Testing Biological Specimens to be Implanted into Live Laboratory Rodents




Animal cells and tissues can transmit pathogens and infect laboratory rodents, so cells and tissues at risk should be tested for rodent pathogens before they are injected or implanted into rodents housed at a University of Illinois animal facility.


All mammalian cells and tissues from a rodent source, mammalian cells, tissues that have been or have passed through rodents or rodent cells without subsequent purification, and non-mammalian agents cultured in rodents or rodent cells without subsequent purification must be tested. This includes but is not limited to immortal cell lines, cells intended for hybridoma formation, tumor cells, viral or bacterial agents cultured in rodent cells or tissue, and blood products, including serum. Non-mammalian agents cultured in rodents or rodent cells with subsequent purification do not require testing. Some examples and scenarios are available.


Principal Investigator

The PI is responsible for providing the Animal Care Program - Laboratory Animals (ACP-LAB, formerly DAR) with documentation of the specimen’s source, history of use, and any previous testing so it can determine whether the specimen is likely to be free of microbial agents of concern or requires further testing. Previous testing may satisfy the policy requirements if method, scope, and date of testing are adequately documented, and the specimens have not been passed through rodents or rodent cells since the latest testing. Previous use in a colony of rodents for which concurrent health surveillance revealed no infectious agents may be adequate.

If testing is required, the PI is responsible for conferring with ACP-LAB to identify laboratory and testing methods and for providing ACP-LAB with documentation of testing results. ACP-LAB will determine if the test results indicate that the specimen is likely to be free from all microbial agents of concern and will communicate this information to the PI. The PI is responsible for maintaining records of testing, use, storage, and handling of cells and tissues.

ACP-LAB Resources

ACP-LAB provides recommendations for approved methods and laboratories and helps the PI to arrange any required testing.

Approved Date

Revised Date