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Open Access Successful Rederivation of Contaminated Immunocompetent Mice Using Neonatal Transfer with Iodine Immersion

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There is an ongoing need to eradicate intercurrent disease from research mouse colonies. Commonly used surgical methods, however, are expensive and time-consuming. The purpose of this study was to determine the percentage of litters that could be rederived from infected mouse colonies by neonatal transfer. We immersed neonatal mice in a dilute iodine solution and transferred them to disease-free foster mothers within 48 h of birth. Donor and foster mothers were evaluated for pathogens by serology and fecal polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay. Of 55 donor mothers, 100% were positive serologically and 59% were positive by fecal PCR for one or more tested organisms, including mouse hepatitis virus, Theiler's murine encephalomyelitis virus, mouse rotavirus, and Helicobacter hepaticus. At 4 to 6 weeks after neonatal transfer, 95% of foster mothers (which served as sentinels for the transferred pups) tested free of pathogens, the exceptions being one case of mouse parvovirus 1 and two of Helicobacter spp. We suggest that cross-fostering is a viable low-cost method for rederivation of mouse colonies contaminated with pathogens such as mouse hepatitis virus, Theiler's murine encephalomyelitis virus, mouse rotavirus, and H. hepaticus.

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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Comparative Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore Maryland 2: Center for Comparative Medicine, University of Virginia Health System, Charlottesville, Virginia

Publication date: 2005-10-01

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  • Comparative Medicine (CM), an international journal of comparative and experimental medicine, is the leading English-language publication in the field and is ranked by the Science Citation Index in the upper third of all scientific journals. The mission of CM is to disseminate high-quality, peer-reviewed information that expands biomedical knowledge and promotes human and animal health through the study of laboratory animal disease, animal models of disease, and basic biologic mechanisms related to disease in people and animals.

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