2001 Volume 50 Issue 5 Pages 397-407
The Biosafety Committee of the Japanese Association of Laboratory Animal Facilities of National Universities (JALAN) investigated recent episodes of microbiological contamination in genetically modified mice (GMM), and the countermeasures taken when the contaminated GMM were introduced into animal facilities, by questionnaires addressed to 53 animal facilities belonging to JALAN and serological tests. Although almost all of the contaminated GMM were accepted with conditions such as rederivation after or before reception and housing in designated rooms, contamination with a spectrum of microorganisms was demonstrated in GMM transferred domestically and from abroad. In serological tests, Mycoplasma pulmonis, mouse parvovirus, and mouse encephalomyelitis virus were detected in GMM transferred from domestic facilities and from abroad. The present results of the questionnaires and serological tests suggest that GMM are highly and widely contaminated with microorganisms compared with mice from commercial breeders. Thus, we propose a microbiological requirement, including microbiological status - excellent, common, and minimum - as a guide for the transfer and procurement of mice and rats in Japan.