Laboratory Animal Science (B-KUL-E05E6A) (Laboratory Animal Science (B-KUL-E05E6A))
Owner/Developer: Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (KU Leuven)
Laboratory Animal Science is a multidisciplinary field that contributes to the quality of research and especially to the wellbeing of the laboratory animals.
The students gain knowledge into the different aspects of laboratory animals (housing, caretaking, genetic and microbial quality control, anesthesia and analgesia, feeding, experimental techniques, etc.). The students are also able to apply this knowledge and thus contribute to the reliability and reproducibility of the results of animal experiments and to the life quality of laboratory animals that are used for research. Finally the students will learn how to handle laboratory animals in a responsible manner.
Hands-on training, Lecture
Basic knowledge of biology is required.
University (Master), University (Doctoral education)
Carrying out procedures on animals, Designing procedures and projects, Taking care of animals, Killing animals, Ethics, Legislative aspects
Full coverage (a dedicated course)
No species is addressed specifically
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Topics of Laboratory Animal Science: Legislation, Working safely with laboratory animals, Zootechnique of different species, Housing of laboratory animals, Hygiene and microbiological standardisation, Anaesthesie, analgesia and euthanasia, Behaviour of laboratory animals and well-being, Genetic standardisation and transgenesis, Feeding of laboratory animals, Using alternative methods, Ethics and laboratory animals, Experimental and surgical techniques. Practical part of the course: Ethical Committee project and Work shop "handling small laboratory animals"
In the introduction and historical overview you'll get an idea about the historical evolution of the use of laboratory animals. You will learn which kind of animals are used and in which research domains they are used.
We will explain important aspects of the Belgian and European legislation on the use of animals. The composition and the functioning of the Ethical Committee are important topics.
In the chapter zootechnique we will give special interest to the housing, caretaking and breeding of different species (rodents, rabbit, xenopus, zebrafish, pig). We will discuss the main anatomical and physiological characteristics per species.
The importance of the cage environment (temperature, ventilation, etc) and of cage enrichment for the welfare of the animals, different types of cages, special housing and transport of the animals, is treated in the chapter of housing. Furthermore, we will discuss the significance of hygiene and disinfecting and microbiological quality control, especially in a SPF-facility.
Genetic standardisation, treating topics like inbred- and outbred strains, specific breeding systems and genetic quality control, is an introduction to the chapter of transgenesis in vertebrates.
Health control of laboratory animals, setting a diagnosis, the most important pathogens and their interference with research, quarantine and disease management, are part of the chapter pathology and microbiological standardisation.
The principal of the 3 "R's", meaning "Replacement, Reducing and Refining" of laboratory animals and animal use, is an important issue that is abundantly treated in the chapter of alternatives for animal use. In this chapter we will discuss different possible alternative methods, with their advantages and disadvantages.
Species-specific behavior and the ethogram are used to recognise and assess pain. Furthermore we will propose different possibilities for anesthesia and analgesia and treat several methods for euthanasia. Also the setting-up of humane endpoints and the wellbeing of lab animals is an item.
The chapter experimental techniques gives an overview of different methods for taking blood and for the administration of substances, the identification of animals and surgical techniques, like aseptic techniques, instruments, etc.
The feeding needs and feeding systems and the possible effects of feeding on experimental results, are discussed in the chapter of laboratory animal's feeding.
The aspect of working safely with laboratory animals, especially bite- and scratch wounds, zoonoses, allergy, working with chemicals and biosafety, are discussed profoundly, as is working under GLP.
We will also discuss the ethical aspects of laboratory animals research and the use of statistical methods in animal research.
Besides the theory, there is also a practical part, where you will learn how to manipulate an animal in a proper way. You will also be able to test your theoretical knowledge in case studies.
Directive 2010/63/EU or equivalent
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