Quality Assurance

Genetic and IgG level (functional test) Monitoring
Genetic Monitoring

Here in CCMR, we centrally breed a number of mouse and rat strains including: BALB/c, BALB/cAnN-nu (Nude), CBA/Ca, C57BL/6N, C57BL/6J, C.B-17/Icr-scid (SCID), C.B-17/Icr-scid-bg (SCID Beige), FVB/N, F1 (C57BL/6N x CBA/Ca), ICR (CD-1), NOD.CB17-Prkdcscid /J (NOD SCID) and NOD.Cg-Prkdcscid Il2rgtm1Wjl/SzJ (NSG) (Mouse); CD(SD)IGS (Sprague Dawley), DA (Dark Agouti) and LEW (Lewis) (Rat). Apart from minimizing the housing of phenotypically similar strains in the same room, we employ the use of 32 SNP marker to confirm there is no genetic contamination due to undetected misbreeding.

Ear punch samples taken from inbred animals housed in SPFBA / MDA are sent to Charles River Laboratories, USA or Envigo Laboratories, UK annually to test for genetic contamination.


IgG Monitoring

There are a number of immunodeficient mouse strains on offer at CCMR: SCID, SCID Beige, NOD SCID and NSG. The level of immunodeficiency varies among different mouse strains.

SCID mice lack functional B and T lymphocytes but they have normal natural killer cell (NK) activity. SCID beige mice lack functional B and T lymphocytes and diminished NK activity. NOD SCID mice have impaired T and B cell lymphocyte development and also have deficient NK cell function. NSG mice lack functional B and T lymphocytes and NK cells. IgG monitoring provides an indication of the level of immunodeficiency of the mouse strains.

Serum samples taken from immunodeficient mice housed in SPFBA / MDA are sent to Charles River Laboratories, USA or Envigo Laboratories, UK annually to test for IgG level.



Environmental / Equipment Monitoring

Apart from supplying healthy and good quality of animals to researchers, the environment housing the animals and the equipment used on animals are also under routine monitoring to ensure the animals are living in an environment up to the performance standards as listed by the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals, 8th Edition, National Research Council.

  • Supply air is checked every six months for bacterial and fungal counts by the University Safety Office. Water is sampled bi-monthly for bacterial and parasitic counts by the Unit Laboratory. The University Estates Office submits water samples once a year to (i) an outside laboratory for bacteriological (coliforms, E. coli and plate counts), turbidity, pH value, conductivity, color and iron content examination and (ii) the government veterinary laboratory for parasitological examination.
  • The performance of autoclaves are monitored 3 times a week using spore ampoules "3M Attest 1292E Rapid Readout Biological Indicator®" (http://www.3M.com) in the LAU Building (viz Specific Pathogen Free Breeding Area and Minimal Disease Area) and monthly in the Dexter H.C. Man Building / LAU Extension (viz Conventional Area and Unit Laboratory). In addition, each autoclave load is monitored using a chemical indicator strip "Getinge Steam Sterilization Integrator®" (http://www.getingeusa.com) or an "Interster ISP Steam Emulating Indicator®" (http://www.interster.nl).
  • Sanitation of washed cages and bottles are monitored every six months by direct sampling using Count-Tact® plates and culturing. Samples are tested in the Unit Laboratory. The performance of the bottle washers are monitored daily using Pharmacal "Tri-Temp Strips®" (http://www.pharmacal.com)
  • Count-Tact® plate samples are taken from ceilings, walls and floors of animal/ procedure/ store rooms and corridors in animal areas for sanitation monitoring by the Unit Laboratory yearly. 

