School of Veterinary Medicine

Comparative Pathology Lab

Microbiology and Parasitology

A thorough screening of live animal submissions often includes culturing of the nasopharynx, digestive tract or other designated areas for microbiological pathogens and parasites.  These cultures are taken during necropsy procedures by our highly trained staff using sterile techniques and special isolation media.  

Cultures are forwarded to our experienced Microbiology staff for isolation and growth.  Using well-established methods, cultures are examined daily for new growth, and unknown colonies are isolated for identification.  Strategies for maximizing microorganism isolation have been optimized through our experience in standard veterinary microbiology practice and consultation services offered to managers of lab animal vivaria. The Microbiology department at CPL is a comprehensive service, and can rule-out the presence of microorganisms considered to be significant pathogens.  All organisms can be identified through the use of sophisticated biochemical media tests.  We have access to an online database of identification criteria that is continuously updated, which allows us to stay current with taxonomic conventions and isolation trends. 

During necropsy, subjects are microscopically examined for ecto and endoparasites.  The most common ecto and endo parasites of rodent colonies are screened through the use of microscopic pelage examinations, direct microscopic examinations, anal tape tests and fecal floats for ova and parasites.  All staff are highly trained to review for these organisms microscopically.

In addition to all these activities, CPL has the capability to monitor the cleanliness and suitability of vivarium environments, importation areas and animal transport vehicles.  To wipe cleaned surfaces, we recommend the use of sterile swabs in TSB media or Letheen broth.  Other methods of evaluating cleanliness might include the use of RODAC contact media plates, or direct culture of water supply vessels.  These media may be supplied upon client request.

Finally, periodic monitoring of autoclave sterilizer effectiveness or vaporized hydrogen peroxide (VHP) systems are performed through the use of special indicator ampules or discs.  Please contact us if you have questions regarding the use of these types of media.