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Infectra®-kit: A device for restraining mice and confining tsetse flies during trypanosome infection transmission experiments
- Ndung’u, Kariuki, Kibugu, James Karuku, Gitonga, Purity Kaari, Thuita, John Kibuthu, Auma, Joanna Eseri, Gitonga, Samuel Kariuki, Ngae, Geoffrey Njuguna, Murilla, Grace Adira
- Acta tropica 2013 v.126 no.2 pp. 146-149
- Glossina, anesthesia, disease transmission, human resources, humans, laboratory animals, laboratory experimentation, mice, parasites, risk, t-test
- Chemical (anaesthesia) and manual techniques are commonly used to restrain mice during vector-mediated parasite transmission experiments in the laboratory. Chemical restraint may interfere with natural fly vector–mouse interactions and therefore potentially affect the outcome of transmission experiments. Conversely, manual restraint is labour-intensive and exposes laboratory animals to excessive restraining-related discomfort. We report development of a mouse restraining device (Infectra®-kit) that allows essential transmission studies to be carried out with minimal human manipulation and without the need for anaesthesia. Infectra®-kit can be used as a single unit for restraining one mouse or as eight-assembled units, thus significantly improving efficiency of a single operator in comparison to manual restraint. The kit was validated by comparing feeding success in tsetse flies fed on mice restrained using Infectra®-kit (Group I) to those manually restrained (Group II). The mean±SE % feeding success was 75.0±8.2% and 82.1±8.2% for tsetse flies in Groups I and II respectively. Statistical analysis using two sample t-test showed no significant difference between the two groups at p≤0.05, indicating that Infectra®-kit as a restraining device was as good as the conventional manual restraint method. The main benefits of using Infectra®-kit for transmission studies therefore include reduction of man-hours and animal restraining-related discomfort. In addition, the risk of accidental injury to laboratory personnel by either mice or tsetse flies is minimized, which is an important consideration when working with zoonotic parasites.