Infectious substances are substances which are known to contain, or are reasonably expected to contain, pathogens. Pathogens are defined as micro- organisms (including bacteria, viruses, rickettsiae, parasites, fungi) and other agents such as prions, which can cause disease in humans or animals. Cultures are the result of a process by which pathogens are intentionally propagated. This definition does not include human or animal patient specimens. Patient specimens are those collected directly from humans or animals, including, but not limited to, excreta, secreta, blood and its components, tissue and tissue fluid swabs, and body parts being transported for purposes such as research, diagnosis, investigational activities, disease treatment and prevention. Medical or clinical wastes are wastes derived from the medical treatment of animals or humans or from bio-research.
 

 
 




An infectious substance transported in a form that, when exposure to it occurs, is capable of causing permanent disability, life threatening or fatal disease in otherwise healthy humans. These specimens are assigned to UN2814
The proper shipping name for Category A is: “Infectious Substance affecting humans

Indicative examples of Category A Infectious Substances are listed below:

Bacillus anthracis (cultures only)
Brucella abortus (cultures only)
Brucella melitensis (cultures only)
Brucella suis (cultures only)
Burkholderia mallei – Pseudomonas mallei – Glanders (cultures only)
Burkholderia pseudomallei – Pseudomonas pseudomallei (cultures only)
Chlamydia psittaci – avian strains (cultures only)
Clostridium botulinum (cultures only)
Coccidioides immitis (cultures only)
Coxiella burnetii (cultures only)
Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever virus
Dengue virus (cultures only)
Eastern equine encephalitis virus (cultures only)
Escherichia coli, verotoxigenic (cultures only)1
Ebola virus
Flexal virus
Francisella tularensis (cultures only)
Guanarito virus
Hantaan virus
Hantaviruses causing haemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome
Hendra virus
Hepatitis B virus (cultures only)
Herpes B virus (cultures only)
Human immunodeficiency virus (cultures only)
Highly pathogenic avian influenza virus (cultures only)
Japanese Encephalitis virus (cultures only)
Junin virus
Kyasanur Forest disease virus
Lassa virus
Machupo virus
Marburg virus
Monkeypox virus
Mycobacterium tuberculosis (cultures only) 1
Nipah virus
Omsk haemorrhagic fever virus
Poliovirus (cultures only)
Rabies virus (cultures only)
Rickettsia prowazekii (cultures only)
Rickettsia rickettsii (cultures only)
Rift Valley fever virus (cultures only)
Russian spring-summer encephalitis virus (cultures only)
Sabia virus
Shigella dysenteriae type 1 (cultures only) 1
Tick-borne encephalitis virus (cultures only)
Variola virus
Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus (cultures only)
West Nile virus (cultures only)
Yellow fever virus (cultures only)
Yersinia pestis (cultures only)

1 For surface transport (ADR) nevertheless, when the cultures are intended for diagnostic or clinical purposes, they may be classified as infectious substances of Category B.


Category A Infectious Substances are infectious substances in a form that, when exposure to it occurs, is capable of causing permanent disability, life-threatening or fatal disease in otherwise healthy humans or animals. They are assigned the following UN numbers and proper shipping names: UN 2900Infectious Substance, affecting animals only. Assignment to UN 2900 is to be based on the known medical history and symptoms of the source animal, endemic local conditions, or professional judgment concerning individual circumstances of the source animal. If there is any doubt as to whether or not a pathogen falls within this category it must be transported as a Category A Infectious Substance.
Wastes containing Category A infectious substances must be assigned to UN 2900, as appropriate.

Indicative examples of Category A Infectious Substances are listed below:

African swine fever virus (cultures only)
Avian paramyxovirus Type 1 – Velogenic Newcastle disease virus (cultures only)
Classical swine fever virus (cultures only)
Foot and mouth disease virus (cultures only)
Lumpy skin disease virus (cultures only)
Mycoplasma mycoides – Contagious bovine pleuropneumonia (cultures only)
Peste des petits ruminants virus (cultures only)
Rinderpest virus (cultures only)
Sheep-pox virus (cultures only)
Goatpox virus (cultures only)
Swine vesicular disease virus (cultures only)
Vesicular stomatitis virus (cultures only)

 

The list, however is not exhaustive. Infectious substances, including new or emerging pathogens, which do not appear in the table but which meet the same criteria must be assigned to Category A.

Reference: WHO (updated June 2017)