Morgunowicz, A., Cavanagh, C., Nikitochkina, S. et al. 2019. Increased incidence of spontaneous seizures in laboratory mice in an IVC environment. Animal Technology and Welfare 18(3), 159-166.
Over the past decade, there has been an enormous shift away from the use of open top rodent cages to the use of individually ventilated cages (IVCs). This has brought with it many benefits, including better control of health status and minimisation of contamination of immunocompromised animals. At King’s College London (KCL), the transfer of mice from open top cages to IVCs has coincided with an apparent increased incidence of spontaneous seizures in mice. The majority of seizures were observed when the cage was opened in a change station and it has therefore been proposed that a significant change in environmental stimuli may contribute to the incidence of seizures. This study aimed to record the incidence of seizures in mice following their transfer to IVCs and investigate the environmental differences between the inside and outside of IVCs, in particular, noise levels. This study highlights the increase in spontaneous seizure incidence in mice in IVCs and the need to investigate the impact of environment on seizures amongst laboratory animals in order to ensure the highest level of animal welfare maintained.