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Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee

Guideline #12

Use of Freunds Complete Adjuvant

1. References:  USDA Animal Care Policy #11; K-State IACUC Policy #22: Attending Veterinarian Review

2. Purpose/Scope:  The use of Freund’s Complete Adjuvant (FCA) is an important biological resource for investigators and is regarded scientifically as an effective means of potentiating immune responses in laboratory animals.  USDA Policy #11 lists the use of FCA as a potentially painful or distressful procedure depending on species and route of administration.  This policy provides guidance on use of FCA for antibody production.

3. FCA must be used only when scientifically justified and absolutely necessary (i.e., small amounts of antigen available, weak antigens, etc.). 

3.1. Before using FCA, a search for alternatives is required, and the use of other commercially available adjuvants must be considered (i.e., Montanide, RIBI, Titermax, etc.). A written narrative description of the methods used and sources used to search for an alternative is required for potentially painful or distressful procedures. 

3.2. Document the search for alternatives on the IACUC application form.  For assistance with your alternatives search, contact Gayle Willard in the Vet Med Library, at 2-6006 or gwillard@ksu.edu.

4. Improper use of FCA may result in undesirable and potentially painful side effects, such as excessive inflammation and swelling, abscess formation, ulceration and tissue necrosis.  The potential for pain or distress may be attenuated by using appropriate procedures known to minimize the adverse effects and discomfort associated with the use of FCA.  When using FCA, the following guidelines should be strictly followed:

4.1. Use of FCA requires a consult with the attending veterinarian (AV), Dr. Marlow. Contact Dr. Marlow at 785 532-5640 or CMG@vet.k-state.edu (Policy #22).

4.2. FCA may be used only for the first (priming) antigenic dose.

4.3. Intravenous, intraperitoneal, and footpad injection of FCA are prohibited.

4.4. Injection sites must be aseptically prepared. 

4.5. Multiple administration sites must be adequately separated to avoid coalescence. The number of injection sites may not exceed 4.

4.6. The inoculation must be kept under the maximum volumes provided during the AV consult (Policy #22).