appropriate, chemical agents to destroy microorganisms. Cleaning with ultrasound may be a useful method for small pieces of equipment.
If automated watering systems are used, some mechanism to ensure that microorganisms and debris do not build up in the watering devices is recommended (Meier et al. 2008); the mechanism can be periodic flushing with large volumes of water or appropriate chemical agents followed by a thorough rinsing. Constant recirculation loops that use properly maintained filters, ultraviolet lights, or other devices to disinfect recirculated water are also effective. Attention should be given to the routine sanitation of automatic water delivery valves (i.e., lixits) during primary enclosure cleaning.
Conventional methods of cleaning and disinfection are adequate for most animal care equipment. However, it may be necessary to also sterilize caging and associated equipment to ensure that pathogenic or opportunistic microorganisms are not introduced into specific-pathogen-free or immunocompromised animals, or that experimental biologic hazards are destroyed before cleaning. Sterilizers should be regularly evaluated and monitored to ensure their safety and effectiveness.
For pens or runs, frequent flushing with water and periodic use of detergents or disinfectants are usually appropriate to maintain sufficiently clean surfaces. If animal waste is to be removed by flushing, this will need to be done at least once a day. During flushing, animals should be kept dry. The timing of pen or run cleaning should take into account the normal behavioral and physiologic processes of the animals; for example, the gastrocolic reflex in meal-fed animals results in defecation shortly after food consumption.
Cleaning and Disinfection of the Macroenvironment All components of the animal facility, including animal rooms and support spaces (e.g., storage areas, cage-washing facilities, corridors, and procedure rooms) should be regularly cleaned and disinfected as appropriate to the circumstances and at a frequency based on the use of the area and the nature of likely contamination. Vaporized hydrogen peroxide or chlorine dioxide are effective compounds for room decontamination, particularly following completion of studies with highly infectious agents (Krause et al. 2001) or contamination with adventitious microbial agents.
Cleaning implements should be made of materials that resist corrosion and withstand regular sanitation. They should be assigned to specific areas and should not be transported between areas with different risks of contamination without prior disinfection. Worn items should be replaced regularly. The implements should be stored in a neat, organized fashion that facilitates drying and minimizes contamination or harborage of vermin.
Assessing the Effectiveness of Sanitation Monitoring of sanitation practices should fit the process and materials being cleaned and may include visual inspection and microbiologic and water temperature monitoring (Compton et al. 2004a,b; Ednie et al. 1998; Parker et al. 2003). The intensity of animal odors, particularly that of ammonia, should not be used as the