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Viruses. 2012 Dec 14;4(12):3754-84. doi: 10.3390/v4123754.

Use of the Syrian hamster as a new model of ebola virus disease and other viral hemorrhagic fevers.

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Integrated Research Facility at Fort Detrick, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Interagency Biodefense Campus, B-8200 Research Plaza, Fort Detrick, Frederick, Maryland 21702, USA.


Historically, mice and guinea pigs have been the rodent models of choice for therapeutic and prophylactic countermeasure testing against Ebola virus disease (EVD). Recently, hamsters have emerged as a novel animal model for the in vivo study of EVD. In this review, we discuss the history of the hamster as a research laboratory animal, as well as current benefits and challenges of this model. Availability of immunological reagents is addressed. Salient features of EVD in hamsters, including relevant pathology and coagulation parameters, are compared directly with the mouse, guinea pig and nonhuman primate models.

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