Laboratory (experimental) animals play an important role in scientific research in many fields such as neurology, physiology, biomedical sciences, immunology, pharmacology, infectious diseases, etc. The importance of laboratory animals in scientific research is the response of the whole organism to a specific external stimulus. The organism is extremely complex structure with numerous interactions within it, and responses to the environmental variations is in many cases impossible to predict. Therefore, the importance of being a model organism in scientific research today is undeniable and irreplaceable. In order to gain comprehensive scientific data, one must not forget the welfare of animals. The humane approach in studying involving live animal models must be the main concern of scientists working with laboratory animals.
The use of animals in scientific research is by no means simple: it includes problems that arises when uses the results of research through a wide range of species, ethical and moral dilemmas when working with live animal models, compliance with local and international laws and regulations and knowledge of trends in public opinion towards the use of laboratory animals for scientific purposes.
During this course, students will learn what are the most common laboratory animals used for scientific purposes, the basics of handling and working with laboratory animals, methods of maintaining animals in captivity and health monitoring of animals, added with concrete examples of animal models in scientific research. Also, students will learn the basics of ethical and moral approach when one work with live animal models. In addition, students will be teached that modern settings in studies with laboratory animals have been compressed as a rule named three R: reduce, refine, replace.
1) To justify the use of animal models in scientific research
2) To discuss about the ethical and moral aspects when using live animal models in research
3) Argue on advantages and disadvantages of various animal models in specific scientific research
4) Select the correct way to maintain a certain laboratory animal model
5) Assess the impact of external and internal factors on the results of research with laboratory animals
1) Introduction to laboratory animals: the history of the experimental animals, ideal laboratory animal model, the basics of maintaining animals in the laboratory
2) Maintenance of animals in the laboratory: abiotic and biotic factors in the facility for laboratory animals
3) The most common laboratory animals: overview of the most common types of laboratory animals in scientific research
4) Rodents: Basic biology and evolution of rodents as the most common group of laboratory animals
5) Handling laboratory animals: Non-invasive methods of working with laboratory animals
6) Techniques of applying substance, anesthesia, analgesia and euthanasia: Invasive methods of working with laboratory animals.
7) The necessity of experimental animals: The importance of studies in laboratory animals through examples
8) The mouse as experimental model: The strains of laboratory mice, the characteristics and making of the strains
9) The laboratory rat: The strains of laboratory rats, the characteristics and making of the strains
10) Experimental Models 1: Experimental models of animals in scientific research
11) Experimental models 2: Experimental models of animals in scientific research
12) Behavior: behavioral researches and tests in scientific research on laboratory animal models
13) Diseases of laboratory animals: Basics on diseases of laboratory animals, the main diseases in laboratory animal facilities
14) Health of animals in experiments: Maintaining healthy animals in laboratories, animal health and its impact on research results
15) Ethics: Animal welfare, moral and ethical dilemmas when working with laboratory animals
Seminars are organized according to interests of students in current year of study.
1) The laboratory mouse: presentation of work and skills on a mouse animal model: maintenance, removal, containment, general non-invasive and invasive methods, techniques of applying materials, anesthesia, analgesia, euthanasia and necropsy.
2) The laboratory rat: presentation of work and skills on a rat animal model: maintenance, removal, containment, general non-invasive and invasive methods, techniques of applying materials, anesthesia, analgesia, euthanasia and necropsy.
3) Research behaviors: Standardized and improvised methods of studying behavior in various animal models.
- There is no specific textbook to cover all topics of the course. Literature (presentations and scientific articles, excerpts from various books) covering specific areas would be given to students during lectures and practicum.
- Jann Hau, Steven J. Schapiro (Eds) (2010) Handbook of Laboratory Animal Science, Volume I, Third Edition: Essential Principles and Practices. CRC Press, USA.
- Hans Hedrich (2004) The Laboratory Mouse (Handbook of Experimental Animals). Elsevier Academic Press, Oxford, UK.
- George J. Krinke (2000) The Laboratory Rat (Handbook of Experimental Animals). Academic Press, London, UK.