Reproductive Health Surveillance Program

The AZA Wildlife Contraception Center (WCC) will continue the Contraceptive Reproductive Health Surveillance Program that Dr. Munson established. Dr. Dalen Agnew, Michigan State University, and Dr. Anneke Moresco, Denver Zoo, have accepted the responsibility of serving as our pathology advisors. Both of them trained with Dr. Munson, which ensures a smooth transition and continuity of the program.

The Reproductive Health Surveillance Program conducts comprehensive pathologic examinations on reproductive tracts to detect deleterious effects associated with contraceptives. The results of these analyses become part of the WCC Pathology Database and provide important information about contraceptive safety that is incorporated in our Contraception Recommendations. The data are also required for FDA reports. Complete reproductive tracts are needed from BOTH CONTRACEPTED AND NON-CONTRACEPTED male and female mammals, so that we can determine if diseases are spontaneous in a species or caused by the contraceptive. Tissue collected by ovariohysterectomy or castration or at necropsy are appropriate.

Tissue Submission Instructions

All reproductive tracts and other tissue samples must be prepared using the instructions provided, and a brief summary of the reproductive history of each animal should be included. Pathology evaluations will be conducted free of charge and a report will be sent to the contributing institution for the animal's medical records. In special circumstances (e.g., excessively large tracts from rhinos or elephants, tracts needed for other research protocols, or pathology departments well-versed in reproductive tract dissection), the attached protocols may be followed and digital photographs, measurements, and the required paraffin blocks or slides shipped to Dr. Agnew.

Please note that this is a research project, and that pathology reports concerning individual animals may not be as timely as a diagnostic report. If diagnostic information is required for a specific case, please contact Dr. Agnew or Dr. Moresco to request that the case be expedited.

For institutions with their own pathologist, please contact Dr. Agnew concerning the sharing of tissues for this study. This submission form also contains a request for any adverse reactions due to contraception. The Adverse Reactions Report must be filled out and submitted to the address below when diagnosis is made. Instructions on trimming tracts can be found here.  Please send tissues and reports accompanied by the Tissue Submission Form to:

Dr. Dalen Agnew
Attn: Histo Research
Diagnostic Center for Population & Animal Health
4125 Beaumont Road
Lansing, MI USA 48910-8104
Phone: 517-353-1683