Rodent Health Monitoring Initiative

We promote replacing soiled bedding sentinel rodents with environmental monitoring technology.

Replace Sentinel Mice

More Accurate Results

Reduce Labor & Cost

Reduce Emotional Fatigue

It is important to ensure that rodent colonies are free of adventitious infectious agents to support high quality, robust research & safety data. Over the last 50 years, health surveillance has been typically performed using sentinel animals. More recently, molecular-based diagnostics combined with environmental monitoring strategies have been adapted by many institutions to either supplement or replace the more traditional methods. These newer approaches have the possibility of significantly replacing the number of rodents used in maintaining specific-pathogen-free colonies.

NA3RsC’s rodent health monitoring initiative strives to environmental monitoring, when appropriate. We have created an extensive resource page on why & how to make the switch. We also have done several webinars. Finally, we are conducting a benchmarking survey to evaluate the current status of implementation and remaining barriers.

We are excited to share that in part because of our efforts, 5 institutions have switched to environmental monitoring thereby replacing over 8,000 mice each year. This includes governmental, academic, and pharmaceutical companies. The pharmaceutical company has made the switch across all global sites and with all caging types. Their internal studies show environmental monitoring is more sensitive than sentinels.

Do you have a question about your environmental at your institution?

Contact us at contactus@na3rsc.org . We can help connect you with someone who can help.

Are you interested in joining our group?

Send a brief statement of interest and your CV/resume to meglafollette “at” na3rsc.org

Check out our introductory slide deck for environmental monitoring

We recommend starting to make the switch by giving an introductory presentation to management and other stakeholders about the evidence, advantages, and practicalities of replacing sentinel rodents with environmental health monitoring. We have a 10-15 min slide deck that you are free to use and modify for your facility that you can download by clicking the image below

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