List of Infectious Substances: Category-A

How do I know if this medical sample is classified as an infectious substance and needs to be shipped as a dangerous good/hazardous material?

The first question to ask is whether or not the suspected disease of the patient is on the list of infectious substances (see IATA Table 3.6.D below). 

If it is not on the list then it is probably not even regulated as a dangerous good/hazardous material.  For example, if the suspected disease was some form of cancer, it would not be regulated as a dangerous goods item when shipped.

Moreover, even if it is on the list, if the substance says “cultures only,” this means it would have to be in a form where they are intentionally trying to propagate it.  Imagine a culture for strep throat where it is in a vial trying to be reproduced. 

The bottom line is this:

  • If it is on the list, and it does NOT say “cultures only,” then it is regulated as Infectious Substance, UN 2814, Division 6.2, Category-A.
  • If it is on the list, and DOES SAY “cultures only,” and it is not in the form of a culture (such as blood, tissue or urine), then it is NOT UN 2814, but would probably be a Category-B, Biological Substance, UN 3373, which has far less requirements than Category-A material.
  • If it is NOT on the list, then it is not regulated at all.

Indicative Examples of Infectious Substances Included in Category A in Any Form Unless Otherwise Indicated (


UN Number and Proper Shipping NameMicro-organisms:
UN 2814, Infectious Substance Affecting Humans
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)
Ebola virus
Flexal virus
Francisella tularensis (cultures only)
Guanarito virus
Hantaan virus
Hantavirus causing hemorrhagic 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)
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)
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)
UN 2900, Infectious Substance Affecting Animals
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)
Goatpox 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)
Swine vesicular disease virus (cultures only)
Vesicular stomatitis virus (cultures only)  Category B:

An infectious substance which does not meet the criteria for inclusion in Category A.  Infectious substances in Category B must be assigned to UN 3373.