The defined laboratory animal and health monitoring
There is a definite need to set standard for health monitoring in order to obtain defined animals. Currently few laboratories can provide health monitoring schemes. However methods and operational
GV-SOLAS has listed and published recommended methods to detect some pathogens. In the US, ILAR will publish a book with information on how diseases can affect research results. The FELASA working group on health monitoring is
working to achieve recommendations, which could be widely accepted.
Health monitoring methods used were regarded as too variable, and some types of reports difficult to read. If health monitoring is practised in user units it is in most cases only limited Most users rely on services of specialized laboratories or on breaders’ reports. Transparency of all relevant information concerning animals and methods used for health monitoring (SOst) is vital.
While standard textbooks in laboratory animal science use diseases as an example of a variable readily appreciated by scientists, it probably applies to clinical diseases only. However, there is ample evidence that this also holds true for subcIinical diseases.
The cost of health monitoring appears high, and hence there is a need to set a minimum standard. One way to define an animal could be through identification of significant organisms regarded to interfere with a certain study. The detection of
significant organisms should result in due action. Health monitoring is a specialized field, which requires expertise, trained staff and established and periodically revised methods. In order to achieve international standardization in this field reference centers are preferable. To meet these demands WHO has appointed four ”WHO Collaborating Centres for Defined Laboratory Animals” (USA, Germany, USSR, Japan). Furthermore, ICLAS is currently revising its international ”Reference and Monitoring System for Laboratory Animals”.