Animal models for SARS-CoV-2 research: A comprehensive literature review

Kabita Pandey, Arpan Acharya, Mahesh Mohan, Caroline L. Ng, St Patrick Reid, Siddappa N. Byrareddy

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Emerging and re-emerging viral diseases can create devastating effects on human lives and may also lead to economic crises. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic due to the novel coronavirus (nCoV), severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), which originated in Wuhan, China, has caused a global public health emergency. To date, the molecular mechanism of transmission of SARS-CoV-2, its clinical manifestations and pathogenesis is not completely understood. The global scientific community has intensified its efforts in understanding the biology of SARS-CoV-2 for development of vaccines and therapeutic interventions to prevent the rapid spread of the virus and to control mortality and morbidity associated with COVID-19. To understand the pathophysiology of SARS-CoV-2, appropriate animal models that mimic the biology of human SARS-CoV-2 infection are urgently needed. In this review, we outline animal models that have been used to study previous human coronaviruses (HCoVs), including severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) and middle east respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV). Importantly, we discuss models that are appropriate for SARS-CoV-2 as well as the advantages and disadvantages of various available methods.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1868-1885
Number of pages18
JournalTransboundary and Emerging Diseases
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2021


  • SARS-CoV-2
  • animal model
  • ferret
  • hamster
  • macaque
  • mice
  • pathophysiology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Immunology and Microbiology
  • General Veterinary


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