The immune system of non-human primates is very similar to ours. They can often infect themselves with the same pathogens that infect us humans and show similar symptoms. This makes them an important model for research into disease-triggering mechanisms and the resulting development of new drugs and agents to combat serious diseases.
The great importance of the use of animals in research is particularly evident in view of the current corona pandemic. All over the world, scientists are looking for ways to stop the spread of the virus and help those who are ill.
Infections are a complex interplay that cannot be mapped in a cell culture in the same way as processes in the living organism. Although in vitro methods such as cell cultures provide important clues and can point the way forward, reliable data for the development of effective and safe drugs for humans can only be obtained with the involvement of animal models.
The European Animal Research Association (EARA) has published an interactive map that gives an overview of all scientific institutions around the world currently using animals to find treatments for Covid-19.