Provide a service for raising polyclonal and monoclonal antibodies in llamas, rabbits, mice, chicken, sheep, guinea pigs, goats and rats.
Production of entirely new antibodies to scientific targets of interest that can be used as a) tools to advance basic science, b) development of clinical diagnostic tools and c) contribute towards new drug discovery and development.
Guinea pig 125
Animals will be injected with the target for the antibodies (known as an immunogen) via a peripheral site with optional booster injections and test bleeds to determine if antibodies have been produced. Antibodies are then harvested using a method appropriate to the species used (e.g humane euthanasia, exsanguination under terminal anaesthesia, final blood sampling from a peripheral vein)
Granulomas and sterile skin abscesses may occur but the protocol is designed to minimise this possibility (<1%). There is very small chance (<0.5%) that the immunogen may cause an adverse systemic effect. Overall, antibody production is of mild severity.
Immediately at the end of antibody production, animals will be humanely euthanised with the exception of llamas, goats and sheep that may be re-used or re-homed.
An intact immune system only available in a live, host animal is required to generate highly specific antibodies, thereby necessitating the use of animals.
Reduction Typically only 2-3 animals are required to successfully produce specific antibodies. Thus only 2-3 animals will be used in each attempt to create a specific antibody before additional animals are used if the initial attempt is unsuccessful.
In the case of llama, goat and sheep use, the long lifespan coupled with the mild nature of antibody production supports re-use without compromising welfare which will reduce overall number of animals used.
In all cases, the lowest order species possible will be used.
The minimum number of animals required to ensure successful production of an appropriate amount of antibody will be used.
Suffering will be minimised by sequential injection of immunogen in successive animals in order to reduce the harm caused if any systemic adverse effect is caused.
Careful consideration will be given to injection volumes used, needle gauges used and blood volumes drawn
Strict criteria determining suitability for re-use of llamas, goats and sheep will be adhered to.
Clearly defined endpoints for all procedures prevent the possibility of undue suffering and minimises any necessary discomfort experienced by the animals.
Once a previously unavailable antibody has been produced, the use of in vitro or synthetic techniques to produce further antibodies will be undertaken where scientifically possible.