Gene-Edited Pigs Resist Classical Swine Fever Virus

Transgenic (TG) pigs exhibit antiviral responses during CSFV infection. ( Xie Z., ET AL. )

Image: Transgenic (TG) pigs exhibit antiviral responses during CSFV infection. Histopathological changes in the non-transgenic (NTG) pigs were confirmed by HE staining. These histopathological changes included a decrease in splenic white pulp and hyperaemia; an expansion of splenic red pulp; acidophilic change and accumulation of lipid droplets in hepatocytes; infiltration of inflammatory cells in the portal area of the liver; alveolar effusion, bleeding and infiltration of a large number of inflammatory cells in the lungs; and unclear renal tubular epithelial cell boundaries; and cell cavitation in the kidneys.

 

Genomic editing technology increasingly shows potential for improving disease resistance within livestock populations, as researchers in China report success introducing resistance to the classical swine fever virus (CSFV) in pigs.

In the research report published in the in the open-access journal PLOS Pathogens by Hongsheng Ouyang of Jilin University and colleagues, the authors say the genome-edited pigs offer potential benefits over commercial vaccination and could reduce economic losses related to CSFV.

In their research, the scientists demonstrated that these pigs could effectively limit the replication of CSFV and reduce CSFV-associated clinical signs and mortality. Also, following genome editing, disease resistance could be stably transmitted to first-generation offspring. "These tansgenic pigs could effectively limit the replication of CSFV and reduce CSFV-associated clinical signs and mortality," Ouyang says.

The research team continues to conduct long-term studies to monitor the safety and effectiveness of this approach as the animals age. The researchers believe that using the genome-editing approach could provide a direct and effective approach to for permanent introduction of novel disease resistance traits into the mass population of production pigs via conventional breeding techniques.

Previous research has demonstrated success in using genome editing to introduce resistance to porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) in pigs and bovine tuberculosis in cattle.

Read more about genomic-editing for disease resistance in these articles on BovineVetOnline:

Gene Editing for TB Resistance

Gene Editing: Potential and Perceptions

Gene-edited pigs protected from PRRS

Editing for Health and Fitness

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