Refinement Database

Database on Refinement of Housing, Husbandry, Care, and Use of Animals in Research

This database, created in 2000, is updated every three months with newly published scientific articles, books, and other publications related to improving or safeguarding the welfare of animals used in research.

Links to the full text for publications that appear in open access journals or are published on the AWI website are provided under the abstract.

Tips for using the database:

  • This landing page displays all of the publications in the database.
  • Use the drop-down menus to filter these publications by Animal Type and/or Topic.
  • Clicking on a parent category (e.g., Rodent) will include publications relating to all the items in that category (e.g., Chinchilla, Gerbil, Guinea pig, etc.).
  • You may also add a keyword to further narrow your search.
  • Please note that at this time, only publications dated 2010 or later (with some exceptions) can be filtered by Animal Type and Topic. Most publications older than 2010 can only be searched by keyword. 
Parkinson’s disease (PD) is the most common neurodegenerative motor disorder and primarily affects movement control but also a range of non-motor functions. With unknown etiology and lack of cure, much research is dedicated to unravel...
Fibrosis, as a common final pathway in many renal diseases, contributes significantly to the decline of organ function and to progression to end-stage renal disease. To establish therapeutic interventions that target fibrosis, animal models are...
Experimental murine models are an essential tool in the field of bone marrow (BM) transplantation research. Therefore, numerous mice are required to obtain a sufficient number of BM cells, which is in contrast with the...
Alone among Western nations, the United States has a two-tier system for welfare protections for vertebrate animals in research. Because its Animal Welfare Act (AWA) excludes laboratory rats and mice (RM), government veterinarians do not...
The article describes the care of the Olive python (Liasis olivaceus) including information on housing, feeding, handling, as well as the general health care of these animals. Some of the information presented is derived from...
The assessment of welfare and disease progression in animal models is critical. Most tools rely on evaluating individual subjects, whereas social behaviors, also sensitive to acute illness, chronic diseases, or mental health, are scarcely monitored...
In the EU, the breeding of genetically modified laboratory animals is, by definition, an animal experiment if the offspring may experience pain, suffering, or harm. In order to determine the actual burden of genetically modified...
Much of the research done on aging, oxidative stress, anxiety, and cognitive and social behavior in rodents has focused on caloric restriction (CR). This often involves several days of single housing, which can cause numerous...
Murine models of tumor development often require invasive procedures for tumor implantation, potentially causing pain or distress. However, analgesics are often withheld during implantation because of concerns that they may adversely affect tumor development. Previous...
The increasing potential for radiation exposure from nuclear accidents or terrorist activities has intensified the need to develop pharmacologic countermeasures against injury from total body irradiation (TBI). Many initial experiments to develop and test these...
The assessment and understanding of Absorption, Distribution, Metabolism and Elimination (ADME) for new pharmaceuticals is required in regulatory submissions. Typically, ADME studies are conducted using metabolism cages designed for the single housing of animals to...
Subcutaneous tumor models in mice are the most commonly used experimental animal models in cancer research. To improve animal welfare and the quality of scientific studies, the distress of experimental animals needs to be minimized...
During the development of potential new medicines or agrochemicals, an assessment of the safety profile to humans and environmental species is conducted using a range of different in silico and in vitro techniques in conjunction...
The welfare of laboratory animals is a consistent concern for researchers. Its evaluation not only fosters ethical responsibility and addresses legal requirements, but also provides a solid basis for a high quality of research. Recently...
During transportation, animals must have a water source available to prevent dehydration. Some shipping facilities use potatoes whereas, others use colloidal water gels that provide a uniform water source. The problem occurs when colloidal water...
In oncology research, while xenograft tumor models are easily visualized and humane endpoints can be clearly defined, metastatic tumor models are often based on more subjective clinical observations as endpoints. This study aimed at identifying...
Cancer-bearing mice are at risk of developing anxiety, pain, or malaise. These conditions may not only harm welfare but could also undermine data quality and translational validity in studies to develop therapeutic interventions. We aimed...
Laboratory animals frequently undergo routine experimental procedures such as handling, restraining and injections. However, as a known source of stress, these procedures potentially impact study outcome and data quality. In the present study, we, therefore...
Hamsters have historically been used in our pharmacokinetic (PK) studies using the retro-orbital (RO) bleeding technique to collect blood samples. If performed incorrectly, this technique has the potential for animal welfare complications not usually seen...
In mouse (Mus musculus) models of diabetic nephropathy (DN), one of the most important read-outs is the 24-h urinary albumin excretion (UAE). The 24-h urine collection is usually performed by single housing mice in metabolic...
Animal models in psychiatric research are indispensable for insights into mechanisms of behaviour and mental disorders. Distress is an important aetiological factor in psychiatric diseases, especially depression, and is often used to mimic the human...
Voluntary wheel running (VWR) behaviour is a sensitive indicator of disturbed wellbeing and used for the assessment of individual experimental severity levels in laboratory mice. However, monitoring individual VWR performance usually requires single housing, which...
Behavioural indicators of affective state, including burrowing, clinical scores and the Mouse Grimace Score have not yet been validated in mouse models of chronic gastrointestinal disease. Additionally, a comparison of these methods has not been...
In many animal experiments scientists and local authorities define a body-weight reduction of 20% or more as severe suffering and thereby as a potential parameter for humane endpoint decisions. In this study, we evaluated distinct...
Blood sampling is often performed in laboratory mice. Sampling techniques have the potential to cause pain, distress and impact on lifetime cumulative experience. In spite of institutions commonly providing guidance to researchers on these methods...

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