The Institute for Antiviral Research (IAR) is located at Utah State University (USU) in Logan, Utah. The IAR has laboratories located in three buildings within close proximity: the Veterinary Sciences Building (VSB), the Laboratory Animal Research Center (LARC), and the USTAR Bioinnovations Building (USTAR). In addition, the IAR has state-of-the-art animal (A)BSL-2 and ABSL-3+ and standard BSL-2 and BSL-3+ laboratories at the BioInnovations 650 Building (BIOV 650).
In Vitro Facilities
The IAR has five BSL-2 research laboratories in VSB, one central cell culture laboratory (Figure 5-3) in VSB. In addition, the IAR has one glassware preparation/washroom area (96 sq. ft.). A BSL-1 drug/chemical preparation and storage laboratory (VSB 319) is centrally located on the third floor of VSB to support the main BSL-2 and BSL-3 laboratories where most in vitro testing is performed. In the LARC, the IAR occupies one Select Agent approved, ABSL-3+ suite consisting primarily of a virology lab for in vitro testing and space for an animal holding racks to support in vivo studies as needed. There is one ABSL-2 suite consisting of three animal rooms and one research laboratory, and one ABSL-3 suite consisting of four animal rooms and one large research laboratory for in vitro work. The animal suites can also be used to conduct in vitro studies as needed. The IAR also has Select Agent approved, ABSL-3+ laboratories in the USTAR facility well suited to conduct in vitro studies when the BSL-3+ facility in the LARC is undergoing annual maintenance and recertification. This provides for a continuous workflow despite necessary shutdowns to BSL-3+ facilities. The IAR has an additional BSL-2 laboratory equipped for in vitro testing at the USTAR facility.
In Vivo Facilities
In the LARC, the IAR occupies one ABSL-3 suite consisting of five animal rooms and one research laboratory. It also has one ABSL-2 suite of consisting of four animal rooms and one research laboratory. In addition, the IAR shares one surgery suite (LARC 147) which is used to do electrophysiology and neurology studies. The IAR also has one select agent approved BSL3/ABSL-3+ suite consisting of an animal room and support laboratory (LARC 146). In the CIB, the IAR has one BSL-2 research bay.
At the BIOV 650 building near the USU campus, the IAR has been allocated BSL-2/ABSL-2 and BSL-3+/ABSL-3+ facilities with the latter specifically built to house IAR research requiring select agent-approved high containment facilities.
All cage maintenance, feed storage, and animal disposal areas are maintained by the USU vivarium personnel. The BIOV 650 and LARC facilities are under the direction of the BIOV/LARC director, Dr. Aaron Olsen (the attending veterinarian) and under the direct supervision of the BIOV/LARC manager, Lisa DeSoi. The vivarium technicians assigned have a combined 20+ years of experience with animal procedures. They are trained according to the BIOV/LARC procedure manual, certified by USU’s Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) and the BIOV/LARC manager, and perform general animal care and support procedures, with annual refresher training.
The LARC has one washroom facility. This 722 sq. ft. space has one rack washer and one tunnel washer. Adjacent to the wash area is a clean cage storage area of 1,075 sq. ft. Although not located within the wash area, the LARC has two autoclaves that may be used either for cage and material decontamination or sterilization.
The BIOV 650 facility has a 4,500 sq. ft. wash area divided into clean and dirty sides. The facility has one rack washer and one tunnel washer, as well as bedding disposal and bedding dispensing equipment. The wash area has two autoclaves: a floor mounted unit on the dirty side used primarily for decontamination of BSL-2 materials, and a bulk pit mounted unit on the clean side used primarily for sterilizing rodent cages and materials.
The Veterinary Science and Biology Building (VSB)