Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.


More monkey models for studying COVID-19

Singh, D.K. et al. Nat. Microbiol. 6, 73–86 (2021)

Nonhuman primates are valuable models for studying disease pathology. There are, however, several model primate options available. Rhesus macaques are used most often, but others, such as baboons and rat-sized marmosets, might also be considered. Which to choose?

A study from researchers at the Texas Biomedical Research Institute considers the suitability of three species – Macaca mulatta macaques, Papio hamadryas baboons, and Callithrix jacchus marmosets – as models for studying SARS-CoV-2 infections. While all three can be infected with the COVID-19-causing virus, there were differences in clinical symptoms and severity between the species. As others have shown, macaques are susceptible to the virus, as are baboons, which developed more severe symptoms, while infections in marmosets proved to be quite mild. Overall, the authors conclude that macaques may be most valuable for testing vaccines and therapeutics, and baboons for evaluating co-morbidities.

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to Ellen P. Neff.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Neff, E.P. More monkey models for studying COVID-19. Lab Anim 50, 44 (2021).

Download citation


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing