Texas Tech University

Rodent Health Reports

Animal Care Services Sentinel Program for Rodent Health

To assess whether research rodents in ACS facilities are carrying a particular history of disease, the ACS Veterinarians and Staff test specific animals in each room. This is called the sentinel testing program and consists of housing sentinel rodents in the room of the same species as the research or training animals.

In general, we consider one cage of 2 rodents per rack of test rodents to be adequate. The sentinel rodents are purchased "clean" from a trusted vendor and placed on the rack for 4-6 weeks, then sampled on a quarterly cycle, depending on the history of disease and needs of specific studies. During exposure, the sentinels are exposed to soiled bedding used by the rodents on the same rack to maximize chances of the sentinel picking up the infectious agent.

In cases where sentinel tests turn out to be positive for infectious disease, the test will be repeated to confirm the positive result. At this point, the Faculty member will be contacted by the Attending Veterinarian and in consultation with those involved, develop a plan for eradication of the infectious disease agent.

For sentinel test results, please contact the Animal Care Services facilities manager.

Animal Care & Use