National Institutes of Health(U.S.). Division of R.

Report of program activities : National Institutes of Health. Division of Research Services (Volume 1975) online

. (page 9 of 11)
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conditioned. These animals are not well defined genetically or microbio-
logically. Although they are of lower quality than NIH-bred animals, they
are satisfactory for certain studies. These animals are quarantined prior to
release for use in research programs. During the quarantine period they are
given appropriate immunization, tested for a variety of infectious agents, and
are treated medically as required.


A colony of blood group CEA 1, 2, and 3 negative canine donors is maintained
for the production of normal canine blood for research use. Ungulate animals
are maintained for the production of antisera, normal blood, or tissue

Facilities are provided for investigators to perform experimental surgery on
ungulate animals. They include modern equipment for restraint, anesthesia,
and physiologic monitoring under aseptic conditions. Postoperative care is
provided and radiographic facilities are available.

Ungulates are held under observation for NIH investigators during investigative
studies. Physiological sampling and specimen and collections are provided in
association with these studies.

Noninbred rodents and rabbits are procured through contracts to supplement
in-house production. They are delivered directly to NIH investigators.
Quality control of these species is maintained through monitoring of the
various producers' facilities and operations by Branch staff members.

3. Tissue Culture and Media Production

Several continuous cell line tissue cultures are maintained, propagated, and
produced in large volumes to supplement I/D requirements not met by commercial
sources or individual laboratory preparation. Media for the cultiire of
bacteria, fimgi, and tissue cells are produced to meet the needs of NIH
investigators. A stringent quality control program insures that only high
quality products, free of contamination and true to formulation, are issued.
As a service to investigators, valuable cell lines are frozen and stored for
long-term preservation.

4. Processing Laboratory Glassware, Animal Cages, and Miscellaneous Items

Laboratory glassware is decontEuninated, sorted, cleaned, inspected, plugged,
wrapped, sterilized, and issued to NIH investigators. The overall operation
includes processing of used glassware received from investigators and the
introduction of new glassware from replacement stock. In addition to
cleaning animal caging for its own programs, the Branch furnishes cagewashing
services to investigators in the Clinical Center and the Building 14-28 complex.
Clinical Center rubber-backed carpets are also washed. A service is provided
for ethylene oxide sterilization of heat labile patient and laboratory equip-
ment from the Clinical Center and other I/D's.

5. Animal Biologies Production

A dog blood donor colony is maintained for the production of Canine Erythrocyte
Antigen (CEA) 1, 2, and '},, formerly A-negative, blood for research use.
Ungulates are maintained to produce a variety of antisera, blood, and tissue
specimens for investigators.


6. Genetic Repository and New Animal Models Program

Genetically defined rodents that are valuable models in biomedical research
are derived and maintained to support I/D requirements and serve as a genetic
repository for the international scientific community.

7. Experimental Surgery, X-ray, and Related Activities

The surgical facilities are primarily available for the use of BID investigators
however, frequently, surgery is performed by staff veterinarians in support of
BID programs in the development of surgical animal models. In addition, staff
veterinarians provide surgical and clinical veterinary care to laboratory
animals as an essential part of their responsibility to assure optimum health
of these government-owned animals. Assistance to BID investigators is
continuously provided in anesthesiology, surgical support, diagnostic radiology,
and postoperative care of animals.

The number of surgical procedures has stabilized at approximately 800 per year
and the facilities are being used at maximum capacity. An increase of 10 per-
cent is projected next year since the surgery unit relocated from Building 28
to Building 14E, permitting more surgical space. The surgery unit maintains a
500 milliamperage radiographic unit with fluoroscopy which adds an improved
service for research and clinical support to laboratory animal medicine.

Experimental surgery continues to be complex with ntmierous, thoracic, , . ,
cardiovascular, and abdominal procedures demanding a nigh level of technical

support. Professional and technical assistance to BID in"vestigators increased^

which resulted in improved surgical animal models and veterinary medical care.

8. Experimental Animal Holding

Dogs, primates, ungulates, and germfree rodents are held for varying periods of
observation while under test by NIH investigators. Provision is made for
physiological sampling and collection of specimens.

