Husbandry Methods

Taconic produces mice and rats at multiple health standards that meet specific research requirements. These health standards range from the most stringent germ-free (GF) health standards to Murine Pathogen Free™ (MPF) where a select list of opportunistic bacteria are tolerated. The husbandry methods utilized to meet these standards also vary in their levels of biosecurity that have a direct impact on the health testing program. 
Health Standard Housing and caging type employed Cage Maintenance practices Level at which the Microbiological Unit is defined Staff Personal Protective Equipment Material processing
Murine Pathogen Free™ (MPF™) Barriers, Isolators with open top cages No disinfection between cages in order to maximize agent spread At the building and/or room Minimally a standard uniform including sterilized jumpsuit, mask, footwear and gloves Most supplies steam sterilized; limited entry of ethylene oxide sterilized supplies
Excluded Flora (EF) and Restricted Flora™ (RF™) Barriers with static filter top cages, Barriers with Individually Ventilated Cages (IVC) racks, Flexible film or semi rigid isolators with open top cages Disinfection between handling cages to minimize agent spread, hood use for IVC rooms One level at the building and/or room and a second level at the cage Employees don sterile uniforms that completely cover the employee with use of a powered air purifying respirator (respirator not used in IVC and isolator housing) Most supplies steam sterilized; limited entry of ethylene oxide sterilized supplies
Defined Flora (DF) Gnotobiotic flexible film isolator with open top cages No disinfection between cages in order to maximize agent spread At the isolator Handled only through isolator gloves All materials steam sterilized
Germ-free (GF) Gnotobiotic flexible film isolator with open top cages No disinfection between cages in order to maximize agent spread At the isolator Handled only through isolator gloves All materials steam sterilized

Verification of Taconic’s Unique Refined Health Standards via Ancillary Microbial Monitoring

Health Standard Ancillary Microbial Testing Sample Frequency Source of Microbial Samples Number of Samples
EF and RF™ Aerobic cultures for beta hemolytic Streptococci, K. oxytoca, K. pneumonia, P. aeruginosa, S. aureus Monthly Fecal and oral swabs of animals Four random cages per housing rack and all sentinel cages
DF Cultures for all aerobic and anaerobic organisms Bi-weekly Animals (feces) and environment (feed, water, isolator surfaces, etc.) One pooled sample per isolator
GF Cultures for all aerobic and anaerobic organisms Bi-weekly Animals (feces) and environment (feed, water, isolator surfaces, etc.) One pooled sample per isolator