Animal models

Standardising animal models for the assessment of vaccine efficacy and preclinical testing

Murine models of human disease are the workhorse for the assessment of protective vaccine efficacy.

Such murine models can be “humanised” through the introduction of genes encoding human immune system components, human receptors engaged by pathogen adhesins or human blood or interstitial components. Furthermore, non-murine animal models including ferrets, hamsters and especially non-human primates may better model human disease (e.g. CSIRO Australian Centre for Disease Preparedness). Appropriate animal models need to be selected, assessed and standardised for each pathogen to ensure vaccine assessment in a system that most closely mimics human disease.

Formal preclinical testing in animal models is also a prerequisite to assess experimental vaccine safety in humans. AVRA will utilise existing and emerging GLP, toxicology and other preclinical testing that is required prior to the assessment of vaccines in humans.