Scheerlinck, J. P. Y., Snibson, K. J., Bowles, V. M. et al. 2008. Biomedical applications of sheep models: from asthma to vaccines. Trends in Biotechnology 26, 259-266.
Although rodent models are very popular for scientific studies, it is becoming more evident that large animal models can provide unique opportunities for biomedical research. Sheep are docile in nature and large in size, which facilitates surgical manipulation, and their physiology is similar to humans. As a result, for decades they have been chosen for several models and continue to be used to study an ever-increasing array of applications. Despite this, their full potential has not been exploited. Here, we review the use of sheep as an animal model for human vaccine development, asthma pathogenesis and treatment, the study of neonatal development, and the optimization of drug delivery and surgical techniques.