Frequently Asked Question
1 – What do I need to install an IVC Rack in my facility?
The IVC Racks are one of the most modern and best-selling equipment in the world. They are very robust, working well in different environmental conditions (high durability). But for this, it requires two main factors: a bi-volt (110 or 220 V) electrical outlet and a 3-inch exhaust outlet for single-sided IVC racks and 4-inch for double-sided IVC Racks. In addition, we must also indicate two main factors for animal welfare: timer use for the light-dark cycle 12/12 and environmental acclimatization (21 ° C ± 2).
2 – If I work with conventional animals, how important or needed is to accommodate them in IVC Racks?
Even though the animals have an unknown microbiota, without major demands on health barriers, when housed in a collective protection equipment (like the IVC Racks) it is observed an increase in the welfare and a decrease in the classic pathologies of facilities. In this way, the researchers obtain animals that are more capable of experimentation, with less bias, thus generating a better reproducibility of their scientific results.
3 – Why the collective protection equipment increase animal welfare?
Because they generate more protection to the animals, thus preventing cross-contamination (spread) and the allergen dispersion. They also provide greater blockage of macro and micro-environmental noises and odors, preventing and / or reducing the stress ratio. Another important factor to consider is the efficient system of air exchanges (insufflation and exhaustion) of the mini isolators, efficiently removing the main systemic toxic gases (ammonia and CO2), besides the excessive moisture responsible for the growth of urease positive bacteria (which transform urea into ammonia).
4 – What is the difference between air exchange systems in collective protection equipment? Which is the most efficient?
The intra-cage ventilation system (IVC), present in IVC Racks, is the most efficient because the air inflated inside the mini isolators, dragging efficiently the main toxic gases (ammonia and CO2) and humidity (limiting factor for the growth of urease positive bacteria) to outside this micro-environment.
The air insufflation system present in the Ventilated Cabinets, known as semi-directional dilute general ventilation is not as efficient as the IVC ventilation system. That is because it drags the gases and moisture present only on the top of the cages after its suspension, due to the movement and swirling of the animals inside. All these factors imply in the exchange interval of the beds, being higher in the IVC Racks compared to the Ventilated Cabinets.
5 – What are the factors that imply in the interval of exchange of animal’s beds?
Mainly the ventilation system (IVC system increases this exchange interval), number of animals per cage, species housed, predisposing diseases (ex: diabetes causing increased urination), macro-environment factors (temperature, humidity, noises and odors) and micro-environment (bed quality and its hygroscopic relation, animal stress, quality of water and food).
6 – What is the best positioning of the air insufflation in the mini isolator, from below or from above?
Alesco believes that both are efficient when regulated within international regulations (inflation speed and the volume of the air exchange per hour). There are numerous scientific papers describing the advantages of both systems, and in our product line, we offer both models. So, the client chooses one, depending on you belief, preferences and needs. The important fact to highlight is that both systems drags efficiently the toxic gases and humidity to outside the micro-environment, without generating any stress to the animals.
7 – What is the engine filter change interval? What factors influence your life?
The life of the engine filters depends on numerous factors, considering, in particular, the systems of barriers, correct handling and quality of animals. Among those factors, we can quote: environment cleaning and quality of the inflated air (filters), number of bed’s exchange per week, where this exchange is done (Change Module Equipment or “open environment”), quality of the bed (particulate) and mini isolators cleaning. In this way, in average, we suggest 1 (one) year to change the filters of IVC Racks and Isolators, and 08 to 12 months to the Ventilated Cabinets.
8 – What is the replacement interval for the top filter? What are the factors that influence their useful life?
The useful life of these filters depends on some factors, mainly on the quality of the animal’s bed and the handling. Although it is a washable filter, we indicate its cleaning only in running water, without the use of any abrasive product, like sponges. We can indicate, as well, its autoclaving as part of disinfection process. In this way, in average, we suggest the exchange in 1 to 2 years.
9 – If an electrical interruption occurs, the animals can survive for how long inside the equipment?
Inside the mini isolators, the animals can survive for undetermined time. The main reason for this is the great area of the filter in the surface of the top allowing, even if deficient, a little air exchange between external and internal environment.
Logically, that by the time passing, the cages will show a condensed filter, consequently of a large internal heat dissipation, letting animals extremely stressed. However, we need to considerate big clime variations in Brazilian tropical regions, where the heat can accelerate animal’s death.
10 – Is it possible to maintain SPF or immune deficient animals in IVC Racks? And Isolators?
Yes, it is possible that, if the researcher follow all operational pattern procedures to maintain this sanitary status. Besides, all the cages and materials need to be autoclaved and handled in places with high security Change Module, Security Booths and Laminar Flow. Some tests for sanitary validation were already done with Alesco’s equipment to confirm its efficiency.
In an experiment made by LANAGRO/SP, 3.115 SPF animals were maintained in IVC Racks and housed in front of a conventional animal colony in Ventilated Cabinets during 16 months. All the handling of the SPF animals were made in Alesco’s Change Module, and it was concluded that no animal was infected for any microbiological agent, despite the proximity to the conventional colony.
There was also an increase in the number of animals per birth, fact that is related to the improvement in housing conditions in IVC Racks (increase of welfare). The same type of colony can be handle in Isolators, where historically it’s showed very efficient for long time’s period. This equipment prevents the direct contact of user with the animals, that’s because all the handling is made only by fixed gloves in the internal wall of the Isolators.