Score Sheets for the Monitoring of Transgenic Mice
The widespread use of transgenic animals in research, and especially for generating models of human disease, has given rise to calls for a careful documentation of transgenic strains with particular emphasis on characterizing phenotypes and their animal welfare aspects. Based upon several published suggestions for general health monitoring of laboratory animals and upon a questionnaire we developed for the characterization of transgenic strains, score sheets for litter-wise and individual data collection were tested in a pilot study. The documentation concept and some of the most important parameters are presented and discussed with respect to their feasibility and usefulness. The use of score sheets can help in determining the application of humane end points at the individual level, phenotype characterization and assessment of animal welfare for the whole strain, and the development of better breeding strategies – apart from being of direct scientific interest. We suggest that these score sheets, available via the Internet at: www.bzl.unizh.ch/de/database/jormtransg/index2.html, should be applied for routine and comprehensive phenotype characterizations of transgenic mouse strains used and kept for animal experimentation.
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