SAVE THE DATE: EAAP and VetBioNet organized a webinar on Zebrafish model – 14th December!

The seventh EAAP Webinar titled Contribution and application of the Zebrafish model to the “One Health” concept is organized in collaboration with the Horizon 2020 funded project VetBioNet – Veterinary Biocontained research facilities Network. 

The webinar will be held on Tuesday 14th December 2021 from 13.00 – 15.00 CET.

The webinar will be chaired by Maria-Isabel Thoulouze, “INRAE” (Toulouse, France) & Christelle Langevin, “INRAE IERP” (Jouy en Josas, France). The first presentation will be given by Christelle Langevin on “Zebrafish as an in vivo model for biomedical and animal health research”. David Perez Pascual from “Institut Pasteur” (France) will then talk about the “Gnotobiotic zebrafish model for the study of host-microbiota interactions”. Finally, Vincenzo Torraca from the “London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine” (UK) will make a speech about “Zebrafish Infection: from pathogenesis to cell biology”.

Free registrations are open on the EAAP website.

 

Save the date: EURL ECVAM webinar on the 29th of July. Recommendation on Non-Animal-Derived Antibodies and associated NC3R

The webinar will provide an overview of the scientific and welfare benefits of moving to the use of animal-free antibodies and affinity reagents and will highlight the recent Recommendation on Non-Animal-Derived Antibodies from the EU Reference Laboratory for alternatives to animal testing (EURL ECVAM). The target audience is all researchers who use antibodies in their laboratories. For further information and registration, please click here.

 

iSAGE project Final Conference – February 26th, 2020 free registration open

Innovation for Sustainable Sheep and Goat Production in Europe – iSAGE is a 4-year Horizon 2020 project.

iSAGE aims to assess the sustainability of the sheep and goat sector in Europe to future challenge such as climate change, food security, resource use efficiency and rural deprivation in marginal regions.

Together industry and research partners are thoroughly assessing the sustainability of the sector and developing strategies to respond to the identified challenges and opportunities.

You can see the programme here.

You can get more information and register on the project website here.

The 14th EPIZONE in 2020 in Barcelona

The meeting will be held from 28-30 September 2020 in Barcelona, Spain and will be hosted by the Animal Health Research Center IRTA-CReSA.
For more information, please click here.

New Paper Highlights the Need to PREPARE Animal Experiments to Fully Implement the 3Rs

By Michelle Hudson-Shore

In their new paper, publishd in November, Dr Adrian Smith and Dr Elliot Lilley, discuss the role of the 3Rs in improving the planning and reproducibility of animal experiments (Smith and Lilley 2019)[1], focussing on the recently developed PREPARE (Planning Research and Experimental Procedures on Animals: Recommendations for Excellence) guidelines as a means to accomplish advancements in these areas.

In recent years there has been increasing discussion about a ‘reproducibility crisis’ in the field of animal research. Smith and Lilley (2019) discuss how the majority of the effort to overcome this has been focussed on the reporting of animal work and improving understanding of the statistical and mathematical aspects of experimental design. However, they argue that a much more holistic approach needs to be taken with greater emphasis on careful planning of experiments and consideration of the many related aspects of animal research such as, the staff, animal welfare, efficient design and communication; after all nothing can be done to improve a cake once it has been burnt, so they advocate the use of the PREPARE Guidelines.

The PREPARE guidelines focuses on a large number of factors which, although they are seldom reported in scientific papers, can dramatically influence the validity and outcome of studies on animals, as well as the health and safety of all those concerned. They cover all stages of quality assurance, from the management of an animal facility or population to the individual procedures which form part of a study. The aim of the guidelines is to be a communication tool, by triggering attention to important areas and provoking the need to consult with specialists in other fields. As well as a checklist PREPARE also consists of a suite of web-based resources relating to each point on the list.

For more information, please visit the following link:

https://www.mdpi.com/2076-2615/9/11/975.


[1] Smith AJ. and Lilley E. (2019). The role of the Three Rs in improving the planning and reproducibility of animal experiments. Animals,9, 975; doi:10.3390/ani9110975.

Highly multiplexed quantitative PCR-based platform for evaluation of chicken immune responses: a new study by the Roslin Institute

A study has been published by the Roslin Institute describing a Highly multiplexed quantitative PCR-based platform for evaluation of chicken immune responses​. The study has in parts been realized with VetBioNet funding and represents an important output of work-package 8 “Development of novel analytical tools and reagents to help interrogate host-pathogen interactions”. 

VetBioNet TNA calls

One of the activities of VetBioNet is to provide free-of-charge use of our high-containment animal facilities to researchers in this field. The last two years 31 proposals from 13 different countries have been submitted requesting research in 10 different host species involving infectious diseases. 10 proposals were granted funding, 13 were rejected or withdrawn for funding and 8 proposals are still under evaluation.

If you would like to apply for access to our high-containment facilities to perform an animal experiment with infectious diseases for free, you can visit our website and go to the tab TNA Call for our electronic submission procedure.

