Abstract # 70:

Scheduled for Thursday, June 19, 2008 03:30 PM-03:40 PM: Session 9 (Meeting Room 1DE) Oral Presentation


PHYSIOLOGICAL RESPONSES OF CAPTIVE CHIMPANZEES (Pan troglodytes) TO GROUND TRANSPORT AND RELOCATION

S. P. Lambeth1, P. N. Nehete1, J. K. Sastry2, J. Hau3 and S. J. Schapiro1
1The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Michale E. Keeling Center for Comparative Medicine and Research, Department of Veterinary Sciences, 650 Coolwater Drive, Bastrop, TX 78602, USA, 2Department of Immunology, The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, 3Department of Experimental Medicine, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark
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     Relatively little data have been published addressing the effects of transport and relocation on physiological parameters in nonhuman primates. Virtually none of these publications contain information on chimpanzees. The present study includes data from 34 chimpanzees that were relocated using ground transportation (approximately 1063 miles) between October, 2006 and October, 2007. Hematology and chemistry profiles were assessed from blood samples collected from the chimpanzees (1) just prior to transportation, (2) immediately upon arrival, and (3) in the subsequent weeks after arrival. A full panel of hematological and blood chemistry measures were compared across the transportation times (departure and arrival). Paired t-tests revealed significantly higher mean values [a=0.05] of total white blood cells, segmented neutrophils, creatine kinase, and total protein levels in samples obtained upon arrival compared to samples obtained prior to departure. These data confirm the commonly held belief that transport/relocation elicits physiological changes in animals. More detailed analyses of the samples collected in the subsequent weeks after arrival provide insight into the time required for physiological measures to return to baseline levels after transport and relocation. The acclimatization process has implications not only for captive primate welfare, but also for questions related to the suitability of subjects for biomedical research which may be critical when empirically determining how long after transport/relocation experimental protocols should begin.