[One century of erysipelas prophylaxis: significance and reduction of animal experiments] [Article in German] LINZ 2000

Main Article Content

Klaus Cussler , Elisabeth Balks
[show affiliations]


The history of erysipelas prophylaxis began in 1882 when Pasteur first discovered the attenuating effect of rabbit passages on the erysipelas bacterium. Ten years later, the German veterinarian Lorenz demonstrated the protecting effect of erysipelas antiserum. He developed a method of serovaccination which was successfully used in Germany for more than 50 years. Both scientists employed laboratory animals for the development of their live vaccines. Lorenz additionally recommended an animal model with grey mice to control the potency of erysipelas sera. In 1944, Fortner and Dinter published the results of their investigation on a skin scarification test in swine. This modus of infection was the basis of the first reliable model for efficacy testing of erysipelas vaccines in domestic animals. Shortly after World War II, the first inactivated erysipelas vaccines were being developed. At that time, also a strict quality control was introduced for this product group which required extensive animal experiments in laboratory mice and pigs for the determination of efficacy. WHO established International Standards for erysipelas vaccines and antisera concerning potency testing in mice. These animal models were finally incorporated in pharmacopoeia monographs. Animal experiments have played an important role in the development and quality control of erysipelas vaccines. And the success of this quality control based on animal experiments has had a significant impact on the quality control systems for veterinary vaccines in general. Today, we have a far more detailed knowledge about pathogenesis and immunology of swine erysipelas. This knowledge now allows the introduction of alternative methods according to the 3R concept. With these new methods, animal numbers can be decreased and suffering caused by challenge infection can be reduced. The ultimate goal, i.e. quality control of erysipelas vaccines carried out without routine performance of animal experiments, should be achieved in the near future.

Article Details

How to Cite
Cussler, K. and Balks, E. (2001) “[One century of erysipelas prophylaxis: significance and reduction of animal experiments] [Article in German]: LINZ 2000”, ALTEX - Alternatives to animal experimentation, 18(1), pp. 29–33. Available at: https://www.altex.org/index.php/altex/article/view/1370 (Accessed: 15 April 2024).

Most read articles by the same author(s)

1 2 3 > >>