Humanized mice in infectious diseases

Comp Immunol Microbiol Infect Dis. 2016 Dec;49:29-38. doi: 10.1016/j.cimid.2016.08.006. Epub 2016 Aug 21.


The pathogenesis of infectious agents with human tropism can only be properly studied in an in vivo model featuring human cells or tissue. Humanized mice represent a small animal model featuring human cells or tissue that can be infected by human-specific viruses, bacteria, and parasites and also providing a functional human immune system. This makes the analysis of a human immune response to infection possible and allows for preclinical testing of new vaccines and therapeutic agents. Results of various studies using humanized mice to investigate pathogens with human tropism are presented in this review. In addition, the limitations of humanized mice and methods to improve this valuable animal model are discussed.

Keywords: Human specific pathogens; Humanized mice; Infectious diseases; Review.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bacterial Infections* / drug therapy
  • Bacterial Infections* / immunology
  • Disease Models, Animal*
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Parasitic Diseases / drug therapy
  • Parasitic Diseases / immunology
  • Parasitic Diseases, Animal* / drug therapy
  • Parasitic Diseases, Animal* / immunology
  • Virus Diseases* / drug therapy
  • Virus Diseases* / immunology