The Thai Journal of Veterinary Medicine


The use of sentinel animals in animal research facilities is the cornerstone of animal health monitoring for exposure to natural pathogens of laboratory animals. This is because infection with these pathogens produces no overt signs of disease yet the infection may affect the outcome of research utilising these animals. One of the important pathogens includes Klebsiella pneumoniae, whose prevalence can be high in laboratory animals. This study sought to document the prevalence of K. pneumoniae and other undocumented bacterial pathogens in laboratory rodents for a 3- year period. K. pneumoniae and Chryseobacterium gleum were isolated from sentinel ICR mice housed in three different satellite animal laboratories, suggesting the effectiveness of the sentinel program. A novel strain of K. pneumoniae ST3125 was recovered from the gastrointestinal tract of the ICR mouse. β-lactamase and virulence genes were detected among K. pneumoniae and C. gleum strains, suggesting the acquisition of these genes from the users of the animal research facilities. Examination of the animal housing environment, feed and water specimens however, returned negative for the presence of K. pneumoniae and C. gleum suggesting that current hygiene practices were adequate in controlling transmission from the environment. Nevertheless, stringent hygiene practices and infection control protocols have to be applied in animal facilities to prevent the colonization and spread of pathogens capable of distorting experimental results.



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