Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Impact of Water Temperature on Efficacy of Animal Cage Washing

laboratory animal cages plastic with white mice
White mice in laboratory animal cages
The processing of laboratory animal cages, to ready them for reuse, involves a number of logistical steps that include a proper washing and disinfection to remove contaminants and organic residue from the cage. The goal is prevent contamination carryover from previous use to a new occupant.

Traditionally, high temperature (+180°F) wash and rinse water was used to inactivate or remove infectious agents. Animal cage washing equipment is comparatively energy intensive, using large amounts of facility steam to continuously heat and maintain wash or rinse water. Susan R. Compton and James D. Macy, both of Yale University performed a study to determine if an alternative to the energy intensive +180°F might be equally effective. Their postulate...
"...if the volume and force of the wash water, combined with detergents, consistently diluted or removed infectious agents to below the level necessary for the transmission of infection, then washtemperatures high enough to inactivate the agents would be unnecessary."
Their published results, from Journal of the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science, is provided below and delivers some encouraging results. In essence, the study compares the efficacy of cage washing at +180°F and +110°F, with a detailed examination of contaminant carryover and analysis of potential cost savings related to energy consumption.

The study provides useful insight for those involved in animal cage washing at any level. Share your animal cage washing challenges with wash process experts, combining your lab animal facility knowledge with their equipment application expertise to develop effective solutions.

1 comment :

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