Husbandry Methods

Taconic produces mice and rats at multiple health standards that meet specific research requirements. These health standards range from the most stringent health standard, Germ Free (GF), 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 which 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™) Primarily barriers with open top cages; some isolators No disinfection between cages in order to maximize agent spread At the building and/or room or isolator Minimally a standard uniform including sterilized jumpsuit, mask, footwear and gloves Most supplies steam sterilized; limited entry of ethylene oxide sterilized supplies
Restricted Flora™ (RF™), Opportunist Free™ (OF™) and Excluded Flora (EF) Barriers with static filter top cages
(Note: this husbandry method is being phased out for RF™, OF™ and EF locations over time)
Disinfection between handling cages to minimize agent spread 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 Most supplies steam sterilized; limited entry of ethylene oxide sterilized supplies
Restricted Flora™ (RF™), Opportunist Free™ (OF™) and Excluded Flora (EF) Barriers with Individually Ventilated Cages (IVCs) Disinfection between handling cages to minimize agent spread, laminar flow cabinet use 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 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