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Comparative Medicine

Animal Health Surveillance

A health surveillance program is important not only to avoid clinical morbidity and mortality of unique animals but also to minimize the possible impact on research results.

Many of the infectious agents excluded in today’s modern vivarium cause no obvious clinical disease in normal immunocompetent animals. However, those can certainly affect numerous physiological mechanisms and behavioral responses in vivo resulting in data variations and possible misinterpretation of study results.

Mice and rats housed in FAU’s centralized facilities are specific pathogen-free (SPF). A pathogen exclusion list, each for mice and rats, defines our SPF status to ensure data integrity and reproducibility.

Mechanisms to avoid contamination of precious rodent colonies with unwanted microbial agents include but are not limited to:
  1. Ordering from approved vendors
  2. Quarantine of animals from non-approved sources (i.e. import from other institutions)
  3. Reducing risks of exposure to infectious agents.
  4. Classification of facilities/rooms to reflect differing practices of containment.
Many best practice processes have been implemented and are regularly updated to reduce risks. These include amongst others restricted access to animal facilities, specific PPE, state of the art procedures for housing, feeding, watering and cage changing, limited movement of animals, pest control program(s), effective sanitation.

 Last Modified 10/17/17