3 Minute 3Rs May 2021

You’re listening to the April episode of 3 Minute 3Rs.

The papers behind the pod:

1.      PCR Testing of Media Placed in Soiled Bedding as a Method for Mouse Colony Health Surveillance. JAALAS  https://doi.org/10.30802/AALAS-JAALAS-20-000096

2.      New mosquito repellency bioassay for evaluation of repellents and pyrethroids using an attractive blood-feeding device. Parasites & Vectors https://doi.org/10.1186/s13071-021-04656-y

3.      Lung cancer organoids analysed on microwell arrays predict drug responses within a week. Nature Communications https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-22676-1


It’s the 3rd Thursday of May and you’re listening to 3 Minute 3Rs, your monthly recap of efforts to replace, reduce, and refine the use of animals in research. This month, we’re looking at animal free options for testing mosquito repellents and cancer therapies. But first, can we replace sentinel animals for health monitoring?



To support high-quality research data, it’s important to ensure that colony animals are healthy. Traditionally, rodent health surveillance is done through dirty bedding sentinel animals that act as a sort of canary in the coal mine. But what if, we could replace these animals, reduce husbandry time, and get even better data? New research shows that we can, regardless of the type of caging we use.

Researchers from Emory University developed an effective protocol to conduct environmental monitoring in both individually ventilated racks filtered at the cage level and static cages. The most effective method was to simply replace dirty bedding sentinel rodents with 10 flocked swabs and cage shaking. This method was actually MORE effective than traditional sentinel animals. To learn how to replace your sentinel rodents with environmental monitoring, read the full paper online.

On to repelling mosquitoes




The threat of mosquito-borne infectious diseases is rising, fueled in part by climate change and increases in international travel. Consequently, there is a growing interest in developing textiles treated with mosquito repellents and a growing need to test potential products.

These test methods must be standardized, but this process requires a regular supply of animal blood for the mosquitos to feed on. Using living animals for this purpose raises animal welfare concerns. To address these issues, Morimoto and colleagues have developed a new attractive blood-feeding device consisting of a feeding unit with a reservoir of equine blood overlaid with a plastic membrane. The mosquitos can artificially feed on equine blood by penetrating the membrane, avoiding the use of live animals. The authors describe using the device to evaluate how mosquitos responded to three chemical repellents, producing highly accurate and reproducible results. The attractive blood-feeding device could also be used to develop new repellent chemicals and learn more about mosquito physiology.

Got an itch to learn more about this refined test system – follow the link in the description.


[LA] And finally, we’ve all heard of patient-derived xenograft mouse models. To many in the cancer field, these patient-personalized mice have been important tools for testing patient responses to treatments. PDX models are however expensive, and they take a long time and a lot of mice to produce. Mice, however, aren’t the only option for personalized medicine. As in vitro technology advance, patient derived organoids are emerging alternatives.


In a new paper published in the journal Nature...

See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.