BSL-3 Aerosol Challenge Studies



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BSL-3 Aerosol Challenge Studies


IITRI’s BSL-3 / ABSL-3 aerobiology lab includes an aerosol generation apparatus for aerosol challenge studies with BSL-3 pathogens, select agents or toxins (bioaerosols). Conducting aerosol challenge studies in a high-containment environment evaluates medical countermeasures (MCMs) against aerosol-delivered infectious disease bioterrorism agents such as anthrax, F. tularensis, or Y. pestis, or for evaluation of treatments or vaccines towards aerosol-transmitted emerging diseases such as VEE, WEE, M. tuberculosis, and high-path influenza.

Aerosol generation systems for biological solutions (bacterial and viral cultures, proteins) must be designed to minimize destruction of bacterial and viral solutions, which are sensitive to the shear stress that is generated by aerosolization systems. IITRI utilizes a proprietary aerosol generation system that is comprised of six PARI LC plus nebulizers operated at lower pressures to minimize damage to microorganisms or biomolecules, and a 64-port nose-only exposure chamber through which supply and exhaust air are controlled by regulators and flow meters.


IITRI Inhalation System Feature Advantage
Lower pressures for bioaerosol generation Higher bacterial and viral survival rates


Shorter exposure times, higher spray factors

Nose only administration (rodents, rabbits) Provides localized and quantifiable administration of test agent
Head-only administration (NHPs) Quantifiable administration of test article along with real-time plethysmography
64-port inhalation exposure chamber Allows testing a larger number of animals at once


Reduces number of exposure runs and decreases variability in the study

Efficient aerosol generation mechanism Eliminates the need for concentration steps prior to aerosol generation
Reduced foaming incidence Eliminates the need for surfactants that weaken bacterial cell walls
Animal models Rodent, Rabbit, Non-human primate (NHP)

Contact us to learn more about our biocontainment and bioaerosol capabilities.