COVID-19 Syrian hamster model


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covid-19 Syrian hamster model

IITRI has developed a robust model for COVID-19 using the Syrian (golden) hamster. 

Below is a basic study description and design, although IITRI can provide specialized study designs based on your needs. Contact us today to learn more and discuss how we can partner for SARS-CoV-2 animal studies.


Species Information Syrian Hamster (~5-6 weeks at challenge)
Study Duration 14 days+
Challenge Dosage and Strain

Intranasal (25 μl / nare) at  5 x 10^4; USA-WA1/2020 (SARS-CoV-2)

Drug administration Aerosol, oral (inquire about others)


Possible Endpoints

– General clinical observations

– Weight

– Viral load in nasal wash (Confirmed with RT-PCR)

– Viral load in blood (Confirmed with RT-PCR)

– At necropsy macroscopic inspection of lungs with regard to focal darkened areas

– On Day 3: Necropsy for virus detection in blood and tissue homogenates, brain, trachea, lungs (upper, middle lower lobes), kidney, jejunum, ileum; confirmed with RT-PCR

– On Day 14: Necropsy for histopathology of nasal turbinate (breakdown of the mucosal barrier and infiltration of inflammatory cells), lungs (interstitial pneumonia, infiltration of inflammatory cells, mucus and neutrophils in bronchioles), GI-tract (jejunum, ileum, colon), kidney; all tissues will be evaluated with standard H.E. staining