The guinea pig model of disease has been considered synonymous with the experimental laboratory animal since the nineteenth century. Recently we have reviewed the use of this species in models of bacterial infectious disease. The present review extends to viral diseases for which the guinea pig is less frequently considered the relevant animal model. The use of the guinea pig as a laboratory animal, aspects of immunology, viral pathogens and host-pathogen models are discussed. As a small and relatively inexpensive model for infection and immunity the guinea pig has a significant future but there are substantial requirements for development of validated quantitative analytical methods for immunological and disease biomarkers if it is to reach its potential.
Keywords: guinea pig, immunology, viruses, animal model, antiviral drugs, bacterial diseases, pathogens, delayed-type hypersensivity, Baltimore virus, genome
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