Eleven Aborted Babies Used in University of Boston Humanized COVID Test Mice Project
Updated: Oct 31, 2021
A group of 33 researchers from Boston University, Princeton and the University of Washington conducted a study entitled "Macrophages govern antiviral responses in human lung tissues protected from SARS-CoV-2 infection" in which they co-engrafted human fetal lung xenografts (fXL) and a myeloid-enhanced human immune system to construct the HFNL humanized mouse.
In the Discussion section of the study, published on July 9, 2021, they claim that the combination of co-engraftment of fetal lung tissue and a human immune system in the mice "resulted in protection against SARS-CoV-2 infection, as well as limited inflammation and histopathology."
The authors mention the fact that researchers in the Wahl et al. studies conducted at UNC in 2019 and repeated in 2021 were successful in infecting mice engrafted with human fetal lung tissue with SARS-CoV2. However, they proposed to explore whether their mouse model could offer protection from viral infection and lung tissue damage from a SARS-CoV-2 infection.
In the Discussion section of the study, published on July 9, 2021, the authors claim that the combination of co-engraftment of fetal lung tissue and a human immune system in the mice, "resulted in protection against SARS-CoV-2 infection, as well as limited inflammation and histopathology."
Altogether, our work emphasizes the potential of fetal tissue-engrafted mice to transform our understanding of human immunity to pave the way toward more effective treatments against infectious diseases.
In the Methods section of the paper, the researchers reveal that the fetal lung tissue (within a gestational age range of 18 to 22 weeks) was obtained from Advanced Bioscience Resources in Alameda, CA, (ABR) and explain how they grafted the lung tissue onto both sides of a midline incision on the back of each mouse. Fetal lung samples were taken from eight different "donors" in this study.
(Advanced Biosciences Resources has been exposed by Judicial Watch as an aborted baby organ trafficking partner with Planned Parenthood which has provided fetal tissue to federal government agencies.)
Screenshot from the Methods section of the study:
Next, the researchers describe how they extracted CD34+ cells from human fetal liver obtained from ABR from three different "donors" between a gestational age range of 16-22 weeks.
It would appear that fetal tissue for this study was taken from eleven different aborted babies.
All in all, the researchers are very pleased with their highly humanized mouse model which offers in vivo, or living. human lung tissue in mice that are highly susceptible to SARS-CoV2 for the study of antiviral immune responses.
The University of Boston's HNFL mouse model is a further development on the BLT-L precision COVID test model constructed by Ralph S. Baric and his team at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill in 2019. The BLT-L mouse which was constructed of a "sandwich" of human fetal liver-thymus-liver and human fetal lung grafts on its back, was lauded as the "idealized model for COVID-19 and other respiratory illness" in a 2020 Virulence article published on the NIH website.
A small animal model, such as BLT developed by Wahl et al., used in conjunction with a human hematopoietic cell could be useful in understanding immune responses such as B cell maturation and memory T cell establishment for coronaviruses. Increased knowledge about these processes is crucial for generating a robust vaccine candidate for COVID-19 and other lung-related infectious diseases.
Graphic from the Virulence article illustrating the basic construction of the BLT-L test mouse:
These state-of-the-art, highly humanized, "idealized" mice with engrafted human lung organoids and immune systems humanized with engrafted human fetal liver are the industry-preferred COVID-19 vaccine and therapeutic test models.
For more information on other COVID vaccine and therapeutic test mice models humanized with aborted baby organs or humanized with hormones/antibodies derived from human fetal tissue, read here.