Facility Description

Hera BioLabs has recently completed and commissioned a state-of-the-art facility that has been designed specifically to house SCID and specialized mouse and rat models (i.e. SRG™ rat, nude mice, NSG mice, SCID mice, Nude rat) in Lexington, KY. The vivarium facility includes an entry-way, gowning room, surgical suite, and holding rooms for both mice and rats.

In order to ensure an environment of utmost sterility, Hera uses the Innovive Innorack® and Innocage® system to house all rodents. The disposable (recycled) caging system includes high-performance dual HEPA-filtered Individually Ventilated Caging (IVC). The cages, materials, bedding, and waters are provided sterile by Innovive’s system. In addition, Hera only uses irradiated food products.

All animal holding room utilize positive air pressure to maintain barrier status. It was designed to maintain the standard housing conditions of rodents for temperature, humidity, and air circulation change rates. Emergency power and equipment is on site in the event of disaster or system irregularity.


Heath Reports

The link below contains the latest health monitoring report from our facility located in Lexington, KY.  Additional health testing can be requested but additional fees may apply. For more information please contact us. 

OncoRat (SRG) rat colony health reports


Accreditation & Institutional Goals

Hera has obtained an OLAW-approved Animal Welfare Assurance from the NIH Public Health Service (PHS) ensuring compliance with the Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals. Hera is in the process of pursuing accreditation with AAALAC (Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care) for its facilities with the goal of completion by the end of 2018.


Animal Housing & Husbandry

Animals are housed in species-specific holding rooms; mouse (137) and rat animals (136). All animal handling and husbandry is done inside an A2 biosafety cabinet animal transfer station. The cages are changed with a minimal frequency of once every two weeks (as recommended by Innovive for their superior ammonia-filtration technology). Animal Care Technicians are trained to assess conditions and may change the cages more frequently at their discretion.

The Innovive disposable IVC caging system has the following dimensions to their enclosures, which meet or exceed the PHS care and use guidelines. Rat: Universal Euro III Type Long, Interior dimensions: 141 in² floor space, 850 in³ living space, 7″ height (909 cm² floor space, 13929 cm³ living space, 18 cm height). Mouse: Universal Euro II Type Long, Interior dimensions: 81 in² floor space, 345 in³ living space, 5″ height (523 cm² floor space, 5653.5 cm³ living space, 12.7 cm height).

Enrichment is provided to all animals in the form of various sterile multi-form bedding and autoclaved paper products. All animals are observed daily for abnormalities in behavior, health, and environmental conditions.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is required at all times by all personnel and visitors to be worn in all lab and vivarium spaces which involve animal care and use. This includes: autoclaved scrubs and disposable materials; masks, hair-nets, gloves, and gowns. The non-disposable scrubs are laundered with Lysol Laundry Sanitizer and sterilized (autoclaved) prior to each use.

Hera follows strict SOPs regarding the care, handling, and use of animals for maintaining the highest level of sterility in both the macroenvironment and microenvironment of the severely-immunocompromised rodent strains. These are available upon request.


Health Monitoring

Hera’s Animal Health Monitoring Program utilizes direct sampling from individual animals.

Sampling is (+1 animal / row / rack) and the frequency is on a quarterly basis.

Immunocompromised animals are tested for:

IDEXX EDx / Opti-XXpress Mouse Comprehensive Panel Includes: P. pneumotropica, M. pulmonis, Staph aureus, β-hemolytic Streptococcus (Groups A, B, C, G), Helicobacter spp, K. oxytoca, K. pneumoniae, Salmonella spp, C. rodentium, C. piliforme, Ps. aeruginosa, MHV, MVM, MPV 1-5, MNV, TMEV, EDIM, MAV 1, MAV 2, Pinworms, Fur mites, S. muris, E. muris, T. muris

IDEXX EDx / Opti-XXpress Rat Comprehensive Panel Includes: P. pneumotropica, M. pulmonis, Staph aureus, β-hemolytic Streptococcus (Groups A, B, C, G), Helicobacter spp, K. oxytoca, K. pneumoniae, Salmonella spp, C. piliforme, Ps. aeruginosa, RCV/SDAV, RPV, KRV, H-1, RMV, RTV, BCV, MAV 1, MAV 2, Pinworms, Fur mites, S. muris, E. muris, T. muris

In addition to the panel, Hera also conducts quarterly tests for Rat Polyoma virus (RPyV2) and C. Bovis. All colonies undergo additional annual testing which includes Parasite testing of pinworms and fur mites. Any medical cases of barbering are individually tested.

Hera Team

Hera employs two veterinarians with Doctorates in Veterinary Medicine, one functioning as the Attending Veterinarian (DVM, ACLAM certified, over 30 years’ experience) for the IACUC and one functioning as Veterinary Technologist (DVM, over 10 years’ experience) for individual case assessments. There is also a Veterinary Technician (AALAS RLATG certified, over 10 years’ experience) responsible for acting as liaison between the Animal Care staff and the Veterinarians.