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The question of whether, and if so, to what extent, non-animal tests or testing strategies could significantly reduce or even replace the need for in vivo acute systemic toxicity tests is still unresolved. According to the current view of many regulatory and industrial toxicologists, knowledge of the in vivo toxic effects resulting from acute poisoning is a prerequisite for trying to ensure that workers and consumers are adequately protected. In vitro methods for acute toxicity testing could, however, be used in a tier testing scheme to reduce the number of animals used (and to reduce animal suffering). Such an approach is a natural progression of recent attempts to refine in vivo acute toxicity tests by the use of sequential dosing methods (such as the acute toxic class and up-and-down procedures). In these in vivo tests, use of the minimum number of animals possible depends upon the correct choice of the starting dose; this could be optimised by conducting appropriate in vitro tests prior to any animal tests which were then considered to be necessary.

Additional information

Authors: SEIBERT H ET A, Kiel University (DE);BALLS M ET AL, JRC Ispra (IT);BIANCHI V, University of Padova (IT);CLOTHIER R ET AL, University of Nottingham (GB);DIERICKX P, Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology (BE);GOMEZ-LECHON M-J, Hospital Universitario La Fe, Valencia (ES);LIBSCH M ET AL, ZEBET BgVV (DE);SHRIVASTANA R, VITRO-BIO (FR);WALUM E, Pharmacia, Stockholm (SE)
Bibliographic Reference: Article: Alternatives to Laboratory animals (ATLA)
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