A novel mouse model for SARS-CoV-2 infection and therapeutics screening

  • Funded by National Institutes of Health (NIH)
  • Total publications:0 publications

Grant number: 3R01AI145147-02S1

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Key facts

  • Disease

  • Start & end year

  • Known Financial Commitments (USD)

  • Funder

    National Institutes of Health (NIH)
  • Principle Investigator

  • Research Location

    United States of America, Americas
  • Lead Research Institution

  • Research Category

    Pathogen: natural history, transmission and diagnostics

  • Research Subcategory

    Disease models

  • Special Interest Tags


  • Study Subject


  • Clinical Trial Details


  • Broad Policy Alignment


  • Age Group

    Not Applicable

  • Vulnerable Population

    Not applicable

  • Occupations of Interest

    Not applicable


Animal models of COVID-19 will play a critical role in developing and testing novel vaccines and therapies forthis disease, but a very limited number of models are currently available, and they suffer from substantiallimitations. The SARS-CoV-2 virus uses human ACE2 to bind to cells, and the host TMPRSS2 protease toprime the viral spike proteins for entry. Three mouse strains expressing human ACE2 as a transgene exist-only one of which is being prepared for distribution in the US and is in high demand under the currentcircumstance. Furthermore, concerns exist about aberrant expression of human ACE2 in these mice, given thelack of normal regulatory elements, and none of the ACE2 transgenic strains express the human TMPRSS2protease, thus cannot be used to assess therapeutic strategies that target the protease. We propose toemploy a novel and rapid gene replacement strategy that we have pioneered, to generate ACE2 andTMPRSS2 gene replacement mice. Our BSL3 experienced team will infect these mice with SARS-CoV-2 inorder to determine if they display the expected viral replication, interstitial pneumonia, inflammatory cytokinestorm, and antibody responses that characterize human COVID-19 disease. Importantly, these mice will beimmediately sent to our partners at Jackson Labs (JAX) for rapid expansion and world-wide distribution.