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Alternatives to Laboratory Animals - ATLA

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Reduction of Numbers of Animals Used in the Quality Control of Biologicals

Coenraad F.M. Hendriksen

Laboratory animals are used for the quality control of vaccines. In particular, the potency testing of batches of inactivated vaccine requires large numbers of animals. The possibilities for reduction have been evaluated, and the results are summarised in this paper. Several approaches were studied, including the retrospective analysis of test data, with the objectives of determining the minimum number of animals required per vaccine dilution group, and evaluating the feasibility of a single-dose potency test. Other studies focused on the development of serology-based models and the use of genetically uniform animals. Based on the outcome of these studies, a substantial reduction in the number of animals used for the potency testing of toxoid vaccines has been achieved or will be achieved in the near future. As reduction alternatives can generally be explored in a relatively simpler and less time-consuming way than replacement alternatives, more emphasis should be placed on reduction strategies than at present.