Rodents from non-commercial sources pose the highest
single risk of introducing infectious agents into The Division of
Laboratory Animal Resources (DLAR) animal colonies. These rodents,
therefore, are subjected to quarantine and intensive monitoring
prior to release into established colonies. Non-commercial sources
are defined as institutions that do not have closed colonies with
intensive health monitoring programs. These include academic and
other research institutions, small commercial breeding companies
and certain colonies maintained by approved vendors (e.g. contract
Investigators requesting rodents from such sources
should allow 2-3 months for evaluation of the animals and final
release from quarantine. There is a charge per importation to cover
the cost of the diagnostic evaluation and quarantine maintenance.
In order to obtain rodents from non-commercial
sources, a “Web Animal Order” must
be submitted. This is the same method used when ordering animals
from a recognized
vendor. Under the Vendor field select Outside Institution.
Under the Ordering Comments field, include the following:
the name of the exporting PI, the institution’s animal facility’s
contact name, phone number, fax number and email address. Also
include on the Ordering Comments section if rodents will
be used while in the Berg quarantine room. That request along with
the health report need to be approved by the DLAR vet or staff.
In addition, investigators must request
that the donating institution provide recent health information
on the colony of origin including: 1) A description of the rodent
health monitoring program of the supplying institution; and 2)
A copy of the past year's health report(s) for the colony from
the rodents are to be imported. The following test should be covered
in all health reports received: SEND, PVM, MHV, TMEV, REO, MPUL,
MPV, EDIM, LCMV, MAV, ECTRO, K, POLY, MTLV and MCMV. As well as
bacteriology, parasitology, pathology and helicobacter reports.
This health information can be faxed to DLAR at 212-263-8235. Animals
should not be shipped until DLAR makes the final arrangements
the supplying institution to order and receive the rodents. Rodents
must be separated by sex when shipped. Shipping must be door-to-door.
DLAR does not have the capability of retrieving animals from the
Procurement of rodents from international sources
may require involvement of a fee-for-service import broker to expedite
clearing through customs, to coordinate the necessary USDA paperwork,
and deliver the mice to the facility. Costs for these services are
fully recovered. Additional requirements must be met when importing
animals harboring agricultural animal pathogens or biological agents
(>BSL 2) from other countries. Specifically, an import
permit must be submitted to and be approved by the USDA or the CDC.
This process may take 4 to 6 weeks. Please contact a DLAR veterinarian
for additional information.
DLAR recommends that rodents not be shipped if
the ambient temperature in New York City, the destination, or
locations is expected to exceed 85ºF or is less than 45ºF.
The use of transportation companies that employ temperature-controlled
to deliver animals to and from the airport is encouraged. The following
companies are recommended: Marken Time Critical Express (800-932-6755)
and World Courier (800-221-6600). Rodents should be shipped no
later than Wednesday. The shipments must reach Veterinary Services
by 2 PM. Shipments are not accepted on the weekend.
No more than 24 adult mice should be placed within
a single crate. Adult males, especially those that have not been
housed together prior to shipment, may fight during transit. They
should be crated at a lower density or individually. Litters less
than 3 weeks of age should not be shipped unless accompanied by
their dam. Shipments of young litters may result in loss of all
or part of the litter. Pregnant mice should not be shipped later
than the 14th day of pregnancy to avoid loss of the litter.
After review of the health information, rodents
are placed into quarantine according to the health profile. Access
to this area is limited to DLAR staff. One to four days after arrival,
a subset of the shipment will be evaluated for bacterial, parasitic,
and viral contamination. Contact sentinel animals (female mice purchased
from a commercial vendor) are placed directly with the mice from
the shipment for a 2-week period. Approximately three weeks after
the first samples are collected, a subset of the shipment animals
will be sampled again. Approximately four weeks later, the sentinels
are euthanized and tested comprehensively. Throughout the quarantine
period, mice are treated with fenbendazole-impregnated feed for
a five-week period to eliminate the possibility of pinworm. If all
sentinels test negative for all agents in the test panel, the imported
animals are released into established colonies. The total time course
from receipt of the rodents by DLAR to release into the animal colony
is typically 9-11 weeks. The investigator receives verification
of the health status of the animals in writing upon completion of
the quarantine period
If all animals in the requested importation group
are immunodeficient, investigators should determine whether additional
immunocompetent (wild type) animals could be provided from the colony
of origin (2-4 animals). These animals serve as sentinels for the
If the health profile of the desired rodents indicates
that they may harbor an infectious agent (e.g., ~murine viruses)
or if the group is found to be contaminated during quarantine evaluation,
the investigator will need to discuss potential options with the
DLAR veterinarian. Rederivation options will be based on the pathogen
and genotype of the imported animals and may include regular quarantine,
treatment, burnout or embryo transfer.
Rodents regardless of health status may be imported
for acute use in quarantine. These animals will not be evaluated
in quarantine. They may be used in the
quarantine facility for tissue collection or short-term experiments.
Access to these animals is restricted. All acute use procedures
be discussed with the DLAR veterinarian prior to the animals' arrival.
Questions regarding procurement of rodents may be
directed to the Veterinary Technician Supervisor, 212-263-2883 or