Biocontainment Laboratory: Tulane University

The Tulane University Regional Biosafety Laboratory (RBL) at The Tulane National Primate Research Center is one of the NIAID-supported Biocontainment Laboratories. Research conducted in the facility focuses on the development of treatments, vaccines and diagnostics for emerging infectious diseases that occur naturally, such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), and against biological agents that have the potential for misuse for terrorism.

Main Areas of Focus

  • To develop treatments, vaccines and diagnostics for emerging infectious diseases that occur naturally and against biological agents.
  • To protect the health and safety of our community and the nation.

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

The TNPRC provides highly integrated clinical and laboratory support for infectious disease studies with a focus on the use of NHPs. This includes a full time staff of clinical veterinarians and technicians and core services commonly used for infectious disease research including

  • Diagnostic Parasitology
  • Vector-Borne Diseases (maintains arthropods that are important for the study of vector-borne diseases)
  • DNA Microarray and Gene Expression
  • Anatomic Pathology
  • Clinical Pathology
  • Molecular Pathology
  • Confocal Microscopy and Image Analysis
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Cellular Immunology
  • Virus Characterization, Isolation, and Production
  • Pathogen Detection and Quantification
  • Infectious Disease Aerobiology
  • Biomedical Engineering (radiotelemetry support services)

Many listed extend to BSL3 support.

Ability To Accommodate cGLP or cGMP Studies?

No.

Specialized Areas

The Tulane Research Biocontainment Laboratory (RBL) has a unique focus on the use of nonhuman primate in infectious disease research. They are the only RBL located on the premises of a National Primate Research Center. As such, they have available an array of highly integrated clinical and laboratory support (many within the BSL3) that caters to nonhuman primates. This capability extends to most of their scientific cores (e.g., ID aerobiology, flow cytometry, biomedical engineering).

Tools

Animal Capabilities, Including Species and Containment Level(s)

  • Nonhuman primates, primarily Macaca mulatta, Chlorocebus sabeaus, and Macaca fascicularis (BSL2, BSL3)
  • Rabbits (BSL2, BSL3)
  • Mice (BSL2, BSL3)

Animal Models, Including Species, Disease, and Delivery Method

Funded or ongoing studies involve:

  • Rhesus macaques (M. mulatta) of Indian and Chinese origin
  • African green monkeys (C. sabeaus)
  • Cynomolgus macaques (M. fascicularis) of diverse geographic origin.

Other species of monkey may also be available.

Delivery methods for agents include IV, IM, ID, IN, and aerosol delivery (at multiple size modalities). Other delivery methods (e.g., intragastric) are also possible.

The Lab also has a corollary capacity for other species including rabbits and rodents (delivery method for ancillary species include IV, IM, ID, IN, and aerosol delivery at multiple size modalities).

All agents listed under "pathogens" can be delivered by any of the methods described.

Pathogens

Disease agents include:

  • Bacillus anthracis
  • Yersinia pestis
  • Burkholderia pseudomallei
  • B. mallei
  • Monkeypox virus
  • Eastern equine encephalitis virus (EEEV)
  • Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus (VEEV)
  • Chikungunya virus
  • Ricin toxin
  • Rickettsia prowazekii
  • Staphylococcal enterotoxin B (SEB)
  • Clostridium perfringens epsilon toxin
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis
  • SARS coronavirus
  • Influenza (H3N1 & H1N1)
  • Rabbitpox virus

Imaging Capabilities

  • Digital radiography of NHPs at BSL2 and BSL3
  • MRI of nonhuman primates at BSL2
  • Ultrasonography of nonhuman primates at BSL2 and BSL3
  • Fluoroscopy of nonhuman primates at BSL2 and BSL3

Shared Resources

Tulane National Primate Research Center (TNPRC) primate colony, genetics core, and animal allocation: The breeding colonies of the TNPRC provide access to NHPs to core investigators and affiliate investigators for use in research. The census of the TNPRC colonyis comprised primarily of M. mulatta, A genetics core within the TNPRC houses pedigree information many animals is cases where genetic relationships are important to research outcomes.

In addition, all of the colony animals available for research are classified as SPF. Access to the TNPRC colony animals, managed through a TNPRC-based allocation committee, are a valuable potential resource for research projects performed within the RBL.​

Content last reviewed on November 17, 2017