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Scientists who perform major survival surgery on laboratory animals face a dual welfare and methodological challenge: how to choose surgical anesthetics and post-operative analgesics that will best control animal suffering, knowing that both pain and the drugs that manage pain can all affect research outcomes. Scientists who publish full descriptions of animal procedures allow critical and systematic reviews of data, demonstrate their adherence to animal welfare norms, and guide other scientists on how to conduct their own studies in the field. We investigated what information on animal pain management a reasonably diligent scientist might find in planning for a successful experiment. To explore how scientists in a range of fields describe their management of this ethical and methodological concern, we scored 400 scientific articles that included major animal survival surgeries as part of their experimental methods, for the completeness of information on anesthesia and analgesia. The 400 articles (250 accepted for publication pre-2011, and 150 in 2014–15, along with 174 articles they reference) included thoracotomies, craniotomies, gonadectomies, organ transplants, peripheral nerve injuries, spinal laminectomies and orthopedic procedures in dogs, primates, swine, mice, rats and other rodents. We scored articles for Publication Completeness (PC), which was any mention of use of anesthetics or analgesics; Analgesia Use (AU) which was any use of post-surgical analgesics, and Analgesia Completeness (a composite score comprising intra-operative analgesia, extended post-surgical analgesia, and use of multimodal analgesia). 338 of 400 articles were PC. 98 of these 338 were AU, with some mention of analgesia, while 240 of 338 mentioned anesthesia only but not postsurgical analgesia. Journals’ caliber, as measured by their 2013 Impact Factor, had no effect on PC or AU. We found no effect of whether a journal instructs authors to consult the ARRIVE publishing guidelines published in 2010 on PC or AC for the 150 mouse and rat articles in our 2014–15 dataset. None of the 302 articles that were silent about analgesic use included an explicit statement that analgesics were withheld, or a discussion of how pain management or untreated pain might affect results. We conclude that current scientific literature cannot be trusted to present full detail on use of animal anesthetics and analgesics. We report that publication guidelines focus more on other potential sources of bias in experimental results, under-appreciate the potential for pain and pain drugs to skew data, PLOS ONE | DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0155001 May 12, 2016 1 / 24 a11111 OPEN ACCESS Citation: Carbone L, Austin J (2016) Pain and Laboratory Animals: Publication Practices for Better Data Reproducibility and Better Animal Welfare. PLoS ONE 11(5): e0155001. doi:10.1371/journal. pone.0155001 Editor: Chang-Qing Gao, Central South University, CHINA Received: December 29, 2015 Accepted: April 22, 2016 Published: May 12, 2016 Copyright: © 2016 Carbone, Austin. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Data Availability Statement: All relevant data are within the paper and its Supporting Information files. Authors may be contacted for further information. Funding: This study was funded by the United States National Science Foundation Division of Social and Economic Sciences. Award #1455838. The funder had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript. Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist. and thus mostly treat pain management as solely an animal welfare concern, in the jurisdiction of animal care and use committees. At the same time, animal welfare regulations do not include guidance on publishing animal data, even though publication is an integral part of the cycle of research and can affect the welfare of animals in studies building on published work, leaving it to journals and authors to voluntarily decide what details of animal use to publish. We suggest that journals, scientists and animal welfare regulators should revise current guidelines and regulations, on treatment of pain and on transparent reporting of treatment of pain, to improve this dual welfare and data-quality deficiency.more » « less
Anolis lizards have served as important research models in fields ranging from evolution and ecology to physiology and biomechanics. However, anoles are also emerging as important models for studies of embryo development and tissue regeneration. The increased use of anoles in the laboratory has produced a need to establish effective methods of anesthesia, both for routine veterinary procedures and for research procedures. Therefore, we tested the efficacy of different anesthetic treatments in adult female Anolis sagrei. Alfaxalone, dexmedetomidine, hydromorphone, ketamine and tribromoethanol were administered subcutaneously (SC), either alone or combined at varying doses in a total of 64 female anoles. Drug induction time, duration, anesthesia level and adverse effects were assessed. Differences in anesthesia level were observed depending on injection site and drug combination. Alfaxalone/dexmedetomidine and tribromoethanol/dexmedetomidine were the most effective drug combinations for inducing a surgical plane of anesthesia in anoles. Brown anoles injected SC with alfaxalone (30 mg/kg) plus dexmedetomidine (0.1 mg/kg) or with tribromoethanol (400 mg/kg) plus dexmedetomidine (0.1 mg/kg) experienced mean durations of surgical anesthesia levels of 31.2 ± 5.3 and 87.5 ± 19.8 min with full recovery after another 10.9 ± 2.9 and 46.2 ± 41.8 min, respectively. Hydromorphone given with alfaxalone/dexmedetomidine resulted in deep anesthesia with respiratory depression, while ketamine/hydromorphone/dexmedetomidine produced only light to moderate sedation. We determined that alfaxalone/dexmedetomidine or tribromoethanol/dexmedetomidine combinations were sufficient to maintain a lizard under general anesthesia for coeliotomy. This study represents a significant step towards understanding the effects of anesthetic agents in anole lizards and will benefit both veterinary care and research on these animals.more » « less
The common bed bug,
Cimex lectulariusL., is a hematophagous ectoparasite that was a common pest in poultry farms through the 1960s. Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) and organophosphates eradicated most infestations, but concurrent with their global resurgence as human ectoparasites, infestations of bed bugs have been reappearing in poultry farms. Although the impact of bed bugs on chicken health has not been quantified, frequent biting and blood-feeding are expected to cause stress, infections and even anemia in birds. Bed bug control options are limited due to the sensitive nature of the poultry environment, limited products labeled for bed bug control and resistance of bed bug populations to a broad spectrum of active ingredients. Veterinary drugs are commonly used to control endo- and ectoparasites in animals. In this study, we evaluated the effects of two common veterinary drugs on bed bugs by treating the host with systemic antiparasitic drugs. Methods
We conducted dose–response studies of ivermectin and fluralaner against several bed bug strains using a membrane feeding system. Also, different doses of these drugs were given to chickens and two delivery methods (topical treatment and ingestion) were used to evaluate the efficacy of ivermectin and fluralaner on bed bug mortality.
