Insects Could Be Used For Drug Testing Trials Instead Of Animals

July 12th, 2017

Insects Could Be Used For Drug Testing Trials Instead Of Animals

When it comes to medical tests, or more specifically, drug safety tests, researchers often use a variety of different mammals. These mammals include monkeys, rats, mice and dogs, but this is only naming a few. Using mammals to test drugs before they are marketed is controversial because many of these mammals, if not all, are capable of not only feeling pain, but they can anticipate pain as well. This anticipation only leads to greater suffering on the part of the. Animals. There does not exists many valid reasons that support the continuation of drug testing on mammals. Some experts insist that using animals, especially primates, rats and mice, are necessary because they possess a physiology that is similar to human physiology. Therefore, discovering how different experimental drugs affect mammals can tell researchers more about how these same drugs will affect human beings. However, many animal welfare advocates insist that using mammals for potentially deadly, and often painful drug trials is not necessary because there are other organisms, like insects, that can yield results that are just as reliable, but can neither feel, nor anticipate the pain that goes along with drug testing procedures.

Recent studies show that certain insects, such as fruit flies and moths, react to microbial infection in the same way that humans do. The results of this study have prompted some researchers to resort to insects instead of mammals when conducting medical tests. These insects can be used to test the efficacy of antimicrobial drugs during drug trials, or they can be used to determine how aggressive a microbial infection can be with medical experiments. It is now standard practice to use insect larvae for the initial stages of drug testing. If insect larvae respond well, then researchers move onto testing drugs on mice. This recent procedural change spares many mammals pain that they would otherwise experience, but many animal rights activists are demanding that the medical community do more to ensure that animals are being treated humanely.

Do you think that relying solely on insects in order to determine the safety of drugs puts humans at greater risk of adverse drug reactions?



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July 2017