The University of Iowa

Outbreak - OAR Pathogen Outbreak Control Plan

The following plan represents the IACUC-endorsed steps that will be taken by the Office of Animal Resources when an excluded pathogen (viruses, bacteria, parasites) is detected in our animal colonies


  1. Restrict room access to reduce risk of collateral transmission

    1. OAR will remove electronic access to the affected room doors as soon as the health reports indicate the detection of an excluded pathogen  


  1. Place quarantine signage and procure supplies

    1. OAR will label the doors to the affected rooms with signage detailing the agent detected and precautions to enter the room
    2. OAR will  provide necessary supplies to manage the quarantine status


  1. Communicate with affected labs on findings

    1. OAR will communicate with the affected investigators, key lab personnel and department DEOs for research staff affected by the pathogen detection




  1. Animal room access restrictions

    1. OAR will permit access to the quarantine rooms for up to two lab staff members
      1. Lab staff assigned to the quarantine rooms will only have access to the quarantine rooms within OAR housing
      2. Lab staff designated to work in the quarantined rooms will be trained on proper quarantine procedures prior to being granted access to the affected rooms
    2. OAR will not assign affected investigators additional housing rooms within the vivarium


  1. Animal movement restrictions

    1. Animals will not be allowed to move outside of the quarantined room except under special circumstances as approved by an OAR veterinarian


Approved terminal tissue collection



  1. OAR will request that any animals from affected rooms that were in the labs or procedural spaces when the room was locked down are returned to the animal rooms immediately
    1. Lab staff can contact an OAR supervisor or veterinarian for assistance with this task


  1. Bio-sampling of affected colonies and treatments

    1. Parasites

      1. Affected sentinels and select colony cages will be sampled to confirm the presence of the excluded pathogen
        1. Fur mites - ectoparasites
          1. Fur samples or fur swabs will be collected from animals
        2. Pinworms - endoparasites
          1. Fecal samples will be collected
      2. All colony animals housed within the affected rooms will be treated after research notification and approval
    2. Viruses/bacteria

      1. Affected sentinels and at least one animal per cage will be sampled to confirm the presence of an excluded viral agent
        1. Sampling could involve collecting a drop of blood and/or fecal sample
      2. Breeding moratorium will be enacted
      3. Cages that test positive for the excluded virus will be reported to the labs and the animals euthanized to reduce transmission risk


  1. Designation of procedural space for terminal tissue harvest

    1. OAR will consider the designation of a quarantine procedural space based on identified pathogen, investigator needs and space availability within the affected vivarium
    2. Designated quarantine lab staff will be trained on proper quarantine procedural space techniques prior to being granted access to the procedural space
    3. Tissues harvested must be fixed to prevent propagation of viable pathogens



  1. OAR will retest for the presence of pathogens as appropriate to the agent, until clearance can be confirmed and quarantine restrictions lifted


  1. Room decontamination

    1. Once the pathogen has been eliminated, OAR will remove and dispose of materials that cannot be decontaminated
    2. Animals will be placed in clean cages and moved to a sanitized room, where all lab staff will have unrestricted access to them
    3. Housing and procedure room(s) and equipment will be decontaminated by OAR prior to further animal use.