Select Agent Toxins

Updated July 03, 2013

Biological toxins are produced by certain bacteria, fungi, protozoa, plants, reptiles, amphibians, fish, echinoderma (spiny urchins and starfish), mollusks, and insects.

Select Agent Toxins are biological toxins that can be used to endanger human health and/or agricultural animal or plant health. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) are charged with regulating these toxins. 

The Biosafety Program helps MIT PIs and other personnel to avoid obtaining quantities of select agent toxins that will cause them to inadvertently exceed the per PI exclusion limits and become subject to and violate the federal regulations.  The purchase or transfer of any quantity of viable select agents (including genetic elements), or of select agent toxins over per PI exclusion limits, requires the prior approval of the Institute’s Responsible Official (RO) or Alternate RO.

 The list of select agents (including genetic elements) and toxins, with per PI toxin volume exclusion limits is available at the National Select Agent Registry,


 Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Toxins



Regulatory Threshold Quantity Requiring CDC certificate of registration


100 mg

Conotoxins (Short, paralytic alpha conotoxins containing the following amino acid sequence X1CCX2PACGX3X4X5X6CX7)

100 mg

Diacetoxyscirpenol (DAS)

1000 mg


100 mg


100 mg


100 mg

Botulinum neurotoxins

.05 mg

Staphylococcal enterotoxins A,B,C,D,E subtypes


T-2 toxin



Basic Requirements for PIs and Research Laboratories below exempt quantities of Select Agent Toxins

Complete SOP: 
Revision Date: 
Wed, 05/15/2013