National Anti-vivisection Society


National Antivisection Society

SSC: problems faced in developing vaccines or therapeutics

Posted: 13 July 2007

SSC: 3) Outbredness and the need to consider genetic resistance & susceptibility

Inbred species of mice and even transgenics cannot predict accurately for how long a drug, biological, or vaccine will work or possibly cause adverse effects in an outbred population. An outbred population with specific characteristics, which resemble the human population, is often the most relevant model. Unfortunately, the numbers of captive bred animals needed to maintain this “outbred quality” are high. Smaller colonies of non-human primates will result in a smaller genetic pool in which the predictable value will be lost, or may even result in selective inbreeding, defeating one of the most important needs of primates for research. Thus large, diverse, well characterised, captive-breeding colonies are needed in Europe to maintain this outbred character.

ADI Response:

Even if the “outbred quality” is achieved by large breeding colonies of NHPs – and the practical problems such a huge venture presents appear to count against it – the fundamental species differences that exist between humans and other primates will still remain. Therefore the lack of predictive value of these models will persist.

Only in humans can the relationship of subjective and discriminative drug effects be assessed at the same time91. For example, EAE, the model for MS, has proven ineffectual in pointing researchers toward a meaningful therapy as the model does not reflect the pathology and progressive nature of MS92.

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