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California State University, Long Beach
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Policy on Use of Complete Freund's Adjuvant (CFA)

CFA, an oil-in-water emulsion containing Mycobacterial cell wall components, is regarded scientifically as an effective means of potentiating humoral antibody response to injected immunogens. Adjuvant activity is a result of sustained release of antigen from the oily deposit and stimulation of a local immune response. An essential component of this response is an inflammatory reaction at the site of antigen deposition resulting from the sequestration of immunoreactive cells and their interaction with antigen.

The use of CFA is, therefore, an important biologic resource for investigators that should be used responsibly and with care to avoid or minimize the adverse effects of excessive inflammation. Undesirable and painful side effects such as large inflammatory lesions or tissue necrosis can be effectively reduced or eliminated by the use of appropriate routs of administration, adequate separation of injection sites, and the use of a small amount of inoculums per site.

The following are guidelines for the use of CFA in research animals at CSULB:

  1. Prior to injection of CFA, the injection site must be clipped free of hair and prepped with betadine.
  2. CFA is to be injected subcutaneously (never intradermally, intramuscularly, or intraperitoneally).
  3. In rabbits, no more that 0.1 cc to 0.3 cc of CFA is to be injected at any given site.
  4. In rodents, only up to 0.1 cc of CFA can be injected at any given site.
  5. CFA may be used in any given animal only once. Booster injections, if required, must contain only Incomplete Freund's Adjuvant (an oil-in-water emulsion lacking mycobacterial components).
  6. Use of CFA must be approved by the IACUC.
  7. Any proposed deviation from this policy must be adequately justified and approved by the IACUC.

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