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Fall River, MA, United States

Parkinson C.M.,Research Animal Diagnostic Services
Journal of visualized experiments : JoVE | Year: 2011

Internal and external parasites remain a significant concern in laboratory rodent facilities, and many research facilities harbor some parasitized animals. Before embarking on an examination of animals for parasites, two things should be considered. One: what use will be made of the information collected, and two: which test is the most appropriate. Knowing that animals are parasitized may be something that the facility accepts, but there is often a need to treat animals and then to determine the efficacy of treatment. Parasites may be detected in animals through various techniques, including samples taken from live or euthanized animals. Historically, the tests with the greatest diagnostic sensitivity required euthanasia of the animal, although PCR has allowed high-sensitivity testing for several types of parasite. This article demonstrates procedures for the detection of endo- and ectoparasites in mice and rats. The same procedures are applicable to other rodents, although the species of parasites found will differ.

Jensen E.S.,Medical College of Wisconsin | Allen K.P.,Medical College of Wisconsin | Henderson K.S.,Research Animal Diagnostic Services | Szabo A.,Medical College of Wisconsin | Thulin J.D.,Medical College of Wisconsin
Journal of the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science | Year: 2013

Rodents housed in microisolation caging are commonly monitored for infectious agents by the use of soiled bedding sentinels. This strategy relies on the successful transmission of rodent pathogens from the index rodents via soiled bedding to sentinel cages and the subsequent infection or colonization of sentinel rodents. When the prevalence of a pathogen is low or the target agent is not readily transmitted by soiled bedding, alternative testing methodologies should be used. Given the continued prevalence of institutions self-reporting murine fur mites and with the advent of a new sensitive and specific PCR assay for mites, we sought to determine whether the exhaust system of an individual ventilated caging (IVC) system could be used for monitoring the rack's rodent population for mites rather than relying on the responses of sentinels. We deployed single cages of mice (Mus musculus) that were known to be infested with either Radfordia affinis or Myobia musculi on a 70-cage rack, sampled the horizontal exhaust manifolds weekly, and used the new PCR assay to test these samples for mite DNA. We detected the presence of fur mites at a 94.1% probability of detection within 4 wk of placement. Therefore, we recommend swabbing and testing the shelf exhaust manifolds of IVC racks rather than relying on soiled-bedding sentinels as an indicator of the mite status of the rodents on that rack. Copyright 2013 by the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science.

Ravindran R.,University of California at Davis | Krishnan V.V.,University of California at Davis | Krishnan V.V.,California State University, Fresno | Dhawan R.,Research Animal Diagnostic Services | And 5 more authors.
Journal of Medical Primatology | Year: 2014

Background: Tuberculosis (TB) in non-human primates (NHPs) is highly contagious, requiring efficient identification of animals infected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Tuberculin skin test is usually used but lacks desirable sensitivity/specificity and efficiency. Methods: We aimed to develop an immunoassay for plasma antibodies against M. tuberculosis. A key challenge is that not all infected animals contain antibodies against the same M. tuberculosis antigen. Therefore, a multiplex panel of 28 antigens (Luminex®-Platform) was developed. Results: Data revealed antibodies against eight antigens (Rv3875, Rv3875-Rv3874 fusion, Rv3874, Rv0934, Rv3881, Rv1886c, Rv2031, Rv3841) in experimentally infected (M. tuberculosis strains: Erdman and H37Rv) NHPs (rhesus and cynomolgus macaques). In a naturally acquired M. tuberculosis infection, rhesus macaques (n = 15) with lung TB pathology (n = 10) contained antibodies to five additional antigens (Rv0831, Rv2220, Rv0054, Rv1099, and Rv0129c). Conclusions: Results suggest that this user-friendly and easily implementable multiplex panel, containing 13 M. tuberculosis antigens, may provide a high-throughput alternative for NHP TB screening. © 2014 The Authors. Journal of Medical Primatology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

Rice K.A.,U.S. National Institutes of Health | Albacarys L.K.,Research Animal Resources | Perkins C.,Research Animal Diagnostic Services | Henderson K.S.,Research Animal Diagnostic Services
Journal of the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science | Year: 2013

Detecting and controlling murine fur mites continues to be challenging. Here we compared the efficacy of fur-pluck, cage PCR, and fur PCR testing of mice naturally infested with Myocoptes musculinus and make recommendations regarding the application of these diagnostic strategies in aged or treated mice. We compared all 3 diagnostic methods in groups of infested and noninfested control mice over time. For fur plucks, we used a scoring system to quantitatively compare mite infestations across ages. Mice that were 4 wk old had higher egg and mite scores than did older mice, with average scores at 4 wk corresponding to 40 to 100 individual fur mites and eggs per sample. Furthermore, 15% and 20% of samples from infested mice at 24 and 28 wk of age, respectively, lacked all fur mites and eggs. Cage PCR results varied as mice grew older. Fur PCR testing was the most sensitive and specific assay in untreated infested mice, particularly when mite densities were low. In addition, we compared fur-pluck and fur PCR tests for evaluating the efficacy of selamectin treatment. Two treatments with selamectin eliminated Myocoptes fur-mite infestations. At 8 wk after treatment, all fur-pluck samples were negative, but one-third of treated infested cages remained positive by fur PCR assay; at 16 wk after treatment, all cages were negative by fur PCR assay. Because offspring of infested mice were invariably heavily infested, breeding of suspected infested mice with subsequent testing of offspring was the definitive testing strategy when fur-pluck and PCR results conflicted. Copyright 2013 by the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science.

Parkinson C.M.,Research Animal Diagnostic Services | O'Brien A.,Research Animal Diagnostic Services | Albers T.M.,Research Animal Diagnostic Services | Simon M.A.,Research Animal Diagnostic Services | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Visualized Experiments | Year: 2011

There are multiple sample types that may be collected from a euthanized animal in order to help diagnose or discover infectious agents in an animal colony. Proper collection of tissues for further histological processing can impact the quality of testing results. This article describes the conduct of a basic gross examination including identification of heart, liver, lungs, kidneys, and spleen, as well as how to collect those organs. Additionally four of the more difficult tissue/sample collection techniques are demonstrated. Lung collection and perfusion can be particularly challenging as the tissue needs to be properly inflated with a fixative in order for inside of the tissue to fix properly and to enable thorough histologic evaluation. This article demonstrates the step by step technique to remove the lung and inflate it with fixative in order to achieve optimal fixation of the tissue within 24 hours. Brain collection can be similarly challenging as the tissue is soft and easily damaged. This article demonstrates the step by step technique to expose and remove the brain from the skull with minimal damage to the tissue. The mesenteric lymph node is a good sample type in which to detect many common infectious agents as enteric viruses persist longer in the lymph node than they are shed in feces. This article demonstrates the step by step procedure for locating and aseptically removing the mesenteric lymph node. Finally, identification of infectious agents of the respiratory tract may be performed by bacterial culture or PCR testing of nasal and/or bronchial fluid aspirates taken at necropsy. This procedure describes obtaining and preparing the respiratory aspirate sample for bacterial culture and PCR testing.

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