Prof. Dr. George Gettinby wins Dieter Luetticken Award

Date of publication : 3/20/2008
Source : Intervet International
Intervet’s Dieter Lϋtticken Award has been granted to Prof. Dr. George Gettinby from the University of Strathclyde, Scotland, United Kingdom. Gettinby’s innovative statistical and epidemiological research methods in sea-lice treatments in salmon farming, fully commit to the advancement of the 3R concept - reducing, refining or replacing the use of animals in research, development and production of veterinary medicines.

Prof. Dr. George Gettinby’s research focused on the application of statistical and epidemiological methods in sea-lice treatments in salmon farming in order to minimize the number of animals required in test groups. The Dieter Lϋtticken Award jury panel composed of experts from public institutions of the animal health/animal testing sector, praised Prof. Dr. Gettinby’s innovative approach.

Sea-lice treatments are triggered by monitoring sea lice counts on sampled fish. The monitoring practices vary from country to country. Based on Gettinby’s expertise in statistics, epidemiology and experimental design, guidance is now available on how many fish should be sampled in order to provide reliable estimates of infections. This has addressed the reduction principle where the right number of fish is sampled. The work demonstrated that due to a phenomenon known as intra-class correlation, it is best to sample few fish from many cages, instead of many fish from few cages.

Gettinby’s research also provides an alternative to assessing the effectiveness of veterinary medicines in fish, which supports the replacement principle. This alternative is the adoption of mathematical models which can simulate the effects of treatments on lice populations.

Prof. Coenraad Hendriksen from the Netherlands Centre Alternatives to Animal Use, Utrecht University and chair of the jury panel said: “Prof. Dr. Gettingby’s mathematical model has been a novel approach for investigating the optimal use of treatments and one which has involved minimal use of animals. By constructing a mathematical model of the various lice stages on farmed salmon, it is possible to test the effects of treatments at different times of the year. The approaches developed by Prof. Dr. Gettinby contribute to the reduction and replacement of animal usage for efficacy, safety and quality confirmation of veterinary products. In addition, these methods also minimize the use of veterinary medicines in the environment.”

Gettinby’s innovative approach has already been adopted by various companies. The sampling principles for monitoring purposes have become the basis for the Scottish government’s new sampling guidelines for triggering the use of veterinary medicines. The procedures are currently being considered by the Norwegian authorities.

The Dieter Lϋtticken award, established in 2004, aims to encourage research into the use of alternative models for animal testing with significant impact on the development or production of new animal health products. Intervet welcomes submissions from scientists and public life-science institutions. The € 20,000 award is named after Dr. Dieter Lϋtticken, a committed researcher in microbiology and virology. He guided and shaped Intervet’s R&D for more than a quarter of a century. Dr. Lϋtticken retired in 2003 from his position as Vice President and Intervet’s Head of R&D.

Schering-Plough is an innovation-driven, science-centered global health care company. Through its own biopharmaceutical research and collaborations with partners, Schering-Plough creates therapies that help save and improve lives around the world. The company applies its research-and-development platform to human prescription and consumer products as well as to animal health products. In November 2007, Schering-Plough acquired Organon BioSciences, with its Organon human health and Intervet animal health businesses, marking a pivotal step in the company's ongoing transformation. Schering-Plough’s vision is to “Earn Trust, Every Day” with the doctors, patients, customers and other stakeholders served by its approximately 50,000 people around the world. The company is based in Kenilworth, N.J.
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