Rodent Monitoring Services


 Pinworms
Syphacia obvelata,Syphacia muris,  and Aspiculuris tetraptera are nematodes commonly found in mice.
Evaluation:
Direct exam of cecal or colonic contents will identify adults.  Fecal flotation (for both pinworms) and tape test of the perianal region (for Syphacia only) will identify eggs.
 Quantitative Polymerase Chain Reaction (qPCR):
 qPCR of feces will detect pinworm infection
 Sample:
 Feces

 

Syphacia obvelata is a murine pinworm, a gastrointestinal nematode of the order Oxyurina. Infections with pinworms are common in rodent animal facilities. These parasites are small worms with 3 lips, an oesophagus and a well-developed single bulb at their posterior end. Pinworms live in the caecum and colon of mice, rats and hamsters. The transmission of pinworms occurs via fecal-oral contact, resulting in the ingestion of embryonated eggs, which may persist in the environment. Direct transmission due to contaminated food, water and bedding makes the control of pinworms difficult. After ingestion the larvae hatch after 2 hours and migrate the caecum, males reach sexual maturity in around 96 hours and females are fertilised as early as the 5th day of infection. In healthy mice infection often lacks any clinical symptoms. However, symptoms may include weight loss and poor hair coat. Mice infected with pinworm may have a greater risk of autoimmune disease making the animals unsuitable for use in research. In addition, S. obvelata may influence the susceptibility of mice to other intestinal nematodes. The most sensitive method of diagnosis is examining cecal and colonic contents for the presence of adult animals. However, to carry out these examinations the mouse has to be killed, detection of pinworms by real-time PCR offers an alternative solution.

Syphacia muris, or rat pinworm, is a ubiquitous nematode belonging to the family Oxyuridae. S.muris commonly infects laboratory rodents, however, it is rats that are predominantly affected. The parasite inhabits the caecum and the colon of the host and usually asymptomatic. However, infection can cause unpleasant symptoms such as rectal prolapse due to a large number of worms or perianal irritation. Less severely, weight loss and poor hair coat can be observed. S. muris has a direct development and does not require passage through another organism to become pathogenic. Transmission can occur through the faecal-oral route where eggs are directly ingestion or via infected bedding in animal holdings. S. muris mature females travel through the colon and deposit their eggs on the perianal area, from here the eggs are infective within 5-20 hours. The eggs of this pinworm are sticky and long-lived and can persist in the environment for extended periods of time. Although infected animals generally do not have symptoms, infection with S.muris can alter the immune response so making the animal unsuitable for use in laboratory studies. Additionally, presence of the pinworm may indicate poor biosecurity management. As a result, fast and accurate diagnosis using real-time PCR would greatly aid those keeping and working with laboratory rodents.

 Aspiculuris tetraptera is a nematode belonging to the family Oxyuridae which commonly infects laboratory rodents, predominantly, mice and more rarely rats. Mainly inhabiting the proximal colon, infection with A.tetraptera is usually asymptomatic, however, infection can cause unpleasant symptoms such as enteritis, intestinal impaction, sticky stools, and pruritus A.tetraptera has a direct development and does not require passage through another organism to become pathogenic. Transmission can occur through the faecal-oral route where eggs are directly ingestion or via infected bedding in animal holdings. A.tetraptera larvae live in the proximal colon after hatching in the cecum migrating from the proximal to distal colon to deposit eggs. The eggs are then excreted in the faeces and are not infective until 5-8 days later. Current diagnosis methods involve detecting ova using the perianal tape test, anal swabbing, or fecal floatation and/or centrifugation. However, these methods can be inaccurate and insensitive. Furthermore, infection can alter the immune response so making the animal unsuitable for use in laboratory studies. Additionally, presence of the pinworm may indicate poor biosecurity management. As a result, fast and accurate diagnosis using real-time PCR would greatly aid those keeping and working with laboratory rodents.

 


Rodent Monitoring Services


Fur Mite
Myobia musculi inhabit the hair shafts and skin surface of the intrascapular and dorsal cervical regions. Myocoptes musculinus is found on the hair shafts and skin surface over the flanks and rump in low numbers, and are distributed over the entire dorsum in high numbers.
Evaluation:
Examine microscopically for mites or eggs
 Quantitative Polymerase Chain Reaction (qPCR):
 qPCR  of skin swab or cage swab. 
 Sample:
Skin swab or cage swab.

 

Myobia musculi is a fur mite that infests mice primarily. Fur mites live and breed on the infested animals fur, but descend to feed on the animals skin itself. The lifecycle of M. musculi is completed in around 23 days. The larval and nymphal period last around 15 days in total and adult mites appear within 16 days. Adult forms produce fertile eggs within 24 hours and these hatch into new larvae after 7 days. Transmission of fur mites is due to direct contact with an infested animal or the environment of that animal, i.e. uncleaned cage or bedding. Fur mites are visible on the fur when using stereomicroscopy or by direct examination of plucked tufts of fur. Symptoms and signs of mite infestations can range from nothing at all, to mild alopecia or to severe pruritus and ulcerative dermatitis, signs tend to worsen for older animals. Pruritic symptoms can lead to animals damaging their skin by scratching and this in turn can lead to secondary infections or worsening ulcerative dermatitis.

Myocoptes musculinus, a member of the family Myocoptidae, is a ectoparasitic (nonburrowing) fur mite that primarily infests wild house mice and laboratory mice, but has also been known to infect other mammals. There is evidence to suggest that the human is a mechanical carrier. It is the most common fur mite that has been identified among laboratory mice. Adult females tend to be between 0.30mm and 0.38mm; adult males are shorter, measuring between 0.16mm and 0.21mm. The Myocoptidae family comprises 6 genera, cumulatively giving rise to more than 50 species of mites. 5 of these genera are part of the subfamily Myocoptinae. The second subfamily, Dromiciocoptinae contains only one species: Dromiciocoptes brieni. The Myocoptes musculinus life cycle stages comprise of the egg, larva, two nymphal stages and adults; the eggs are attached to the proximal section of the hair shaft and hatch within 5 days. Identified on all parts of the body, Myocoptes musculinus undergo their entire life on the hair of the host and feed at the base of the hair. The full life cycle is complete within roughly 14 days. Transmission is said to require close or direct contact as well as hair shafts, and can ensue within a 24-hour period or less. From 4 ½ days after their birthing, young mice may well be infested from their mother (the mites cling to the vibrissae around the mouth of the young mice). Myocoptes musculinus has been affiliated with pruritus, alopecia and a collection of conditions including ulcerative dermatitis, hypersensitivity dermatitis and pyoderma. There are usually no symptoms, however, the loss of hair and erythema have been reported. A large number of mites causes skin irritation and skin bleeding. Increases in the size of the areas that are affected, debility and weight loss may lead to the death of the mouse.