Coronavirus: The search for an animal model to study coronavirus

Updated: Mar 31

Scientists around the world are in a race to find the animal species that is the most suitable to use in tests for a Covid-19 virus vaccine.

Ferrets, monkeys and mice are among those that have been used in studies, but it is not yet clear which will prove the best model.

The problem, as STAT News reports, is that not every species is susceptible to the virus, and those that are may not show signs of disease.

“To understand what goes on following infection in humans, we need a model that reflects that severe pneumonia and acute lung injury,” said vet Rudragouda Channappanavar, who studies coronaviruses at the University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center, USA.

Also last week an opinion article in The Detroit News, by Matthew R. Bailey of Foundation for Biomedical Research highlighted how crucial animal research is to improve public health in this situation.

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