Some Recent NIH-Funded Experiments on Animals Conducted in Foreign Laboratories

The Cease Animal Research Grants Overseas (CARGO) Act (HR 4757) would save millions of taxpayer dollars and spare countless animals suffering and death in worthless experiments conducted in foreign laboratories. These are details about just a few experiments at overseas institutions recently funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Institution conducting experiment (country), funding agency, and award Grant or published paper What experimenters do/did to animals

Kinoxis Therapeutics (Australia), National Institute on Drug Abuse

2023: $2,149,117

Advancing KNX100 for the treatment of opioid withdrawal: preclinical efficacy and toxicology, and a phase 1 clinical program. [Grant] Experimenters addict dogs to opioids.

University of Prince Edward Island (Canada), National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

2023: $138,116

Early-life seizures modify behavioral response to ultrasonic vocalization playback in adult rats. Epilepsy Behav. 2022 Experimenters injected acid into the brains of baby rats to induce seizures.

University of Calgary (Canada), National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

2023: $602,472

Utility of hybrid transferrin binding protein antigens for protection against pathogenic neisseria species. Front Immunol. 2019 Experimenters infected 48 female mice with gonorrhea and 32 male mice with bacterium that cause meningitis.

University of Melbourne (Australia), National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases

2023: $321,387

Sex differences in c‐Fos and EGR‐1/Zif268 activity maps of rat sacral spinal cord following cystometry‐induced micturition. J. Comp. Neurol. 2021 Experimenters surgically implanted catheters in the bladders of 24 rats, then infused saline solution into the bladders to force the animals to urinate constantly.

Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (Australia), National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

2023: $146,098

Shining a light on bat cellular immunity following virus infection. [Grant] Experimenters infect bats with a highly harmful virus.

University of Sydney (Australia), National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

2022: $2,453,560

Advancing vaccine adjuvant research for tuberculosis (Avart-t). [Grant] Experimenters infect monkeys with tuberculosis.

Newcastle University (U.K.), National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

2023: $457,675

Locating the neural substrates for the flexor synergy after stroke. [Grant] Experimenters surgically implant electrodes in monkeys’ arms and then damage their brains to strokes.

McGill University (Canada), National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders

2023: $492,583

Functional analysis of injectable substance treatment on surgically injured rabbit vocal folds. J. Voice. 2021 Experimenters cut the vocal cords of 12 rabbits and inserted a spatula “several times to exacerbate inflammation and scarring to ensure adequate injury.”

Karolinska Institute (Sweden), National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

2023: $272,523

Changes in operation of postural networks in rabbits with postural functions recovered after lateral hemisection of the spinal cord. J. Physiol. 2023 Experimenters surgically implanted electrodes in eight rabbits’ legs, then cut their spinal cords. Then, experimenters cut the cerebrums from some rabbits’ brains, fixed the rabbits to a platform by their heads and vertebral columns, and tilted the platform to observe the rabbits’ muscle response.

Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia (Perú), National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

2023: $134,720

Porcine model of neurocysticercosis by intracarotid injection of Taenia solium oncospheres: Dose assessment, infection outcomes and serological responses. PLoS Negl. Trop. Dis. 2022 Experimenters surgically implanted a catheter in the carotid arteries of 31 piglets so they could insert up to 10,000 tapeworm embryos. “Two pigs were euthanized … due to gastric torsion and severe pneumonia.” The remaining piglets were killed five months after the surgery.
University College London, (U.K.), NIH Office of the Director

2021: $853,638

Simplifying the hardware requirements for fast neural EIT of peripheral nerves. Physiological Measurement. 2022   Fascicle localisation within peripheral nerves through evoked activity recordings: A comparison between electrical impedance tomography and multi-electrode arrays. J. Neurosci. Methods. 2021   Optimization of the electrode drive pattern for imaging fascicular compound action potentials in peripheral nerve with fast neural Electrical Impedance Tomography (EIT). Physiol. Meas. 2019 Experimenters cut rats open, dissected their sciatic nerve, implanted electrodes, and killed the animals.

