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Open Access PCR Testing of IVC Filter Tops as a Method for Detecting Murine Pinworms and Fur Mites

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We evaluated PCR testing of filter tops from cages maintained on an IVC system through which exhaust air is filtered at the cage level as a method for detecting parasite-infected and -infested cages. Cages containing 4 na├»ve Swiss Webster mice received 360 mL of uncontaminated aspen chip or α-cellulose bedding (n = 18 cages each) and 60 mL of the same type of bedding weekly from each of the following 4 groups of cages housing mice infected or infested with Syphacia obvelata (SO), Aspiculuris tetraptera (AT), Myocoptes musculinus (MC), or Myobia musculi (MB) and Radfordia affinis (RA; 240 mL bedding total). Detection rates were compared at 30, 60, and 90 d after initiating bedding exposure, by using PCR analysis of filter tops (media extract and swabs) and testing of mouse samples (fur swab [direct] PCR testing, fecal flotation, anal tape test, direct examination of intestinal contents, and skin scrape). PCR testing of filter media extract detected 100% of all parasites at 30 d (both bedding types) except for AT (α-cellulose bedding, 67% detection rate); identified more cages with fur mites (MB and MC) than direct PCR when cellulose bedding was used; and was better at detecting parasites than all nonmolecular methods evaluated. PCR analysis of filter media extract was superior to swab and direct PCR for all parasites cumulatively for each bedding type. Direct PCR more effectively detected MC and all parasites combined for aspen chip compared with cellulose bedding. PCR analysis of filter media extract for IVC systems in which exhaust air is filtered at the cage level was shown to be a highly effective environmental testing method.

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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Tri-Institutional Training Program in Laboratory Animal Medicine and Science, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Weill Cornell Medicine, and The Rockefeller University, Center for Comparative Medicine and Pathology, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and Weill Cornell Medicine, New York, New York, Comparative Medicine, Pfizer Worldwide Research and Development, Groton, Connecticut;, Email: [email protected] 2: Tri-Institutional Training Program in Laboratory Animal Medicine and Science, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Weill Cornell Medicine, and The Rockefeller University, Center for Comparative Medicine and Pathology, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and Weill Cornell Medicine, New York, New York 3: Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, New York 4: Research Animal Diagnostic Services, Charles River, Wilmington, Massachusetts 5: Tri-Institutional Training Program in Laboratory Animal Medicine and Science, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Weill Cornell Medicine, and The Rockefeller University, Center for Comparative Medicine and Pathology, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and Weill Cornell Medicine, New York, New York

Publication date: November 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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