Nonmammalian Models in Toxicology Screening

Siba Das, K. S. Saili, R. L. Tanguay

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


With the advent of industrialization around the world, increasing numbers of chemicals are being produced at an alarming rate before undergoing appropriate safety testing. One of the solutions to overcome this problem has been testing chemicals for toxicological effects in mammalian species such as rodents and primates. A major hurdle with the use of mammalian models is the time and cost it takes to complete toxicity testing. Therefore, it is practically impossible to cover the virtually limitless number of chemicals that require toxicity testing using mammalian models. Nonmammalian species such as the nematode worm, fruit fly, zebrafish, and others have been proposed as viable alternatives because of their usability in terms of providing fast and cost-effective assays that are comparable to those of the mammalian species. Each of these species has a relatively small life span, is cheap and easy to maintain in the laboratory, and offers endpoints for which assays can be automated to achieve high throughput capabilities. Here we compare the three most common nonmammalian model species for their use in screening for toxicological effects of different chemicals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Toxicology
Subtitle of host publicationThird Edition
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)9780123864543
ISBN (Print)9780123864550
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • C. elegans
  • Danio rerio
  • Drosophila
  • Fruit fly
  • High throughput assay
  • Toxicity screening
  • Zebrafish


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