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IDEXX-RADIL Serology Test Results

On a yearly basis, we have blood drawn on one of our resident rats (who has been in the rattery and weaned for at least 15 days, preferably a bit longer, to ensure they have had full exposure to anything that might be here), and send it off to IDEXX-RADIL to screen for potential infectious diseases that could put our rats, and those of people we work with or adopt to at risk. We will post the results of such tests here for any interested parties to see, and will answer any questions about any of the results.

2016 Test

Our 2016 test was run in February with a rat who was born here, MLWR Planetary Occultation. She was a healthy girl who had a normal pregnancy but then a very abnormal labor resulting in her death, despite emergency veterinary visits and intervention. As the second female in a row to experience such an issue and at 12.5 months old and never having left the rattery, she was ideal and even necessary to test to look for any problems.

Our test showed that we had a postive for RTV, or Rat Theliovirus. This particular one is more of a concern for scientists in labs that are doing studies, as it can affect some of their test results (particularly the similar virus in mice), but does not show clinical signs in rats. It, like mycoplasma, is actually not uncommon in the pet population. Unlike mycoplasma, it is also not likely to cause any problems for the rat during its lifetime. As such, while this test was included in the panel we ran, the positive result is not a concern for the health, longevity, or well being of our animals, as it should have no effect on their quality of life, or their health in the short or long term.It is considered common in rat populations, both in and outside of labs. It is not likely to have caused the reproductive issues we have seen.

More information about Rat Theliovirus can be found on this Charles River Technical Sheet for anyone who wants to read more about RTV. It notes that there are no clinical signs or lesions observed in rats with RTV, with a POSSIBLE exception of a single report from Brazil. They have not done many studies on its affect on studies in rats, only in mice where it is found to affect the results of certain studies, so they assume it could have a similar result in rats.

We also tested positive for Pneumocystis carinii. This is a relatively new infectious agent on the test, and is thought to be responsible for many cases previously attributed to rat respiratory virus. It causes respiratory symptoms much like pneumonia, and abscessing of the lungs. It is possible that the respiratory issues seen in our lines may be related to a genetic susceptibility to this organism. It is not likely to have caused our reproductive issues, but is very much worth monitoring.

More information about Pneumocystis carinii can be found in the Charles Rivers Technical Sheet.

Our 2016 RADIL Test Results (can be sent by email on request):
2016 IDEXX-RADIL Serology Test - positive for RTV, Pneumocystis carinii

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2015 Test

Our 2015 test was run in June with a rat who was born here, MLWR Margo. She had a fully stillborn litter which can be an alarm sign for a potential problem, and at less than 9 months old and never having left the rattery was a good candidate to show us what was here.

Our test showed that we had a postive for RTV, or Rat Theliovirus. This particular one is more of a concern for scientists in labs that are doing studies, as it can affect some of their test results (particularly the similar virus in mice), but does not show clinical signs in rats. It, like mycoplasma, is actually not uncommon in the pet population. Unlike mycoplasma, it is also not likely to cause any problems for the rat during its lifetime. As such, while this test was included in the panel we ran, the positive result is not a concern for the health, longevity, or well being of our animals, as it should have no effect on their quality of life, or their health in the short or long term.

More information about Rat Theliovirus can be found on this Charles River Technical Sheet for anyone who wants to read more about RTV. It notes that there are no clinical signs or lesions observed in rats with RTV, with a POSSIBLE exception of a single report from Brazil. They have not done many studies on its affect on studies in rats, only in mice where it is found to affect the results of certain studies, so they assume it could have a similar result in rats. It is considered common in rat populations, both in and outside of labs.

We also tested positive for Mycoplasma. Mycoplasma is considered to be mostly endemic in rat populations, that is, pretty much all rats are considered to be infected with this. It can contribute to respiratory problems in rats (which we have not seen any signs of in Hera at this point) but is not something that can really be eliminated, just controlled. The only rats really considered to by myco free are those born by c-section in sterile labs and kept in a sterilized barrier environment where they have no exposure to outside air or items that haven't been fully sterilized. (Think boy in the plastic bubble sort of idea). So this particular item is not really concerning to us as it is assumed that she, like pretty much all other rats, probably does have mycoplasma, which can be carried for their entire life without necessarily causing problems.

More information about Mycoplasma can be found in The Rat Health Guide as well as the Charles Rivers Technical Sheet.

We thankfully this year showed a negative for RPV, a form of Rat Parvo virus we were positive for last year. This may indicate that the rat we tested last year had been exposed prior to coming here, and therefore had the antibodies but was not shedding the virus here. Our 2015 RADIL Test Results (can be sent by email on request):
2015 IDEXX-RADIL Serology Test - positive for Mycoplasma, RTV

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2014 Test

Our 2014 test was run in July with a rat we had gotten towards the end of 2013, TMCC Buck. He was already in at the vet for some checkups, which made it easy to have the test done at the time, and with him being a newer rat to us we wanted to see if he had anything that he came to us with - and being here with us for as long as he had at that point he'd show us if there was anything concerning in our rats.

