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Animal Health & Welfare
Medical Center North
Director: Erin Yu, D.V.M.
The goal of the Animal Health & Welfare Core is to ensure the health and welfare of the mice in order to enhance efficiency and maximize consistency in phenotypic characterizations. To achieve that goal, the Core employs the following strategies:
The procedures used in the Core are those that have been recommended by the National MMPC Program and are summarized below. Investigators inside Vanderbilt are charged directly for per diems and MMPC is charged per diems for investigators from outside Vanderbilt. The MMPC incorporates the charges for animal care into the total cost for phenotyping services.
Receipt of Mice
The Core ensures the health and pathogen status of shipped experimental mice to a) assure data integrity for the metabolic and cardiovascular phenotypes being studied and b) maintain the health standards of the larger DAC colony.
Before mice are accepted into the MMPC quarantine from outside research institutes they undergo the screening guidelines recommended by the National MMPC Program. The source institution must test for the pathogens listed in Table 1 and provide a health certificate no older than 4 months. There are a number of mice in stock at approved vendors that may be useful for testing a hypothesis related to metabolic disease. Animals are accepted from approved commercial vendors and admitted directly into the MMPC. Investigators are encouraged when possible to send mice from approved vendors as the cost is less and the turnaround time is shorter because quarantine is not required.
Table 1. Testing of Mice for Admittance into the MMPC
Mice from other research institutions with the exception of approved vendors (Table 2) must undergo quarantine and testing prior to release into the colony. Once animals enter Vanderbilt, they may enter quarantine by the standard or expedited track.
Table 2. VUMC Approved Vendors
Upon Receipt into Quarantine
All experimental animals:
Table 3. Quarantine Testing Serology
Subgross examination of the pelt - Ectoparasites
Subgross examination of the cecal and colon contents - Endoparasites
In addition to the tests mentioned above, international shipments are also tested for the following:
Trained DAC staff under the supervision of Dr. Yu conducts MMPC mouse husbandry. Dr. Yu's staff has specific guidelines they follow for performing husbandry with minimal disruption to ongoing experiments. Husbandry, as are all animal care procedures, is conducted in adherence with MMPC standard guidelines and strictly follows local, national, and federal regulations.