Neutralizing antibody-dependent and -independent immune responses against SARS-CoV-2 in cynomolgus macaques.
We examined the pathogenicity of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) in cynomolgus macaques for 28 days to establish an animal model of COVID-19 for the development of vaccines and antiviral drugs. Cynomolgus macaques infected with SARS-CoV-2 showed body temperature rises and X-ray radiographic pneumonia without life-threatening clinical signs of disease. A neutralizing antibody against SARS-CoV-2 and T-lymphocytes producing interferon (IFN)-γ specifically for SARS-CoV-2 N-protein were detected on day 14 in one of three macaques with viral pneumonia. In the other two macaques, in which a neutralizing antibody was not detected, T-lymphocytes producing IFN-γ specifically for SARS-CoV-2 N protein increased on day 7 to day 14, suggesting that not only a neutralizing antibody but also cellular immunity has a role in the elimination of SARS-CoV-2. Thus, because of similar symptoms to approximately 80% of patients, cynomolgus macaques are appropriate to extrapolate the efficacy of vaccines and antiviral drugs for humans.
Virology 554 97-105, 2021-02