Nonhuman primate models of human viral infections

Nat Rev Immunol. 2018 Jun;18(6):390-404. doi: 10.1038/s41577-018-0005-7.


Humans have a close phylogenetic relationship with nonhuman primates (NHPs) and share many physiological parallels, such as highly similar immune systems, with them. Importantly, NHPs can be infected with many human or related simian viruses. In many cases, viruses replicate in the same cell types as in humans, and infections are often associated with the same pathologies. In addition, many reagents that are used to study the human immune response cross-react with NHP molecules. As such, NHPs are often used as models to study viral vaccine efficacy and antiviral therapeutic safety and efficacy and to understand aspects of viral pathogenesis. With several emerging viral infections becoming epidemic, NHPs are proving to be a very beneficial benchmark for investigating human viral infections.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animal Experimentation / ethics
  • Animals
  • Cercopithecidae / genetics
  • Cercopithecidae / immunology
  • Cercopithecidae / virology
  • DNA Virus Infections / genetics
  • DNA Virus Infections / immunology
  • DNA Virus Infections / virology
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Hominidae / genetics
  • Hominidae / immunology
  • Hominidae / virology
  • Humans
  • Models, Immunological
  • Platyrrhini / genetics
  • Platyrrhini / immunology
  • Platyrrhini / virology
  • Primates / genetics
  • Primates / immunology*
  • Primates / virology
  • RNA Virus Infections / genetics
  • RNA Virus Infections / immunology
  • RNA Virus Infections / virology
  • Species Specificity
  • Virus Diseases / genetics
  • Virus Diseases / immunology*
  • Virus Diseases / virology