Refining the mouse model of footpad immunisation and infection

  • Millington, Owain (Principal Investigator)

Project: Research

Project Details


Research into understanding the immune response to vaccination and infectious disease often necessitates the use of animal models due to the complexity of the cellular interactions involved. Often, researchers have used the mouse rear footpad as a convenient site of immunisation or infection because this site is readily accessible for measuring inflammation and because the physiology of the site has been well-characterised. However, mice are predominantly weight-bearing in their rear feet and swelling in the footpad can be associated with lameness and discomfort. We plan to test whether injecting mice on the top of the rear foot represents a simple, scientifically-valid REFINEMENT to such animal tests. We will first characterise whether the induction of immune responses differ between these two sites before testing the potential of this site for parasite infection. Importantly, we will quantify the impact of this refinement by measuring any reduction in animal lameness and pain throughout infection. Together, these data will allow us to quantify any improvement in animal welfare, as well as to provide scientific validation for using this alternative model of infection.
Effective start/end date1/12/1429/02/16


  • National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research NC3Rs: £72,442.40