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Video Observations in Nonhuman Primates to Evaluate Scratching Behavior

Presented at AALAS National Meeting 2019; October 13-17, 2019; Denver, Colorado

Abstract

Due to the numerous external stimuli that can affect the behavior of non-human primates in a laboratory environment, studies assessing behavioral changes required significant improvement in the observational method. To limit distractions while assessing the frequency of scratching and grooming events in cynomolgus macaques (Macaca Fascicularis), a video capture system was used.  Toys and food were removed, animals were separated, and technical staff exited the room while the video observations took place. Cameras were set to record two animals simultaneously and were arranged to maintain visual contact with others to reduce stress during the recording. Acclimation screening was used to establish a baseline of the animals’ typical scratching and grooming behavior and determine which animals were most suitable for the study. During acclimation screenings, any stereotypic behaviors were noted. Animals exhibiting these behaviors could be excluded from study so as not to interfere with any dose related observations. The same was true for animals that exhibited high stress responses to the procedures. On dosing days, pre-dose recordings were collected to determine the intraday baseline and post-dose recordings were collected for analysis purposes. For consistency, a limited number of specially trained technicians performed the observations. It was essential that the same technician watched the pre-dose and post-dose videos for a given animal to lower the variability between assessments.

Date of publication
October 2, 2019

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