Animal Health & Welfare Core

Erin YuJohn Farley

Director:  Erin Yu, DVM

Facility Manager: John Farley, BS, RLATG

This Core ensures the health and welfare of the mice in order to enhance efficiency and maximize consistency in phenotypic characterizations:

    • Coordinates transfer of mice from Institutions outside of Vanderbilt
    • Assures that mice admitted to the MMPC meet defined health criteria
    • Directs the implementation of daily husbandry and care
    • Provides veterinary care, diagnoses disease, and identifies unique phenotypes of mice through interaction with the Comparative Pathology Subcore
    • Assures compliance with MMPC guidelines and local, national and federal regulatory bodies

Vanderbilt internal investigators are charged directly for per diems. The MMPC is charged per diems for external investigators. In such cases the MMPC incorporates animal care charges into the total invoice for phenotyping services.

Initiating Mice Transfers to MMPC

Internal investigators: please fill out the online ­­ Non-USDA Animal Transfer Request Form on the DAC website. Mice should remain under the investigator’s name and on the investigator’s protocol. Please email questions to
External investigators: please fill out the Request for Transfer form and email to The Vanderbilt import team will contact the external institution with regards to health reports and shipment, in close cooperation with the external investigator and the MMPC.

Receipt of Mice and Quarantine

Investigators are encouraged to send mice from approved vendors (Table 1) as quarantine is waived.
The external institution must test for specific pathogens (Table 2) and provide a health certificate no older than 4 months. Mice from external institutions, with the exception of approved vendors (Table 2), must undergo quarantine and testing prior to release into the colony (3-4 weeks).

Table 1. Approved Vendors (Waived Quarantine)

  • Harlan Teklad
  • National Cancer Institute
  • Jackson Labs
  • National Institute of Aging
  • Taconic Farms
  • UC Davis Mouse Biology Program
  • Charles River Labs

Table 2. Pre-Shipment Required Testing

  • Ectromelia
  • Minute virus of mice
  • Lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus
  • Reovirus
  • Mouse adenoviruses
  • Sendal virus
  • Mouse hepatitis virus
  • Theiler’s virus
  • Mouse parvoviruses
  • Murine Minute Virus
  • Mouse rotacirus (EDIM)
  • Ectoparasites
  • Mycoplasma pulmonis
  • Endoparasites
  • Pneumonia virus of mice

During quarantine:
Experimental mice: Mice either receive Fenbendazole diet or, if fed a special diet, are treated topically with ivermectin. Cages are treated with Atguard granules. Samples are collected (fecal samples, tape tests of pelage and perineum) for parasitology. Testing for Mouse Hepatitis Virus is performed on a subset of animals. Experimental mice will be examined once upon arrival and after 6 weeks for ectoparasites via fur pluck/tape test. Examination of the cecal and colon contents will be performed for determination of endoparasites.
Sentinel Mice: Direct contact female sentinels are placed in cages with experimental mice for a minimum of 96 hours. Following this direct exposure, sentinels are returned to their home cages for additional exposure by soiled bedding at cage change. Following 6 weeks of exposure, sentinels are sacrificed and tested for specific pathogens (Table 3).

Table 3. Quarantine Serology on Sentinel Mice

  • Ectromelia
  • Mycoplasma pulmonis
  • Lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus
  • Minute virus of mice
  • Mouse adenoviruses
  • Pneumonia virus of mice
  • Mouse cytomegalovirus
  • Reovirus
  • Mouse hepatitis virus
  • Sendal virus
  • Mouse parvoviruses
  • Theiler’s virus (GD-7)
  • Mouse norovirus
  • Polyomavirus
  • Mouse rotavirus (EDIM)
  • K virus
  • Mouse thymic virus

In addition to the tests mentioned above, international shipments are tested for:

  • Hantaan virus
  • Mouse Cytomegalovirus
  • Encephalitazoon cuniculi
  • CAR Bacillus
  • Murine T lymphocyte virus

Transfer of mice from quarantine into MMPC:

If all results from experimental and sentinel mice are negative, experimental mice will be moved into the MMPC 6-8 weeks after arrival. Positive tests will be confirmed and if confirmed, the mice may be euthanized, minimizing pathogen risks to the Vanderbilt University resident colonies.

MMPC Animal Husbandry

Trained DAC staff under the supervision of Dr. Yu and John Farley conducts MMPC mouse husbandry. The staff receive specific guidelines for performing husbandry with minimal disruption to ongoing experiments. Husbandry, as are all animal care procedures, is conducted in adherence with MMPC standard guidelines and strictly follows local, national, and federal regulations.

Animal Welfare Schema