Putting an End to Rabies Vaccine Potency Tests on Animals
Animals are commonly used in experiments to test vaccines. The authors of this paper carried out a literature review and survey of rabies experts to identify the factors that influence acceptance of “3R” models designed to reduce, refine, and replace the use of animals in vaccine testing. The results show that 70% of rabies experts believe vaccine tests rely too much on animal models, and 89% think 3R models can help reduce the use of animals for those kinds of experiments. The vast majority (82%) also believes that 3R models have cost advantages over animal testing. However, there are perceived limitations to 3R models including technical concerns, lack of data sharing, and limited experience. Three-fourths (73-74%) of survey respondents from “regulatory authorities” believe that animal welfare concerns are a major driver of 3R models, but only 50-56% of industry respondents agreed.