[The state of in vitro breeding of lice and fleas] [Article in German]

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Hans-Frieder Matthes, Theo Hiepe
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Laboratory breeding of lice, fleas and other bloodsucking arthropods is necessary for developing and testing the efficacy of new drugs and alternative arthropod control methods. They are necessary to investigate their role as vectors of pathogens and to develop methods for diagnosis and therapy of arthropod caused or transmitted diseases. To date, it is not possible to replace rabbits as natural blood sources for breeding lice colonies (Pediculus spp.). But on the base of the knowledge about lice feeding and about in vitro-breeding of other arthropods it would be possible to develop an in vitro-feeding method for lice. For about three years an equipment has been available in the USA for in vitro-breeding of cat fleas (Ctenocephalides felis). Using this so called "artificial dog" it would be possible to replace numerous of cats used as hosts of laboratory flea colonies in pharmaceutical companies and other research laboratories.

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Matthes, H.-F. and Hiepe, T. (1996) “[The state of in vitro breeding of lice and fleas] [Article in German]”, ALTEX - Alternatives to animal experimentation, 13(3), pp. 130–135. Available at: https://www.altex.org/index.php/altex/article/view/1629 (Accessed: 22 June 2024).