IACUC Email Announcement July 25, 2006

A Message from the Division of Laboratory Animals: 

Cross Trafficking and Rodent Biosecurity at the University of Pittsburgh

Although all of the rodent facilities operated by the University of Pittsburgh’s Division of Laboratory Animal Research (DLAR) are currently free of specific pathogens, this may not be true for the rodent facilities at other institutions, including those in Oakland at elsewhere within the city of Pittsburgh.

The DLAR would like to remind investigators who are in contact with rodents at other campuses that strict adherence to the following guidelines would considerably reduce the risk of pathogen spread from one facility to another:

  • If you are in direct or indirect contact with rodents, you should be aware of the rodent health status at the campus or facility where they are held. 
  • If it is necessary for you to visit different animal facilities, procedure labs, etc. (cross-trafficking) you must observe a waiting period of 48 hours after leaving one facility before entering the next. You are additionally required to take at least one shower and change your street clothes. 
  • You must follow the requirements for changing garb as specified for each separate animal facility, procedure lab, etc.–whether it is on the University of Pittsburgh campus or at another campus. 
  • You must decontaminate all use areas and equipment coming in direct contact with animals or caging systems, both pre- and post- utilization. 
  • You can prevent pathogen transmission via fomites by having dedicated instruments and equipment for each use site or by adequate disinfection of the same before transfer to a new use site.

An expanded overview of risks to the health status of rodents within our facilities, and guidelines and procedures for their mitigation of these risks, can be downloaded from: http://www.iacuc.pitt.edu/sop/RodentBiosecurity.pdf

Please share this critical information with all laboratory personnel (e.g., students, postdocs, visitors, etc.).

Please contact Dr. Joseph Newsome, University Attending Veterinarian and DLAR Clinical Director (e-mail: newsomej@dlar.pitt.edu or phone: 412 648-8950), or any one of the other DLAR clinical veterinarians (e-mail: dlar@pitt.edu or phone: 412 648-8950) for further information.