Perspective. Key developments in evolution of knowledge concerning infection with each agent including its natural history, host effects, diagnosis, control, and significance.

Agent. A listing of those characteristics important to recognition, laboratory manipulation, and control of each agent. Includes taxonomy, strains, morphology, cultural requirements, biochemical reactions (bacteria), stability (viruses), and inactivation (viruses).

Hosts. Does the infection occur in mice, rats, or both? Are they the natural, reservoir, or incidental hosts? What other laboratory animals can serve as hosts? Are there reservoir hosts for mice and rats?

Epizootiology. Epizootiology of the infection plus consideration of specific ecological niches inhabited by the agent inside and outside of the host(s).

Clinical. Clinical signs of infection, if any. The majority of natural infections in mice and rats are subclinical or have only transient clinical signs.

Pathology. Strain differences in susceptibility (if known), pathogenesis, gross pathology, histopathology, pathology of infection in immunodeficient or immunosuppressed hosts (if different from that in immunocompetent hosts), and immune response(s).

Diagnosis. Direct and indirect methods for agent detection, including serology, culture, and immunofluorescence, with comments on sampling and interpretation of results, as appropriate. Guidelines are given for pathologic workups on diseased animals.

Control. Methods most likely to succeed in prevention of infection are emphasized. Approaches to eradicating or limiting spread of established existing infections are also presented. Medications usually are not given as their use may impose additional variables on experiments.

Interference with research. A compilation from the literature of specific examples in which the agent was found to complicate research results or alter host responses.

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