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Rodent Health Screening

Rodent colonies at JHU are continually monitored for intercurrent rodent diseases through our

Sentinel Screening Program. Most overt pathogens are excluded and some areas are also maintained free of Helicobacter spp.

Opportunistic organisms, such as Pasteurella pneumotropica and mouse norovirus are not excluded.  If you wish to assure that your mice or rats are free of opportunists in addition to excluded pathogens, please contact Julie Watson.  One opportunist in particular,  Corynebacterium bovis, has been a source of problems with immune deficient mice, most noticeably  nude mice where it causes flaky skin with a cornmeal appearance.  Other immune deficient mice are also affected but the flaky skin is often obscured by fur.  It is important that you notify us if you detect this problem: it will likely affect research results, it may cause illness or death, and it contaminates the environment thus increasing the risk to other immune deficient mice..

Mice from the major US vendors are free of all major pathogens and most opportunists, however they may be contaminated with Staphylococcus spp.   Staphylococci are commonly spread between humans and mice and it is generally not practical to attempt to exclude them under routine husbandry conditions.