Collymore, C., Kent, L., Ahn, S. K. et al. 2018. Humane endpoints for guinea pigs used for Mycobacterium tuberculosis vaccine research. Comparative Medicine 68(1), 41–47.
Guinea pigs are a commonly used model for tuberculosis vaccine research. Loss of body weight is the most frequently described humane endpoint for animals used in these studies. During a chronic study, we noted labored breathing in some tuberculosis-infected guinea pigs. To develop consistent humane endpoints for these guinea pigs, we performed an observational study using multiple clinical signs. A combination of body weight loss, labored breathing, and activity level during handling estimated the time to euthanasia within approximately 7 d. Histologic severity scores of lesions in the cranial or caudal lung lobe (or both) supported clinical endpoints. This study presents humane endpoints for the refinement of studies using guinea pigs in tuberculosis research.