Shortage of Research Monkeys Puts U.S. at Risk for Health Emergencies



By Cara Murez 

HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, Could 5, 2023 (HealthDay Information) – The USA wants to deal with a scarcity of analysis monkeys by increasing breeding applications whereas additionally creating alternate options to monkey testing, an skilled panel mentioned in a report launched Thursday.

The Nationwide Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medication panel was centered on analysis funded by the Nationwide Institutes of Well being (NIH), essential for responding to public well being emergencies resembling COVID-19.

“If the U.S. is to supply high-impact biomedical analysis and have a analysis infrastructure able to responding to the subsequent public well being disaster, now’s the time to strengthen the methods we’d like for nonhuman primate analysis,” committee chairman Dr. Kenneth Ramos, assistant vice chancellor for well being companies at Texas A&M College, mentioned in a information launch asserting the brand new report.

Though america funds colonies of nonhuman primates at nationwide facilities, it additionally depends on imported primates raised for analysis.

A few of these primates traditionally have come from China, however in 2020 that nation stopped exporting analysis monkeys, the Related Press reported, resulting in a 20% drop in imports of a selected species, cynomolgus macaques.

That was additionally when primates have been particularly wanted for COVID research.

Provides have been additionally impacted when america filed costs to cease a Cambodian smuggling ring that was accused of sending endangered wild monkeys for analysis, the AP reported.

Monkeys are useful in lifesaving analysis, particularly in infectious illness and neuroscience, due to their similarities to folks.

Nonetheless, utilizing them can be controversial. The NIH doesn’t use people’ closest relations, chimpanzees, in invasive analysis any longer due to that controversy, the AP reported.

In line with the report, about 64% of NIH-funded researchers had bother getting primates for his or her work.

Extra data

The Nationwide Institutes of Well being has extra on animals utilized in analysis.



SOURCE: Nationwide Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medication, information launch, Could 4, 2023; Related Press