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Specific Pathogen Free

Animal testing

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Animal testing
Alternatives to animal testing
Testing on: invertebrates ·
Frogs · Primates · Rabbits · Rodents
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History of model organisms
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Biomedical Research
Animal rights/Animal welfare
Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act
Great ape research ban
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Controversial experiments
Britches · Brown Dog affair
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Pit of despair
Silver Spring monkeys
Unnecessary Fuss

Charles River Laboratories, Inc.
Covance · Harlan
Huntingdon Life Sciences
UK lab animal suppliers
Nafovanny · Shamrock

Americans for Medical Progress
Boyd Group · BUAV
Dr Hadwen Trust · PETA
Foundation For Biomedical Research
National Anti-Vivisection Society
Physicians Committee
for Responsible Medicine
Primate Freedom Project
Pro-Test · SPEAK
Research Defence Society
Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty

Colin Blakemore · Carl Cohen
Gill Langley · Ingrid Newkirk
Neal Barnard · Jerry Vlasak
Simon Festing · Tipu Aziz


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Template:Animal rights

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Specific Pathogen Free is a term used for laboratory animals that are guaranteed free of particular pathogens. It is always accompanied by a list of the absent pathogens.

Use of SPF animals ensures that specified diseases do not interfere with an experiment. For example, absence of respiratory pathogens such as influenza in desirable when investigating a drug's effect on lung function.

Additional recommended knowledge



Completely germ free

The animals can be born through a caesarian section then special care taken so the newborn does not acquire infections, such as use of sterile plastic bags with a positive pressure differential.

A disadvantage is that any contact with pathogens will be fatal, since no protective bacterial flora are present (on the skin or in the intestine or respiratory tract).


To certify SPF, the population is checked for presence of (antibodies against) the specified pathogens.

Minimal disease status

When by accident some infection does occur, the population is said to have minimal disease status.


The population is regularly checked to ensure the status still holds.


SPF eggs can be used to make vaccines.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Specific_Pathogen_Free". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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