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Suggested Citation:"Concluding Remarks." National Research Council. 2000. Microbial Status and Genetic Evaluation of Mice and Rats: Proceedings of the 1999 US/Japan Conference. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/9987.
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Concluding Remarks

Tatsuji Nomura

Central Institute for Experimental Animals

Kawasaki, Japan

I simply want to mention what I perceive to be the fundamental difference in microbiologic management in the United States, Europe, and Japan. In Japan, where laboratory animal science began in the 1950s, most if not all microbiologists are involved in research on infections and immunity. From the beginning, we have been concerned about microbiologic quality. In the United States and Europe, however, the focus is on health surveillance or health monitoring, which is very different. Microbiologic quality covers good health, but health monitoring does not cover microbiologic quality.

Recently, Japanese molecular geneticists have requested very sophisticated animals for the analysis of gene expression related to immunity or infection. They need animals with very high microbiologic quality, and we cannot compromise. For instance, we simply never use animals with an inapparent infection until the infection has been eliminated.

In Japan, we have only one ICLAS Monitoring Center (CIEA), which selects minimum requirements; and for 20 years, we have had no problems. Of course, we are prepared to encounter problems, and so we continue to exchange information and ideas frequently.

Japanese universities maintain good cooperation because the Ministry of Education supports all the university animal centers, and they all have in-house microbiologic laboratories. If a problem develops, they immediately send it to the center. I believe we are fortunate to have this simple system, which is different from US and European systems.

Finally, on behalf of the Japanese, I would like to thank the US hosts and all of the staff for organizing this excellent meeting. We, the Japanese, have learned much.

Suggested Citation:"Concluding Remarks." National Research Council. 2000. Microbial Status and Genetic Evaluation of Mice and Rats: Proceedings of the 1999 US/Japan Conference. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/9987.
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US/Japan meetings on laboratory animal science have been held virtually every year since 1980 under the US/Japan Cooperative Program on Science and Technology. Over the years these meetings have resulted in a number of important documents including the Manual of Microbiologic Monitoring of Laboratory Animals published in 1994 and the article Establishment and Preservation of Reference Inbred Strains of Rats for General Purposes. In addition to these publications, the meetings have been instrumental in increasing awareness of the need for microbiologic monitoring of laboratory rodents and the need for genetic definition and monitoring of mice and rats.

In cooperation with the Comparative Medicine section of NCRR/NIH, the ILAR Council and staff are pleased to become the host for this important annual meeting and look forward to participating in future meetings. The support and sponsorship of NCRR (P40 RR 11611) in the United States and the Central Institute for Experimental Animals in Japan are gratefully acknowledged. Bringing together the leading scientists in the field of laboratory animal care has resulted in increased understanding of American and Japanese approaches to laboratory animal science and should continue to strengthen efforts to harmonize approaches aimed at resolving common challenges in the use of animal models for biomedical research and testing. This effort to improve understanding and cooperation between Japan and the United States should also be useful in developing similar interaction with other regions of the world including Europe, Australia, and Southeast Asia.

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