9. Disease Investigation, Research, and Quality Control within VRB

The professional staff consists of persons trained in general clinical veterinar
medicine and specialists in laboratory animal medicine, pathology, microbiology,
epidemiology, nutrition, animal behavior, genetics, and animal husbandry. All
efforts are oriented toward improving the Branch's programs by gaining new
knowledge through research and monitoring the quality of procured and produced

10. Consultative Services

Information and assistance are available to NIH investigators for solving
problems relating to animal experimentation, health, care, and husbandry.
Through the Animal Disease Investigation Service (ADIS) "house calls" are made
to the I/D's to provide investigators with clinical veterinary services for
their research animals. There is also a program to furnish each I/D a compre-
hensive review of its animal care programs with evaluations and recommendations


for improvement. Consultative services on use of tissue cultures and
microbiologic media are available.

11. General Support and Management

These basic programs listed above are also supported by Branch-wide
administrative and management staff and transportation/delivery service.

C. Program Progress and Accomplishments

1. Rodent and Rabbit Production

About 500,000 VRB-produced rodents and rabbits were issued to investigators,
equivalent to the number produced last year. Guinea pig, rabbit, and hamster
production decreased; rat and inbred mouse production remained unchanged, but
there was an increased requirement for and production of VRB, noninbred mice.
The total demand for VRB strains and stocks of mice was not satisfied because
of limitations on current production levels due to personnel ceiling
restrictions. Approximate animal issues were as follows:

Inbred mice 230,000

Noninbred mice 170,000

Inbred rats 10,000

Noninbred rats 25,000

Inbred guinea pigs 15,000

Noninbred guinea pigs 11,000

Hamsters 2,000

Rabbits 2,000

Germfree rats 550

Germrree mice 750

The Frederick Cancer Research Center (FCRC) continued to rely on VRB

foundation colonies as the genetic base for their rodent colonies. Pedigreed

mouse and rat strains were supplied from VRB barrier-maintained colonies.

However, preparations were made to supply them germfree pedigreed stock. VRB

has also assumed the responsibility of maintaining the genetic base for a

variety of other NCI contract programs requiring germfree pedigreed stock.

A breeding nucleus of hysterectomy derived guinea pigs was established in a
clean conventional area. A nucleus of guinea pigs was also established in the
barrier. Foundation stock for the inbred strains will be hysterectomy derived
and foster nursed by those animals to create pathogen-free foundation and
expansion colonies.

Efforts continued to develop acceptable pathogen-free rabbits. VRB strains
were hysterectomy derived and foster nursed in a clean conventional area by
pathogen-free stock provided by Edgewood Arsenal. The rabbits remain free of
the usual pathogenic organisms, including Bordetella and Pasteurella: however,
mortality is excessive from nonspecific gastrointestinal problems. "Pathogen-
free" rabbits were received from two other sources with the hope that their
gastrointestinal flora would eliminate the enteric problem. The plan was
thwarted because in both cases the rabbits were found to harbor pathogenic


Several changes were made in the conventional guinea pig colonies to increase
production and enhance the quality. Major accomplishments were the elimination
of vegetable supplementation to the inbred pedigreed colonies and the
successful testing of an autoclavable diet. A shorter breeder rotation system
was initiated and surveillance of breeder performance and replacement was
intensified. Inbred guinea pig production began to increase in the last
quarter following a decline earlier that contributed substantially to a
revolving fund deficit.

The reorganization of the Small Animal Section was implemented with the
establishment of a WS supervisor for each building, a cagewash unit, an
ordering and contracts office, an administrative assistant, and a professional
services group. This concludes a two-year process. It was immediately
apparent following the change that the new supervisors and improved organization
create a potential for greatly improving the effectiveness of the section,

2. Large Animal Production

The conventional canine breeding colony currently consists of 162 bitches and
12 dogs. Culling continues to be directed towards eliminating poor producers
and animals with hip dysplasia. The inbred foxhound colony consists of one
English and three American (two Walker and one Trigg strain) foxhound lines.
Development of these lines is being directed principally towards providing a
genetically uniform research dog for NIH investigators by eventually cross-
breeding the lines.

