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Open Access Evaluation of Anthelmintic Resistance and Exhaust Air Dust PCR as a Diagnostic Tool in Mice Enzootically Infected with Aspiculuris tetraptera

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The entry of infectious agents in rodent colonies occurs despite robust sentinel monitoring programs, strict quarantine measures, and stringent biosecurity practices. In light of several outbreaks with Aspiculuris tetraptera in our facilities, we investigated the presence of anthelmintic resistance and the use of exhaust air dust (EAD) PCR for early detection of A. tetraptera infection. To determine anthelmintic resistance, C57BL/6, DBA/2, and NCr nude mice were experimentally inoculated with embryonated A. tetraptera ova harvested from enzootically infected mice, followed by treatment with 150 ppm fenbendazole in feed, 150 ppm fenbendazole plus 5 ppm piperazine in feed, or 2.1 mg/mL piperazine in water for 4 or 8 wk. Regardless of the mouse strain or treatment, no A. tetraptera were recovered at necropsy, indicating the lack of resistance in the worms to anthelmintic treatment. In addition, 10 of 12 DBA/2 positive-control mice cleared the A. tetraptera infection without treatment. To evaluate the feasibility of EAD PCR for A. tetraptera, 69 cages of breeder mice enzootically infected with A. tetraptera were housed on a Tecniplast IVC rack as a field study. On day 0, 56% to 58% of the cages on this rack tested positive for A. tetraptera by PCR and fecal centrifugation flotation (FCF). PCR from EAD swabs became positive for A. tetraptera DNA within 1 wk of placing the above cages on the rack. When these mice were treated with 150 ppm fenbendazole in feed, EAD PCR reverted to pinworm-negative after 1 mo of treatment and remained negative for an additional 8 wk. The ability of EAD PCR to detect few A. tetraptera positive mice was investigated by housing only 6 infected mice on another IVC rack as a field study. The EAD PCR from this rack was positive for A. tetraptera DNA within 1 wk of placing the positive mice on it. These findings demonstrate that fenbendazole is still an effective anthelmintic and that EAD PCR is a rapid, noninvasive assay that may be a useful diagnostic tool for antemortem detection of A. tetraptera infection, in conjunction with fecal PCR and FCF.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Division of Laboratory Animal Medicine, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina;, Email: [email protected] 2: Division of Laboratory Animal Medicine, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina 3: Sobran, Dayton, Ohio 4: Department of Psychology and Neuroscience, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina 5: Office of Laboratory Animal Care, University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley, California

Publication date: May 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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