Rodent Quarantine Program

LARC Rodent Program


Rodent Quarantine Programs at UCSF

The rodent research program at UCSF is incredibly varied in terms of academic disciplines, type of scientific investigation, geographic distribution of facilities, and physical structure of facilities. The research personnel at UCSF have a large diversity of background and experience of academic and scientific staff, as well as very large numbers of academic and scientific staff (animal users).

An important aspect of ensuring quality results from research performed in rodents is providing assurance that experimental results are free from interference by infectious disease of rodents. Although quarantine programs are costly to UCSF and may appear cumbersome to research staff in terms of time and convenience, the positive benefits in terms of disease prevention and therefore successful research overcome these perceived drawbacks. For all of these reasons well-defined and strictly maintained programs of quarantine for rodents is essential.

UCSF Rodent Quarantine Programs are used to prevent the introduction of pathogenic organisms, isolate & contain potential sources of infection pending confirmation of test results and contain, treat and eradicate outbreaks.



It is widely accepted that the greatest risk to established colonies is in the introduction of animals from outside sources. With the increased distribution of animals between academic institutions the risk becomes intensified because the health status of exporting colonies is not equivalent; certain colonies exclude pathogens that others do not, and colony health monitoring and maintenance programs may vary widely between institutions.

A program of incoming rodent quarantine seeks to minimize the risk to UCSF colonies by excluding specific pathogens, determining the actual the health status of incoming animals at the time of arrival, exclude unhealthy animals, identify animals more suitable for rederivation than introduction and thereby protect the health of UCSF colonies in general.


Animals that do not require Incoming Rodent Quarantine (may directly enter colonies)

Animals from Approved Vendors

  • To acquire an animal from an approved vendor, the Investigator should contact the LARC business office to place an   order per the currently approved procedure.The procedures and form can be found in RIO.


Animals from other UCSF barrier facilities

  • To transfer an animal between UCSF barriers, the Investigator should obtain, complete and submit the “Barrier to Barrier Transfer” form from the LARC website. The procedures and form can be found in RIO.
  • Animals from UCSF colonies under Provisional Quarantine or Pathogen Quarantine are not eligible for transfer. LARC veterinary staff should be consulted in these cases.


Animals that may be considered for Incoming Rodent Quarantine:

Animals from non-approved rodent vendors or institutions with “clean” health records.

  • The exporting institution will be asked to provide a description of the colony and husbandry practices at the room of origin.
  • Currently, health records must include data on the following pathogens:

        - Mice: MHV, Sendai, PVM, Parvo, GD VII, MVM, M. pulmonis, Ectromelia, Reovirus, LCM, P. pneumotropica, endo- and ecto-parasites

        - Rats: SDAV, Sendai, Parvo, RCV, PVM, GD VII, M. pulmonis, P. pneumotropica, endo- and ecto-parasites

  • Animals shall be separated by gender for shipping by the exporting institution
  • Pregnant animals or females with unweaned litters should not be shipped
  • Veterinary staff will evaluate the health record of each proposed import and determine eligibility for incoming quarantine
  • Enter RIO to access the form/procedure                                                                                                                                                                                                           



  • Racks will receive animals for 1 – 2 weeks prior to start date
  • Investigators may request “first available” quarantine or schedule their shipment to arrive at their home campus (based on schedule)
  • Quarantine Interval & Testing Schedule
  • Length of IRQ (no pathogens identified) is approximately 9 weeks (63 days) which includes 2 week “receiving period” during which the unit accepts animals.
  • Click here for approximate time schedule and record form for regular IRQ.
  • An abbreviated quarantine is approximately 5 weeks in length and is available for an additional cost. Click here for approximate time schedule and record form for abbreviated IRQ.


Investigator Access for Manipulations and Breeding during Quarantine:

  • Breeding mice may commence after the results of the first sentinel bleed have returned as negative. This occurs approximately 5 weeks after the quarantine is initiated.
  • Investigators or his/her designee are not permitted to enter an incoming rodent quarantine housing room unless escorted by LARC personnel.
  • Breeding mice before the first sentinel test results are known, require detailed justification and will be reviewed on a case-by case basis.


Prophylactic Parasite Treatment during Quarantine:

  • Pinworms: Fenbendazole feed (150 ppm) during entire quarantine period
  • Fur Mites:  Three ivermectin treatments