Galveston National Laboratory

Galveston, TX, United States

Galveston National Laboratory

Galveston, TX, United States
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PubMed | National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Galveston National Laboratory and University of Texas Medical Branch
Type: | Journal: Scientific reports | Year: 2016

Tick-borne viruses include medically important zoonotic pathogens that can cause life-threatening diseases. Unlike mosquito-borne viruses, whose impact can be restrained via mosquito population control programs, for tick-borne viruses only vaccination remains the reliable means of disease prevention. For live vaccine viruses a concern exists, that spillovers from viremic vaccinees could result in introduction of genetically modified viruses into sustainable tick-vertebrate host transmission cycle in nature. To restrict tick-borne flavivirus (Langat virus, LGTV) vector tropism, we inserted target sequences for tick-specific microRNAs (mir-1, mir-275 and mir-279) individually or in combination into several distant regions of LGTV genome. This caused selective attenuation of viral replication in tick-derived cells. LGTV expressing combinations of target sequences for tick- and vertebrate CNS-specific miRNAs were developed. The resulting viruses replicated efficiently and remained stable in simian Vero cells, which do not express these miRNAs, however were severely restricted to replicate in tick-derived cells. In addition, simultaneous dual miRNA targeting led to silencing of virus replication in live Ixodes ricinus ticks and abolished virus neurotropism in highly permissive newborn mice. The concurrent restriction of adverse replication events in vertebrate and invertebrate hosts will, therefore, ensure the environmental safety of live tick-borne virus vaccine candidates.

