Rodent Health Monitoring Initiative

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

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 health monitoring strategies have been adapted by many institutions to 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 help institutions replace soiled bedding sentinels with environmental health monitoring. We have created an extensive resource hub on why & how to make the switch. 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, 7 institutions have switched to environmental health monitoring thereby replacing over 8,000 mice each year. This includes governmental, academic, and pharmaceutical companies. This includes global companies that have made the switch across all sites. Both internal and published data from these institutions show that environmental health monitoring is more sensitive than sentinels.

Do you have a question about rodent health monitoring at your institution?

Check out our resource hub for a general overview, presentation, SOPs, downloadable slide deck, and FAQs. If you still have questions after exploring our resources, contact us at . We can help connect you with someone who can help.

Are you an expert in environmental health monitoring or provide equipment/services to facilitate these methods?

Send a brief statement of interest and your CV/resume to

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