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How “Humane” Is Your Endpoint?—Refining the Science-Driven Approach for Termination of Animal Studies of Chronic Infection

  • Nuno H. Franco mail,

    nfranco@ibmc.up.pt

    Affiliation: IBMC - Institute for Molecular and Cell Biology (Laboratory Animal Science Group), University of Porto, Porto, Portugal

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  • Margarida Correia-Neves,

    Affiliations: Life and Health Sciences Research Institute (ICVS), School of Health Sciences, University of Minho, Braga, Portugal, ICVS/3B’s - PT Government Associate Laboratory, Braga/Guimarães, Portugal

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  • I. Anna S. Olsson

    Affiliation: IBMC - Institute for Molecular and Cell Biology (Laboratory Animal Science Group), University of Porto, Porto, Portugal

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  • Published: January 19, 2012
  • DOI: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1002399

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Comment from the Editor

Posted by PLoS_Pathogens on 19 Jan 2012 at 22:04 GMT

The PLoS Pathogens Opinion section seeks to publish articles that provoke useful, forward-thinking, scientifically based discussions in particular topics of pathogenesis research. While most of the articles we publish typically focus on a particular pathogen or disease site, some—like the one below—impact the entire pathogenesis community. The value of animal models in pathogenesis research is obvious, but their use comes with a legal and ethical responsibility to minimize pain and suffering. How that balance is achieved may differ based on pathogen type, experimental goals, and individual Animal Care and Use Committee oversight, but we believe that there are certain guiding principles that should provide the foundation for these efforts. This article is intended to initiate a discussion among our readership to identify strategies that afford compassionate care for research animals without compromising the work itself. Have new, more refined approaches been developed to improve animal welfare? How does your lab or institution ensure that “care” and “use” are fairly balanced? We invite your opinions and perspectives, and we will use this forum to synthesize some of these comments in a future Opinion article.

Glenn Rall
Opinions Editor

No competing interests declared.