Managing Immunocompromised Animals

John Donovan1, Patricia Brown2

1 Wyeth Research, Collegeville, Pennsylvania, 2 National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland
Publication Name:  Current Protocols in Immunology
Unit Number:  Unit 1.2
DOI:  10.1002/0471142735.im0102s77
Online Posting Date:  May, 2007
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This unit describes some commonly used methods for maintaining immunocompromised rodents, specifically mice, to prevent infections from adventitious pathogens. The basic protocol describes the microisolation housing unit, while alternate procedures cover individually ventilated isolator housing, laminar‐flow rack housing, flexible‐film isolator housing, and barrier facility housing.

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Table of Contents

  • Basic Protocol 1: Microisolation Housing
  • Alternate Protocol 1: Individually Ventilated Isolator Housing
  • Alternate Protocol 2: Flexible‐Film Isolator Housing
  • Alternate Protocol 3: Barrier Facility Housing
  • Commentary
  • Literature Cited
  • Figures
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Basic Protocol 1: Microisolation Housing

  • Sterilant (ABQ Sterilant‐Disinfectant, Alcide, or CLIDOX‐S, Pharmacal Labs;, placed in spray bottle and tray
  • Microisolation housing unit comprised of the following: autoclavable plastic cage, plastic filter top, stainless steel wire bar lid, water bottle with rubber stopper and stainless steel sipper tube, autoclavable feed and bedding
  • Autoclavable flasks (250‐ to 1000‐ml capacity) filled with water
  • Disposable lab coat and gloves
  • HEPA‐filtered laminar‐flow workbench
  • Rubber‐tipped forceps and forceps tray containing sterilant
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Literature Cited

Literature Cited
   Dillehay, D.L., Lehner, N.D.M., and Huerkamp, M.H. 1990. The effectiveness of a microisolator cage system and sentinel mice for controlling and detecting MHV and Sendai virus infections. Lab. Anim. Sci. 40:367‐369.
   Foster, H.L., Small, J.D., and Fox, J.G. (eds.) 1983. The Mouse in Biomedical Research, Vol. III, pp. 4‐19. Academic Press, San Diego.
   Huerkamp, M.J. and Lehner, N.D. 1994. Comparitive effects of forced‐air, individual cage ventilation or an absorbent bedding additive on mouse isolator cage microenvironment. Contemp. Top Lab. Anim. Sci. 33:58‐61.
   Lab Products. 1984. The Micro‐Isolator System: Products, Principles and Procedures Manual. Maywood, N.J.
   Lipman, N.S., Corning, B.F., and Saifuddin, M. 1993. Evaluation of isolator caging systems for protection of mice against challenge with mouse hepatitis virus. Lab. Anim. 27:134‐140.
   Orcutt, R.P. 1987. How to conduct rodent research free of MHV, Sendai Virus and other pathogens. Lab. Anim. 16:31‐40.
   Sedlacek, R.S., Suit, H.D., Mason, K.A., and Rose, E.R. 1980. Development and operation of a stable limited defined flora mouse colony. In 7th ICLAS Symposium on Quality Assurance of Lab Rodents (A. Spiegel, S. Erichsen, and H. Solleveld, eds.) pp. 197‐201. Gustav Fischer Verlag, Stuttgart.
   Sedlacek, R.S., Orcutt, R.P., Suit, H.D., and Rose, E.R. 1981. A flexible barrier at cage level for existing colonies: Production and maintenance of a limited stable anaerobic flora in a closed inbred mouse colony. In Recent Advances in Germfree Research (S. Sasaki, A. Ozawa, and K. Hashimoto, eds.) pp. 65‐69. Tokai University Press, Tokyo.
   Trexler, P.C. and Reynolds, L.I. 1957. Flexible film apparatus for the rearing and use of germfree animals. Appl. Microbiol. 5:406‐413.
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