An animal model of SARS produced by infection of Macaca mulatta with SARS coronavirus

Chuan Qin, Jianwei Wang, Qiang Wei, Mingpeng She, Wayne A. Marasco, Hong Jiang, Xinming Tu, Hua Zhu, Lili Ren, Li Gao, Li Guo, Lan Huang, Renquan Yang, Zhe Cong, Lan Guo, Yanbin Wang, Yali Liu, Lili Sun, Shumin Duan, Jianguo QuLiangbiao Chen, Wei Tong, Li Ruan, Peimao Liu, Hua Zhang, Jianmin Zhang, Huiyuan Zhang, Depei Liu, Qian Liu, Tao Hong, Wei He

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

71 Scopus citations


A new SARS animal model was established by inoculating SARS coronavirus (SARS-CoV) into rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta) through the nasal cavity. Pathological pulmonary changes were successively detected on days 5-60 after virus inoculation. All eight animals showed a transient fever 2-3 days after inoculation. Immunological, molecular biological, and pathological studies support the establishment of this SARS animal model. Firstly, SARS-CoV-specific IgGs were detected in the sera of macaques from 11 to 60 days after inoculation. Secondly, SARS-CoV RNA could be detected in pharyngeal swab samples using nested RT-PCR in all infected animals from 5 days after virus inoculation. Finally, histopathological changes of interstitial pneumonia were found in the lungs during the 60 days after viral inoculation: these changes were less marked at later time points, indicating that an active healing process together with resolution of an acute inflammatory response was taking place in these animals. This animal model should provide insight into the mechanisms of SARS-CoV-related pulmonary disease and greatly facilitate the development of vaccines and therapeutics against SARS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)251-259
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Pathology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Animal model
  • Coronavirus
  • Pathology
  • Rhesus monkey
  • SARS

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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