The overall objective of this core proposal is to establish a safe, secure and comprehensive Biosafety Level - 3 (BSL3) host-pathogen interaction core to support and enhance the activities of the SERCEB/RCE investigators. The core will provide state-of-the-art flow cytometry and cell sorting, multi-modal live animal imaging, and multiplex biomarker analysis for SERCEB or other RCE investigators running studies in the Regional Biocontainment Laboratory at Duke or for member investigators that send specimens to the core for analysis. To accomplish this goal we have available four base technologies in BSL3 containment: a BDFACS Aria cell sorter, an IVIS-Xenogen Spectrum imager, a BibRad luminex bead array reader and an Abbott Cell Dyn 3700 veterinary hematology analyzer. In support of these base technologies we have offline-computer workstations outside containment, dedicated BSL2 and BSL3 laboratory space for sample preparation, highly trained technical staff in BSL3 and ABSL3 procedures and a PI and Co-investigator with an established track record in immune monitoring research and core facility management. These core technologies are contained at BSL3 in the NIAID-RBL at Duke and run as a core in collaboration with the proposed SERCEB Aerobiology/Animal Models core. This will allow comprehensive host-pathogen analysis at BSL3 under appropriate Standard Operating Procedures for SERCEB/RCE investigators. The use of flow cytometry and in vivo imaging techniques will allow us to monitor both host response and the course of infection, replication, persistence, and dissemination of priority pathogens. Blood and tissue biomarker analysis will provided further valuable insight into host-pathogen interactions which will only enhance the challenge and mechanistic studies proposed by projects in the SERCEB consortium. Areas of active biomedical investigation to be supported by this host-pathogen interation core include fundamental pathogenicity of Priority and Select Agent pathogens, innate and adaptive immunity and host'defense, and development of drugs, diagnostics and vaccines for identified bio-threat pathogens.

Public Health Relevance

This core will establish safe, secure and comprehensive BSL3 host-pathogen interaction monitoring to support the research activities of the SERCEB/RCE investigators. Host-pathogen interaction monitoring will add value to studies proposed in SERCEB, and will allow RCE investigators to better and more rapidly develop the next generation of therapeutics, diagnostics and vaccines against bio-threat pathogens.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
Specialized Center--Cooperative Agreements (U54)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZAI1)
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University of North Carolina Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill
United States
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