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Animal Experiments in Biomedical Research: A Historical Perspective.

Franco NH - Animals (Basel) (2013)

Bottom Line: The use of non-human animals in biomedical research has given important contributions to the medical progress achieved in our day, but it has also been a cause of heated public, scientific and philosophical discussion for hundreds of years.This review, with a mainly European outlook, addresses the history of animal use in biomedical research, some of its main protagonists and antagonists, and its effect on society from Antiquity to the present day, while providing a historical context with which to understand how we have arrived at the current paradigm regarding the ethical treatment of animals in research.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Institute for Molecular and Cell Biology, University of Porto, Rua do Campo Alegre, 823, 4150-180 Porto, Portugal. nfranco@ibmc.up.pt.

ABSTRACT
The use of non-human animals in biomedical research has given important contributions to the medical progress achieved in our day, but it has also been a cause of heated public, scientific and philosophical discussion for hundreds of years. This review, with a mainly European outlook, addresses the history of animal use in biomedical research, some of its main protagonists and antagonists, and its effect on society from Antiquity to the present day, while providing a historical context with which to understand how we have arrived at the current paradigm regarding the ethical treatment of animals in research.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

This full-page illustration of Pasteur in his animal facility was published in Harper’s Weekly in the United States, on 21 June 1884. At this time, there was moderate curiosity on Pasteur’s work in the US, which would intensify after his first successful human trials of a therapeutic vaccine for rabies in 1885. In the article, the reader is reassured that the use of dogs is both humane and justified in the interest of mankind. The use of other species, however, is barely mentioned [5]. Source: Images from the History of Medicine, U.S. National Library of Science.
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animals-03-00238-f004: This full-page illustration of Pasteur in his animal facility was published in Harper’s Weekly in the United States, on 21 June 1884. At this time, there was moderate curiosity on Pasteur’s work in the US, which would intensify after his first successful human trials of a therapeutic vaccine for rabies in 1885. In the article, the reader is reassured that the use of dogs is both humane and justified in the interest of mankind. The use of other species, however, is barely mentioned [5]. Source: Images from the History of Medicine, U.S. National Library of Science.

Mentions: Pasteur’s work required the experimental infection of numerous animals, as well as inflicting surgical wounds to test antiseptic techniques and disinfectant products, which made him a prime target of antivivisectionists. Either by genuine conviction or pragmatic convenience, amongst the ranks of Pasteur’s critics for his use of animals, one could easily find opponents of vaccination and the germ theory. Pasteur would frequently receive hate letters and threats, mostly for his infection studies on dogs, although he also used chickens, rabbits, rodents, pigs, cows, sheep, and non-human primates (Figure 4). Pasteur was, however, more sensitive to animal suffering than most of his French counterparts. Not only was he uneasy with the experiments conducted—although sure of their necessity—he would also always insist animals be anesthetized whenever possible to prevent unnecessary suffering. He would even use what we now call “humane endpoints” (for a definition, see [125]): in a detailed description of his method for the prophylactic treatment of rabies (from 1884), the protocol for infecting rabbits with the rabies virus (for ulterior extraction of the spinal cord to produce a vaccine), he stated that: “The rabbit should begin to show symptoms on the sixth or seventh day, and die on the ninth or tenth. Usually the rabbit is not allowed to die, but is chloroformed on the last day in order to avoid terminal infections and unnecessary suffering” [126]. Furthermore, he would become directly responsible for saving countless animals from the burden of disease and subsequent culling [5,107,113,127,128].


Animal Experiments in Biomedical Research: A Historical Perspective.

Franco NH - Animals (Basel) (2013)

This full-page illustration of Pasteur in his animal facility was published in Harper’s Weekly in the United States, on 21 June 1884. At this time, there was moderate curiosity on Pasteur’s work in the US, which would intensify after his first successful human trials of a therapeutic vaccine for rabies in 1885. In the article, the reader is reassured that the use of dogs is both humane and justified in the interest of mankind. The use of other species, however, is barely mentioned [5]. Source: Images from the History of Medicine, U.S. National Library of Science.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4495509&req=5

animals-03-00238-f004: This full-page illustration of Pasteur in his animal facility was published in Harper’s Weekly in the United States, on 21 June 1884. At this time, there was moderate curiosity on Pasteur’s work in the US, which would intensify after his first successful human trials of a therapeutic vaccine for rabies in 1885. In the article, the reader is reassured that the use of dogs is both humane and justified in the interest of mankind. The use of other species, however, is barely mentioned [5]. Source: Images from the History of Medicine, U.S. National Library of Science.
Mentions: Pasteur’s work required the experimental infection of numerous animals, as well as inflicting surgical wounds to test antiseptic techniques and disinfectant products, which made him a prime target of antivivisectionists. Either by genuine conviction or pragmatic convenience, amongst the ranks of Pasteur’s critics for his use of animals, one could easily find opponents of vaccination and the germ theory. Pasteur would frequently receive hate letters and threats, mostly for his infection studies on dogs, although he also used chickens, rabbits, rodents, pigs, cows, sheep, and non-human primates (Figure 4). Pasteur was, however, more sensitive to animal suffering than most of his French counterparts. Not only was he uneasy with the experiments conducted—although sure of their necessity—he would also always insist animals be anesthetized whenever possible to prevent unnecessary suffering. He would even use what we now call “humane endpoints” (for a definition, see [125]): in a detailed description of his method for the prophylactic treatment of rabies (from 1884), the protocol for infecting rabbits with the rabies virus (for ulterior extraction of the spinal cord to produce a vaccine), he stated that: “The rabbit should begin to show symptoms on the sixth or seventh day, and die on the ninth or tenth. Usually the rabbit is not allowed to die, but is chloroformed on the last day in order to avoid terminal infections and unnecessary suffering” [126]. Furthermore, he would become directly responsible for saving countless animals from the burden of disease and subsequent culling [5,107,113,127,128].

Bottom Line: The use of non-human animals in biomedical research has given important contributions to the medical progress achieved in our day, but it has also been a cause of heated public, scientific and philosophical discussion for hundreds of years.This review, with a mainly European outlook, addresses the history of animal use in biomedical research, some of its main protagonists and antagonists, and its effect on society from Antiquity to the present day, while providing a historical context with which to understand how we have arrived at the current paradigm regarding the ethical treatment of animals in research.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Institute for Molecular and Cell Biology, University of Porto, Rua do Campo Alegre, 823, 4150-180 Porto, Portugal. nfranco@ibmc.up.pt.

ABSTRACT
The use of non-human animals in biomedical research has given important contributions to the medical progress achieved in our day, but it has also been a cause of heated public, scientific and philosophical discussion for hundreds of years. This review, with a mainly European outlook, addresses the history of animal use in biomedical research, some of its main protagonists and antagonists, and its effect on society from Antiquity to the present day, while providing a historical context with which to understand how we have arrived at the current paradigm regarding the ethical treatment of animals in research.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus