Rodent Quarantine and Procedures to Bypass Quarantine


The Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (the Guide, NRC 2011) states: "Quarantine is the separation of newly received animals from those already in the facility, in a way that prevents potential spread of contaminants, until the health and possibly the microbial status of the newly received animals have been determined." (p. 110)

This Quarantine Bypass Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) provides detailed descriptions of procedures to be followed unless alternate procedures have been outlined and justified in an IACUC Protocol Application or General Amendment Form (approved deviations from SOPs are valid only for that protocol).

IACUC Policy

Rodents arriving to WSU from sources other than the approved commercial vendors (such as other universities) must undergo a quarantine period. This protects the existing colony of rodents at WSU from inadvertent introduction of diseases.

DLAR Veterinary Technical Services (DLARVTS) should be contacted to coordinate the importation of animals from non-approved sources. Requests to receive animals from non-approved sources may be denied based on the health records received from shipping institution. In these cases, DLAR veterinarians will work with laboratory to find alternative solutions to obtain the animals (rederivation, other sources).

The IACUC recognizes that in certain circumstances, rodents may need to bypass this quarantine period and be brought directly to an investigator's laboratory for experimental purposes. Bypassing quarantine must be approved on a case-by-case basis by a DLAR Veterinarian.

Quarantine Bypass Procedure

The following understanding and procedures must be agreed upon for any rodents that will be brought into DLAR/WSU facilities and taken directly to a WSU researcher laboratory, thus bypassing the formal DLAR Quarantine Procedures.

All individuals who will be handling cages or rodents must wear lab coats and disposable gloves. In addition they must wash their hands at the end of all procedures and frequently enough during procedures to minimize inadvertent infectious material dispersal.

DLAR must be notified of the day and time that empty cages will be returned. DLAR will arrange to have cages placed directly into the autoclave. Following euthanasia of rodents, empty cages (whether used or not) complete with bedding, food, and water must have their exterior surfaces sprayed with accelerated hydrogen peroxide disinfectant and be allowed to sit undisturbed in the lab for at least 5 minutes. If these cages are not taken to DLAR for autoclaving until later in the day, or the next day, they must be re-sprayed just prior to being removed from the lab.

During the acclimation period, housing arrangements can be made in quarantine and animals transferred to a PI laboratory on the day of scheduled procedure. Quarantine by-pass animals cannot enter the DLAR vivarium space.

Equipment should not be shared between quarantined animals and colony animals. If equipment must be shared, it must be thoroughly disinfected between groups with appropriate disinfectant (accelerated hydrogen peroxide disinfectant) or autoclaved. Appropriate contact times must be utilized.

Dead rodents must be double bagged, bag surface sprayed with accelerated hydrogen peroxide disinfectant and taken directly to the appropriate freezer for eventual disposal by DLAR.

Once by-pass quarantine animals are in your laboratory, individuals from your lab cannot visit the DLAR vivarium spaces during the time mice are in the lab and for an additional 48 hours after carcass disposal. In addition, laboratory personnel should not visit the laboratories of other animal users during this time span.

All laboratory surfaces that had contact with animals or contaminated equipment (shipping crates, microisolator cages, experimental equipment/materials) must be cleaned and disinfected as soon as possible once carcasses have been removed. Use accelerated hydrogen peroxide disinfectant on surfaces and equipment. Items that cannot be treated with disinfectants should be autoclaved, ETOH sterilized, disposed of, or otherwise cleaned and disinfected as feasible. Disposal items should be double bagged, bag sprayed with accelerated hydrogen peroxide disinfectant, and carried directly to the dumpster in the receiving dock.

If shared equipment will be used, the DLAR veterinarian must be told during the importation process (prior to receipt of animals). Approval must be given to utilize the shared equipment based on the health status of the imported animals. Guidance on cleaning will be provided when approval is granted.

Additional testing of animals may be required prior to their arrival at Wayne State to facilitate approval of quarantine bypass.


Approved: January 2008

Revisions Approved: 8/2008; 12/2012; 10/2017

Reviewed: 10/2019