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Guidelines for the Humane Transportation of Research Animals
Disinfection of the outside of the shipping containers should also be considered. As discussed above, companion animals are often transported in unfiltered containers and may be transported along with research animals. Therefore, the potential for cross contamination of shipping containers is present and must be considered. Another situation that may result in cross contamination is the entry of wild mice infected with lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus or mouse hepatitis virus into an animal holding area along the transportation route, such as an airport or cargo transfer station. The infected wild mouse can shed virus, thus contaminating the outside of the shipping container. Transmission of pathogens to research animals or colonies can then occur if the container is brought into a facility or animals are removed from the container without disinfection of the outside surfaces. Since such infections occur during transportation, diagnostic testing by the source provider does not ensure the biosecurity of either the animals or the receiving colony.
Personal Protective Equipment
The appropriate use of PPE can also protect research animals from human pathogens and cross contamination from other animals. For example, macaques are susceptible to human infections such as measles and tuberculosis. The use of PPE will not only prevent the transmission of B virus from a macaque to a human, but also can prevent the inadvertent transmission of measles or tuberculosis to the macaque. People who handle animals should cover their street clothing and exposed body surfaces with PPE to reduce the risk of pathogen introduction through direct contact or aerosol. In some instances, it may be appropriate to provide handlers with a shower-based entry system. The appropriate disposal of PPE is also necessary so that the PPE does not act as a fomite for transmitting pathogens. For example, if PPE is worn while disinfecting incoming shipping containers, the PPE should be disposed of before moving on to other tasks.
Segregation of Animals
Separation of different shipments of animals is also a method for preventing intra- and interspecies transmission of pathogens presented in Table 4-4. The committee suggests close adherence to the recommendations in the LARs regarding segregation of species and separation of animals of the same species of different origins (LARs Sections 5.3 and 10.3.2). Briefly, these regulations state that: