Environmental Monitoring


All University animal housing facilities must be checked for sanitation efficacy and water quality every 3 months. Luciferase Enzyme Technology is our standard testing method.

We test cleanliness of caging and equipment as well as water quality with swabs using Firefly enzyme in a product available through Charm Sciences Inc. Autoclave efficacy (steam or ethylene oxide systems) is tested by means of ampules provided by the CPL (Comparative Pathology Lab) which are placed in the autoclave during use.

The system detects ATP, or adenosine triphosphate, an organic molecule that is used by living cells as their main source of energy. Animal, plant, bacterial, yeast and mold cells produce and break down ATP in order to drive a number of biological processes including muscle contraction, photosynthesis, and the creation of different proteins.

Through the use of the “Pocket Swab” and the Charm Lum-T system we can detect unseen food and microbial residue remaining on animal caging and equipment (even after cleaning) as well as the presence of bacterial ATP in water. The Charm Lum-T system software also provides a comprehensive history of your results and progress. Please contact the CPL (263-6464) to arrange for pick up of supplies, set up your reporting system and for personalized training in the use of these services.


Why Monitor Environmental Sanitation and Water Quality?

From ALNmagazine:

“A controlled and reproducible environment is essential to the efficacy of reliable research and to the maintenance of high quality animal care. The animal facility personnel must be exceedingly vigilant to monitor and eliminate zoonotic and contagious infectious agents from the laboratory animal’s environment.”
– Amy Ingraham F.E Lynch, K.B Shaprio, ALN Issue 10/1/08.

From the Guide to the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals:

“The frequency and intensity of cleaning and disinfection should depend on what is needed to provide a healthy environment for an animal, in accord with its normal behavior and physiological characteristics. Methods and frequencies of sanitation will vary with many factors….”
- 1996 the Guide to the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals, pg 42

Useful Links