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Assessment of stress in non-human primates: application of the neutrophil activation test

By P. E. Honess, C. Marin, A. P. Brown, S. E. Wolfensohn

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A technique measuring leukocyte (neutrophil) activity was used to examine differences between stress levels in a breeding colony of rhesus macaques housed in either a traditional caging system or open-rooms. The leukocyte activation test measured the degree to which blood from the two treatment groups could launch a further neutrophil response (superoxide production) to an in vitro challenge. Animals housed in a traditional caging system produced a significantly lower leukocyte response than animals housed in open-rooms, indicating that there was a higher level of stress associated with caged housing than open-room housing. This was not influenced by whether animals were physically restrained or trained to stand for a sedating injection. No differences were found between treatment groups in leukocyte numbers or composition. This study validates the use of the leukocyte activation test to assess physiological stress levels in non-human primates and demonstrates the animal welfare benefits of open-room housing over traditional laboratory caging systems.

Date 2005
Publication Title Animal Welfare
Volume 14
Issue 4
Pages 291-295
ISBN/ISSN 0962-7286
Language English
Author Address Department of Veterinary Services, University of Oxford, Oxford OX1 3PT, UK.
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Animal housing
  2. Animal physiology
  3. Animal rights
  4. Animal welfare
  5. Blood
  6. Cages
  7. Laboratory and experimental animals
  8. Laboratory animal science
  9. Leukocytes
  10. Macaques
  11. Mammals
  12. Methodologies
  13. Monkeys
  14. neutrophils
  15. peer-reviewed
  16. Primates
  17. Stress
  18. Stress response
  19. Techniques
  20. tests
  1. peer-reviewed