Primate Medicine and Welfare


 A care taker section in Primate research institute, Kyoto University (KUPRI) was established in 1968 and was expanded into care and health management section in 1969. In 1999, CHEMR was established from the care and health management section with doubled faculty members, and in 2009, the number of nonhuman primates exceeded 1000. Now, CHEMR is responsible for the care, bleeding and health management of the nonhuman primates in KUPRI and faculty members, staff and students are working in a coordinating fashion and conduct various studies from molecular to individual to colony level. Primate Medicine and Welfare Group focuses research on spontaneous diseases, animal welfare, anesthesia and pain in nonhuman primates.

Spontaneous diseases in nonhuman primates

 We conduct clinical research in collaboration with staff vets who take care of nonhuman primates when they are injured or suffer from various diseases. We have a lot of interesting cases and it is important that we report those cases as a case report and accumulate the knowledge of spontaneous diseases in nonhuman primates.

・transverse myelitis
・arachnoid cysts
・degenerative joint disease

<Japanese macaques>
 non alcoholic steatohepatitis
 simian retro virus
 hepatocellular carcinoma
 Squamous cell carcinoma

Related study
 oral health in chimpanzees
 helicobacter infection in nonhuman primates


Animal welfare

 Animal Welfare is a concept that we minimize pain and distress in captive animals and improve their quality of life (QOL). It is important to assess their physical and psychological wellbeing using physiological, behavioral, and biological markers. We try to improve QOL of the captive nonhuman primates in KUPRI through environmental enrichment to meet behavioral requirement of the animals and behavioral management to minimize distress of restraint and anesthetic risks

Related study
 Physiological study on stress
 Feeding enrichment based on contra free loading
 Study on positive reinforcement training

Anesthesia in nonhuman primates

<To perform high quality anesthesia>

 There are many situations that require anesthesia in research and management of nonhuman primates. Especially, some surgeries such as craniotomy in neuroscience research are invasive and requires long duration of anesthesia. From animal welfare point of view, high quality anesthesia is required to minimize pain and distress in nonhuman primates.

 Intravenous anesthetic, propofol has high controllability and when used in combination with analgesics such as fentanyl, precise control of anesthetic depth and duration is possible based on pharmacokinetics and preferably used in neurosurgery in humans. We established population pharmacokinetics model of propofol in Japanese macaques and now working on the model in marmosets. We are also working on pharmacodynamic models using EEG monitors.

Pain in nonhuman primates

<How nonhuman primates express pain?>

Nonhuman primates tend to hide pain to survive in their group. Therefore, it is very difficult to assess pain in nonhuman primates. We try to assess their pain using the facial expression and behavior. We use the clinical cases and observe macaques in pain by injury or surgery. We try to avoid giving experimental pain to them.

<contact information>

Juri Suzuki, Associate Prof. DVM, PhD
Research: stress, growth, spontaneous diseases

Takako Miyabe Assistant Prof. DVM, PhD
Research: anesthesia, pain, spontaneous diseases