBC protocol application in Kuali to submit research proposals involving select agents and toxins for review.