Labs of several research institutions in the United States, he received orders to significantly reduce the number of animals used in experiments, according to the website of the journal Science. First and foremost, this applies to mice: they make up 95 percent of all model objects. This decision is due to the fact that the pandemic is COVID-19 many workers are forced to stay at home and not able so often to experiment, as usual. The number of those who can care for animals, also decreased.
The main way to counter the spread of the novel coronavirus is to reduce the number of physical contacts between people. This applies to all spheres of activity, including scientific research. Therefore, in many biomedical laboratories in the United States has appointed a responsible person who will monitor the condition of laboratory animals, cell cultures, other biological objects, as well as critical equipment. The rest were asked to stay home.
Since the number of employees who can visit the lab declined significantly, and many of the experiments it became impossible to hold: it does not have enough hands. To feed all the animals and clean their cages too, in these conditions was not easy. The result is the University of Pennsylvania, University of Oregon science and health and several other institutions took a decision to reduce the number of laboratory animals. It is in the United States, as the world in General, 95 percent consists of mice (Mus musculus).
There is no single solution how much you need to reduce the number of mice. Somewhere it is recommended to leave 60 percent of the rodents in other areas of euthanasia are subjected to anyone who does not need to experiment in the next two weeks-a month, and almost everywhere stop breeding animals. On 20 March the National institutes of health has forbidden to order a new mice, but not yet recommended whether they sponsored laboratories to reduce the number of existing ones.
The world’s largest supplier of laboratory mice, Jackson Laboratory, has not yet announced about the decline in the number of their animals. However, the organization began to receive more orders for the freezing of sperm and embryos most valuable lines of mice from laboratories, who hope to resume their studies after stabilization of the situation.
Although euthanasia is carried out with compliance with existing ethical standards (animals placed in a chamber with carbon dioxide), in any case, this tragic event and for scientists. In addition, there is a practical problem: the foundations of laboratory animals, which in many cases created not one year taken out of the line and supported them, will have a long time to recover.
Pandemic COVID-19 indirectly affected virtually all of biology and medicine. In particular, the expected shortage of donor organs. In the United States was not permitted to take donor material from people with novel coronavirus infection. Those who assume and those who had contact with the infected in the 28 days prior to the collection authorities temporarily prohibited to be donors. Also in the United States recommended not to conduct the autopsy of those who at the time of death had a confirmed diagnosis COVID-19 or the suspicion of it. On the one hand, this is an important safety measure for pathologists, on the other hand, because of her true cause of death in some cases and will not be installed.