Duke University is committed to scientific research and its translation to improve human health, including appropriate use of animals in research. The purpose of this proposal is to replace and relocate an aged autoclave located within Duke's Central Vivarium and reallocate space to optimally provide defined quarantine/isolation and animal receiving areas, and to provide the ability to decontaminate suspect caging and equipment from satellite areas. Eighty eight per cent of all mice and rats on campus are housed in barrier areas or facilities that are specifically designed to preclude entry and spread of adventitious agents that may negatively influence research objectives, and non-rodent animals are localized primarily within the Central Vivarium.
The specific aims of this proposal essentially impact all animal researchers at Duke through the quarantine and isolation of 'suspect'animals and the minimizing of cross- contamination potential of infectious animals. Funds from this renovation grant are crucial to: a) replacing a 43-year- old autoclave that is necessary for maintenance of housing for isolation and quarantine in the Central Vivarium as well as for decontamination of caging and equipment from satellite facilities when rodent infectious disease outbreaks occur and b) to provide a quarantine/isolation area that is separate from the general animal housing area. Direct costs from the National Institutes of Health provide about $120 million of funding annually to animal research at Duke. Opened in 1973, the Central Vivarium is the main campus vivarium and remains structurally and operationally sound. This 29,129 net square feet (nsf) facility is arranged on two floors: a small ground floor area houses administrative and diagnostic laboratory space, with animal space located on the first floor. The Central Vivarium can house any laboratory animal species in Duke's program and is the main site for housing and use of USDA-regulated species, including non-human primates, canines, and agricultural species. Caging and equipment are processed in the Central Vivarium cagewash area on the north side of the facility and in a single corridor operation: soiled caging and equipment are removed from the animal rooms and transported into the "dirty side" of cagewash via a single corridor, clean caging and equipment exit mechanical washers directly into the clean side of cagewash. Construction funded through C06 grants from the NIH utilizing American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA) resources is underway to build 2,731 nsf to meet the needs of biomedical engineering researchers that require specialized procedural areas and large animal models as well as a two-story addition to the Central Vivarium of about 19,000 nsf. The latter project will provide housing and procedural space for USDA-regulated species (e.g., nonhuman primates, agricultural and companion species) to accommodate the growth Duke is experiencing in neuroscience, cardiovascular, surgical, biomedical engineering, and translational research. The Central Vivarium also supports a number of rodent satellite facilities that lack the ability to sanitize caging and equipment as well as autoclaving of these items. Caging and equipment from these facilities are transported to the Central Vivarium for decontamination via the sterilizer and subsequent sanitation in the cagewash area. The acquisition and relocation of a new sterilizer, along with refurbishment of an area for quarantine/isolation will improve decontamination of materials, reduce the chance of adventitious agent outbreaks, and enhance the connections of the original Central Vivarium to the C06 grant-funded Central Vivarium additions currently underway.