The escape of microorganisms from the laboratory may be by design or by accident. If it is by design then one has to understand that microbes are allowed to escape deliberately to cause harm to the environment outside.
Accidental escape of chimeric microbes from the experimental laboratories may take any one of the following routes:
(1) Laboratory personnel such as scientists, attendants, visitors, sweepers etc right inadvertently carry the microbes and spread them outside.
(2) Microbes might also find their way out through laboratory facilities such as glassware, drainage of chemicals, spillage of media and such other inanimate objects.
In addition to the above, non scientific personnel in the laboratory many a time may not be aware of the stringent precautions that have to be mandatorily taken while dealing with pathogenic microbes.
Many a time even if they are aware they might just not follow the precautions as they are quite tedious and cumbersome.
Laboratory personnel while constantly dealing with pathogenic microbes many a time might acquire immunity and may not suffer from the consequences of contact with pathogens but they act as carriers and others who come in contact with them will have to suffer the consequences
Unintended escape of microbes and possible creation of new microbes posses perhaps the greatest danger to the environment. In this context it is worthwhile mentioning the opinion of three international experts on AIDS – Dr. John Seale from London. Dr. Robert Strecker from California and Dr. Jacob Segal from Berlin
These scientists claimed in 1987 that the AIDS virus was artificially created by American scientists during laboratory experiments when they were trying to discover a cure for cancer by combining parts of Maedy – visna virus found in the sheep and human T-cell Leukaemia virus type 1. They argued that the scientists or other personnel in the laboratory could have been infected with the new virus through a minute cut or even by inhaling (Ignacimuthu, 1995).