Laboratory animal allergy is a significant known hazard for staff, students and visitors working with laboratory animals (in particular rodents). While there are controls in place, this cannot completely eliminate the risk of exposure to animal urine, dander and hair that can trigger an allergic response.
What is Laboratory Animal Allergy?
Laboratory animal allergy (LAA) is an inappropriate immune response to otherwise harmless proteins (allergens) in the urine, saliva, fur, and skin cells of laboratory animals such as rats and mice.
LAA affects 10-50% of individuals who are exposed to these allergens. Symptoms include sneezing, running nose, eye inflammation, skin rash and, most seriously, asthma.
Laboratory animal allergy prevention policy & guidelines
The University has a specific policy and set of guidelines around preventing laboratory animal allergy. These apply to all University animal facilities and departmental laboratories where live animals are used in research and testing.