Using an artificial feeding system, both ivermectin and fluralaner caused high mortality in insecticide-susceptible bed bugs, and fluralaner was found to be effective on pyrethroid- and fipronil-resistant bed bugs. Ivermectin was ineffective in chickens either by the topical treatment or ingestion, whereas bed bugs that fed on chickens which had ingested fluralaner suffered high mortality when feeding on these chickens for up to 28 days post treatment.
These findings suggest that systemic ectoparasitic drugs have great potential for practical use to control bed bug infestations in poultry farms. These findings also demonstrate the efficacy of fluralaner (and potentially other isoxazolines) as a potent new active ingredient for bed bug control.
Bed bug infestations are re-emerging in the poultry industry throughout the USA. Although the impacts of bed bugs on birds’ health and welfare are poorly understood, adverse outcomes are expected, including stress, anemia, infections and lower production rates. Worker welfare is also an important consideration in commercial poultry farms. A limited number of insecticides are available for use in the complex spatial environment of commercial farms. Systemic drugs have the potential to overcome the limitations of existing pest management tactics. A recent study showed that fluralaner administered to chickens caused high levels of mortality in bed bugs.
To further understand the efficacy of this approach, we evaluated the pharmacokinetics of an oral solid formulation of fluralaner in 11 chickens and quantified its plasma concentration in chickens using UPLC/MS. We administered fluralaner to chickens with two doses of Bravecto®(each 0.5 mg/kg body mass) via gavage 1 week apart and evaluated its efficacy on bed bugs that fed on medicated chickens for up to 28 days post-treatment.
Bed bugs that fed on fluralaner-treated chickens experienced > 50% mortality within 30 min of the administration of Bravecto and 100% mortality 2 days post-treatment. Mortality slowly declined to 66.6% by day 28. Fluralaner was quantifiable in the hens’ plasma for at least 28 days post-treatment. The treatment resulted in maximal plasma concentrations (
Cmax) of 106.4 ng/ml around day 9.0 ( Tmax), substantially higher than the LC90, the concentration needed to kill 90% of the bed bugs. Conclusions
Fluralaner appears to be a promising candidate for bed bug control in poultry farms, with a treatment effect lasting at least 28 days.
Interest in cephalopods as comparative models in neuroscience, cognition, behavior, and ecology is surging due to recent advances in culture and experimental techniques. Although cephalopods have a long history in research, their use had remained limited due to the challenges of funding work on comparative models, the lack of modern techniques applicable to them, and the small number of labs with the facilities to keep and house large numbers of healthy animals for long periods. Breakthroughs in each of these areas are now creating new interest in cephalopods from researchers who trained and worked in other models, as well as allowing established cephalopod labs to grow and collaborate more widely. This broadening of the field is essential to its long-term health, but also brings with it new and heightened scrutiny from animal rights organizations, federal regulatory agencies, and members of the public. As a community, it is critical that scientists working with cephalopods engage in discussions, studies, and communication that promote high standards for cephalopod welfare. The concept of “social license to operate,” more commonly encountered in industry, recreation, and agriculture, provides a useful lens through which to view proactive steps the cephalopod research community may take to ensure a strong future for our field. In this Perspective, I discuss recent progress in cephalopod ethics and welfare studies, and use the conceptual framework of Social License to Operate to propose a forward-looking, public-facing strategy for the parallel development of welfare-focused best practices and scientific breakthroughs.