Methods of transgenesis in vertebrate animals in the laboratory involve the stable addition or selective substitution of defined genes into the germline. Although there is a continuous and remarkable development in transgenic technology-the quality of transgenes, gene-targeting vectors, and experimental approaches-the consequences for the phenotype induced by this kind of experimental mutation cannot be completely predicted. This is especially true for the majority of transgenic animals who are generated by pronuclear injection. Randomly integrated foreign DNA may increase the risk of disturbing normal physiological processes, resulting in discomfort possibly crucial to the animals' welfare. Only a careful and comprehensive phenotype and welfare assessment can determine (a) whether apparent and relevant changes of phenotype (genetic burdens) occur and (b) how to deal with them in terms of the 3Rs (replace, reduce, refine). Two structured forms, data record and characterization, have been developed and are proposed for a routine characterization and assessment of newly generated transgenic rodents. Data record form and characterization operate, respectively, at individual (health monitoring) and strain levels (representative sample of individual life histories).
|Publication Title||Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science|
|ISBN/ISSN||1088-8705 (Print), 1532-7604 (Online)|
|Publisher||Taylor & Francis|
|Author Address||Zurcher Tierschutz (SPCA), Zurichbergstrasse 263, CH-8044, Zurich, Switzerland.|
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