Infectious Disease INSIGHTS

Mouse-adapted SARS-CoV-2 strains unlock broader mouse modeling of COVID-19

photo from Mouse-adapted SARS-CoV-2 strains unlock broader mouse modeling of COVID-19

COVID-19 modeling in mice has been limited by species differences in the ACE2 protein between mice and humans. The SARS-CoV-2 virus uses the ACE2 protein to facilitate entry into cells. The mouse ACE2 receptor is not permissive for viral binding, and thus initial reports indicate that wild type mice cannot be infected with SARS-CoV-2 1,2. One approach to overcoming this challenge is the use of transgenic mice...  Read More

Transgenic hACE2 mice for SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19

photo from Transgenic <span style='text-transform: lowercase;'>h</span>ACE2 mice for SARS-C<span style='text-transform: lowercase;'>o</span>V-2 and COVID-19

There is an urgent need to find mouse models to support the development of SARS-CoV-2 vaccines and therapeutics and combat the COVID-19 pandemic. A recent study from Peking Union Medical College has demonstrated the promising application of humanized angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) transgenic mice for SARS-CoV-2 research1. Mouse models are widely used to develop and test the safety and efficacy of vaccines and antiviral drugs, as...  Read More

Aged Inbred Mice May Advance Research Into Age-Related Mortality in Coronavirus Infections

photo from Aged Inbred Mice May Advance Research Into Age-Related Mortality in Coronavirus Infections

Figure Legend: Histopathology of lungs from aged 129S6 (A), B6 (C) and BALB/c (E) mice infected with SARS-CoV at 3 days post-infection. H&E stain. Adapted from Roberts, et al.5 COVID-19, caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, is rapidly spreading over the globe. On March 11th, 2020, the WHO declared this outbreak a pandemic, and since then, multiple travel bans have been put in place in attempts at slowing...  Read More

Knockout Mice for the Study of Coronavirus Infections

photo from Knockout Mice for the Study of Coronavirus Infections

The recent emergence of the novel, pathogenic SARS-coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2, COVID-19), and its rapid international spread pose a global health emergency. The SARS-CoV-2 virus belongs to the family of coronaviridae viruses, which are enveloped, positive-sense, single-stranded RNA viruses. Entry into human (mammalian) cells depends on binding of the viral spike (S) proteins to human cellular receptors and on S protein priming by host cell proteases. Patients with...  Read More

An Overview of Mouse Models for COVID-19

photo from An Overview of Mouse Models for COVID-19

COVID-19 is rapidly spreading around the globe and constitutes a global health crisis. This disease is caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, a coronavirus related to the SARS-CoV virus which caused the global SARS outbreak in 20031,2. Preclinical research on SARS may provide insight into useful animal models for COVID-19 research, and much of the information presented below is based on studies of SARS. While there is little...  Read More

After 40 Years a New TB Drug is Approved

photo from After 40 Years a New TB Drug is Approved

Source: TB Alliance Nonprofit Wins FDA Approval for Tuberculosis Drug At the end of the summer, the TB Alliance announced the approval of a new drug to treat some of the most drug-resistant forms of tuberculosis (TB). This is the first time the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a TB drug developed by a not-for-profit entity. The TB Alliance is dedicated to the discovery,...  Read More

Ebola Outbreak: What You Need to Know

photo from Ebola Outbreak: What You Need to Know

On Wednesday, July 17th, 2019, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DCR) to be a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. This outbreak was originally declared on August 1, 2018 in Mangina, one of the most populous locations in the country. Since then, the outbreak has been classified as a level 3 emergency, which is the highest-level...  Read More

Modeling Stem Cell Transplantation Treatments for HIV

photo from Modeling Stem Cell Transplantation Treatments for HIV

HIV is a rare, incurable virus that attacks the human immune system. According to the World Health Organization, approximately 36.9 million people are living with HIV or AIDS, and close to 1 million deaths per year are caused by the disease. Currently, there is no vaccine or cure. The standard treatment involves daily, lifelong therapy with multiple antiviral drugs that suppress the virus if taken regularly. Because...  Read More

Phage therapy as an alternative to antibiotics

photo from Phage therapy as an alternative to antibiotics

Multi-drug resistant (MDR) bacterial infections have been on the rise for decades, forcing researchers to investigate alternatives to antibiotic treatments. Phage therapy, a century-old technique that utilizes viruses to attack bacteria, has therefore gained interest in the last few years as a potential alternative treatment for MDR infections. Advancements in next-generation sequencing and bioengineering have enabled the development of this type of precision anti-bacterial therapy that can...  Read More

Measles Outbreak Reaches Record Levels

photo from Measles Outbreak Reaches Record Levels

As of May 2019, the World Health Organization is reporting that the number of measles cases worldwide has quadrupled compared to the same time last year. In the US alone, there have been 1,022 cases thus far in 2019, making this the highest number of reported cases in almost twenty years1. Measles was considered eradicated in the US in the year 2000. However, since 2010, there has...  Read More