Chapter 15. Maintenance of Filarial Cycles in the Laboratory: Approaches to Replacing the Vertebrate Host

  1. Dr. Christoph A Reinhardt
  1. Joachim Rapp,
  2. Wolfgang H. Hoffmann,
  3. Lisette Keller,
  4. Andrea Welzel and
  5. Hartwig Schulz-Key

Published Online: 8 OCT 2008

DOI: 10.1002/9783527616053.ch15

Alternatives to Animal Testing: New Ways in the Biomedical Sciences, Trends and Progress, Second Edition

Alternatives to Animal Testing: New Ways in the Biomedical Sciences, Trends and Progress, Second Edition

How to Cite

Rapp, J., Hoffmann, W. H., Keller, L., Welzel, A. and Schulz-Key, H. (1994) Maintenance of Filarial Cycles in the Laboratory: Approaches to Replacing the Vertebrate Host, in Alternatives to Animal Testing: New Ways in the Biomedical Sciences, Trends and Progress, Second Edition (ed C. A. Reinhardt), Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH, Weinheim, Germany. doi: 10.1002/9783527616053.ch15

Editor Information

  1. SIAT Swiss Institute for Alternatives to Animal Testing, Technopark, Pfingstweidstr. 30, CH-8005 Zürich

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 8 OCT 2008
  2. Published Print: 24 FEB 1994

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9783527300433

Online ISBN: 9783527616053

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Keywords:

  • filarial research;
  • immunological studies;
  • skin-dwelling microfilariae;
  • polyvinylpyrrolidon;
  • arthropods

Summary

Filarial infections are of great medical and social importance for people living in developing countries. Owing to the host specificity of human filariae, animal models from allied species are used to study the parasite host interaction or when developing new drugs. The maintenance of filarial cycles in the laboratory is still based on the infection of a considerable number of rodents. Alternative techniques permitting the gradual replacement of vertebrate hosts are presented here. These involve the artificial feeding of vectors and their infestation with microfilariae at membrane sites, followed by the cryopreservation of viable parasitic material for purposes of storage. While in vitro cultivation of filarial worms allows a rather limited replacement of vertebrate hosts, it is of high relevance for biochemical, immunological, and pharmacological studies. It is expected that the systematic development and application of these novel alternative techniques will significantly reduce (by more than 50%) the number of rodents presently still required for filarial research.