Introduction of Cells/Other Biologicals or Experimental Equipment

TESTING OF BIOLOGICALS

Importing live animals represents the highest infection risk, but all biological materials originating from such animals (or humans) may also be contaminated and also must therefore be considered as possible sources of infection as well!

Contaminated materials can cause rodent infection outbreaks with devastating consequences and and/or infection of humans!

For more detailed information and references see here:

Risk of infection from biological materials (GV-SOLAS) (PDF, 396 KB)

From bench to cageside: Risk assessment for rodent pathogen contamination of cells and biologicals (PDF, 126 KB)

Some reasons why testing of biologicals from external sources is mandatory:

  • Even samples from human origin may be contaminated by rodent micro-organisms after animal passages or after use in animal cell culture hoods (cross-contamination).
  • The documentation about the history of biological materials, even if they originate from commercial vendors or from culture collections, is often fragmentary
  • Human material has to be tested for human pathogens in addition (biosafety!)
  • Viruses are frequently transmitted by biological materials, but also bacteria
  • The most recently published outbreaks of ectromelia and MHV in laboratory mice caused by contaminated serum and by tumor cells also underline the immense risk of agent transmission by biological materials
  • Storage of contaminated biological material at low temperatures (deep freezing) does not reduce infectiousness. Therefore, long-stored samples can be hazardous and may represent a serious health risk for animals and humans.
  • Some agents, despite the lack of clinical symptoms in animals or humans, can still influence the results of animal experiments, leading to misinterpretations and to the need to repeat experiments

HOW TO PREPARE YOUR CELLS:

Please note: ALL kinds of cells (regardless of their origin) which are injected into mice or rats have to be tested for pathogen contamination before introducing them into the animal facility!

If you do not have any hygiene documents or if they are outdated/incomplete, a sample of your substance has to be tested for all relevant murine (and human) pathogenic agents.

The LASC will organize the testing for you: Instructions for preparation of cells for testing (PDF, 132 KB)

Send a request to veterinary.services@lasc.uzh.ch. It must contain all available hygiene documents and the completed submission form for cell testing: Submission form for celll testing (PDF, 489 KB)

OTHER BIOLOGICALS:

  • E.g. serum, ascitic fluid, tumors, organ explants...
  • Please describe briefly how the biologicals will be used in the animal facility
  • The same regulations apply as for the introduction of cells (see above)

How long is a testing certificate valid?

1 year, if a cell line is continously used and processed (or longer, if the cells are only thawed occasionally from the originally tested stock and immediately injected into animals).

 

INTRODUCTION OF EXPERIMENTAL EQUIPMENT

All of the experimental equipment to be used in a LASC vivarium must be decontaminated before introduction. If you plan to introduce equipment for your experiments, please contact the responsible facility manager.