Using Non-Human Primates for Medical Research
Although it has been said that the use of nonhuman primates in medical research has limitations and is potentially dangerous, it remains to be one of the fundamental areas of medical research. The governments and key sponsors are yet to support alternative approaches to medical research. In addition, reports still indicate that the use of nonhuman primates has not contributed positively to some critical area of medical research. The use of the non-human thus remains to be a key issue in medical research.
To start with, evidence today suggests that, in every area of research where researchers have used nonhuman primates, its utility is still in question. For instance, in the AIDS field, nonhuman primates do not develop AIDS when infected with HIV, but with rare exceptions. This demonstrates the shortcomings of the AIDS related animal research and experimentation. This means that the experimental results from this research cannot be extrapolated to human beings. In addition, some of the effective anti-HIV drugs were conceived and developed without relying on animal models (Bailey, 2006). This is a clear demonstration that the use of the nonhuman primates does use the right models that can give the best results.
Second, the research on Hepatitis (HPV) using the nonhuman primates has failed to make any contribution that could clarify how the HPV infection occurs. In addition, the research is yet to clarify on the process taken in the development of vaccine, and offer a clear understanding on hepatocellular damage (Bailey, 2006). In addition, it is still clear that significant differences exist in how viral infection and diseases occurs between human beings and the nonhuman primates. This way, one can refute the significance of the nonhuman primates on medical research.
On the other hand, research on Alzheimer’s disease using the nonhuman primates still fails to elucidate on the pathology of the disease. For instance, the tangles and plaques in the brain lay the foundation for the disease among human beings and not in the nonhuman primates like the monkeys. Some of the Alzheimer vaccine like the AN-1792 did not argue well in human beings as it caused strokes and inflammation of the central nervous system (Bailey, 2006). However, this was different in the experimental monkeys that tolerated the effects of the vaccine. This is one of the clear dangers that animal research fails to control.
One of the other areas of medical research the use of the nonhuman primates has failed to provide positive results is that of stroke. The species show significant differences and the drugs used to reduce the effect of stroke among the nonhuman primates did not work in human beings. In addition, the study on hormone replacement therapy was different among the human and the nonhuman primates. The hormone replacement therapy increased risk to heart disease and stroke in humans than in the nonhuman primates.
In other common safety test, the reliability of the nonhuman primates in research still poses significant dangers for human beings. For instance, the LD 50 tests for toxicity has underwent through decades of failure and making its international standard decline. The risks that emanate from the use of the LD50 tests are high, and this test lacks necessity. In addition, the Draize test that measures the irritancy of the eye to certain chemicals uses nonhuman primates whose eyes differ with those of the human. Thus, to use the data from the nonhuman primates to determine the human ophthalmic risk is highly imprecise (NEAVS, 2012). Thus, this makes the Draize test unreliable as there are clear differences between the human eye makeup and that of the nonhuman primates. This is wrong in the sense that relying on the Draize results will not clear predict the risk among humans. In addition, the Draize test produces a poor quality of data that are not reliable in generalizing.
The mutagenicity and carcinogenicity tests uses animals that are later killed after examination. These tests seek to identify the effects that come from pharmaceuticals, consumer products, and industrial products. This process is an expensive exercise, and it involves several animals (NEAVS, 2012).
In addition, the research on asthma indicated that the isoprenaline doses were high among human beings, resulting to the death of several people; mainly children (Bailey, 2005). In addition, the effects of obren drug for arthritis caused the death of 61 people and harmed more than 3500 people even though the drug had no effect on the nonhuman primates. This is an indication of the consequences of depending on nonhuman primates in research.
The continued use of the nonhuman primates in medic research demonstrates that the differences in the biochemical and genetic makeup may not lead to the generation of the right solutions. It is of fundamental significance that sponsors appeal for an alternative approach to medical research that does not involve the nonhuman primates. In addition, the use of animals in medical research is one of the most expensive, cumbersome, unpredictable, and time-consuming exercise. The scientific limitations of the use of nonhuman primates make it an unreliable in explaining the key risks that results from the experiments may fail to show.
In conclusion, it is clear that the dependence on the nonhuman primates in medical research has its limitations and dangers on the end users of the products derived. Though the use of nonhuman primates is essential in understanding the basis of generating new drugs and testing the viability of scientific processes, it is highly dangerous. This calls for adopting more reliable approaches to medical research.