Animal Models of SARS-CoV

Creative Biolabs is a pioneer company in preclinical drug discovery. We offer a full range of services to help global customers to screen novel efficient candidates in relevant animal models to cure human diseases. With years of experience, our scientists will help you select the most appropriate model as well as work together to develop new animal models tailored to meet the specific requirement of global customers. Here, we are happy to introduce our animal models for Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) infection.

The emergence of SARS-CoV, a novel coronavirus (CoV) introduced into humans from an animal reservoir, brought a global health threat in early 2003. Studies have shown that SARS-CoV mediates infection of permissive cells through interaction with its receptor, the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2). During the past years, numerous antiviral drugs, immunotherapy, and vaccines against SARS have been developed. Along with these, animal models have been identified for use in studies of pathogenesis, prophylaxis, and treatment evaluation. The ideal animal model is permissive to infection and reproduces the clinical course and pathology observed in humans. As a leading company in preclinical drug discovery, Creative Biolabs is able to offer several animal models to promote global customers’ SARS-CoV projects.

Schematic diagram of the SARS coronavirus structure. Fig.1 Schematic diagram of the SARS coronavirus structure. (Peiris, 2004)

Mouse Models

During the past, several inbred mouse strains with different genetic backgrounds have been developed as models for SARS-CoV infection. Although showed evidence of infection and lung disease, these inbred mouse strains could not accurately reproduce the diffuse alveolar damage, edema, pneumocyte necrosis, and hyaline membrane formation observed in humans. We provide a transgenic mouse model with human ACE2 expressing and SARS-CoV susceptibility. Particularly, these mice showed severe interstitial pneumonia and extrapulmonary organ damage which are typical clinical symptoms of human SARS-CoV infection.

Hamster Model

Hamster has been proved as a suitable model of SARS-CoV infection. Studies have shown that infection of hamsters with SARS-CoV results in a productive infection with peak replication on day 2-3 in the nasal turbinate and lungs, and viral clearance by day 7. Infection also results in extrapulmonary spread consisting of transient viremia and spreads to the livers and spleen in a proportion of animals. Furthermore, viral replication is accompanied by pulmonary histopathology consisting of focal areas of interstitial inflammation and consolidation that are visible on day 3, and become more widespread until day 7 when consolidation involves 30-40% of the lungs.

Ferret Models

Ferrets provide an alternative model to support the replication with varying degrees of clinical disease. Particularly, studies have indicated that SARS-CoV could transmit at low levels by direct contact in the ferret model.

Creative Biolabs is dedicated to providing high-quality animal models to mimic human SARS-CoV infection. Totally understanding the importance of choosing the appropriate disease model, our experienced scientists will work closely with global customers to ensure the success of in vivo pharmacology studies. For more detailed information, please feel free to contact us.


  1. Peiris, J.S.; et al. Severe acute respiratory syndrome. Nature medicine. 2004. 10(12): S88-97.
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