ECETOC guide to Building a Prenatal Developmental Toxicity Ontology

Brussels, August 2016

This ontology, published as ECETOC Special Report no.19: Building a Prenatal Developmental Toxicity Ontology, provides a way for data and information on developmental toxicology from different sources to be structured and shared in an understandable way. By using a common vocabulary and a user friendly structure, it is envisioned that this particular ontology will allow scientists to make connections and understand relationships between common pathways resulting in adverse reproductive health outcomes.

Such a tool will help scientists and toxicologists predict the possibility of a substance producing developmental toxicity without the need for comprehensive animal testing. It is intended that this ontology can support work currently ongoing at the OECD to reduce reliance on animal testing by moving to a better understanding of the modes of action and biological pathways causing toxic effects.

This ECETOC Report can be freely downloaded at

A paper is also in preparation to be published in the Open Scientific Literature.