Exotic and emerging viral pathogens associated with high morbidity and mortality in humans are being identified annually with recent examples including Lujo virus in southern Africa, Severe Fever with Thrombocytopenia Syndrome virus in China and a SARS-like coronavirus in the Middle East. The sporadic nature of these infections hampers our understanding of these diseases and limits the opportunities to design appropriate medical countermeasures against them. Because of this, animal models are utilized to gain insight into the pathogenesis of disease with the overall goal of identifying potential targets for intervention and evaluating specific therapeutics and vaccines. For these reasons it is imperative that animal models of disease recapitulate the human condition as closely as possible in order to provide the best predictive data with respect to the potential efficacy in humans. In this article we review the current status of disease models for highly pathogenic and emerging viral pathogens.
ASJC Scopus subject areas