The health status of the animals can have wide-reaching consequences for both the experiment and the facility staff, and should be discussed at an early stage. This discussion should include:
- The source of the animals
- The method of transport to the facility (links to guidelines)
- The duration and location of quarantine, if necessary
- The possible health consequences for the facility’s personnel
- The need for special facilities, protective clothing, vaccinations, blood tests and other information to personnel about the possible risks to them and other animals in the facility (e.g. allergy/asthma and potential effects on reproductive function)
- Health monitoring, which may include clinical, behavioural, microbiological, serological, biochemical and histopathological studies. An assessment of the importance of any subclinical infections known to be present in the facility should be made, in close collaboration with the named veterinary officer.
There will very likely be local or national legislation in place regulating these activities.
- FELASA recommendations for health monitoring
- Special issue of Laboratory Animals on microbiota, laboratory animals and research
- Complex microbiota in laboratory rodents: management considerations (Franklin & Ericsson, 2020)
- Standardizing the microbiota of fish used in research
- Assessment of methods of destruction of Syphacia muris eggs (pinworms)
- Physiological indicators of animal welfare
- Antibiotic therapeutics in laboratory animals (Morris, 1995)
- Animal health standards: why careful selection and harmonization are musts
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