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif., Feb. 23, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- TOMI™ Environmental Solutions, Inc. (TOMI) (OTCQX:TOMZ), a global bacteria decontamination and infection prevention company, and its board of directors announced the formation and approval of  TOMI’s scientific advisory board. “We are honored William, Miguel and Helene – experts in intellectual property law, biosafety and infection prevention, respectively – have agreed to join our scientific advisory board,” stated Dr. Halden Shane, TOMI’s Chief Executive Officer. “We believe their support validates TOMI’s groundbreaking SteraMist™, and their guidance will help TOMI in "Innovating for a Safer World.” The team is charged with constructively challenging management to help develop strategy; ensuring the necessary resources are in place to enable us to achieve objectives in scientific research and development; and monitoring technological and regulatory trends that could impact our business as well as our performance against our goals. We believe their insight will be invaluable.” William M. Brown, PhD, MBA, JD William M. Brown, PhD, MBA, JD is a consultant and advisor to a series of biotech and life sciences companies. Dr. Brown is a seasoned attorney in intellectual property with deep experience in healthcare-related matters. He is licensed to practice law in several states and is a registered patent attorney. His consulting experience includes intellectual property portfolio management, clinical trial contracts, and patent/business development matters. He holds a PhD from the University of Southampton, England, an MBA from Fairleigh Dickinson University, and a JD from New York Law School. Dr. Brown conducted postdoctoral research at Harvard, Johnson & Johnson, NIH, and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Miguel A. Grimaldo, MEng Miguel A. Grimaldo, MEng is an Assistant Professor for the Department of Pathology, Director of Institutional Biocontainment Resources at the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) and the Director of the Biocontainment Engineering Division for the Galveston National Laboratory. His responsibilities include the review of all design, construction, commissioning and operation of High and Maximum containment laboratories as well as to ensure regulatory compliance and to conduct ongoing evaluation and recertification on all critical containment features, equipment and operations for Biosafety Level 3 (BSL‐3), Animal Biosafety Level 3 (ABSL3) and Biosafety Level 4 (BSL4) laboratory facilities at UTMB. He is also a member of the UTMB Institutional Biosafety Committee. He has served as Committee Member for development of the ANSI Z9.14‐2014 Standard ‐ Testing and Performance‐Verification Methodologies for Ventilation Systems for Biosafety Level 3 (BSL‐3) and Animal Biosafety Level 3 (ABSL‐3) facilities as well as for the 2016 Edition of the National Institute of Health (NIH) ‐ Design Requirements Manual (DRM) for Biomedical Laboratories and Animal Research Facilities. Miguel routinely serves as Biocontainment Advisor for containment laboratories nationally and internationally on design, construction and operations and also routinely contributes to a technical column in the American Biological Safety Association (ABSA) journal, Applied Biosafety entitled, “Containment Talk”. Mr. Grimaldo obtained his Masters of Engineering from the University of Louisville and Bachelor of Science degrees in Agricultural Engineering and Agricultural Economics from Texas A&M University. Dr. Helene Paxton, MS, MT(ASCP), PhD, CIC Dr. Helene Paxton, MS, MT(ASCP), PhD, CIC, is an Infection Preventionist, owner of Bio Guidance, LLC, adjunct biology professor at Rowan University and Director of Infection Prevention at Saint Francis Healthcare. She is Infection Control Certified (CIC), board certified as an International Medical Laboratory Scientist and holds a PhD in Epidemiology. Dr. Paxton has 40 plus years’ experience in medical devices and infectious disease consulting. Dr. Paxton obtained her PhD from Kennedy Western University and her MS from Bowling Green State University. Scientific Advisory Board Provisions and criteria have been set in the company's bylaws and scientific advisory board charter. TOMI’s scientific advisory board will always observe in the letter and spirit the duties, rights and role as a member of the company's board as stipulated in the relevant listing standards. About TOMI™ Environmental Solutions, Inc. TOMI™ Environmental Solutions, Inc. (OTCQX:TOMZ) is a global bacteria decontamination and infectious disease control company, providing eco-friendly environmental solutions for indoor surface disinfection through manufacturing, sales and licensing of its premier platform of Hydrogen Peroxide based product that uses Binary Ionization Technology® (BIT™) , a state of the art technology for the production of its Activated Ionized Hydrogen Peroxide mist represented by the TOMI™ SteraMist™ brand. TOMI’s products are designed to service a broad spectrum of commercial structures including hospitals and medical facilities, cruise ships, office buildings, hotel and motel rooms, schools, restaurants, for non-food safety in meat and produce processing facilities, military barracks, and athletic facilities. TOMI’s products and services have also been used in single-family homes and multi-unit residences. TOMI also develops training programs and application protocols for its clients and is a member in good standing with The American Biological Safety Association, The American Association of Tissue Banks, Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology, Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America, The Restoration Industry Association, Indoor Air Quality Association, and The International Ozone Association. For additional product information, visit or contact us at Safe Harbor Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 Certain written and oral statements made by us may constitute “forward-looking statements” as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 (the “Reform Act”). Forward-looking statements are identified by such words and phrases as “we expect,” “expected to,” “estimates,” “estimated,” “current outlook,” “we look forward to,” “would equate to,” “projects,” “projections,” “projected to be,” “anticipates,” “anticipated,” “we believe,” “could be,” and other similar phrases. All statements addressing operating performance, events, or developments that we expect or anticipate will occur in the future, including statements relating to revenue growth, earnings, earnings-per-share growth, or similar projections, are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Reform Act. They are forward-looking, and they should be evaluated in light of important risk factors that could cause our actual results to differ materially from our anticipated results. The information provided in this document is based upon the facts and circumstances known at this time. We undertake no obligation to update these forward-looking statements after the date of this release.