A contract was established to breed and provide purebred foxhounds for NIH
research at a rate of 500 per year. Availability of purebred stock from the
NIH Animal Center and contract sources has eliminated the need to rely upon
random source foxhounds and random source mongrel dogs as standard NIH research

The cat breeding colony was terminated during FY 1975.

The goat breeding herd was expanded from 16 to 20 does and 2 bucks. Goats
produced from the breeding herd will be held until approximately one year of
age before issue.

3. Nonhuman Primate Production

The Perrine Primate Center was established by DRS in FY 1974. The facility has
been managed by VHB since its establishment and is currently stocked with 350
rhesus and 75 squirrel monkey breeders. These colonies are planned to be
maintained at 700 and 150 adult breeders, respectively. Two contracts were
awarded; one to Hazleton Laboratories and the other to Gulf South Research
Institute in June 1974, to establish 700 additional rhesus monkey breeders.
As of June 1975, VRB expects to have supplied the necessary adult breeders to
the contractors. By FY 1978, these DRS breeding operations are projected to
supply 1,000 rhesus and 100 squirrel monkeys annually for intrajnural research.


Cutbacks in rhesus raonlcey exports from India in 1974 prompted VRB to initiate
domestic breeding programs. Further cutbacks are expected in FY 19V6.
Procurement and availability of most New World monkeys is virtually nonexistent.
Supplying monkey models for research appears to be largely dependent on
domestic breeding resources. Further restrictions on monkey supply may warrant
expansion of existing breeder colonies and establishing additional colonies to
assure critical primate needs.

The timed-pregnant rhesus monkey breeding colony stabilized at approximately
260 animals of which 140 animals cycle regularly. The balance represents
males, new breeders, and breeders received from contract sources that are
available for recycling through contract breeding or intrajnural research. This
colony was supplemented with a research contract which supplied 72 timed
pregnant rhesus monkeys to complement the intramural colony production of 80
timed pregnant monkeys. A total of 152 timed pregnant animal models were
supplied for intramural research use. A new 3-year contract is being imple-
mented to provide up to 100 timed pregnant rhesus monkeys per year. In
addition, three contracts were awarded during the year for timed pregnant
baboons. Two of these contracts are fixed fee contracts in which the
Government purchases the use of the timed pregnant baboons for intramuxal
research and owns the fetuses and products of conception. The third contract
established an NIH-owned colony of breeder baboons at the contractor's site
and reimburses the contractor's costs for establishing a monthly supply of
timed pregnant baboons for intramural research programs.

4. Research Animal Procurement and Conditioning

a. Rodents and Rabbits

The total purchase of rodents and rabbits from contractors further decreased
from 132,500 in Fx 1973 to approximately 70,000 this year. There was a decline
in the use of noninbred mice, rats, and hamsters from contract sources, but a
twofold increase in the use of contract rabbits. An itemized list of animals
purchased on contract is as follows:

Rabbits— Dutc hi and 6,200

Sprague Dawley Rats — Taconic 27,000

Hamsters — Lakeview 6, 500

Swiss Mice — Taconic 25,000

Rats—Charles River 2,500

In addition, VRB arranged for the Frederick Cancer Research Center to supply
NIH investigators about 2,000 Hartley guinea pigs and over 6,000 inbred and
nude mice. Arrangements are being made to initiate a Hartley guinea pig
contract in which VRB will supply the breeding stock.

b. Large Animals

Requests for random source cats were 800 to 850 for FY 1975.

Approximately 484 ungiilate animals were purchased, quarantined, conditioned
and issued during FY 1975. In addition, some 50 domestic fowl, including
ducks, chickens, and turkeys were utilized.



Rhesus ( Macaca m ulatta ) monkey issues for FY 197? are estimated at about l,,V}n
which represents an increase of about 626 over FY 1974.

VRB quarantined, selected, and delivered 1,304- rhesus monkeys to Gulf South
Research Institute, Hazleton Laboratories, and Perrine as initial breeding
stock for rhesus production colonies.

