Belgian Council Laboratory Animal Science
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26 April 2018

Workshops – parallel sessions

12:30 – 14:00      Workshop A :  IVC Debris Sampling Device Testing

Ronald de Boer, QM Diagnostics
Recently, testing of exhaust air dust by an IVC debris capturing device (DCD) samples as replacement for the sentinel method for health monitoring (HM) has been introduced. Potentially, there are some significant advantages of this new method over soiled bedding sentinels: no sentinels are needed, all cages in a rack are continuously monitored, it is less labour-intensive and eliminates inadequate soiled bedding transfer procedures.

As the only method for IVC DCD or exhaust air dust testing is PCR, the findings of DNA residues in the food can be of great impact on these PCR results and possibly lead to positive findings that is caused by an active infection and therefore the interpretation of PCR results from IVC DCD and exhaust air dust require a different approach and all potential DNA sources should be taken in account.

During the workshop examples of IVC DCD results will be shown and discussed to create awareness of the results that can be expected.

12:30 – 14:00      Workshop BDVC TECHNOLOGY - To support your research and facility management.

This workshop will demonstrate the new Digital Ventilated Cage housing system.
A Ventilated cage with huge possibilities to track, observe and monitor  mice 24 hours, 7 days a week in their home cage.
This new way of housing laboratory mice can create a major change in lab animal science, husbandry and facility management.
It can benefit animal welfare and create cost reduction in the husbandry of your animals.
In this workshop we like to create interest to researchers, facility managers and biotechnicians.

14:00 – 17:30      Workshop C: Cost-Benefit Analysis during Project Evaluations

This workshop is organized by the Core Team of the Belgian Platform for the Ethics Committees on animal experimentation (EC) and is a continuation of our successful workshop day for the members of ECs of May 31st 2017 at Ghent University.

14:00 – 15:30      Workshop D: Overview of new developments in techniques for working with lab mice

In this workshop an overview will be provided of practices and new developments and insights to optimize and refine hands-on procedures with mice.  Hereto, techniques routinely required in the lab will be discussed which may include methods for handling, identification, (blood) sampling, dosing and practices for euthanasia and anaesthesia/analgesia. Participants will be invited to share their own experiences with and pros/cons for the work practices and different approaches discussed. Goal is to provide participants with an updated overview of new insights and techniques to help them with the identification of opportunities to change their way of working or introduce new more refined work practices in their work environment. As such, the session could be useful for people actively involved in carrying out experimental work with mice but also for AWB members actively monitoring and providing advice on refining opportunities.
At the end of the session, a short update will be provided on the status and progress of the BCLAS initiative to create an AWB platform for Belgium which was one of the main topics of the BCLAS workshop in Ghent on May 31st 2017.

16:00 – 17:30      Workshop E: Strategies to Minimize Genetic Drift and Maximize Experimental Reproducibility in Mouse Research

Dr Jean Cozzi, Head of European Embryology, Surgery and Model Creation, Charles River
Genetic drift occurs in any independent mouse breeding colony and has the potential to negatively affect experimental reproducibility and scientific conclusions. Spontaneous mutations caused by genetic drift may go unrecognized for years, until the specific research questions that depend on such mutations happen to be impacted.
While it cannot be stopped completely, genetic drift and the impact on scientific discovery can be minimized through careful and thoughtful colony management practices. Because individual mouse breeding colonies may differ in size and management strategies, use of complete and accurate mouse strain nomenclature, including sub-strain designation, benefits the scientific community as a whole.