Q: How do I request services?
A
: The first step is to fill out and submit the online service request form. The core manager should contact you with a service quote within two days. Once an agreement is made, you will complete the mice transfer form to ship into our vivarium.

Q: How do I transfer my mice into your facility?
A:
VT investigator or Phenotyping Core Coordinator submits the form "Request for Transfer of Rodents from Non-Commercial Facilities" to Velma McMurray, velmat@vt.edu and Charles Nwaihesie, nwaihesi@vt.edu.

Rodent health monitoring reports over the past year from the originating facility should be submitted to the Office of the University Veterinarian (moored@vt.edu) for review.

Q: How will I be charged for services?
A:
If you are an internal (on-campus) user, select an Interdepartmental Service Request in Hokiemart. Choose Metabolic Phenotyping Core as the supplier, which will generate a purchase order. Once the service is completed, the core manager will recover the charges.

If you are an external (off-campus) user, after the service is completed, the core manager will send you an invoice to pay directly.

Q: Can you accommodate my special diet study?
A:
Yes. Please contact us at least two weeks before animals are scheduled for transfer.

Q: After my animals arrive in your facility, what procedures and tests you will do?
A:
 Animals will be received into quarantine, and the following tests may be performed:

  • Pooled PCR swabs for fur mites
    • Pooled fecal pellets for PCR for pinworms
    • Basic serology panel
  • If the animals are from originating facilities with questionable health histories:
    • handled on a case-by-case basis
    • may require additional direct testing of animals before shipment
    • facility history of excluded pathogens requires a rederivation or thorough treatment (e.g., pinworms) with confirmation of negative status after treatment

Q: Once my mice are transferred into your facility, can you start the experiment right away?
A:
It depends. For internal users, it is generally faster. For mice already in our ILSB vivarium, there is a simple transfer between rooms with the veterinarian's approval. For mice transferred into our ILSB vivarium from other Virginia Tech animal facilities, the vet health check results would determine if a quarantine is necessary.

For all other external (off-campus) users, animals will be quarantined for up to two weeks. As soon as we have a clean bill of health from our veterinarian, the experiment can start. If the mice are coming directly from qualified vendors such as Jackson Lab, Harlan, or Charles River, quarantine is not required, and experiment(s) may begin soon.

Q: What happens if the animal(s) develop unexpected health issues?
A:
Our veterinarian will be contacted immediately to evaluate the health condition of the animal, and you will be copied on the same e-mail. Our vet will make the decision that either the condition can be medically treated/monitored, or the animal must be euthanized for its welfare.

Q: What are your vivarium charges?
A:
If the animals are on the holding rack, it is $0.70 per diem per box. When the animals are transferred to metabolic cages for calorimetry study, there is a technician fee of $27.50/group/month. The rates are subject to change without prior notice.