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of variation associated with disease and inapparent infection. These programs consist of various combinations of policies, procedures, and practices related to quarantine and stabilization and the separation of animals by species, source, and health status.
Quarantine, Stabilization, and Separation
Quarantine is the separation of newly received animals from those already in the facility until the health and possibly the microbial status of the newly received animals have been determined. An effective quarantine minimizes the chance for introduction of pathogens into an established colony. The veterinary medical staff should have 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 and others 1995). Effective quarantine procedures should be used for nonhuman primates to help limit exposure of humans to zoonotic infections. Filoviral and mycobacterial infections in nonhuman primates have recently necessitated specific guidelines for handling nonhuman primates (CDC 1991, 1993). Information from vendors on animal quality should be sufficient to enable a veterinarian to determine the length of quarantine, to define the potential risks to personnel and animals within the colony, to determine whether therapy is required before animals are released from quarantine, and, in the case of rodents, to determine whether cesarean rederivation or embryo transfer is required to free the animals of specific pathogens. Rodents might not require quarantine if data from the vendor or provider are sufficiently current and complete 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 separated from animals from other shipments (not necessarily from each other) to preclude transfer of infectious agents between groups.
Regardless of the duration of quarantine, newly received animals should be given a period for physiologic, psychologic, and nutritional stabilization before their use. The length of time for stabilization will depend on the type and duration of animal transportation, the species involved, and the intended use of the animals. The need for a stabilization period has been demonstrated in mice, rats, guinea pigs, and goats; it is probably required for other species as well (Drozdowicz and others 1990; Jelinek 1971; Landi and others 1982; Prasad and others 1978; Sanhouri and others 1989; Tuli and others 1995; Wallace 1976).
Physical separation of animals by species is recommended to prevent interspecies disease transmission and to eliminate anxiety and possible physiologic and behavioral changes due to interspecies conflict. Such separation is usually accomplished by housing different species in separate rooms; however, cubicles, laminar-flow units, cages that have filtered air or separate ventilation,