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Opportunities to Replace the Use of Animals in Sepsis Research The Report and Recommendations of a Focus on Alternatives Workshop


Chris Langley,Chris Brock, Gerard Brouwer, Alun Brown, Lucie Clapp, Jon Cohen, Tom Evans, Carol Newman, Samantha Orr, Barry Phillips, Andy Rhodes, Nigel Webster and Karl Wooldridge

Sepsis and multiple organ failure are common causes of death in patients admitted to intensive care units. The incidence of sepsis and associated mortalities has been steadily increasing over the past 20 years. Sepsis is a complex inflammatory condition, the precise causes of which are still poorly understood. Animal models of sepsis have the potential to cause substantial suffering, and many of them have been poorly representative of the human syndrome. However, a number of non-animal approaches, including in vitro, in silico and clinical studies, show promise for addressing this situation. This report is based on discussions held at an expert workshop convened by Focus on Alternatives and held in 2004 at the Wellcome Trust, London. It provides an overview of some non-animal approaches to sepsis research, including their strengths and weaknesses, and argues that they should be prioritised for further development.