December 27, 2018
China university team develops gene-modified pigs that could resist swine fever
These animals could cut down economic losses caused by the disease, in addition to having better advantages over commercial vaccination, said Hongsheng Ouyang and his team, whose study was published in the open-access journal PLOS Pathogens.
The team used the CRISPR/Cas9 gene-editing tool with RNA interference (RNAi) to develop pigs that are able to resist CSFV. Through the experiment, researchers are able show that the pigs could hinder the CSFV replication and mitigate associated clinical signs and mortality. The pigs' resistance could even be inherited safely by their first generation offspring.
The Chinese team will continue to monitor the safety and effectiveness of the gene-editing technique as the animals age. According to the researchers, pigs that are able to resist CSFV through gene editing could help pave the way for novel disease resistance to be permanently introduced into pig populations at large through conventional breeding techniques.
The team's technique could also be used for other local species, as well as providing insights for future antiviral research.
- NZ Herlad