Contamination of Biological Products

Microorganisms present in the animal may contaminate samples and tissue specimens, such as cells, sera, etc.156 This may interfere with experiments performed on cell cultures or isolated organs. Furthermore, the introduction of such products into animal laboratories will impose a risk to those animals kept in that laboratory. In theory, any infection may contaminate certain products from the animal. However, viruses are known to represent the major risk, due to their ability to produce viremia in the animal and for some viruses to persist in specific organs, thereby increasing the time and the number of tissues at risk. The virus most commonly found is lactic dehydrogenase virus followed by reovirus type 3, lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus, minute virus of mice, mouse hepatitis virus, rat coronaviruses, Kilham rat virus, and Mycoplasma pulmonis.156 Other Mycoplasma spp. may contaminate biological materials,180 but often these are nonrelevant species derived from humans or unrelated species used as donors of serum for cell culture media. Recently, ectromelia virus has been brought into two U.S. laboratory animal facilities through contaminated cell lines, which have had enormous economic impact on these institutions.121,120 Some protozoans, e.g., Encephalitozoon cuniculi, as well as bacteria also have the potential to contaminate transplantable tumors.

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