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Mouse Parvovirus

Rollins: Rooms G21 and G27

March 17, 2000


Three February sentinels from G21 and G27 and one mouse from one cage in the G27 colony were shown to have antibodies to Mouse Parvovirus (MPV) on 2/18/2000. This resulted in both rooms being quarantined on the day the serology results were received from the contract diagnostic laboratory, 2/25/2000. However, all four of the seropositives were interpreted to be false positives and quarantine of both rooms was discontinued based upon the following: Cage mates of the three sentinels did not show evidence suggestive of infection because they did not have serum antibodies against parvovirus when tested on 2/25/2000 and parvovirus DNA could not be demonstrated in their feces. Follow-up serology done on 3/16/2000 showed the three cage mates again to be free of MPV antibodies. In the case of the positive colony mouse, serologic results were inconsistent. For example, the index mouse, shown to be seropositive on 2/28/2000, was seronegative at one lab on 3/6/2000 and had equivocal results at another lab. Serology done on this same mouse on 3/14/2000 did not demonstrate antibodies against MPV. A second mouse in the cage was seropositive on March 6 and reverted to seronegative on March 14. One other adult mouse in the breeding cage was seronegative on both of the dates. Eight recent weanlings did not show serologic evidence of passively acquired maternal antibody. PCR analysis of feces for parvoviral DNA was negative. A synopsis of the testing is given in Table 4 below. Three of 67 Rollins sentinels in February (Table 2, rows 1-3) and 1 of 131 mice subsequently tested were seropositive for MPV (Table 3) for an overall 2% prevalence. A 5% rate of false positives is within the realm of expectation for a serologic test.


The February assessment of sentinels showed antibodies to Mouse Parvovirus from two of the sentinel mice from G27 and one from G21. All other sentinels in all other colonies have been free of antibodies to MPV from September 1999 through February 2000. The finding of seropositive sentinels is a situation that the DAR takes very seriously and is pursuing vigorously. At this point it is possible that these results may be reflective of true positives or may be false positives. Should these findings be true positives reflective of virus infection of certain mice, transmission from cage-to-cage should be prevented by the filter top cages providing they are opened only in a laminar flow hood and personnel are properly attired and using the phenolic disinfectant (Expose II) supplied by DAR. A false positive rate of 5%, however, is within the realm of normal probability for a serologic assay.

Table 1: Quarantined Rooms
Site Quarantine Imposition Quarantine Revocation
Rollins G21 2/25/2000 3/17/2000
Rollins G27 2/24/2000 3/17/2000

Preventive Medicine Procedures

Until otherwise notified, both rooms have been placed under quarantine. Under these conditions, as always, all mouse users must wear the prescribed PPE for mice and keep hands moist with disinfectant when handling mice. In addition, the following temporary procedures have been enacted for G21 and G27 Rollins:

  1. No new users will be permitted in these rooms until quarantine is lifted.
  2. No mice should be relocated from G21 or G27 to other rooms or sites without authorization from the vet staff.
  3. All room waste will be packaged for incineration.
  4. Tissues or biological materials from mice in these rooms should not be inoculated into other rodents.
  5. Soiled empty cages should be stacked near the sink for packaging by DAR staff for autoclaving.
  6. Harvesting tissues or euthanizing mice should be done in the hood in the room, if appropriate, or in the DAR necropsy. Animals should not be taken to labs without notification of the veterinary staff and specific, documented instruction in ABSL2 isolation techniques. Schedule the necropsy through Nancy Stump, 404.727.3248.

Veterinary Diagnostic Procedures

  1. Sentinel Cage Contacts
    1. Serology. All three CD-1 cage mates of the three seropositive sentinels were anesthetized on 2/24/2000 and split serum samples were collected and sent to two diagnostic labs. All three mice were shown to be free of antibody to MPV by ELISA and IFA.
    2. Fecal PCR. Fresh fecal pellets were collected daily from the cage mate contacts of the seropositive mice and did not show evidence of parvovirus DNA using PCR assessment.
  2. Other Sentinels
    The remaining CD-1 sentinel mice in both rooms (n=29) were anesthetized for blood collection for MPV serology on 2/25/00. All were free of antibodies to MPV.
  3. Colony Mice
    Ninety-nine colony mice (B6, 129, FVB, etc. background) from the populations monitored by the seropositive sentinels were anesthetized by 2/28/00 and all but two were seronegative for MPV (see #4 below). These two seropositive mice were not consistently seropositive between different labs or over time.
  4. MPV Seropositive Colony Mice
    One mouse from a breeding trio in G27 had a titer against MPV on 2/28/00. On 3/6/00 all three adult mice in the cage were anesthetized, serum was split for serology by two diagnostic labs, and feces were collected for MPV PCR. The mice, and a recently weaned litter from the cage (n=8), were also assessed by serology on 3/14/2000. While there were two positive results, they were inconsistent over time and between laboratories (Table 4). PCR analysis of feces for parvoviral DNA was negative.

Table 2: February Sentinels - MPV Serologic Results
Population Positive Results Number Tested
G21 Sentinels 1 12
G27 Sentinels 2 20
Other Rollins Sentinels 0 35
All Other Sentinels (February) 0 96
TOTAL 3 (1.8%) 163

Table 3: Subsequent MPV Diagnostics
Population Positive Results Number Tested
G21 Sentinel Cohorts 0 10
G21 Sentinel Fecal PCR 0 1
G21 Colony Mice 0 22
G27 Sentinel Cohorts 0 19
G27 Sentinel Fecal PCR 0 2
G27 Colony Mice 1 77
TOTAL 1 131

NOTE: By probability a positive result would be a true positive (predictive value) only half the time for an assay with a sensitivity of 95% and where the pathogen has a 5% prevalence. The predictive value of a positive result drops as pathogen prevalence decreases.

Table 4: Index Case Serology
Serology Dates: 2/28/2000 3/6/2000 3/6/2000 3/14/2000
Mouse Lab A Lab A Lab B Lab A
1 POSITIVE Equivocal negative negative
Equivocal negative negative









Additional Information on MPV

Details regarding the virus and our experiences with it last summer and fall may be found at: MPV Outbreak.