Specific pathogen free (SPF) organism information sheet

This information sheet provides an explanation and background information on Specific Pathogen Free organisms. Key points include:

  • SPF animals are designated to be free from specified pathogens. They have been raised in biosecure facilities and their health status is monitored on an ongoing basis using sensitive diagnostic methods.
  • The SPF status simply provides an assurance to the buyer that the stock is not infected with the specified pathogens at the time of purchase. The SPF status is lost when animals are removed from biosecure facilities.
  • SPF animals are not disease free nor are they disease resistant. They may well carry other pathogens for which their health status has not been assessed.
  • Buyers should be sure to obtain the list of pathogens for which a stock is specified to be free, and ask for details about the date of the most recent health screening, the health surveillance program used to monitor stocks, the diagnostic methods used and disease history of the SPF facility.

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