Abstract # 201:

Scheduled for Saturday, August 20, 2005 10:45 AM-11:00 AM: Session 14 (Mayfair Room) Oral Presentation

Changes in hematology and blood chemistry parameters in captive chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) as a function of blood sampling technique: Trained vs. anesthetized samples

S. P. Lambeth, J. E. Perlman, E. Thiele and S. J. Schapiro
The Michale E. Keeling Center for Comparative Medicine and Research, Department of Veterinary Sciences, UTMDACC, 650 Cool Water Drive, Bastrop, TX 78602, USA
     Much is made of the behavioral effects (typically advantages) of using positive reinforcement training (PRT) as part of a behavioral management program. PRT provides managers and investigators with enhanced access to nonhuman primates and hence, additional data collection opportunities. There are considerably fewer empirical studies available addressing the physiological consequences of positive reinforcement training. Six adult chimpanzees were trained to voluntarily place an arm in a “blood sleeve” and present their cephalic vein for a conscious (unanesthetized) blood sample. Voluntary blood samples were collected 48-72 hours prior to obtaining a second blood sample from the subjects. For this second sample, subjects were anesthetized, presenting a thigh to receive an intramuscular injection of anesthetic. A full panel of hematological and blood chemistry measures were compared across the voluntary and the anesthetized blood samples using paired t-tests. The samples collected voluntarily yielded significantly (P ≤ .05) higher white and red blood cell counts; lymphocyte counts; hemoglobin and hematocrit levels; and cholesterol and total protein levels than did the samples collected under anesthesia. These data demonstrate that training chimpanzees to voluntarily present for conscious blood sampling using positive reinforcement techniques influences physiological measures. However, additional data are required to develop a cogent interpretational framework for determining whether samples obtained using PRT are of greater utility in research than anesthetized samples.