The Role of Animal Research in Pandemic Responses

Jacqueline K. Brockhurst, Jason S. Villano

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The significant advances made by the global scientific community during the COVID-19 pandemic, exemplified by the development of multiple SARS-CoV-2 vaccines in less than 1 y, were made possible in part because of animal research. Historically, animals have been used to study the characterization, treatment, and prevention of most of the major infectious disease outbreaks that humans have faced. From the advent of modern ‘germ theory’ prior to the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic through the more recent Ebola and Zika virus outbreaks, research that uses animals has revealed or supported key discoveries in disease pathogenesis and therapy development, helping to save lives during crises. Here we summarize the role of animal research in past pandemic and epidemic response efforts, as well as current and future considerations for animal research in the context of infectious disease research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)359-368
Number of pages10
JournalComparative medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Veterinary


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