Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/15/2005
Publication Date: 5/15/2005
Citation: Helm, R.M. 2005. Porcine immune system. In: Vohr, H. editor. Encyclopedic Reference of Immunotoxicology. New York, NY:Springer Berlin Heidelberg Press. p. 529-531.
Interpretive Summary: Health-related research often relies upon animals that “model” similar effects as in humans. The physiological and immunological similarities of swine and humans has made pigs a valuable model in which to study human disorders. This chapter describes and discusses the various strains of pigs and the contributions they make to understanding how the human body works in health and disease states. Swine are suitable for studies of developmental immunology, xenotransplantation, wound healing, immunization schemes, allergy and human asthma.
Technical Abstract: The physiological and immunological similarities of swine and humans have become important features in large-animal models for biomedical research as evidenced in both veterinary and human literature citations. Swine are suitable for studies of developmental immunology, xenotransplantation, wound healing, immunization schemes, allergy and human asthma. The physiological relevance of the swine as an intended target species directly affects the laboratory "proof of concept" that can be translated to successful clinical treatments in the lieu of human trials. The different strains of pigs and miniature pigs available, crucial natural disease models that occur in outbred populations, combined with the rapidly growing swine immune reagent repertoire, will provide cost-effective studies that will reveal the importance of the swine as valid animal model systems that will more closely extrapolate to the human situation under investigation.