Introduction - Disease and Diagnosis Infection with pathogens may cause clinical (overt) or sub-clinical effects which can profoundly distort normal physiology. Subclinical infection may be active but not apparent throughout an experiment; e.g., Mycoplasma pulmonis in young rats; or could be dormant initially but become activated by the stress of an experimental procedure; e.g., Mouse hepatitis virus 2. Paradoxically, inapparent infection is the greater evil because researchers may not be aware of the confounding effect of the pathogen on the reliability and reproducibility of their data. Most natural infections in rodents are subclinical, and microbial monitoring is necessary to determine their presence or to ensure their absence. Selection of Animals Wherever possible, purchase animals with a specified profile of excluded diseases (SPF - Specific Pathogen Free). Do not compromise your research, nor the health of any in-contact animals by bringing animals of unknown microbiological status into your laboratory. Animals Housed in the LAF Rats Mice Rabbits Dogs Pigs Frogs Chinchilla Guinea pigs Gerbils Ferrets Sheep Hamsters Health MonitoringThe Laboratory Animal Facility purchases animals from approved vendors bred specifically for research with known health status and are disease free. Use of SPF animals are preferred since farm raised animals may harbor disease. Animals from non-approved sources must be screened and quarantined upon arrival at the Lab Animal Facility. All rodents housed in Lab Animal Facility are screened twice each year as part of the Animal Health Monitoring Program. All rodents are screened for bacterial and viral murine pathogens, and endo and ecto parasites.
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