Kenyatta University (Kenya), National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

2023: $156,736

Characterisation of drug resistance in field-collected schistosomes. [Grant] Experimenters infect hamsters with a parasite that causes the devastating  disease schistosomiasis, whose symptoms include fever, chills, and muscle aches.

University of Strasbourg (France), National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism

2023: $255,960

The GPR88 agonist RTI‐13951‐33 reduces alcohol drinking and seeking in mice. Addict. Biol. 2022 Experimenters addicted mice to morphine and alcohol.

McGill University (Canada), National Institute on Drug Abuse

2023: $258,140

Amphetamine disrupts dopamine axon growth in adolescence by a sex-specific mechanism in mice. Nat. Commun. 2023 Experimenters gave young mice “recreational-like” and “Adderall-like” doses of amphetamines, injected viruses into their brains, and decapitated them weeks later.

University of Helsinki (Finland), National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

2021: $422,943

Capturing large-scale locus coeruleus single neuron activity in behaving rats with nanoelectronic threads (NETs), an ultra-flexible multi-electrode probe. [Grant] Experimenters restrain fully awake rats, implant more than 500 electrodes in their brains, and force the animals to live like this for months.

C4X Discovery Holdings PLC (U.K.), National Institute on Drug Abuse

2018: $476,025

Preclinical development of a selective Orexin-1 receptor antagonist for treatment of cocaine addiction. [Grant] Experimenters addict rats to cocaine.

University of British Columbia(Canada), National Eye Institute

2017: $267,961

Localization and functional characterization of the p.Asn965Ser (N965S) ABCA4 variant in mice reveal pathogenic mechanisms underlying Stargardt macular degeneration. Hum. Mol. Genet. 2018 Experimenters removed the eyes of baby mice.

University Health Network (Canada), National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

2017: $846,905

Plasmin-resistant PSD-95 inhibitors resolve effect-modifying drug-drug interactions between alteplase and nerinetide in acute stroke. Sci. Transl. Med. 2021 Experimenters caused strokes in rats and monkeys. Some animals died within 18 to 24 hours while others hemorrhaged between the brain and brain tissue.

Institut Pasteur de Tunis (Tunisia), National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

2017: 112,335

Impact of zooprophylaxis on zoonotic cutaneous leishmaniasis transmission. [Grant] Experimenters use rabbits as bait for sandflies.

University of Calgary (Canada), Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development

2020: $53,973

An animal model for identifying regulatory sequences of the human SHOX gene. [Grant] Experimenters manipulate cats’ genes to create leg deformities.
Fondation Voir et Entendre (France), National Eye Institute

2019: $214,941

Inducible nonhuman primate models of retinal degeneration for testing end-stage therapies. Sci. Adv. 2023 Experimenters caused the pupils of mice and monkeys to become dilated and forced the animals to keep their eyes open while injecting a “viral vector solution” into their eyes “to create a bleb.” Other mice and monkeys’ pupils were also dilated, and they were forced to keep their eyes open for hours while being directly exposed to light. Experimenters also cut open the eyes of rats and monkeys, detached their retinas, and implanted a patch in their eyes. Rats used to test a patch material experienced “massive physical damage and inflammation in the surgery location and surrounding areas.” Finally, the experimenters removed all the animals’ eyes.

Centre for the AIDS Programme of Research (South Africa), National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

2016: $171,641

Integrin a4b7 as a predictor of HIV acquisition and pathogenesis. [Grant] Experimenters infect monkeys with simian immunodeficiency virus—an illness in monkeys that’s not the same as HIV.

Universitätsklinikum Erlangen (Germany), National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

2019: $178,041

Global panel of non-human primate challenge viruses for standardized assessment of in vivo efficacy of HIV-1 Env antibodies. [Grant] Experimenters infect monkeys with simian immunodeficiency virus and other viruses.

Vaxine Pty Ltd (Australia), National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

2020: $3,532,876

Advanced development of vaccine candidates for biodefense and emerging infectious diseases. [Grant] Experimenters inject monkeys with influenza vaccines.
The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (Canada), National Institute of Mental Health

2017: $154,967

Endocannabinoid modulating drugs improve anxiety but not the expression of conditioned fear in a rodent model of post-traumatic stress disorder. Neuropharmacology. 2020   Prefrontal cortex deep brain stimulation improves fear and anxiety-like behavior and reduces basolateral amygdala activity in a preclinical model of posttraumatic stress disorder. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2018 Experimenters electroshocked rats to induce “fear and anxiety,” drilled holes in their skulls, and implanted electrodes in their brains. Finally, they killed the animals.

