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Comp Med. 2007 Feb;57(1):90-6.

Reliability of soiled bedding transfer for detection of mouse parvovirus and mouse hepatitis virus.

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  • 1Section of Comparative Medicine, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA.


Serologic monitoring of sentinel mice exposed to soiled bedding is a common method of detecting viral infections in mice. Because bedding transfer protocols vary, the sensitivity of this method has not been documented sufficiently. We examined the reliability of bedding transfer during various stages of infection with mouse parvovirus (MPV) and mouse hepatitis virus (MHV). Most mice exposed to bedding contaminated with MPV 0, 3, or 7 d previously seroconverted, whereas only mice exposed to bedding contaminated with MHV 4 h previously seroconverted, thus confirming the differing stabilities of these viruses. Index mice were inoculated with 30 times the infectious dose 50 (ID50) of MPV or 300 ID50 of MHV. At 3 d, 1 wk, and 2 wk postinoculation (PI), we transferred 25, 50, or 100 ml of bedding to cages of sentinel mice. Viral infection and shedding by index mice was confirmed by serology and fecal polymerase chain reaction assay. Transfer of soiled bedding between mice in static cages induced seroconversion of sentinel mice most reliably during peak viral shedding (1 wk PI for MPV and 3 d PI for MHV). Soiled bedding transfer between mice in individually ventilated cages induced a higher prevalence of sentinel seroconversion to MPV and MHV than that after transfer between mice in static cages. Our findings indicate that although soiled bedding transfer is an effective method for detecting MHV and MPV under optimal conditions, the method is less than 100% reliable under many conditions in contemporary mouse facilities.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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