Murine animal models for in vivo studies of Zika and Chikungunya viruses
Carlos Ralph Batista Lins, Clintiano da Silva Curvêlo, Daniele Barbosa de Almeida Medeiros, Irassandra Rooze Pereira Uchôa Cavalcanti de Aquino, Rafael Dhalia, Sérgio Crovella
Arboviruses are worldwide distributed arthropod-borne viruses representing a constant threat to public health.
Among these arboviruses, the Chikungunya (CHIKV) and Zika (ZIKV) viruses have a high prevalence in Brazil being
responsible for recent outbreaks resulting mainly in irreparable socioeconomic damages such as the high rate
of cases of comorbidities and microcephaly in newborns, respectively. Therefore, it is necessary to understand
the biology of these arboviruses and develop effective treatments against them; moreover, appropriate mice
animal models are strongly encouraged. Here we reviewed the scientific literature aiming to improve the
search for the best murine animal model, specific for the arboviruses, specifically, CHIKV and ZIKV. In this way,
we performed a comparison between the various mice models currently available, among them: genetically
modified immunosuppressed animals, as the A129 and AG129 which are knockout animals for the α/β and
α/β/γ receptors, respectively, neonatal immunocompetent models C57BL/6 strains used between 6-8 days old
for neuropathogenesis studies or 1 day old for vaccine safety studies and finally immunosuppressed induced
by dexamethasone or interferon 1 blocker for pathogenesis studies. Mice models are the first option after in
vitro analysis, as they are small animals, which facilitates handling and maintenance, in addition to being more
inexpensive and abundantly available in different genetic strains, both wild and modified. If the results of this
stage are promising, the studies move forward to the use of models with animals of greater complexity, such as
rats, non-human primates and finally humans. For this review, we searched through articles in PubMed, Scopus
and ScienceDirect databases using the criteria of date publications, titles, abstracts and complete manuscripts.
The correct choice of these models during experimental planning is essential, since increases the confidence
and the rational use of animals in experimentation in accordance to current bioethics guidelines.