The Aerobiology and Animal Models Core will provide animal models using BSL3 NIH priority pathogens to respond to the scientific needs of SERCEB investigators. The Core will be located in the NIAID-funded Regional Biocontainment Laboratory (RBL) at Duke. The Core will develop and characterize specific models based on SERCEB research priorities, and will use the models to test specific hypotheses developed by SERCEB investigators. Core services will include local animal approval, animal acquisition, growth and characterization of inoculum, delivery and confirmation of challenge dose, animal monitoring, serum and tissue collection, determination of colony-forming units or plaque-forming units, and data analysis. The Core will provide wellcharacterized challenges by the aerosol route, either whole body or nose-only, and by other routes as appropriate to scientific hypotheses. The Core will register and acquire Select Agents in the RBL, and will maintain real-time inventory of these agents in storage, in use, and in animals. The Core will coordinate with the SERCEB BSL3 Host- Pathogen Interaction Flow and Imaging Core located in the RBL to provide live BSL3 cell sorting and analysis, BSL3 whole-body imaging using the MS system with both luminescence and fluorescence capabilities, multiplex cytokine determination, and other immunological studies. Murine models using Yersinia pestis, Bacillus anthracis, and Mycobacterium tuberculosis are in place or will be in place in the RBL at the beginning of the grant period. Other models will be developed over the course of the grant period using other agents and other mammalian species, based on the research needs of SERCEB investigators. The Core will be available to provide surge capacity to local, state, and federal officials in the event of a public health emergency

Public Health Relevance

The ultimate goals for the core are to support basic research leading to better drugs, diagnostics and vaccines against emerging infections and biological threat agents. The Core will provide challenge models to dentists throughout the region who are not able to handle hazardous microbial agents in animals, or who need specialized core services available in the facility.

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-DDS-M)
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University of North Carolina Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill
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