Researchers identify a model of COVID-19 infection in nonhuman primates

April 17, 2020

After comparing how infections from SARS-CoV-2 (which causes COVID-19) and two other human coronaviruses develop in cynomolgus macaques, researchers report that SARS-CoV-2 gives the animals a mild COVID-19-like disease. The results - based on a combination of experimental and historical infection data - suggest these animals are a promising model for testing COVID-19 therapeutics. Treatments for COVID-19 are urgently needed, as are animal models to test them. Which animal(s) can be used most precisely to model the efficacy of control measures in humans remains a question. To better understand key pathways in the pathogenesis of SARS-CoV-2, Barry Rockx et al. infected young and old cynomolgus macaques with SARS-CoV-2 (from a strain from a German traveler returning from China), as well as with MERS-CoV, comparing their results with historical reports of infections by SARS-CoV. All experiments were performed under Biosafety Level-3 conditions. SARS-CoV-2 leads to mild infection with little to no symptoms, the authors report, even as animals infected were shedding the virus; this is similar to how asymptomatic humans shed the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Viral RNA was detected at higher levels and for longer duration in older macaques, the authors report, though none showed the severe symptoms that older humans do. Also, like influenza, the animals shed the virus from the respiratory tract very early during infection as compared to with SARS-CoV; this could explain the explosive global spread of COVID-19 and why case detection and isolation may not be as effective as it was for controlling SARS-CoV. The macaques infected with MERS-CoV did not develop notable symptoms during study period. "This study provides a novel infection model which will be critical in the evaluation and licensure of preventive and therapeutic strategies against SARS-CoV-2 infection for use in humans," write the authors.

American Association for the Advancement of Science

Related Infection Articles from Brightsurf:

Halving the risk of infection following surgery
New analysis by the University of Leeds and the University of Bern of more than 14,000 operations has found that using alcoholic chlorhexidine gluconate (CHG) halves the risk of infection in certain types of surgery when compared to the more commonly used povidone-iodine (PVI).

How plants shut the door on infection
A new study by an international team including University of Maryland scientists has discovered the key calcium channel responsible for closing plant pores as an immune response to pathogen exposure.

Sensing infection, suppressing regeneration
UIC researchers describe an enzyme that blocks the ability of blood vessel cells to self-heal.

Boost to lung immunity following infection
The strength of the immune system in response to respiratory infections is constantly changing, depending on the history of previous, unrelated infections, according to new research from the Crick.

Is infection after surgery associated with increased long-term risk of infection, death?
Whether experiencing an infection within the first 30 days after surgery is associated with an increased risk of another infection and death within one year was the focus of this observational study that included about 660,000 veterans who underwent major surgery.

Revealed: How E. coli knows how to cause the worst possible infection
The discovery could one day let doctors prevent the infection by allowing E. coli to pass harmlessly through the body.

UK study shows most patients with suspected urinary tract infection and treated with antibiotics actually lack evidence of this infection
New research presented at this week's European Congress of Clinical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases (ECCMID) in Amsterdam, Netherlands (April 13-16, 2019) shows that only one third of patients that enter the emergency department with suspected urinary tract infection (UTI) actually have evidence of this infection, yet almost all are treated with antibiotics, unnecessarily driving the emergence of antimicrobial resistance.

Bacteria in urine doesn't always indicate infection
Doctors should think carefully before testing patients for a urinary tract infection (UTI) to avoid over-diagnosis and unnecessary antibiotic treatment, according to updated asymptomatic bacteriuria (ASB) guidelines released by the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) and published in Clinical Infectious Diseases.

Subsidies for infection control to healthcare institutions help reduce infection levels
Researchers compared three types of infection control subsidies and found that under a limited budget, a dollar-for-dollar matching subsidy, in which policymakers match hospital spending for infection control measures, was the most effective at reducing the number of hospital-acquired infections.

Dengue virus infection may cause severe outcomes following Zika virus infection during pregnancy
This study is the first to report a possible mechanism for the enhancement of Zika virus progression during pregnancy in an animal model.

Read More: Infection News and Infection Current Events is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to