GESTIS Biological Agents Database: Tips & Tricks

Detail of a keyboard


Navigation in the database works via the tabs Home, List A-Z / Activities, Search and Data sheet.

  • Home contains general information about the database. In particular, the three types of documents contained in the database are explained: biological agents data sheets with basic information, biological agents data sheets with extended information and activity data sheets.
  • List A-Z / Activities allows to select a biological agent document from the alphabetical list of all biological agents names. After clicking on the button "Activity data sheets" the list of all activity data sheets is displayed for selection.
  • Search allows you to search for a document by name, document number, branch and full text search. Furthermore, the category of the biological agent, the risk group and the TRBA note can be selected and the search can be limited to data sheets with further information. After entering a character in a search field, the search term can be selected from the accompanying index list (autocomplete). Clicking on a term of the index list puts it to the corresponding input field, but does not yet start a search. With the button "exact search" exactly the entered search term is searched for. The button "Search", on the other hand, finds all terms containing the entered search term as a word component. The result of the search is displayed as a hit list. Simultaneous entries in several search fields specify the search by a logical AND.
  • Document appears after selection from the List A-Z / Activity data sheets or from the hit list in the search. Within the document individual chapters are accessible by links.

Print / PDF

Having selected a document (see under Navigation), you can print it - or save it as a PDF file on your computer. Press the "Print / PDF" button or the printer symbol on mobile devices and then select the main chapters of a substance you want to print. The default setting is the complete printout or the complete download of the substance data sheet. You can then print the selected chapters of the document or save them as a PDF file on your device.

Language selection

There are two language versions of the navigation programme of the GESTIS Biological Agents Database: German at () and English at (). Both program versions contain all documents in both German and English. The German program version opens the German documents by default and the English program version opens the English documents by default. With the button "German" or "English" at the top of the document the corresponding document in the other language can be displayed without the need for opening the other program version.

Change status

At the beginning of both the "Biological agents data sheets with extended information" and the "Activity data sheets", the date of last processing is indicated.

"Last update" on Home shows the date of the last internet update of the GESTIS Biological Agents Database.


The terms of use of the GESTIS Biological Agents Database prohibit a partial or complete transfer to other information systems. A download is therefore not intended (exception: PDF download of a single data sheet). Since our data are constantly updated, you would otherwise have an outdated stock in your information system after a short time.

IP Blocking

A download of larger data sets from the GESTIS Biological Agents Database is not permitted. Please do not try to achieve an illegal download by programming hacks. The system will detect such activities and block your IP address from accessing the GESTIS databases in this case.

Document number and links

The document number is the unique identification number for a specific entry in the GESTIS Biological Agents Database. This document number also forms part of the unique link to a specific document. For more information on linking to documents in the Biological Agents Database, please refer to Linking.