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Use of body surface temperature obtained with an infrared thermometer as an early endpoint criterium in orthopoxvirus infection studies

Wednesday, October 26, 2011 — Poster Session III

10:00 a.m. – Noon

Natcher Conference Center




  • R Byrum
  • I Alexander
  • B Rosa
  • N Oberlander
  • K Cooper
  • O Rojas


Many investigations have verified the usefulness of infrared thermometry in determining body surface temperature in laboratory mice. Body surface temperature, obtained with a laser-sited infrared thermometer, is one of the criteria used by our laboratory at the Integrated Research Facility to determine if mice have reached endpoint euthanasia parameters in studies of orthopoxvirus infections. In a series of four experiments of cowpox or vaccinia virus infection in BALB/c mice, body surface temperature euthanasia criteria were altered, and the number of mice found dead were measured. Initially, as many as 60% of the mice were found dead in the first experiment with a lower endpoint body temperature criterium. After evaluating temperature data from this experiment, investigators of the next three experiments raised body temperature endpoint criterium to 28°C. The percentage of mice found dead were reduced to 16, 11, and 15%, respectively. Raising the body surface temperature in these infectious models to meet an earlier endpoint criterium can reduce the number of animals required for a study and potential for distress in the end stages of orthopoxvirus disease.

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