Biocontainment Laboratory—Tufts University

The Tufts New England Regional Biosafety Laboratory (RBL) is one of the NIAID-supported Regional Biocontainment Laboratories. The RBL is a 41,000 square foot resource available to researchers in industry, academia, government and not-for-profit, dedicated to the study of existing and emerging infectious diseases, toxin-mediated diseases and medical countermeasures important to biodefense.

More information about this resource is available at Tufts University

Main Areas of Focus

  • To study existing and emerging infectious diseases, toxin-mediated diseases and medical countermeasures important to biodefense.
  • To provide expertise to outside investigators.

Who Can Use This Resource

  • Investigators in academia, not-for-profit organizations, industry, and government studying biodefense and emerging infectious diseases may request the use of biocontainment laboratories.

How To Get Started

  • Please contact the RBL directly for further information.

Support Services

Laboratory and Analytical Support

  • Immunology services: Flow cytometer and ELISPOT reader available in the RBL.
  • Pathology services: Clinical and Anatomical Pathology support available through the Department of Biomedical Sciences on campus. The TCSVM Histology Laboratory is also available.

Ability To Accommodate cGLP or cGMP Studies?

cGLP compliant.


Animal Capabilities, Including Species and Containment Level(s)

  • Mice
  • Rats
  • Guinea pigs
  • Rabbits
  • Ferrets
  • Gnotobiotic piglets

Animal Models, Including Species, Disease, and Delivery Method

  • Mice: Francisella tularensis (aerosol, intranasal, intradermal); Yersinia pestis (intranasal, sc, aerosol); Bacillus anthracis (aerosol); botulinum toxins (iv); Mycobacterium tuberculosis and M. bovis (aerosol, intranasal)
  • Guinea pigs: M. tuberculosis (aerosol)
  • Rabbits: B. anthracis (aerosol)
  • Rats: F. tularensis (intranasal; Y. pestis (intranasal)


  • F. tularensis
  • Y. pestis
  • B. anthracis
  • M. tuberculosis
  • M. bovis
  • Clostridium botulinum neurotoxins A-G
  • EEE

Imaging Capabilities

  • Xenogen IVIS Spectrum within the ABSL3 vivarium

Major Equipment Available

The supporting BSL2 laboratory has

  • NanoDrop 2000c spectrophotometer
  • BioTek Synergy 4 Multidetection Plate Reader
  • UVP BioDocIt imaging system
  • CTL ImmunoSpot S5 reader
  •  ABI 7500 Fast Real-Time PCR instrument
  • Zeiss LSM700 confocal microscope with live cell imaging capability

Located within ABSL3 space is an IVIS Spectrum, a BDFortessa flow cytometer (3 lasers, 18 detectors), a Drew Scientific HemaVet950 and an Abraxis VetScan2. Separate aerobiology (CH Technologies nose-only inhalation exposure system in a Baker Class III hood) and insectary suites are located within the ABSL3 vivarium. A DSI telemetry system for monitoring animals is also available.

Shared Resources

Separate Botulinum Neurotoxin Select Agent Facility with both animal and laboratory space, and an isolated BSL3 animal/laboratory space for tularemia-related research; Department of Infectious Disease and Global Health—staff of 50 with technical expertise in animal models for many of the NIAID Priority A, B, and C Pathogens, plus access to equipment within the department.

Contact Information