Our test showed that we had a postive for RTV, or Rat Theliovirus. This particular one is more of a concern for scientists in labs that are doing studies, as it can affect some of their test results (particularly the similar virus in mice), but does not show clinical signs in rats. It, like mycoplasma, is actually not uncommon in the pet population. Unlike mycoplasma, it is also not likely to cause any problems for the rat during its lifetime. As such, while this test was included in the panel we ran, the positive result is not a concern for the health, longevity, or well being of our animals, as it should have no effect on their quality of life, or their health in the short or long term.

More information about Rat Theliovirus can be found on this Charles River Technical Sheet for anyone who wants to read more about RTV. It notes that there are no clinical signs or lesions observed in rats with RTV, with a POSSIBLE exception of a single report from Brazil. They have not done many studies on its affect on studies in rats, only in mice where it is found to affect the results of certain studies, so they assume it could have a similar result in rats. It is considered common in rat populations, both in and outside of labs.

We also tested positive for Mycoplasma. Mycoplasma is considered to be mostly endemic in rat populations, that is, pretty much all rats are considered to be infected with this. It can contribute to respiratory problems in rats (which we have not seen any signs of in Hera at this point) but is not something that can really be eliminated, just controlled. The only rats really considered to by myco free are those born by c-section in sterile labs and kept in a sterilized barrier environment where they have no exposure to outside air or items that haven't been fully sterilized. (Think boy in the plastic bubble sort of idea). So this particular item is not really concerning to us as it is assumed that she, like pretty much all other rats, probably does have mycoplasma, which can be carried for their entire life without necessarily causing problems.

More information about Mycoplasma can be found in The Rat Health Guide as well as the Charles Rivers Technical Sheet.

We had a positive for RPV, a form of Rat Parvo Virus. Many forms of this are unsymptomatic, though a particular strain, KRV (which we tested negative for), can cause reabsorption of litters and infertility. We'll be seeing if this shows up again in our rattery with our next test. This is unlikely to cause any issues outside of breeding.

More information about RPV can be found on this Charles River Technical sheet for any who want to read more about RPV.

CAR bacillus is in some ways similar to mycoplasma in that it tends to cause respiratory problems, among other things, but can also be asymptomatic in rats. It is not cureably, but again more just managed by treating the rats symptomatically if it is seen. He again was not positive for it, just didn't have a readable result. It is considered to occur naturally in some percentage of domesticated and wild rats, mice and rabbits. It often contributes to problems along with mycoplasma.

More information about CAR bacillus can be found in The Rat Health Guide as well as the Charles Rivers Technical Sheet.

We had a positive for mouse adenovirus (MAD-1) as well. This is a mouse virus that he may have been exposed to at some point from a wild mouse, but doesn't generally cause many symptoms in mice (some adrenal issues in certain individuals) and isn't listed as causing any issues in rats. If we raised both mice and rats here it might be a concern as far as possibility of transmitting to mice, but it is not a major concern for the rats.

More information about MAD-1 can be found on this Charles River Technical sheet for anyone wanting to read more. Our 2014 RADIL Test Results (can be sent by email on request):
2014 RADIL Serology Test - Comprehensive, positive for Mycoplasma, RTV, RPV, CAR bacillus, MAD-1

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2013 Test

We had our 2013 test run in February, using another rat that was born and raised here - MLWR Hera. It was a bit early, but with some difficulty getting rats to conceive and carry to term, and then her loss of her very small litter, we felt it vital to have testing done ASAP to ensure no viruses that impact reproductive health had managed to get introduced. Hera was at the time one of our youngest rats who had been here for a decent amount of time, and having been the rat who had just lost her litter, she was an ideal candidate to check for potential issues such as KRV.

Our test showed that we had a postive for RTV, or Rat Theliovirus. This particular one is more of a concern for scientists in labs that are doing studies, as it can affect some of their test results (particularly the similar virus in mice), but does not show clinical signs in rats. It, like mycoplasma, is actually not uncommon in the pet population. Unlike mycoplasma, it is also not likely to cause any problems for the rat during its lifetime. As such, while this test was included in the panel we ran, the positive result is not a concern for the health, longevity, or well being of our animals, as it should have no effect on their quality of life, or their health in the short or long term.

More information about Rat Theliovirus can be found on this Charles River Technical Sheet for anyone who wants to read more about RTV. It notes that there are no clinical signs or lesions observed in rats with RTV, with a POSSIBLE exception of a single report from Brazil. They have not done many studies on its affect on studies in rats, only in mice where it is found to affect the results of certain studies, so they assume it could have a similar result in rats. It is considered common in rat populations, both in and outside of labs.

