Poor or inconsistent health of laboratory animals poses an uncontrolled research variable, the enemy of good science. Infectious disease can often manifest as increased variability in many aspects of physiology, behavior and survival. Therefore, an animal health quality control program, often focused primarily on infection surveillance, is important to any research vivarium.
Over the past several years, methods have been developed to monitor entire animal populations (i.e., all those within given cages, ventilated racks, rooms, etc.) for infectious agents by careful sampling of the dust and dander that accumulates in the environment without the need to directly test any animals. Termed exhaust air dust (EAD®) or environmental PCR testing, this method has allowed institutions to not only reduce or eliminate the need for sentinel animals, but it has also proven to help overcome the known limitations of soiled-bedding sentinels for detecting certain rodent infectious agents.
The power of EAD® PCR comes from its sensitivity and specificity, both of which allow it to be one of the most accurate and versatile screening methods for detecting even the smallest amount of infectious agent within a sample. However, while this innovative testing method has been available in the industry for some time, so too have certain misconceptions about its effectiveness and use.
We're hosting a webinar to review and dispel the top myths regarding EAD® testing and its use as a primary tool for monitoring the health of laboratory animal colonies. Sign up today.