Publication of accurate and detailed descriptions of methods in research articles involving animals is essential for health scientists to accurately interpret published data, evaluate results and replicate findings. Inadequate reporting of key aspects of experimental design may reduce the impact of studies and could act as a barrier to translation of research findings. Reporting of animal use must be as comprehensive as possible in order to take advantage of every study and every animal used. Animal models are essential to understanding and assessing new chemotherapy candidates for Chagas disease pathology, a widespread parasitic disease with few treatment options currently available. A systematic review was carried out to compare ARRIVE guidelines recommendations with information provided in publications of preclinical studies for new anti-Trypanosoma cruzi compounds. A total of 83 publications were reviewed. Before ARRIVE guidelines, 69% of publications failed to report any macroenvironment information, compared to 57% after ARRIVE publication. Similar proportions were observed when evaluating reporting of microenvironmental information (56% vs. 61%). Also, before ARRIVE guidelines publication, only 13% of papers described animal gender, only 18% specified microbiological status and 13% reported randomized treatment assignment, among other essential information missing or incomplete. Unfortunately, publication of ARRIVE guidelines did not seem to enhance reporting quality, compared to papers appeared before ARRIVE publication. Our results suggest that there is a strong need for the scientific community to improve animal use description, animal models employed, transparent reporting and experiment design to facilitate its transfer and application to the affected human population. Full compliance with ARRIVE guidelines, or similar animal research reporting guidelines, would be an excellent start in this direction.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/facundo-garcia-bournissen/41/