We also tested positive for Mycoplasma. Mycoplasma is considered to be mostly endemic in rat populations, that is, pretty much all rats are considered to be infected with this. It can contribute to respiratory problems in rats (which we have not seen any signs of in Hera at this point) but is not something that can really be eliminated, just controlled. The only rats really considered to by myco free are those born by c-section in sterile labs and kept in a sterilized barrier environment where they have no exposure to outside air or items that haven't been fully sterilized. (Think boy in the plastic bubble sort of idea). So this particular item is not really concerning to us as it is assumed that she, like pretty much all other rats, probably does have mycoplasma, which can be carried for their entire life without necessarily causing problems.

More information about Mycoplasma can be found in The Rat Health Guide as well as the Charles Rivers Technical Sheet.

Our 2013 RADIL Test Results (can be sent by email on request):
2013 RADIL Serology Test - Comprehensive, positive for RTV and Mycoplasma

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2012 Test

We completed our 2012 test, using one of our first MLWR prefixed rats - MLWR Phaeton. He was weaned at the time of the test for a bit over 3 weeks, and has been in our rattery his entire life. This ensured that he was exposed to anything here, and has not been nursing for long enough that he is no longer relying on his mom's antibodies for protection.

Our test showed that we had a postivie for RTV, or Rat Theliovirus. This particular one is more of a concern for scientists in labs that are doing studies, as it can affect some of their test results (particularly the similar virus in mice), but does not show clinical signs in rats. It, like mycoplasma, is actually not uncommon in the pet population. Unlike mycoplasma, it is also not likely to cause any problems for the rat during its lifetime. As such, while this test was included in the panel we ran, the positive result is not a concern for the health, longevity, or well being of our animals, as it should have no effect on their quality of life, or their health in the short or long term.

More information about Rat Theliovirus can be found on this Charles River Technical Sheet for anyone who wants to read more about RTV. It notes that there are no clinical signs or lesions observed in rats with RTV, with a POSSIBLE exception of a single report from Brazil. They have not done many studies on its affect on studies in rats, only in mice where it is found to affect the results of certain studies, so they assume it could have a similar result in rats. It is considered common in rat populations, both in and outside of labs.

Our 2012 RADIL Test Results (can be sent by email on request):
2012 RADIL Serology Test - Comprehensive, only positive (+2) is RTV

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2011 Test

We did our 2011 test with a blood sample from AZUR Kling Klang Gesang, who we brought in to be euthanized due to a suspected osteosarcoma and failing health and quality of life at the same time. He had been living with use for nearly 2 and a half years at that point, so was a good candidate for showing us any issues that may have been around during that time.

Since Gus was over 6 months old, a few of the tests results were non-specific. We learned after submitting his test that ideal testing candidates are under 6 months to prevent non-specific reactivity, which is common in older animals. Gus showed non-specific (neither positive or negative, just results that are unable to be interpretted either way) reactivity for RTV, Mycoplasma pulmonis, and CAR bacillus. These are not positives, and do not mean he actually has any of these.

Mycoplasma is considered to be mostly endemic in rat populations, that is, pretty much all rats are considered to be infected with this. It can contribute to respiratory problems in rats (which Gus never really showed any problems with), but is not something that can really be eliminated, just controlled. The only rats really considered to by myco free are those born by c-section in sterile labs and kept in a sterilized barrier environment where they have no exposure to outside air or items that haven't been fully sterilized. (Think boy in the plastic bubble sort of idea). So this particular item is not really concerning to us, as it is assumed that he, like pretty much all other rats, probably does have mycoplasma, though he never suffered from any problems related to it.

More information about Mycoplasma can be found in The Rat Health Guide as well as the Charles Rivers Technical Sheet.

CAR bacillus is in some ways similar to mycoplasma in that it tends to cause respiratory problems, among other things, but can also be asymptomatic in rats. It is not cureably, but again more just managed by treating the rats symptomatically if it is seen. He again was not positive for it, just didn't have a readable result. It is considered to occur naturally in some percentage of domesticated and wild rats, mice and rabbits. It often contributes to problems along with mycoplasma.

More information about CAR bacillus can be found in The Rat Health Guide as well as the Charles Rivers Technical Sheet.

Gus also had a non-specific result for RTV, or Rat Theliovirus. This particular one is more of a concern for scientists in labs that are doing studies, as it is suspected to affect some of their test results (particularly the similar virus in mice), but does not show clinical signs in rats. It, like mycoplasma, is actually not uncommon in the pet population. Unlike mycoplasma, it is also not likely to cause any problems for the rat during its lifetime.

More information about Rat Theliovirus can be found on this Charles River Technical Sheet.

Our 2011 RADIL Test Results (can be sent by email on request):
2011 RADIL Serology Test - Comprehensive, no positives, NS results for CAR-B, RTV and Myco

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