Quarantine & Ongoing Health Surveillance

Contact

For questions about quarantine timing, cost, or services, please contact:

Quarantine veterinarian:
rarqvet@umn.com

RAR Veterinary Offices:
612-624-9100

At Research Animal Resources (RAR), we follow quarantine procedures to assess the health of incoming animals and prevent the introduction of excluded pathogens from our colonies. 

Health surveillance procedures aid in monitoring the status of colonies over time, identify outbreaks of agents that may affect health or research, and provide health reports to other institutions for animal exports.

For rodents and non-mammals, it’s required that we review current health reports from any vendor or institution not on the approved vendor list prior to granting import. If animals do not meet our health requirements, RAR will give investigators options on how proceed with the request.

Mice, rats, and non-human primates are the most common animals imported into the University of Minnesota that require quarantine. The information below is specific to these species.   


Rodents: Quarantine

We require mice and rats from unapproved vendors to be directly imported into RAR quarantine rooms regardless of their health report status. 

Tests and treatments received upon arrival

  • Treatment with oral ivermectin (anti-parasitic delivered via water bottles) and oral fenbendazole (anti-parasitic delivered via chow). If your animals cannot receive this treatment, prior approval must be requested.
  • Feces and fur swab collection to test for excluded agents. Samples determine active infections of excluded pathogens.
  • Blood collection (~25 µl) from one animal per box upon arrival and again 2-3 weeks later. Samples determine previous exposure to any excluded pathogens.

Animals will stay in quarantine until all tests are returned and are negative. Total quarantine time is typically between three to four weeks.

Mouse and rat quarantine timeline. Arrival: Collection (feces, fur swab, blood); Week 2: Collection (Blood); Week 3: Release and transfer (Timing depends on test return and transfer availability, ~1-2 weeks after final blood collection)

While in quarantine

  • Experimental procedures cannot be performed and investigators will not have direct access to the animals.
  • Upon request and with escort, investigators may enter the quarantine area to help unpack animals, set up breeding, or identify animals. 
  • After exiting the quarantine area, investigators may not visit any other rodents’ rooms that day without changing clothes and thoroughly washing hands and arms.

Special service requests

Special service requests may be considered while animals are in quarantine. Approval of these requests is on a case-by-case basis and at the discretion of the quarantine veterinary team.  

Common requests:

  • Breeding services for lab staff that does not wish to enter quarantine. This is preferred by the RAR quarantine staff to limit foot traffic in these areas.
  • Terminal procedures may be approved prior to the end of the quarantine period, although certain conditions must be met.
  • Treatments may be provided that are necessary for animal health or maintenance outside of experimental need.

Rodent quarantine cost

It is difficult to provide a general cost estimate for the quarantine period due to unknowns in the quarantine timeline, number of cages, and health history of import animals.  

Overall cost for a typical quarantine is based on the price of the diagnostic testing, technician time, and quarantine per diem costs.


Rodents: Ongoing health surveillance

In addition to the standard health monitoring, both rat and mouse colonies are enrolled in an ongoing health surveillance program.  

Each quarter we testsentinel mice representing a subset of colony animals for infectious agents excluded from RAR colonies. Most excluded agents do not actually cause clinical disease and are undetectable without diagnostic testing. This testing program is imperative to the integrity of ongoing research for this reason.

Excluded pathogens

As a reference, below we list excluded pathogens from rats and mice at the University of Minnesota.  

Excluded mouse agents

Viruses

  • Mouse Parvovirus (MPV)*
  • Minute Virus of Mice (MVM)*
  • Mouse Hepatitis Virus (MHV)
  • Mouse Rotavirus-A (EDIM)
  • Theiler's Murine Encephalomyelitis Virus (TMEV, GDVII)
  • Sendai Virus (SEND)
  • Pneumonia Virus of Mice (PVM)
  • Reovirus (REO)
  • Mousepox (Ectromelia)
  • Mouse Adenovirus Type 1&2 (MAV/MadV)
  • Polyoma Virus (POLY)
  • Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis Virus (LCMV)
  • Mouse Cytomegalovirus (MCMV)

Bacteria

  • Mycoplasma pulmonis (MPUL)
  • Clostridium piliforme  (CPIL, Tyzzers Disease)
  • Cilia-Associated Respiratory Bacillus (CARB)

Parasites and Fungi

  • Fur mites: Myobia musculi, Radfordia affinis, Radfordia ensifera, Myocoptes musculinus
  • Pinworms: Aspicularis tetraptera, Syphacia obelata, Syphacia muris
  • Encephalitozoon cuniculi (ECUN)

Excluded rat agents

Viruses

  • Rat Parvovirus (RPV-1)
  • Rat Minute Virus (RMV)
  • Toolan's H-1 Virus (H-1) 
  • Kilham's Rat Virus (KRV/RV)
  • Sendai Virus (SEND)
  • Rat Theilovirus (RTV)
  • Sialodacryoadenitis Virus (SDA, rat coronavirus)
  • Pneumonia Virus of Mice (PVM)
  • Reovirus (REO)
  • Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis Virus (LCMV)
  • Mouse Adenovirus Type 1&2 (MAV/MadV)
  • Hantaan virus (HANT)

Bacteria

  • Mycoplasma pulmonis (MPUL)
  • Clostridium piliforme (CPIL, Tyzzers Disease)
  • Cilia-Associated Respiratory Bacillus (CARB)

Parasites and Fungi

  • Fur mites: Myobia musculi, Radfordia affinis, Radfordia ensifera, Myocoptes musculinus
  • Pinworms: Aspicularis tetraptera, Syphacia obelata, Syphacia muris

*Currently, exceptions to the exclusion list are Mouse Parvovirus (MPV) and Minute Virus of Mice (MVM). Some areas have allowances for housing animals that have been exposed to this agent. Please inquire with your area veterinarian to determine if the area you are housing animals or wish to house animals has MPV allowances.


Non-human primates: Quarantine and ongoing health surveillance

Non-human primates (NHPs) entering RAR housing facilities are quarantined upon arrival for six weeks prior to their release into the general colony population.

We perform observations, examinations, and testing during this period to detect disease conditions and prevent their introduction into the healthy established population. Please contact your area veterinarian for specific information regarding NHP quarantine.

In addition to quarantine, NHPs at the University of Minnesota have ongoing surveillance for tuberculosis (TB). Every six months we test animals for the presence of TB. Any animals that test positive will be quarantined, and we will immediately contact the investigator to discuss the next steps.

Contact

For questions about quarantine timing, cost, or services, please contact:

Quarantine veterinarian: rarqvet@umn.com
RAR Veterinary Offices: 612-624-9100