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Open Access Detection and Elimination of Corynebacterium bovis from Barrier Rooms by Using an Environmental Sampling Surveillance Program

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Rodent health-monitoring programs based on sampling an IVC system's exhaust air dust (EAD) has enhanced and even replaced traditional sentinels for some rodent pathogens. EAD testing by qPCR assay is an optimal surveillance method for the rapid detection of Corynebacterium bovis-infected immunodeficient mice. Here we demonstrate that an active EAD surveillance program for C. bovis can be used to maintain nude mice C. bovis-free after the transition from historically enzootically infected colonies. During 3 events over 3 y, rapid detection of infection, elimination of infected mice, aggressive quarantine measures, and local decontamination prevented the spread of C. bovis within 2 barrier rooms. In total, 4 cages of infected nude mice were identified and removed, preventing the spread of infection to 469 other cages of immunodeficient mice. In addition, we present data regarding a refinement to EAD testing which enables row-specific surveillance of an IVC rack. This technique systemically decreases the amount of testing required to locate an individually infected cage. Due to our ability to rapidly detect and localize an infected cage, we were able to investigate the route of C. bovis introduction into our barrier rooms. Our epidemiologic investigation suggested that the transmission of C. bovis occurred through contaminated, cryopreserved, patient-derived xenograft tumor tissue. This previously unknown source of C. bovis can infect mice used to propagate these tumors. Together, these data demonstrate that a remediation program that combines rapid detection, test-and-cull, and local decontamination under quarantine conditions can eliminate C. bovis from a mouse colony.
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Document Type: Case Report

Affiliations: 1: Office of Laboratory Animal Resources, Department of Pathology, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, University of Colorado Cancer Center, Aurora, Colorado;, Email: [email protected] 2: School of Medicine, Division of Endocrinology, Metabolism and Diabetes, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, Aurora, Colorado 3: Office of Laboratory Animal Resources, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, Aurora, Colorado 4: Office of Laboratory Animal Resources, Department of Pathology, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, Aurora, Colorado

Publication date: March 1, 2017

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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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