DATE: February 8, 2017
TIME: 3:00pm PT, 6:00pm ET
The Eastern woodchuck (Marmota monax) is a large, burrowing rodent with native territories throughout parts of the US and Canada. Woodchucks are susceptible to infection with woodchuck hepatitis virus (WHV), a hepadnavirus that is endemic in certain wild populations. The epidemiology and course of disease of WHV infection demonstrates numerous similarities with another member of the hepadnaviridae family, human hepatitis B virus (HBV), including a high rate of progression to hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). These characteristics have led to the use of WHV–infected woodchucks as a valuable and highly translatable animal model of viral hepatitis and oncogenesis. Despite the clear utility of this species for these and other research applications, housing and maintenance of woodchucks in a laboratory setting is relatively uncommon and information regarding their care requirements and technical procedures is limited. In this presentation, we will give an overview of our facility’s approach to husbandry, management, health care, and experimental methods in this unique laboratory rodent.