A Difference in Philosophy

In traditional diagnostic testing for laboratory animals, examinations and assays are designed to detect the potential causes of clinical disease or suspected sources of observed experimental variation. But this testing philosophy does not address the significance of positive results if there was not an initial problem to be solved through diagnosis. The background objective of diagnostic testing is to detect an abnormal agent or process, but not to define a historical pattern of health status for a given colony.

Health status testing, on the other hand, builds on diagnostic methodology by concentrating on the most common primary or opportunistic pathogens in laboratory species and uses their presence or absence as "indicator organisms" to measure the success of animal care procedures such as disinfection, protective clothing, or other barrier procedures. Once key pathogens which could directly impact research goals are shown to be excluded, the consistent absence of other agents provides ongoing, timely evidence of the effectiveness of animal husbandry procedures and policies. For either open or closed colonies, this historical information is critical to effective colony management.

Simonsen Laboratories offers both diagnostic and health status testing for rodents, rabbits, and other species. Health status profiles have been designed for mice, rats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rabbits. These profiles vary in the depth and breadth of testing and are based on the submission of live animals to the laboratory. We also provide full service diagnostic testing for common laboratory species, including necropsy, histopathology, serology, microbiology, and parasitology. Additionally, we provide assays for environmental microbiology intended for validation of equipment function and disinfection effectiveness.

For more information on specific testing panels and other services, please use the links provided in the frame to the left, or contact us at