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Challenging the gold standard: alternatives to the collison for aerosol generation in research

Bowling, Jennifer (2016) Challenging the gold standard: alternatives to the collison for aerosol generation in research. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Animal studies to demonstrate efficacy of medical countermeasures against respiratory disease or biodefense threats require exposure of animals to aerosolized viruses and bacteria. Prior studies have shown that the choice of culture media and relative humidity in the aerosol chamber can impact the dose of infectious agent delivered to animals. Most infectious aerosol studies have involved the use of Collison jet nebulizers which create a small, relatively monodisperse aerosol that targets the deep lung. Collison nebulizers require a relatively large volume of infectious agent and the jets that create the aerosol may damage the agent being aerosolized. Damage resulting from the nebulizer can impact agent infectivity and virulence as well as study reproducibility. We compared the Blaustein Atomizing Module (BLAM) and the Aeroneb, a vibrating-mesh nebulizer, to the existing ‘gold standard’ Collison nebulizer for generation of small particle aerosols containing either a bacterium, F. tularensis, or a virus, influenza or Rift Valley Fever Virus (RVFV) in different exposure chambers. Aerosol performance was assessed by comparing the spray factor (the ratio between the aerosol concentration of an agent and the concentration of the agent in the nebulizer), the reduction in pathogen viability, and the aerosol efficiency (the ratio of the actual aerosol concentration to the theoretical aerosol concentration. In the NOT, the Collison had superior aerosol performance compared to the BLAM and the Aeroneb, while the Aeroneb had superior aerosol performance comparted to the Collison in the whole-body and head-only chambers. Regression analysis revealed increased humidity was associated with improved aerosol performance of F. tularensis, but no environmental factors were associated with improved aerosol performance of influenza or RVFV. This data demonstrates that there is no ‘one size fits all’ choice for aerosol generators, and that further characterization of aerosol generators and factors that affect aerosol performance are needed to improve selection of aerosol equipment. The public health significance of this research is to contribute to the characterization of available aerosol generators to optimize aerosol experiments for a more robust experimental design for developing animal models of respiratory infections and developing therapeutics and vaccines against potential biological weapons.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Bowling, Jenniferjeb263@pitt.eduJEB2630000-0002-1432-0211
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairReed, Douglas Sdsreed@pitt.eduDSREED
Committee MemberMailliard, Robbie B.rbm19@pitt.eduRBM19
Committee MemberMartinson, Jeremy Jjmartins@pitt.eduJMARTINS
Date: 29 June 2016
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 13 April 2016
Approval Date: 29 June 2016
Submission Date: 31 March 2016
Access Restriction: 1 year -- Restrict access to University of Pittsburgh for a period of 1 year.
Number of Pages: 92
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Public Health > Infectious Diseases and Microbiology
Degree: MPH - Master of Public Health
Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Aerosol generator, respiratory transmission, influenza, Francisella, Rift Valley Fever Virus
Date Deposited: 29 Jun 2016 19:47
Last Modified: 01 May 2017 05:15


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