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WVU Rodent Barrier Facility

The WVU Rodent Barrier facility at the Robert C. Byrd Health Sciences Center is a specific pathogen-free (SPF), 2500 sq/ft facility that can house up to 8,000 rodents. The facility is comprised of three animal rooms, a treatment/procedure room, an autoclave lobby area, equipment airlock and the TACF lab. In 2013, a new 21,000 sq/ft, state-of-the-art rodent facility will open at Robert C. Byrd Health Sciences Center. At that time the Transgenic Animal Core Facility will be moved inside the new 10,000 sq/ft rodent barrier facility.


The WVU Barrier Facility is designed to house only “clean” or specific pathogen free (SPF) rodents. Rodents to be housed in the barrier can be purchased from approved commercial vendors. A list of approved vendors is available fromThe Office of Laboratory Animal Resources (OLAR) Animals from these vendors are brought directly into the barrier. Mice from unapproved vendors, universities or other in-house colonies may enter the barrier facility only by embryo transfer rederivation.

All rodents in the barrier are housed in micro-isolator cages on ventilated racks. Cages and rodents are handled using aseptic technique under laminar flow hoods. All cages, bedding, feed and supplies are autoclaved into the facility. Rodents are provided with either irradiated water via an automatic watering system or autoclaved water in bottles. OLAR provides animal husbandry and veterinary services for rodents housed in the TACF barrier facility. Husbandry and veterinary services can be arranged for directly with OLAR.


Access to the barrier is restricted. Entry into the barrier facility requires a change into autoclaved scrubs, wearing clogs provided for barrier use only, and full Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) including hair bonnet, face mask, shoe covers and gloves. Completion of a hands-on training session on barrier operational procedures is mandatory for research staff working with animals in the barrier. If research staff has not handled or previously worked with mice or rats, the Office of Laboratory Animal Resources (OLAR) will provide training. Each investigator is responsible for ensuring their research personnel complete the appropriate training.Please contact OLAR to schedule a training.