<p>Figure 1</p>

Disease in laboratory animals interferes with biomedical research.1 Infectious agents often distort experimental results to such a degree that labs must increase the number of animals under investigation to compensate for statistical variability. Moreover, some rodent pathogens are hazardous to other lab animals and to the humans who study them.

This past October, in an effort not only to control infection in lab animals, but also to harmonize international standards for monitoring their health, Taconic http://www.taconic.com, a major supplier of laboratory rodents, introduced its new International Health Monitoring System™ (IHMS). According to Jim Vitale, product manager at the Germantown, NY-based company, this is the first time industry has set forth a universal methodology for testing lab mice and rats and reporting on their microbiological profiles.

"IHMS combines two heralded standards for animal health monitoring: FELASA [Federation of European Laboratory Animal Science Associations], long the European standard,...

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