Please visit the following page: https://www.vetbionet.eu/calls/

VETBIONET success story

The Commission has recently published the VETBIONET success story, please have a look at the following link:

http://ec.europa.eu/research/infocentre/article_en.cfm?&artid=50269&caller=FP

New review says application of humane endpoints needs to improve

A retrospective review of German animal research proposals conducted by Herrmann and Flecknell[1] has identified that the vast majority of the proposed humane endpoints were poorly described, unclear, generally not procedure specific and were late stage. Thus, leading them to the conclusion that most humane endpoints in the examined proposals could and should be improved. They also propose that this is indicative of a lack of actual use of refinement methods in practice resulting from either a lack of knowledge of what can be implemented or a lack of understanding of the importance of refinements for animal welfare and scientific quality. The review gives a range of detailed examples and discusses recommendations for improving the situation overall.

Humane endpoints are a key implementation of the third R, Refinement, in animal experimentation. A humane or less-inhumane endpoint is the ‘earliest indicator in an animal experiment of (potential) pain and/or distress that, within its scientific context and moral acceptability can be used to avoid or limit adverse effects by taking actions such as humane killing, terminating the study or alleviating the pain and distress’[2]. In recent years there has been an increase in research in the area of refinement but Herrmann and Flecknell1 argue that animals can only benefit from these efforts if the new knowledge is implemented in practice. Hence, they reviewed animal experiment proposals submitted in 2010 for authorisation by the German regulators for information on the use of humane endpoints and assessed whether the planned humane endpoints appeared appropriate.

Despite the use of humane endpoints being a legal requirement in many countries and their use being generally considered as best practice Herrmann and Flecknell1 found significant deficits in reporting of humane endpoints and problems with those that were described in the surveyed proposals. They make the following recommendations to address these issues:

  1. Increased effort by the scientific community to find earlier experimental endpoints
  2. Increase the use of new technologies and other advancements used in humans to benefit animals e.g. biomarkers and non-invasive imaging
  3. Establish international working groups with expertise in 3Rs and their respective research fields to review the validity of particular animal models and if proven valuable research and provide recommendations for refining those models.

Refinement is an important aspect of the 3Rs approach to animal experimentation, it can lead to profound and direct welfare benefits for laboratory animals as such as much as possible must be done by the scientific community to ensure it is effectively and widely implemented.

There are resources available to help researchers to develop and include humane endpoints in their project proposals such as the 3Rs-Centre ULS, ‘Humane endpoints in laboratory animal experimentation’ website[3]. In addition, the European Society for Alternatives to Animal Testing (EUSAAT) Congress to be held in Linz, Austria, 10-13 October 2019 will have a session on Refinement: best practice approaches, animal welfare, avoidance of severe suffering, culture of care (see the EUSAAT website for further details[4]).

[1] Herrmann K. and Flecknell P. (2018) The application of humane endpoints and humane killing methods in animal research proposals: A retrospective review. ATLA 46: 317-333.

[2] Hendriksen C. Morton D and Cussler K. (2011). Use of humane end points to minimise suffering. In the Cost Manual of Laboratory Animal Care and Use (eds. B Howard, T Nevalainen and G Perretta), pp. 333-353. USA: CRC Press.

[3] https://www.humane-endpoints.info/en (accessed 15.4.2019).

[4] https://www.eusaat-congress.eu/ (accessed 15.4.2019).

EPIZONE Annual Meeting 26-28 August 2019

The meeting will be held from 26-28 August 2019 in Berlin, Germany, and will be hosted by the Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut (FLI), the German Federal Research Institute for Animal Health. Theme of the 13th Annual Meeting will be ‘Breaking Walls’. Referring to the city and as metaphor for the EPIZONE goal to improve international cooperation within the field of epizootic diseases research and control. Focus will be on current research efforts in the field of epizootic animal diseases of livestock a.o. cattle, pigs, poultry, sheep, goats, fish and horses. Renowned speakers will be chosen to give a broad, up-to-date overview of this rapidly evolving and multi-disciplinary field. Interesting selected poster and oral presentations, about recent research on the well-known EPIZONE themes including: diagnosis, intervention strategies, risk assessment, and surveillance and epidemiology of epizootic diseases, will be part of the scientific program.

The meeting shall bring together an outstanding and diverse group of experts from basic to applied science to foster scientific exchange and to establish new contacts or collaborations. Also in Berlin, the Young EPIZONE core group will organize an interesting and inspiring program for young scientists in the field of epizootic diseases.

The venue will be the ‘Kalkscheune’ right in the middle of Berlin.

We are sure that Berlin, the lively capital of Germany and a city of distinction, will be the perfect place to create a stimulating atmosphere of exciting talks, inspiring discussions, and scientific curiosity. We are looking forward to your participation and welcoming you in Berlin in August 2019! For more information, please visit the conference website: https://www.epizone.eu.