Other species of monkeys (M. fascicular is, M. arctoides , Erythrocebus patas ,
Saimiri sciureus , Cercopithecus aethiops , Ao tus trivirgatus , and Callithrix
sp. ), contributed small numbers to the overall quarantine and conditioning

5. Tissue Culture and Media Production

Based on the first 8 months of FY 1975, the number of requisitions processed
for tissue culture and media will total 14,000; a 7 percent increase over last
year. The volume of media produced will be 70,000 liters of bacteriolgic
media and 69,000 liters of tissue culture media for a total of 139,000 liters.
This total represents an 8 percent increase over last fiscal year, and
reflects for the first time in years an increase of bacteriologic media over
tissue culture media.

Issues of blood agar plates of all types, including horse, sheep, and human
blood plates will total 159,000 this year, a 7 percent increase.

In addition to blood agar plates, there will be another 406,000 plates of
other types for a total of 565,000 plates for the fiscal year. This is a
7 percent increase over last year.

Issues of tissue culture cells as cell suspension will show a slight decrease
of 3 percent with a projected total of 200 liters of suspension produced.

Tissue culture cell freezing and storage services continued to be a popular
service with NIH investigators. A projected total of over 1800 ampoules of
cells will be frozen this year and 2000 ampoules of cells maintained in the
frozen cell bank to support research programs requiring this service. This
represents a slight decrease over last fiscal year and reflects a tendency
of the investigators to use their own storage facilities because of the

Renovations to provide filtered air to the room housing the automatic
bottling system for media dispensing are scheduled for completion late in the
fiscal year, almost a year after originally planned, due to contractor delays
in correcting minor problems in the installation. Adaptation of a cartridge
filter system for sterilization of tissue culture media just prior to the
dispensing point of the bottling system is under test. The cartridge system
is much more compact than the membrane system used for manual filtration and
also allows for increased volume of production lots of media. This change,
together with the filtered air to provide a cleanroom atmosphere, should
extend the capability for sterile media dispensing to tissue culture, as well
as bacteriologic media.


After a period of modification and testing an automatic labeling system has
been synchronized with the conveyor belt on the bottling machine to make and
apply labels to the bottles as they are filled and capped. This method is
expected to greatly reduce the time spent in manual application of labels to
the bottles.

6. Processing Glassware, Animal Cages, and Mscellaneous Items

Glassware issues to the Institutes and Divisions projected through the end of
the fiscal year will total about 8,4-29,000 pieces; a slight increase over last
year. A total of 294-, 000 cages, racks, and associated pieces of equipment
will be processed.

In order to provide adequate coverage on the night shift as well as the day
shift, an additional employee was trained in the regeneration process
required for the large, mixed bed deionizer. This should prevent the
occasional call back time required in the past when the water quality dropped
in specific resistance during the evening hours and required someone from the
day shift to return for regenerating. A Wilbur terminal was installed in the
Glassware Unit to enable direct input for the OFM billing reports and
correcting errors generated by faulty information appearing on glassware
order forms.

A new form for glassware orders and issues was introduced this year. This new
form will provide a record of not only glassware issued, but items of glass-
ware ordered, and some indication of how well the Unit is meeting the demand
for glassware. The percentage of each item ordered and supplied by size and
type of glassware should provide useful data.

A workload measurement study was conducted in the Unit this year with the help
of the Management Analysis office, to calculate new average processing times
for individual types of glassware. As a result of this study, several workload
improvement recommendations were made and are being implemented. As a prelim-
inary step, a large glassware drying unit, which is no longer required, was
removed to create space for installation of a proposed conveyor system to be
adapted to the M-2 washer. This conveyor system should reduce the manual
handling of glassware baskets as they are filled and transported to the machine
for washing.

7. Animal Biologies Production

Domestic turkeys and ducks were utilized in small numbers to produce normal
blood and antisera for specific research projects.

The canine blood donor colony, which consists of 258 dogs, produced 3,500 units
(1 unit = 500 ml) of blood.

Biologies production from ungulate animals is about the same as during FY 1974.
Projected production includes 14-00 liters of ungulate blood for the year. The
size of the ungulate herd being maintained for all purposes increased from 550
to 610 during FY 1975.


8. Genetic Repository and New Animal Models Program

VPLB rodent colonies were designated as a World Health Organization
collaborating center in recognition of the importance of this collection of
animal models for biomedical research. The one other collaborating center
designated was the Laboratory Animal Center of the Medical Research Council
of Great Britain. The director of that center served as a consultant to "VRB
during a WHO sponsored visit this year.