News Article | February 15, 2017

According to a study published Jan. 30 in Journal of Human Lactation, donor human milk processed at non-profit milk banks is safe from Ebola and Marburg viruses. The article “Ebola Virus and Marburg Virus in Human Milk Are Inactivated by Holder Pasteurization” states that Holder pasteurization inactivates the viruses, and no further screening is needed to ensure the safety of donor human milk (DHM) for high-risk infants. Staff at Mothers’ Milk Bank of North Texas (MMBNT) began research on breast milk safety and Ebola in the fall of 2014, after the first case of Ebola in the United States appeared in Dallas. Staff screens potential milk donors using interviews, travel and medical history, physician clearance and blood testing to eliminate sick or unqualified donors, but minimal research exists regarding the safety of breast milk exposed to Ebola. “Although the presence of Ebola in a breastfeeding mother would be extremely unlikely, safety for the fragile babies we serve is our top priority and we know that as a body fluid, breast milk is vulnerable,” Amy Vickers, Executive Director of MMBNT, said. Vickers and MMBNT Medical Director Erin Hamilton-Spence, M.D., joined researchers from University of Texas Medical Branch and Galveston National Laboratory, both located in Galveston, Texas, to conduct the study. Researchers inoculated DHM samples with Ebola and Marburg viruses and processed them using Holder pasteurization. They found no traces of either virus in the samples after pasteurization. “We needed this research on Ebola and Marburg viruses in breast milk to ensure the safety of the donor human milk pool, in North America, and around the world,” Hamilton-Spence said. “I am grateful we had the opportunity to conduct this research, and affirm the safety of DHM processed in this way, no matter where the patients call home.” Holder pasteurization is used in all non-profit milk banks governed by the Human Milk Banking Association of North America (HMBANA). This method heats DHM to 62.5 degrees Celsius for 30 minutes while placed in a water bath, which kills harmful bacteria and makes it safe for consumption. DHM is the standard of care for premature and critically ill infants when their own mothers’ milk is not available. Mothers donate breast milk they produce in excess of their own babies’ needs to HMBANA milk banks, where DHM is then processed, pasteurized and sent to hospital neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) and outpatients in need. About Mothers' Milk Bank of North Texas Located in Fort Worth's medical district at 600 West Magnolia Avenue, Mothers' Milk Bank of North Texas (MMBNT) is a non-profit organization founded in 2004 to provide premature and critically ill infants with donor human milk when their own mother's milk isn't available. Thanks to the generous donations of more than 6000 mothers, more than 3 million ounces of donated breast milk has been dispensed to thousands of babies who need it most. To donate breast milk, please email moms(at) or call 817.810.0071. Learn more about milk banking at

Ursic-Bedoya R.,Tekmira Pharmaceuticals | Mire C.E.,Galveston National Laboratory | Mire C.E.,University of Texas Medical Branch | Robbins M.,Tekmira Pharmaceuticals | And 6 more authors.
Journal of Infectious Diseases | Year: 2014

Background. Marburg virus (MARV) infection causes severe morbidity and mortality in humans and nonhuman primates. Currently, there are no licensed therapeutics available for treating MARV infection. Here, we present the in vitro development and in vivo evaluation of lipid-encapsulated small interfering RNA (siRNA) as a potential therapeutic for the treatment of MARV infection.Methods. The activity of anti-MARV siRNAs was assessed using dual luciferase reporter assays followed by in vitro testing against live virus. Lead candidates were tested in lethal guinea pig models of 3 different MARV strains (Angola, Ci67, Ravn).Results. Treatment resulted in 60%-100% survival of guinea pigs infected with MARV. Although treatment with siRNA targeting other MARV messenger RNA (mRNA) had a beneficial effect, targeting the MARV NP mRNA resulted in the highest survival rates. NP-718m siRNA in lipid nanoparticles provided 100% protection against MARV strains Angola and Ci67, and 60% against Ravn. A cocktail containing NP-718m and NP-143m provided 100% protection against MARV Ravn.Conclusions. These data show protective efficacy against the most pathogenic Angola strain of MARV. Further development of the lipid nanoparticle technology has the potential to yield effective treatments for MARV infection. © 2013 The Author.

Flyak A.I.,Vanderbilt University | Ilinykh P.A.,University of Texas Medical Branch | Ilinykh P.A.,Galveston National Laboratory | Murin C.D.,Scripps Research Institute | And 18 more authors.
Cell | Year: 2015

The mechanisms by which neutralizing antibodies inhibit Marburg virus (MARV) are not known. We isolated a panel of neutralizing antibodies from a human MARV survivor that bind to MARV glycoprotein (GP) and compete for binding to a single major antigenic site. Remarkably, several of the antibodies also bind to Ebola virus (EBOV) GP. Single-particle EM structures of antibody-GP complexes reveal that all of the neutralizing antibodies bind to MARV GP at or near the predicted region of the receptor-binding site. The presence of the glycan cap or mucin-like domain blocks binding of neutralizing antibodies to EBOV GP, but not to MARV GP. The data suggest that MARV-neutralizing antibodies inhibit virus by binding to infectious virions at the exposed MARV receptor-binding site, revealing a mechanism of filovirus inhibition. © 2015 Elsevier Inc.

