Announcements for HCC Animal Facility Users
Animal Diets and Nutrition Information Available on DLAR Web Site
Information Concerning Animal Diets and Nutrition
Effective January 24, 2013, The DLAR Nutrition working group posted a new DLAR web-based informational page entitled; “DLAR- Animal Diet and Nutrition”. The information covers a wide spectrum of issues related to animal nutrition and research. The key topics covered as separate documents on the policy page are:
- Animal Diet Information
- Nutrition and Animal Research
- Nutrition and Animal Research Presentation
- Feed Restriction
- NHP Weight Management
- Enrichment vs. Treats
- Nutritional Confounders in Rodent Based Research
- Approved Foods Listings
- Nutritional Information for Selected Foods
Instructions for accessing information
To access the Animal Diets and Nutrition Information, go to the DLAR website, log in via PI & Researcher Login using your HS Connect login user name and password, click on the Policies tab at the top of the page, and under the DLAR guidelines section click on the https://web.dlar.pitt.edu/policies/diet.aspx hyperlink.
If you have any questions about the information provided please contact your site Veterinarian and or Husbandry Supervisor for further guidance.
Rodent bedding change completed
The HCC Animal Facility transition from corn cob rodent bedding to P.J. Murphy Coarse Certified Aspen Sani-chip bedding was completed by the first of December 2012. This bedding change was done to bring the HCC Facility into alignment with other DLAR rodent facilities, all of which currently use Aspen chip bedding. Cob bedding has been reported to have higher contaminant loads than hardwood bedding, and the harder texture of cob can cause skin abrasions in nude mice. Conversely, given its softer texture, Aspen is more appropriate for neonates and sensitive post-surgical animals. Furthermore, standardizing the bedding between HCC and other DLAR facilities will make it possible for researchers to collaborate between buildings, without bedding as a potential uncontrolled variable. For technical information about Aspen chip bedding from the supplier, as well as a bibliographic review of studies addressing bedding and concerns with corn cob bedding, please review the following document on 7090 Sani-Chips.
2012 Fourth Quarter Rodent Health Surveillance Notice
This represents the report for the University of Pittsburgh animal program's rodent populations.
Current Sentinel Test Results
During this round of evaluations, other than items noted below, all tests and areas were negative for excluded rodent pathogens.
Hillman Cancer Center (HCC)
- Corynebacterium bovis (C. bovis): Previously affected rooms 7C and 28B were environmentally decontaminated. Immediate training to PI staffs concerning proper immunocompromised procedures and practices in conjunction with treatment of animals and equipment and space decontamination are ongoing. At this time no other positivity has been detected in any rooms at HCC or elsewhere in the program.
The University of Pittsburgh's Animal Care and Use Program, through the DLAR, maintains a specific pathogen free rodent colony. MPV and fur mites are on the exclusion list due to their effects on research. Our operating plan is to work with the affected researchers towards eradication of these pathogens and prevent transmission to other University rodent facilities and laboratories.
We invite all research teams concerned about cross trafficking issues involving animal movement to contact the DLAR. In addition, we ask all rodent model users to please review "Cross Trafficking and Rodent Biosecurity at the University of Pittsburgh Guidelines" and "Guidelines to Research Teams: Best Laboratory and Procedure Room Practices during a Rodent Disease Outbreak" located under the policies tab within the DLAR website.
Historical Sentinel Test Results
Please see the DLAR website for prior Rodent Health Surveillance Notices.
Rodent Health Surveillance Program and Excluded Pathogens
The health status of the rodents in the animal program at the University is monitored by the method of sentinel animals. The sentinel animals that are exposed to the soiled bedding from the colony of research animals will be evaluated every 3 months (quarterly) for their respective health status. Serum, lymph nodes and feces are collected for diagnostic testing using molecular and immunological techniques; and pelts, perineal cellophane tape test, and feces are collected for both ecto and endo-parasitic evaluation. The health status of the sentinel animals is reflective of the health status of the colony of research animals that they are exposed to (by soiled bedding). The viral and parasitic agents that are currently excluded from the rodent colonies at the DLAR facilities are listed at: http://www.dlar.pitt.edu/. To access the list of excluded pathogens, log in via PI & Researcher Login, and then click on Historical Surveillance Reports located in the left margin of website's homepage.
For questions on rodent health surveillance or for any additional information, please contact the Division of Laboratory Animal Resources either by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 412-648-8950.