The design and statistical analysis of animal experiments: introduction to this issue

ILAR J. 2014;55(3):379-82. doi: 10.1093/ilar/ilu046.


Animal research has made major contributions to the health and welfare of humans and domestic animals. Immunization, first developed against rabies and anthrax by Pasteur using dogs, sheep, and rabbits, is now used to control many infectious diseases. The first drug, Salvarsan, was developed by Ehrlich using rabbits infected with the organism causing syphilis. This was the forerunner of the many drugs developed by the pharmaceutical industry today. The discovery of vitamins using rats has almost eliminated diseases such as scurvy and rickets; and hormones, such as insulin discovered following work in dogs, have helped to control many metabolic diseases. These and many other advances have enabled physicians to treat a wide range of human diseases. But many diseases continue to cause suffering.

Publication types

  • Introductory Journal Article

MeSH terms

  • Animal Experimentation*
  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Research Design*