Use of Ronidazole and Limited Culling To Eliminate Tritrichomonas muris from Laboratory Mice.
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Tritrichomonas muris is occasionally identified during routine fecal screening of laboratory mice. Frequently, entire racks are affected, and because no effective treatment is available, culling of affected mice and rederivation by embryo transfer have been suggested. The current study evaluated whether treatment with ronidazole, a nitroimidazole efficacious against T. fetus infections in cats, combined with limited culling was effective against T. muris in laboratory mice (Mus musculus). A subset (n = 39) of mice were treated with ronidazole (400 mg/L in drinking water) for 15 d, after which 6 of the mice still shed T. muris. Consequently all mice in the affected rack received ronidazole (500 mg /L in drinking water) for 25 d. All mice were retested by using pooled samples, and those positive for T. muris (except for a valuable breeding pair) were culled. The remaining mice continued to receive ronidazole for another 17 d. At the end of the treatment period, all mice were tested (days 60 and 81) and were shown to be negative for T. muris. Over the following year, sentinel mice from the rack were tested every 3 mo and remained negative for tritrichomonads by fecal smear. Thus, a combination of limited culling and treatment with ronidazole in the drinking water successfully cleared research mice of infection with T. muris.