Scientists from the Netherlands have discovered that java monkeys are susceptible to the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes COVID-19 disease in humans. Scientists say that due to this sensitivity, coronavirus drugs can be tested in Java monkeys.
Animal and human tests constitute the most important stages of vaccination and drug development studies against coronavirus. Especially human tests are carried out in a very long time to ensure that the people participating in the study are not harmed and the side effects of the drug and vaccine are fully understood.
A study by researchers from the Erasmus University School of Medicine and the Biomedical Primate Research Center (BPRC) in the Netherlands shows that these monkeys can be used for coronavirus drug testing.
Java monkeys are susceptible to coronavirus
The researchers made the monkeys ‘intestines, nose, spleen, and lungs open to the coronavirus to investigate the response of the Java monkeys’ body to the coronavirus. During the study, fluid accumulation and damage were detected in the lungs of Java monkeys.
“This result shows that monkeys can be used to test new drugs and experimental vaccines in the fight against coronavirus,” the article published in the journal Science published.
In the study, only the new type of coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, was not tested. The susceptibility of monkeys to MERS and SARS was also tested. The results of the study show that Java monkeys are more affected by the new type of coronavirus than SARS and MERS.
Animal lovers react to Europe’s largest monkey center
Biomedical Primate Research Center (BPRC) is the largest publicly funded monkey center in Europe. BPRC collaborates with Erasmus University School of Medicine and the Netherlands Brain Institute.
Due to the animal lovers’ reactions to the monkey center, the center decided to reduce monkey tests by 40 percent by 2025. At BPRC, 200-250 monkeys are currently used in experiments. Until this time, 300 of the 1,500 monkeys in BPRC were used in experiments. The monkeys who participated in the experiments got diseases such as tuberculosis, malaria and MS. Half of the monkeys used in experiments in the center died due to these experiments.