Pathological Changes Clinical Disease and Mortality

Many experiments have been ruined by disease or pathological changes caused by specific infections as described previously. Subclinical disease may also disturb essential parameters, e.g., subclinical viral infections may affect body weight in rats. Additionally, behavior will often be changed during subclinical disease, leading to disturbances in the open field test, etc. The presence of some microorganisms may leave changes in the organs, resulting in difficulties in the interpretation of the pathological diagnosis included in e.g., toxicological studies — a phenomenon often referred to as "background noise." Respiratory disease of any etiology may be responsible for deaths during anesthesia. Certain strains, inbred or transgenic, may be more prone to the development of specific pathological changes, e.g., certain inbred strains suffer from certain pathological changes or mice "knocked out" for various immunologically active genes suffer from a syndrome of gastric ulcers, colitis, and rectal prolapses, the causes of which are unkown179 (Figure 11.3).

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