Diet & Bedding
Coming soon

Facilities
Physical Environment and Barrier Housing
  • Temperature regulated: (16-26) degree C
  • RH: (30-70)%
  • Ventilation
    1. 100% fresh air supply
    2. 15 air changes / hour
    3. HEPA-filtered air (99.97%, 0.3 micron, either positive or negative animal room pressure to corridor)
    4. Back-up generator, air-handling units and chillers
  • Photo-period control
  • UV treated and 1 micron filtered water
  • Irradiated diets; autoclaved bedding, bottles and cages
  • Cage equipment washed / disinfected by cabinet / tunnel / bottle washers before passing through the autoclaves
  • Dunk tank (with Anigene® {Halogenated Tertiary Amine} disinfectant) for passage of irradiated diets and non-autoclavable items; entry port (UV light with Alcide® {Chlorine Dioxide} disinfectant or formaldehyde) treatment of non-autoclavable items, rodent barriers and UV insect killers
  • Specific Pathogen Free Central Breeding Area (SPFBA)
    {2/F LAU Building}
    1. Wet shower before donning autoclaved clothing, cap, mask and foot-wear
  • Minimal Disease Experimental Holding Area (MDA)
    {1/F LAU Building & EG/F Dexter H.C. Man Building}
    1. Ante-room for washing hands and putting on autoclaved protective clothing, face-mask, cap and foot-wear before entering animal area
    2. Operating Theatre equipped with anaesthetic machines, ventilators, capnometer, operating microscope, oximeters, diathermy and X-ray equipment
  • Conventional Experimental Holding Area (CA)
    {G/F LAU Building, EG/F & ELG1 Dexter H.C. Man Building & R/F Laboratory Block, Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine}
    1. Ante-room for putting on protective clothing, face-mask, cap and footwear before entering animal area
    2. Operating Room equipped with anaesthetic machines, ventilators, oximeters, capnometer, diathermy , X-ray machine and audio-visual equipment
  • Hands have to be washed and gloves put on before handling animals
  • Animals once removed from the SPFBA and MDA cannot be returned
  • Quarantine room (negative pressure) with individually ventilated cages for holding imported animals and embryo transfer rederivation for animals with unacceptable health status
  • Room access either computerized or fitted with digital lock and CCTV at entrances/exits/ante-rooms and restricted to authorized animal care/vet/research staff

Husbandry Practice
  • Animal keepers
    1. Technicians / sub-technical staff under supervision of veterinary surgeons and veterinary technologist / chief technicians / senior technicians
  • Animal Cages/Pens
    1. Open-top / filter-top solid bottom polypropylene / polysulfone/ Noryl{polyphenylene oxide/polystyrene} cages and polysulphon individually ventilated cages for holding rodents, aluminium alloy / Noryl cages for holding rabbits and pens with slatted cast-iron raised-flooring for keeping pigs / goats
    2. Stocking density:- follows the "Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals" (2011), National Research Council, USA
  • Diet, bedding and enrichment materials
    1. Irradiated diets from Purina Mills LLC, USA http://www.labdiet.com:
      5053 (rodent complete life cycle diet),
      5058 (mouse breeder diet),
      50E6 (guinea-pig diet),
      5LG4 (rodent complete life cycle diet)
      5L25 (rabbit high fiber diet),
      5LS4 (rabbit complete life cycle diet),
      5081 (mini-pig diet),
      5508 (ruminant diet)
      Irradiated diet from Altromin International, Germany https://altromin.com/9029 (Mini-pig maintenance diet)
    2. Autoclavable Aspen woodchip bedding / nesting material from Tapvei, Finland (http://www.tapvei.com), autoclavable Aspen woodchip bedding from Northeastern, USA (http://www.nep-co.com), autoclavable corn cob / corn husk from Wong Ying Kee, Hong Kong
    3. Autoclavable enrichment materials from Lillico, UK (http://www.lillicobiotech.co.uk) and Bio-Serv, USA (http://www.bio-serv.com)
    4. Enrichment Application Schedule
      • LAU Enrichment Program
      • Enrichment Table Summary
    5. Cold room (approx. 16 degree C and 50% R.H.) for storage of diets