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Office of Research Integrity

Cell Lines and Biologicals Used in Rodents

This policy is designed to reduce/prevent outbreaks of infectious disease in rodent colonies at MUSC by requiring that cell lines and biologicals derived from or exposed to rodents be free of common rodent pathogens. Since some murine viruses have zoonotic potential, e.g. LCMV, cell line testing can reduce human health risks.

The MUSC IACUC requires rodent pathogen testing of established cell lines or biologicals derived from human or other mammalian tissues that are maintained and passed in rodents. Biologicals with a clear history that excludes contact with rodent materials are exempt.

Cell lines and biologicals may be used in the facility only after test results are completed. Testing must be conducted at an off-site, IACUC-approved laboratory and must be in keeping with the pathogen-free status of the animals housed at MUSC. A copy of the test results must be filed with the IACUC-approved protocol and reviewed by a DLAR veterinarian. Any cell line or biological that is positive for pathogens must be cleared of the agent(s) and retested prior to use.


Biologicals that require testing prior to in vivo use:

  1. Cell lines, transplantable tumors, serum, tissues, body fluids, and antibody preparations derived from rodents outside DLAR colonies.
  2. Non-rodent derived cell lines, transplantable tumors, serum, tissues, body fluids, and antibody preparations that have been passaged through rodents or exposed to rodents outside DLAR colonies.

To avoid testing of non-rodent derived biologicals, documentation verifying that these materials have not been passaged through rodents or exposed to rodent products must be submitted to the DLAR for review. Commercially obtained biologicals for which the vendor can supply PCR or MAP/RAP testing results that meet this policy’s test requirements would be excluded from testing. Biologicals that require testing prior to use in animals must test negative for the excluded pathogens listed in Table 1. Submit test results and related documentation to DLAR by e-mail ( or fax (843-876-5210) for review and approval.

Approved testing methods:

Samples will be shipped to Charles River Laboratory for testing by DLAR. Specific training may be required for shipping certain biologicals. Under Federal law, if you ship certain biologicals without proper training, you may be held personally liable. Please e-mail requests for shipping to or

Pricing as of October, 2012 (includes all testing and shipping charges for standard testing under standard timelines):

Mouse: $512.75
Rat: $457.25
Hamster: $360.00

TABLE 1. Required testing of biologicals based on
the species planned for in vivo use.


Sendai virus (SEN)
Mouse hepatitis virus (MHV)
Minute virus of mice (MVM)
Reovirus (REO-1/2/3)
Theiler's murine encephalomyelitis
Mouse parvovirus (MPV1, MPV2, MPV3)
Mouse Rotavirus (EDIM)
Mycoplasma spp.
Lymphocytic choriomeningitis
Mouse adenovirus (MAD)
Ectromelia (ECTRO)


Reovirus (REO-1/2/3)
Sendai virus (SEN)
Rat coronaviruses (RCV, SDAV)
Rat Cytomegalovirus (RCMV)
Rat Theilovirus (RTV)
Rat parvoviruses (RPV, KRV, RMV, H-1)
Lactate dehydrogenase elevating virus (LDEV)
Reovirus (REO-3)
Mycoplasma spp.
Rat rotavirus (IDIR)


Sendai virus (SEN)
Pneumonia virus of mice (PVM)
Toolan's H1 virus (H-1)
Kilham's rat virus (KRV)
Reovirus (REO-3)
Mycoplasma spp.
Lymphocytic choriomeningitis (LCMV)
Hantaan virus
Theiler's murine encephalomyelitis virus
Minute virus of mice (MVM)

This article may be of interest as well:

 Pointers for keeping your cell cultures free of mycoplasma contamination