Evaluation of diagnostic methods for myocoptes musculinus according to age and treatment status of mice (mus musculus)

Kelly A. Rice, Lauren K. Albacarys, Kelly A. Metcalf Pate, Cheryl Perkins, Kenneth S. Henderson, Julie Watson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Detecting and controlling murine fur mites continues to be challenging. Here we compared the efficacy of fur-pluck, cage PCR, and fur PCR testing of mice naturally infested with Myocoptes musculinus and make recommendations regarding the application of these diagnostic strategies in aged or treated mice. We compared all 3 diagnostic methods in groups of infested and noninfested control mice over time. For fur plucks, we used a scoring system to quantitatively compare mite infestations across ages. Mice that were 4 wk old had higher egg and mite scores than did older mice, with average scores at 4 wk corresponding to 40 to 100 individual fur mites and eggs per sample. Furthermore, 15% and 20% of samples from infested mice at 24 and 28 wk of age, respectively, lacked all fur mites and eggs. Cage PCR results varied as mice grew older. Fur PCR testing was the most sensitive and specific assay in untreated infested mice, particularly when mite densities were low. In addition, we compared fur-pluck and fur PCR tests for evaluating the efficacy of selamectin treatment. Two treatments with selamectin eliminated Myocoptes fur-mite infestations. At 8 wk after treatment, all fur-pluck samples were negative, but one-third of treated infested cages remained positive by fur PCR assay; at 16 wk after treatment, all cages were negative by fur PCR assay. Because offspring of infested mice were invariably heavily infested, breeding of suspected infested mice with subsequent testing of offspring was the definitive testing strategy when fur-pluck and PCR results conflicted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)773-781
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2013
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology


Dive into the research topics of 'Evaluation of diagnostic methods for myocoptes musculinus according to age and treatment status of mice (mus musculus)'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this