OAR Informational Sheet: Guidance and Procedures for Rodent Biologic Testing

Informational Sheet:

 The Office of Animal Resources has provided a set of guidance documents (Policies, Guidelines, and Informational Sheets) for use when planning animal procedures at the University of Iowa. This Informational Sheet provides the current guidance on required testing described in the IACUC Policy on Testing of Research Biologics for Pathogens.


  • Covered Rodent Biologic Material:
    • Cultured or primary cells, tissues, infectious agents, or serum/plasma that originates in a rodent species (mouse, rat, or other rodent)
    • Cells, tissues, infectious agents, or serum/plasma from humans and other non-rodent animals which have been exposed to rodents or rodent biologics either directly (in vivo passage) or indirectly (via tissue culture or treatment)

Testing Procedures and Resources:

  • Rodent Biologic Materials may be demonstrated free of excluded pathogens in the following ways:
    • Commercial PCR testing of a representative portion of the cell line or tissue carried in culture, or of the pooled biologic material (serum, infectious agent, etc.)
    • Documentation from the vendor/supplier of appropriate testing for excluded pathogens (see list below).
  • A contracted rate for PCR testing for all UI-excluded pathogens has been established with the diagnostic labs of IDEXX-RADIL
    • A combination panel of excluded pathogen testing WITH confirmation of cell line identity is also available from IDEXX-RADIL, for those who need to perform any cell line confirmation testing.
    • Contact a veterinarian at OAR-veterinarian@uiowa.edu to ensure submission at contract rates for these panels.
  • Alternately, Charles River Diagnostic Lab’s “Mouse Essential Panel” and/or “Rat Essential Panel” covers all excluded agents and is an accepted option for the required testing. (Details at http://www.criver.com/ under “Health Surveillance” section)
  • One test panel per biologic material (per source) is required, with results to be uploaded as an attachment to the applicable Animal Protocol(s) for review.  Repeated testing is not required upon renewal unless a change of material source and/or risk factor (e.g. pathogen detection) occurs.



    • Primary or passaged biologics which originate from animals housed in OAR animal housing (e.g. bone marrow for transplant, spontaneous tumors harvested from OAR-housed animals, etc.) are not required to be tested
    • Materials administered to animals housed solely in ABSL-3 conditions are exempt from testing requirements
    • Materials administered to rodents which do not return to OAR housing (“acute” studies) and which do not contaminate OAR caging/equipment are not required to be tested
    • Additional exceptions may be granted on a case-by-case basis with justification and approval in the Animal Protocol


Required Agent Panels:

Biologics to be Administered to a Mouse:


Agent Name


Mouse Hepatitis Virus / Mouse Coronavirus


Minute Virus of Mice


Mouse Parvoviruses


Mouse Rotavirus/Epizootic Diarrhea of Infant Mice


Theiler’s Murine Encephalomyelitis Virus


Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis Virus


Sendai virus


Pneumonia Virus of Mice


Reovirus (Type 3)


Ectromelia Virus (Mousepox)


Mouse Adenovirus 1 and 2


Mycoplasma pulmonis

M. pulmonis


Biologics to be Administered to a Rat:

Agent Name


Rat Coronavirus/Sialodacryoadenitis Virus


Rat Parvovirus


Rat Minute Virus


Kilham Rat Virus / Rat Virus


Toolan’s H-1 Virus


Rat Theilovirus


Pneumocystis carinii

P. carinii