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Open Access Toxicity Evaluation of Prophylactic Treatments for Mites and Pinworms in Mice

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The detection of external and internal parasites in laboratory mice is a particularly problematic aspect of animal health evaluation. Because these organisms must be detected by direct examination of the feces or hair coat, low-level infestation or sporadic shedding can make them difficult to detect, thereby undermining confidence that negative reports are truly negative. Prophylactic treatment of suspect colonies with anthelminthics and/or insecticides may therefore be indicated under some circumstances. However, when considering the use of prophylactic treatments, the potential for toxicity is an important factor, especially in genetically modified strains of mice. To evaluate the potential toxicity of prophylactic anti- parasitic treatments on strains of mice that are commonly used as experimental models and in genetic engineering in our facility, we surveyed a number of strains and ages of mice for toxic reactions during treatment regimens that combine anthelminthic and anti-acaricidal agents. Three experimental protocols (ivermectin, piperazine, and dichlorvos in combination; ivermectin alone; and fenbendazole/permethrin or fenbendazole/dichlorvos) were evaluated. Our data suggest a potential for toxicity associated with these treatments and indicate to us that prophylactic treatment regimens should be initiated with caution.

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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Animal Resources Center, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, TN 38105

Publication date: March 1, 2000

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  • The Journal of the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (JAALAS) serves as an official communication vehicle for the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS). The journal includes a section of refereed articles and a section of AALAS association news. The mission of the refereed section of the journal is to disseminate high-quality, peer-reviewed information on animal biology, technology, facility operations, management, and compliance as relevant to the AALAS membership. JAALAS accepts research reports (data-based) or scholarly reports (literature-based), with the caveat that all articles, including solicited manuscripts, must include appropriate references and must undergo peer review.

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