Skip to main content
ARS Home » Research » Research Project #440752

Research Project: Quantitative Analysis of the Fomite Transport Risk Reduction Provided by Shower Out Practices in Various Containment Settings

Location: Zoonotic and Emerging Disease Research

Project Number: 3022-32000-021-002-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Sep 15, 2021
End Date: Sep 14, 2024

Various U.S. interagency reports, International groups and among biosafety professionals recognize that the scientific foundation to inform laboratory biological risk management has evidence gaps, and that filling these gaps is critically needed to ensure that biosafety and biosecurity policies are based on the best available science. One key aspect in any biorisk management system is the engineering elements of biocontainment, and in particular, the type and usage of barrier devices. On gap that has been identified is the effectiveness of showering on exit of biocontainment space to reduce fomite transport risks. Research is needed to inform risk assessments to determine (1) the need and efficacy of an exit shower, and (2) whether the shower water waste needs secondary decontamination (e.g. tied into a building effluent decontamination system). Determining evidence for the efficacy of exit shower in various scenarios would not only enable scientific validation of the risk assessments, but could improve consistent, evidence-based practices worldwide additionally, conducting cooperative applied biosafety research could further develop key partnerships with leading laboratories in biorisk management research across the animal and public health spectrum.

Cooperator will conduct research to determine the risk of fomite transmission post-shower assessing shower out practices utilized at multiple biocontainment levels (BSL-3, ABSL-3, ABSL-3Ag, BSL-4 and ABSL-4 Ag) for specific pathogens of interest or surrogates. Specific questions to address could include: • What is the residual risk of fomite on staff leaving the ABSL-3 Ag animal facility (1st body shower) and determine the need and risks which drive the requirement for subsequent fomite reduction on body shower at the containment/non-containment boundary? • What is the residual risk of fomites on individuals after doffing a fully encapsulated suit post exit chemical decon shower from a BSL-4 environment? • What is the residual risk of fomites on staff working in BSL-3 and ABSL-3 facilities upon exit using typical exit procedures? o Doffing PPE (cognizant of fail points of common usage PPE), Washing hands, and exit. o Doffing PPE (cognizant of fail points of common usage PPE), shower out, and exit. • Assess residual risk of shower decon water to determine the need for subsequent treatment (E.g. EDS system). • Assess various body shower procedures to determine optimal reduction of contamination.