A pathogen as defined by the Infection Protection Act is an agent capable of reproduction (virus, bacterium, fungus, parasite) or any other biological transmissible agent that can cause an infection or transmissible disease in humans.
Anyone wishing to bring pathogens into the area of application of the Infection Protection Act (IfSG), export them, store them, dispense them or work with them requires permission from the competent authority.
Work with pathogens is not only the case when pathogens are deliberately made to multiply, but also when foodstuffs are merely examined for the absence of pathogens and there is a possibility that potentially existing pathogens may be multiplied (e.g. laboratory diagnostic evaluation of PCR tests).
Activities involving pathogens that cannot be multiplied, in particular those that have been killed, are not subject to the permit requirement. The same applies to activities with test material that (possibly) contains pathogens, but these are not reproduced.
A permit is not required for anyone who works under the supervision of someone who has a permit or who, exceptionally, does not require a permit.
Exemptions from the permit requirement for certain groups of persons or certain activities are listed in Section 45 IfSG.