Shavkunov A.,University of Texas Medical Branch | Panova N.,University of Texas Medical Branch | Prasai A.,University of Texas Medical Branch | Veselenak R.,University of Texas Medical Branch | And 5 more authors.
Assay and Drug Development Technologies | Year: 2012

Protein-protein interactions are critical molecular determinants of ion channel function and emerging targets for pharmacological interventions. Yet, current methodologies for the rapid detection of ion channel macromolecular complexes are still lacking. In this study we have adapted a split-luciferase complementation assay (LCA) for detecting the assembly of the voltage-gated Na + (Nav) channel C-tail and the intracellular fibroblast growth factor 14 (FGF14), a functionally relevant component of the Nav channelosome that controls gating and targeting of Nav channels through direct interaction with the channel C-tail. In the LCA, two complementary N-terminus and C-terminus fragments of the firefly luciferase were fused, respectively, to a chimera of the CD4 transmembrane segment and the C-tail of Nav1.6 channel (CD4-Nav1.6-NLuc) or FGF14 (CLuc-FGF14). Co-expression of CLuc-FGF14 and CD4-Nav1.6-NLuc in live cells led to a robust assembly of the FGF14:Nav1.6 C-tail complex, which was attenuated by introducing single-point mutations at the predicted FGF14:Nav channel interface. To evaluate the dynamic regulation of the FGF14:Nav1.6 C-tail complex by signaling pathways, we investigated the effect of kinase inhibitors on the complex formation. Through a platform of counter screenings, we show that the p38/MAPK inhibitor, PD169316, and the IκB kinase inhibitor, BAY 11-7082, reduce the FGF14:Nav1.6 C-tail complementation, highlighting a potential role of the p38MAPK and the IκB/NFκB pathways in controlling neuronal excitability through protein-protein interactions. We envision the methodology presented here as a new valuable tool to allow functional evaluations of protein-channel complexes toward probe development and drug discovery targeting ion channels implicated in human disorders. © Copyright 2012, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.

PubMed | Scripps Research Institute, Vanderbilt University, University of Texas Medical Branch, Integral Molecular and Galveston National Laboratory
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Cell | Year: 2016

Recent studies have suggested that antibody-mediated protection against the Ebolaviruses may be achievable, but little is known about whether or not antibodies can confer cross-reactive protection against viruses belonging to diverse Ebolavirus species, such as Ebola virus (EBOV), Sudan virus (SUDV), and Bundibugyo virus (BDBV). We isolated a large panel of human monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) against BDBV glycoprotein (GP) using peripheral blood B cells from survivors of the 2007 BDBV outbreak in Uganda. We determined that a large proportion of mAbs with potent neutralizing activity against BDBV bind to the glycan cap and recognize diverse epitopes within this major antigenic site. We identified several glycan cap-specific mAbs that neutralized multiple ebolaviruses, including SUDV, and a cross-reactive mAb that completely protected guinea pigs from the lethal challenge with heterologous EBOV. Our results provide a roadmap to develop a single antibody-based treatment effective against multiple Ebolavirus infections.

Thangamani S.,Galveston National Laboratory | Bente D.,Galveston National Laboratory
Pathogens and disease | Year: 2014

Tick-borne diseases continue to emerge and have a great impact on public health and agriculture. In addition, many of the agents of tick-borne diseases, which are classified as Biosafety Level 4 (BSL-4) viruses, have the potential to be used as biothreat agents. In spite of the known importance of these pathogens, there is an acute shortage of facilities and trained personnel to study the pathogenesis of tick-borne diseases and to assess vaccine as well as other therapeutic interventions against tick-borne diseases as they are transmitted in nature. We, at the Galveston National Laboratory, have developed facilities and protocols to safely work with BSL4 virus-infected ticks. This capability adds tremendous value to the Nation's training and research endeavors. In this report we describe the procedures and protocols to establish tick work in a BSL4 laboratory. © 2014 Federation of European Microbiological Societies. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. All rights reserved.

Madani T.A.,King Abdulaziz University | Azhar E.I.,King Abdulaziz University | Abuelzein E.T.M.E.,King Abdulaziz University | Kao M.,King Abdulaziz University | And 4 more authors.
Journal of Infection | Year: 2011

Objective: After its first appearance in Alkhumra district of Jeddah in 1994-1995, and then in Makkah in 2001-2003, the new hemorrhagic fever virus, known as Alkhumra (misnamed as Alkhu. rma) virus (ALKV), has subsequently been reported from Najran, in the south border of Saudi Arabia. Methods: This is a descriptive cohort study summarizing the epidemiological, clinical, and laboratory characteristics of ALKV infected patients diagnosed in Najran from 1 August 2003 through 31 December 2009. Results: A total of 148 suspected cases were reported, of which 78 (52.7%) cases were laboratory confirmed; 2 cases in 2003, 1 case in 2004, 4 cases in 2005, 1 case in 2007, 12 cases in 2008, and 58 cases in 2009. The cases were reported year round but 64.1% (50/78) of them occurred in the summer time. Twenty-five (32.1%) cases occurred as clusters in 5 families. The virus seemed to be transmitted from livestock animals to humans by direct contact with these animals and likely by mosquito bites. Ticks did not seem to be involved in the transmission of infection from animals to humans. Clinical and laboratory features included fever (100%), headache (85.9%), malaise (85.9%), arthralgia (83.3%), anorexia (82.1%), myalgia (82.1%), backache (71.8%), nausea and vomiting (71.8%), chills (60.3%), retro-orbital pain (55.1%), diarrhea (51.3%), abdominal pain (48.7%), hemorrhagic manifestations (25.6%), central nervous system manifestations (23.1%), leucopenia (87.7%), elevated liver enzymes (85.7%), prolonged partial thromboplastin time (52.6%), thrombocytopenia (46.2%), elevated creatine kinase level (45.7%), and elevated lactate dehydrogenase (25.0%). Conclusion: ALKV infection has now been recognized outside its original boundaries in Saudi Arabia which may herald its identification in other countries. © 2010 The British Infection Association.

Chatuev B.M.,Galveston National Laboratory | Peterson J.W.,Galveston National Laboratory
Journal of Hospital Infection | Year: 2010

Routine surface decontamination is an essential hospital and laboratory procedure, but the list of effective, noncorrosive disinfectants that kill spores is limited. We investigated the sporicidal potential of an aqueous chlorine dioxide solution and encountered some unanticipated problems. Quantitative bacteriological culture methods were used to determine the log10 reduction of Bacillus anthracis (Sterne strain) spores following 3 min exposure to various concentrations of aqueous chlorine dioxide solutions at room temperature in sealed tubes, as well as spraying onto plastic and stainless steel surfaces in a biological safety cabinet. Serial 10-fold dilutions of the treated spores were then plated on 5% sheep blood agar plates, and the survivor colonies were enumerated. Disinfection of spore suspensions with aqueous chlorine dioxide solution in sealed microfuge tubes was highly effective, reducing the viable spore counts by 8 log10 in only 3 min. By contrast, the process of spraying or spreading the disinfectant onto surfaces resulted in only a 1 log10 kill because the chlorine dioxide gas was rapidly vaporised from the solutions. Full potency of the sprayed aqueous chlorine dioxide solution was restored by preparing the chlorine dioxide solution in 5% bleach (0.3% sodium hypochlorite). The volatility of chlorine dioxide can cause treatment failures that constitute a serious hazard for unsuspecting users. Supplementation of the chlorine dioxide solution with 5% bleach (0.3% sodium hypochlorite) restored full potency and increased stability for one week. © 2009 The Hospital Infection Society.

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