Improving Rabies Animal Models for Medical Countermeasures through Luminescent Animal Models

  • CDC scientists work to develop and test new medical countermeasures (MCMs) that can be used to protect the public from diseases in the event of an outbreak, natural disaster, or bioterrorism event. MCMs can include things like vaccines, medications, and diagnostic tests. Research on MCMs can include using animal models to test their effectiveness. Some pathogens, like Rabies lyssavirus (RABV), cause few signs of infection before death, which makes it hard to know if test animals survive because of effective MCM treatment, or because they were never infected.
  • We tested two RABV strains that had genes added to produce light when the viruses spread in infected animals. We found that these light-producing, or luminescent, rabies strains showed clear evidence of infection in mice, measured in “radiance” using a special laboratory imager. This meant we could detect rabies infection in living animals before clinical signs of rabies were detected.
  • Luminescent rabies strains give clear and early signs of rabies virus in test animals. These new models could reduce the number of animals needed for testing, limit harm to test animals, and lower project times as we work to develop and improve MCMs for rabies.
Quote from the Disease Detective

“Medical countermeasures, or MCMs, are a crucial part of public health readiness in the event of an emergency. Improving our animal models will allow future MCM research to be more targeted and efficient, and can reduce the use of laboratory animals in the development and testing of MCMs”

– David Lowe, PhD, EIS Class of 2017

LLS Fellow David Loweimage iconimage icon[JPG - 4 MB]

LLS Fellow David Lowe, PhD, and CDC’s Poxvirus and Rabies Animal Studies Unit lead Nadia Gallardo, DVM, discuss data from their new luminescent rabies model

LLS Fellow David Loweimage iconimage icon[JPG - 4 MB]

LLS Fellow David Lowe, PhD, developed a new light-producing rabies animal model to help test new vaccines and therapeutics

LLS Fellow David Lowe

LLS fellow David Lowe, PhD, analyzes data from his new luminescent animal model that can lead to new treatments for rabies

LLS Fellow David Lowe

LLS Fellow David Lowe, PhD, developed a new light-producing rabies animal model to help test new vaccines and therapeutics

Contact Information

CDC Media Relations
(404) 639-3286
media@cdc.gov

Conference Information
Spokesperson
David Lowe

 

David Lowe, PhD,
EIS Class of 2017
University of California at San Francisco

Education: PhD Univeristy of Virginia;
BS University of the South, Tennesee

Work Experience: University of California at San Francisco- Postdoctoral Fellow
2016 University of San Francisco- Adjunct Instructor
2014 University of Virginia School of Medicine- Research Assistant

Volunteer Experience: Gordon Research Conferences- Discussion leader for Gordon Research Seminar for Chemical and Biological Terrorism
Graduate Biosciences Society- Treasurer