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Allergic contact dermatitis (ACD) may develop in workers and consumers exposed to skin-sensitizing chemicals and products, which include chemicals such as formaldehyde, formulations such as pesticides, and metals such as nickel. To prevent such exposure, regulatory agencies require the testing of chemicals and products to determine their potential to cause ACD.
The traditional test methods for detecting ACD hazard potential of chemicals use guinea pigs. As alternatives to guinea pig tests, ICCVAM has recommended various versions and applications of the murine local lymph node assay (LLNA). The LLNA eliminates pain and distress experienced by the test animal, requires less time to perform, uses fewer animals, and provides dose-response information.
While the LLNA has advantages over guinea pig methods, it is still an animal-based test. Accordingly, ICCVAM is developing integrated testing strategies that enable identification of potential skin sensitizers using only in vitro and in silico test data and physicochemical properties.