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The EUPRIM-Net Project

Project Objectives

This Research Infrastructure brings together nine European primate centres that combine research and breeding. This will provide the whole European Research Area with access to these unique facilities. Beyond this aspect the project focuses on the central infrastructure issues in biological and biomedical research with primates and is aimed at advancing knowledge, competence and services in the areas of primate housing, breeding and research. The resulting virtual ‘European Primate Centre’ will be the basis for internationally competitive state-of-the-art research by providing European scientists with access to excellent infrastructures and services.

The aim of the project is to contribute to European science by improving the ability of its eight participating primate centres to provide the best services and to support the best science that meets the highest ethical standards for primate-based animal research. Toward this aim the project has the following central objectives:

  • Optimization of nonhuman primate keeping and breeding considering animal welfare and ethical guidelines,
  • to define, develop and apply best practices to be used in primate breeding and experiments
  • availability of nonhuman primates of high quality as well as extensive banks of primate material for biomedical research, and
  • training courses for researchers and caretakers working with primates.

All of these activities contribute to the 3R-concept:

  • Refinement and improvements in animal welfare are achieved by improving and standardising the methods and techniques used in primate research (WP2, WP3, WP9, WP11) and by the dissemination of the corresponding knowledge (WP2, WP3, WP4). Additional improvements in animal welfare will be achieved through the proposed infection research (WP8).
  • Reduction is achieved by reducing the number of animals needed for a given scientific project through an improved characterisation and selection of animals used in a particular experiment (WP8, WP10). The number of animals that are needed to provide biological samples for research is reduced by optimising the collection, distribution and characterisation of such samples through banks of biological materials of primate origin (BioBank). Unique nonhuman primate models of human diseases are offered which can be used by the European research community in order to the development and testing of new therapies and diagnostics for chronic immune-based disorders (PRIMOCID).
  • Replacement is supported by banks of biological materials of primate origin (BioBank) that frequently will obviate the use of additional primates for providing materials. The banks can also contribute to the development of cell culture techniques replacing the use of living animals.