[Zbrafish] IACUC help

Lawrence, Christian via zbrafish%40net.bio.net (by Christian.Lawrence from childrens.harvard.edu)
Wed Dec 10 22:40:11 EST 2008

I think this is the sort of thing you will see more and more of as the model matures.  In the past, most IACUCs wouldn't want to touch zebrafish with a ten foot pole, and so as long as the floors and tanks were clean and logbooks filled out during semiannual inspections, everything was OK.  The use of zebrafish has grown to such an extent that now, at the end of the day, there is no conceptual difference between mice and rats and zebrafish in terms of the way they are being utilized.  So they will be increasingly held to the same standards.  Inspections will be naturally much tougher, but also more useful, as painful as they may be.

An example of this trend is in the tracking of numbers and accounting of different strains.   This is standard stuff for mammalian model animals, and at some institutions (ours included), it is now for zebrafish as well.  Think about it.  In some facilities, you might have hundreds of Tg and mutant strains, including no small number that show associated clinical defects, etc.  This is clearly the kind of information that an institutional animal care program needs to be monitoring.

The trick with dealing with a "mammal based" IACUC is to work with and ultimately educate them.  Their actions should be grounded in science, just as they are with mice, rats, etc.  I believe that institutions with zebrafish programs (an ever increasing number) have the responsibility to ensure that their IACUCs are trained in the basics of fish biology, aquaculture, basic zebrafish research techniques, etc., and/or are consulting with an expert in these matters to help inform their oversight of zebrafish programs.  In many instances, this is not yet the case, but the "user" side can and should push back on this issue so that regulation makes the most sense for the care of the animals and the integrity of the research.

Christian Lawrence
Aquatic Resources Program
Children's Hospital Boston
320 Longwood Avenue
Boston, MA 02115
617.730.0836 (fax)
christian.lawrence from childrens.harvard.edu

On 12/10/08 6:42 PM, "Jocelyn" <jocelyn.mcauley from gmail.com> wrote:

Is it normal for an IACUC to request and maintain a copy of our fish
They are very keen on wanting to know all of our stain names and

Also, any hints on dealing with a mammal biased IACUC?
- ex: how do I support that "harem breeding" (IACUC phrase: more than
one fish of opposite sex) is not unusual/harmful to fish?


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