The ethical treatment of Horseshoe Crabs is the top priority during the development of PYROSTAR™ LAL (Limulus Amebocyte Lysate) reagents. In addition to numerous steps taken to care for horseshoe crabs whilst in the hands of our ecological and technical teams, Fujifilm Wako Chemicals U.S.A. Corporation. has developed and is actively participating in a number of proactive and aggressive conservation initiatives.
Wako Chemicals uses the blood of these sea creatures to manufacture LAL reagents. Our reagents are used by medical professionals in laboratories around the world for the specific determination of Gram-negative bacterial endotoxins - without interference from the presence of β-glucans. WAKO LAL products are formulated to perform three endotoxin detection assays, namely the gel-clot assay, kinetic turbidimetric assays (KTA), and kinetic chromogenic assays (KCA).
Our procedure for extracting blood from the crabs has been developed to be as minimally invasive as possible. The crabs are handled by highly trained professionals in a pristine environment, and then they are returned to their natural habitat within 48 hours - to minimize disruption of their routines and habits.
The overall goal is to keep the crabs comfortable, and to minimize any discomfort or harm during the extraction process. Lifelong fishermen carefully gather the crabs and bring them to Wako's own bleeding facility. During their short time out of the sea, the crabs are carefully and thoroughly inspected to ensure that each crab is healthy. Wako also ensures that the crabs have not been bled before - as each crab may only be bled once per season for its wellbeing. The bleeding process is then conducted by highly trained and experienced professionals after which the crabs are returned to their habitat.
Recently, Wako Chemicals has increased conservation efforts by joining several other prestigious ecological conservation groups and organizations. This includes supporting the Horseshoe Crab Conservation Fund which is committed to the long-term protection of these crabs through community projects and educational outreach programs. Wako also works closely with the US Fish and Wildlife Service in a horseshoe crab tagging and monitoring program to better understand their movements and ways of life, and also to ascertain whether or not biomedical processes have any impact on the crabs after the bleeding process.
Wako is dedicated to the protection and care of horseshoe crabs and has plans to create more unique and inspirational educational programs. These programs will share the incredible story of the horseshoe crab, their vital contribution to medicine, and to their ecosystem. This is only the beginning. We are working hard to establish a harmonious balance between ecological and biomedical worlds.