A committee of the National Research Council studied the VRB small animal
program. It concluded that the repository effort should be separately
financed through management funding and not supported by inflating the price
for animals. About $500,000 was determined to be the annual cost for
maintaining the repository.

A Catalogue of NIH Rodents was published and distributed to about 257 NIH
investigators and 765 researchers and specialists in animal science worldwide.
, It describes characteristics of the over 100 strains and stocks of rodents and
rabbits maintained. In addition to supplying animals for intramural investi-
gators, breeding nuclei from these colonies serve as a resource for the
international biomedical research community as many of the stocks, strains, and
substrains are not available elsewhere. Over 300 investigators were provided
with litters of inbred animals to start colonies. This is a twofold increase
over FY 1974. Also, several hundred noninbred animals were provided as
breeding stock. Several commercial producers were also provided with breeding
stock. Requests were particularly numerous for the rat with diabetes insipidus
and hypertension, inbred NZB and NZW mouse strains, and inbred guinea pigs.

A program to assist investigators in obtaining new animal models to meet
previously unfilled research needs continued. In some instances, new strains
of existing laboratory animals exhibiting unique physiological or anatomic
characteristics were used. In others, animals having characteristics
required in a particular research problem were adapted from nature. New models
are hysterectomy derived and foster nursed or hand nursed prior to introduction
into the NIH colonies. Twelve new strains were added to the repository at
the request of NIH investigators. They are:

Mice Rats European Giant Hamster

BALB/cCRN WFU/CrN Guinea Pig


Dwarf (dw) SHRSP/A3N PCA (passive cutaneous

Motheaten (me) Corpulent (cp) anaphylaxis)

DystrophiG-2 (dy-2)

BDL-ky (kyphoscoliosis)

9. Experimental Surgery, X-ray, and Related Activities
a. Building ME and 28 Facilities

The surgical facilities are primarily available to B/I/RD investigators;
however, surgery was frequently perfonned by staff veterinarians assigned to


the Section at the specific request of investigators. Assistance to
investigators was provided in anesthesiology, surgical support, diagnostic
radiology and postoperative care of animals.

The number of surgical procedures stabilized at approximately 800 per year and
the facilities were used at maximum capacity. An increase of 10 percent is
projected next year since the Surgery Unit relocated from Building 2S: to 14-E
and will provide more surgical space. The Surgery Unit maintains a 500-milli-
amperage radiographic unit with fluoroscopy which adds an Improved service for
research and clinical support to laboratory animal medicine.

b. Animal Center Ungulate Surgery

Activities in ungulate surgery declined. Projects utilizing sheep for
intrauterine fetal surgery have ceased. Surgery was utilized for porcine skin
transplantation procedures, collection of fetal pig serum, and to treat a
variety of clinical conditions. Miniature swine breeding is continuing to
develop four inbred lines of immunologically distinct animals. Five sows
produced progeny this year.

Radiographic procedures increased from 250 exposures in FY 1974 to 420.

10. Experimental Animal Holding

a. Primates

Renovations for Phases II and Illof Building 14D will be awarded to contractors
before the end of FY 1975, and estimated completion date is 12 months after the
award date. This renovation is a joint program between DRS and BoB which will
provide a centralized research primate holding facility. The new renovations
are designed to permit infectious disease studies, provide a safe working
environment for personnel, and minimize cross-infection among primates. The
total capacity of the facility, including the conventional primate facilities
of Phase I renovations, will establish one of the largest primate research
facilities in the country with a maximum primate population of ever 1900

b. Large Laboratory Animals

The research holding facilities of Building 28 has increased its scope of
research support by greater diversity of animal species including: dogs, cats,
miniature swine, goats, sheep, and other large laboratory animals. In addition,
new collaborative DRS research programs with NCI and NHLI were initiated.
Continued use of a contract to hold dogs off the Bethesda campus allowed

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Online LibraryNational Institutes of Health(U.S.). Division of RReport of program activities : National Institutes of Health. Division of Research Services (Volume 1975) → online text (page 9 of 11)