The relevance of non-human primates in preclinical research on infection and immunopathology

13 April 2015

BPRC - 1. The relevance of non-human primates in preclinical research on infection and immunopathology

The immune system plays a central role in the defense against environmental threats - such as infection with viruses, parasites or bacteria - but can also be a cause of disease, such as in the case of allergic or autoimmune disorders. In the past decades the impressive development of biotechnology has provided scientists with biological tools for the development of highly selective treatments for the different types of disorders. However, despite some clear successes the translation of scientific discoveries into effective treatments has remained challenging.

Mouse models have proven to be highly important for the dissection of immunopathogenic mechanisms. However, its general validity for immunotherapy development seems to be hampered by fundamental immunobiological differences between the mouse model and man. BPRC researchers have reviewed the issues associated with the translation from lab to patient and discuss in their publication that important new insights in this respect can be gained from disease models in species that are more closely related to humans, the non-human primates in particular.