Secure Insectary Experimental Methods Course

28 June - 2 July
The Pirbright Institute, UK

Secure Insectary Experimental Methods Course

This 5-day theoretical and practical course will provide a necessary background to successfully plan, design, and conduct insect infection studies with BSL2 and BSL3 pathogens. The course is aimed at early career scientists, and/or applicants looking to strengthen their research capacity in this area. No prior entomology experience is required. To get the full value from the course, prior experience in working with human/animal pathogens in biological containment laboratories is an advantage, but contact the organisers for more details if unsure.

The course will take place at The Pirbright Institute, an international centre of scientific excellence in the study of viral livestock and zoonotic (transmitted from animals to humans) diseases located in Pirbright, Woking, UK. The practical modules of the course will take place within the high containment laboratories of the state-of-the-art Plowright Building. Prior to the commencement of the course, these laboratories will be decontaminated and externalised to allow safe access to all course attendants. No infectious biological agents will be handled during the course.

Theoretical modules will include:

  • Legal framework for working with insects in biological containment laboratories (including national considerations);
  • Principles of risk assessment;
  • Facility design and operation;
  • Good experimental design.

Practical modules will include:

  • Insect rearing in dedicated non-contained insectary and in biological containment laboratories;
  • Insect infection in three distinctive laboratory setups: (1) on bench, (2) using a minimum extraction glove box, (3) and using a class III biological safety cabinet;
  • Sample collection, processing and interpretation of results.