ACTIVating Resources for the COVID-19 Pandemic: In Vivo Models for Vaccines and Therapeutics

Judith A. Hewitt, Cathleen Lutz, William C. Florence, M. Louise M. Pitt, Srinivas Rao, Jay Rappaport, Nancy L. Haigwood

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    30 Scopus citations


    The Preclinical Working Group of Accelerating COVID-19 Therapeutic Interventions and Vaccines (ACTIV), a public-private partnership spearheaded by the National Institutes of Health, has been charged with identifying, prioritizing, and communicating SARS-CoV-2 preclinical resources. Reviewing SARS-CoV-2 animal model data facilitates standardization and harmonization and informs knowledge gaps and prioritization of limited resources. To date, mouse, hamster, ferret, guinea pig, and non-human primates have been investigated. Several species are permissive for SARS-CoV-2 replication, often exhibiting mild disease with resolution, reflecting most human COVID-19 cases. More severe disease develops in a few models, some associated with advanced age, a risk factor for human disease. This review provides a snapshot that recommends the suitability of models for testing vaccines and therapeutics, which may evolve as our understanding of COVID-19 disease biology improves. COVID-19 is a complex disease, and individual models recapitulate certain aspects of disease; therefore, the coordination and assessment of animal models is imperative.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)646-659
    Number of pages14
    JournalCell Host and Microbe
    Issue number5
    StatePublished - Nov 11 2020


    • COVID-19
    • SARS-CoV-2
    • animal models
    • hamsters
    • macaques
    • mice
    • therapeutics
    • vaccines

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Parasitology
    • Microbiology
    • Virology


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