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Neonatal Gnotobiotic Pig Models for Studying Viral Pathogenesis, Immune Responses, and for Vaccine Evaluation

Neonatal Gnotobiotic Pig Models for Studying Viral Pathogenesis, Immune Responses, and for Vaccine Evaluation

Xingdong Yang and Lijuan Yuan

Department of Biomedical Sciences and Pathobiology, Virginia–Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA 24061-0913, USA.

ABSTRACT

The definition of gnotobiotic pig is a pig in which only certain known strains of virus or bacterium are present through deliberate inoculation with a particular virus strain or bacterial species and being maintained free of unwanted microbiota in sterile isolators. The sterile surgical derivation and gnotobiotic status of the pigs allow studies of the infection, disease and immune responses caused by a specific pathogen in the absence of interfering maternal antibodies, other maternal immune regulators, and intestinal and environmental microbes. Due to the similarities between pigs and humans in terms of genetics, physiology, intestinal anatomy, and immune system, pig is particularly a suitable animal species for the modeling of human enteric pathogen infections, immune responses and for vaccine evaluations. These are the basis for the successful establishment of the infection and disease models for human rotavirus, human norovirus and human enterovirus 71 using neonatal gnotobiotic pigs. The differences between germ-free and normal animals in the maturation status of immune systems caused by the lack of gut microbiota can be minimized by establishing human-gut-microbiota transplanted gnotobiotic pig models. Given the advantages of gnotobiotic pig models, it is expected that they will be used more widely in biomedical research for studies of human viruses and other human diseases.

 

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Hosts and Viruses

June

Vol.6, Iss.3, Pages 42-84

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