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Rhesus macaque as a model for covid-19 vaccine

Date: 26 January 2021 Tags: Miscellaneous


According to independent studies, the rhesus macaque is a promising model for vaccines against Covid-19.



In infectious diseases such as Covid-19, animal studies help scientists predict how well a candidate vaccine will work.



  • Animal studies inform scientists which immune cells triggered by the vaccine are protective, whether the vaccine will be viable as a human intervention, and how the disease progresses in people with compromised immune systems.

  • The study also found that the baboon showed greater disease development, making it a potential option for evaluating anti-viral therapeutics and co-morbidities such as diabetes.

  • Rhesus macaques infected with SARS-CoV-2 developed protective immune responses that might be reproduced with a vaccine.

  • Researchers found that the macaque and baboon models develop strong signs of acute viral infection leading to pneumonia, and the non-human primate immune system mounts a strong response and clears the SARS-CoV-2 infection.

  • The researchers followed immune responses in the rhesus macaques over about two weeks. The animals showed all the signs of producing an effective immune response to a viral infection.


Rhesus monkey

The rhesus macaque is a species of Old World monkey. It is listed as least concern in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species in view of its wide distribution, presumed large population, and its tolerance of a broad range of habitats.


Old world monkeys

  • The Old World monkeys are native to Africa and Asia today, inhabiting numerous environments such as tropical rain forests, savannas, shrublands, and mountainous terrain.

  • They consist of Twenty-four genera and 138 species, making it the largest primate family. Old World monkey genera include baboons and macaques.

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