introduced infectious agents. Related components include procedures for evaluating and selecting appropriate animal suppliers (these may include quarantine and determination of animal health status if unknown); treatment of animals or their products at entry to minimize disease risks (e.g., surface disinfection of fish eggs); a comprehensive pest control program that may include evaluation of the health status of feral animals; procedures to ensure that all biologics administered to animals are free of contamination; and procedures for intra- and interfacility animal transport (e.g., transport of animals to laboratory and other facilities outside the animal facility can present challenges to animal biosecurity) (Balaban and Hampshire 2001). Additional details pertaining to these topics are available in the sections of Chapter 2 that deal with occupational health and safety.
Quarantine is the separation of newly received animals from those already in the facility, in a way that prevents potential spread of contaminants, until the health and possibly the microbial status of the newly received animals have been determined. Transportation can be stressful and may induce recrudescence of subclinical infections harbored by an animal.
An effective quarantine program minimizes the risk of introduction of pathogens into an established colony. The veterinary medical staff should implement procedures for evaluating the health and, if appropriate, the pathogen status of newly received animals, and the procedures should reflect acceptable veterinary medical practice and federal and state regulations applicable to zoonoses (Butler et al. 1995). Effective quarantine procedures are particularly helpful in limiting human exposure to zoonotic infections from nonhuman primates, such as mycobacterial infections, which necessitate specific guidelines for handling of these animals (Lerche et al. 2008; Roberts and Andrews 2008).
Information from suppliers about animal quality should be sufficient to enable a veterinarian to establish the length of quarantine, define the potential risks to personnel and animals in the colony, determine whether therapy is required before animals are released from quarantine, and, in the case of rodents, determine whether rederivation (cesarean or embryo transfer) is necessary to free the animals of specific pathogens. Rodents may not require quarantine if data from the vendor or provider are sufficiently current, complete, and reliable to define the health status of the incoming animals and if the potential for exposure to pathogens during transit is considered. When quarantine is indicated, animals from one shipment should be handled separately or be physically separated from animals from other shipments to preclude transfer of infectious agents between groups.