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JMG, Humans, Mice, Animals, COVID-19, Interferon Type I, Cytokines, SARS-CoV-2, Mice, Transgenic, Inflammation, Disease Models, Animal, Lung

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Nat Commun. 2023;14(1):4481







Open Access funding provided by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).


Inflammation in response to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection drives severity of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and is influenced by host genetics. To understand mechanisms of inflammation, animal models that reflect genetic diversity and clinical outcomes observed in humans are needed. We report a mouse panel comprising the genetically diverse Collaborative Cross (CC) founder strains crossed to human ACE2 transgenic mice (K18-hACE2) that confers susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2. Infection of CC x K18-hACE2 resulted in a spectrum of survival, viral replication kinetics, and immune profiles. Importantly, in contrast to the K18-hACE2 model, early type I interferon (IFN-I) and regulated proinflammatory responses were required for control of SARS-CoV-2 replication in PWK x K18-hACE2 mice that were highly resistant to disease. Thus, virus dynamics and inflammation observed in COVID-19 can be modeled in diverse mouse strains that provide a genetically tractable platform for understanding anti-coronavirus immunity.


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