McMaster University (Canada), National Institute of Mental Health

2019: $633,250

Transcriptional markers of excitation-inhibition balance in germ-free mice show region-specific dysregulation and rescue after bacterial colonizationJ. Psychiatr. Res. 2021 Experimenters force-fed human feces to mice, then killed them and removed their brains.

Hamilton Health Sciences Corporation (Canada), National Institute of General Medical Sciences

2023: $325,999

National Institute on Aging

2023: $332,452

Subcutaneous white adipose tissue independently regulates burn-induced hypermetabolism via immune-adipose crosstalkCell. Rep. 2024 Experimenters burned mice over 20–30% of their bodies, cut open their stomachs to extract fat tissue, and transplanted the tissue into “recipient mice.” Three weeks later, the mice were killed.
University of Calgary (Canada), National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

2023: $270,000

Transmission of cervid prions to humanized mice demonstrates the zoonotic potential of CWD. Acta. Neuropathol. 2022 Experimenters injected brain or spinal cord tissue from a deer who died of chronic wasting disease (CWD) into the brains of female mice. Then, experimenters infected voles with feces and brain tissue obtained from the infected mice. Experimenters left the mice and voles to reach the “terminal stage of disease,” in which they experienced involuntary muscle twitching or jerking, “rigid tail, rough coat, gait abnormalities, ataxia [loss of muscle control], kyphosis [hunched back], and cycles of weight loss and gain.” Two of the mice were found dead. According to the grant submitted by the experimenters to NIH, they’re planning to infect monkeys, too.

Trinity College Dublin (Ireland), National Institute on Aging

2020: $153,231

Susceptibility to acute cognitive dysfunction in aged mice is underpinned by reduced white matter integrity and microgliosisCommun. Biol. 2024 Experimenters infected mice with bacterial endotoxin to make them sick, forced them to perform cognitive tests, and killed them.

Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine (St. Kitts, West Indies), National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

2023: $53,676

Susceptibility of African green monkeys (Chlorocebus aethiops sabaeus) to Rickettsia felis, the agent of flea-borne spotted fever. [Grant] Experimenters infect monkeys with the bacteria that causes typhus, whose symptoms include fever, muscle and joint pain, rash, headache, and fatigue.
Inserm Strasbourg (France), National Institute on Drug Abuse

2023: $270,000

Habenular neurons expressing mu opioid receptors promote negative affect in a projection-specific mannerBiol. Psychiatry. 2023 Experimenters cut open the skulls of mice, injected them with a virus, and implanted an optical cord in their brains. “From a total of 108, 43 mice were excluded from analysis due to incorrect virus injection or cannula placement.” Experimenters then subjected the mice to “behavioral testing” that included being suspended by their tails for six minutes. Then, the experimenters exposed the mice to light for three minutes and killed them.

Pluri Inc. (formerly known as Pluristem Therapeutics) (Israel), National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

2023: $1,445,145

Development of PLX-R18 cell therapy as a countermeasure for hematopoietic acute radiation syndrome. [Grant] Experimenters subject mice and monkeys to whole-body radiation, which can cause anorexia, severe nausea, vomiting, cramps, and diarrhea as well as result in death due to infection and hemorrhage.

Universidad de Concepción (Chile),
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism

2021: $166,212

Overexpression of wild type glycine alpha 1 subunit rescues ethanol sensitivity in accumbal receptors and reduces binge drinking in mice. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2023 Experimenters forced mice to drink alcohol, injected viral substances into their brains, and killed them.

Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (Argentina),
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

2024: $133,400

CD39 expression by regulatory T cells drives CD8+ T cell suppression during experimental Trypanosoma cruzi infection. 2023 [Preprint] Experimenters infected mice with the parasite that causes Chagas disease, injected diphtheria toxin into their abdomens, killed them, and removed their spleens and livers.
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