Improving and humanizing animal models by microbiomic techniques

Published on February 11, 2015   42 min

Other Talks in the Series: Animal Models in Biomedical Research

0:00
Hello, my name is Axel Kornerup Hansen. I'm a professor and the board chairman of science at the University of Copenhagen. In this lecture, I will introduce you to the impact that the microbiome has on animal models, and how we can improve your work with these models by considering these aspects. In principle, this could be about models in various species. But I will focus on rodents, because they outnumber other model species, because there are those who are primarily used for their low variation, and high potential for standardisation, and also because this is what I'm actually working with in my own research group.
0:36
In this lecture, I will start out by talking about how bacteriological monitoring is done in laboratory rodents today. And after that, I will introduce to the fascinating world of the gut microbiota. I will talk about the impact that this microbiota has in rodent models, and give a short and very incomplete impression on how this interaction between the host and the microbiota may take place. And introduce you to how much variation actually causes in your rodent models, and I will end up presenting some plausible ways to deal with this impact.
1:13
Bacteria are a source of variation in laboratory animal work. This is not a new issue, and the systematic handling of the variation caused by bacteria has developed from the beginning of the 20th century, through the millennium, and up till today. However, there's still much which can be done. So let me start out by shedding a critical light on the states at which we are today in laboratory animal breeders, be it facilities, or be it scientists.
1:40
A major step forward in animal experimentation came with this book by Russel and Burch in 1959, when they introduce the concept of the three R's. These principles, which today forms the basis for laboratory animal use in a global scale, tells us that whenever using laboratory animals, we should aim at replacement; that means we should strive for planning the studies without using live animals. Refinement; that means we should develop our procedures to progressively less discomfort for the animals. And reduction; that means in relation to the amount of knowledge we create, we should use fewer animals. This was a step forward for animal welfare, but was also a step forward for science, because it made scientists and animal care staff focus on avoiding the use of those animals which never added to the scientific output, for example, because they suffered from various infectious diseases.
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Improving and humanizing animal models by microbiomic techniques

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