Farm Ireland
Independent.ie

Tuesday 24 October 2017

Huge science breakthrough as Chinese claim they've developed TB-resistant cattle

FarmIreland Team

FarmIreland Team

Researchers in China claim they have produced cattle which have an increased resistance to TB.

Bovine Tuberculosis is a chronic, highly infectious disease of cattle caused by Mycobacterium bovis. The bacterium can cause disease in other domestic or wild animals and also in humans.

Bovine TB is a huge concern in many countries including Ireland where the government spends millions annually to eradicate the disease.

The Chinese scientists used a genome editing tool to change the genetic code of cattle. They say the technology could have widespread uses in agriculture.

A team from the College of Veterinary Medicine, Northwest A&F University in Shaanxi, China, altered a gene involved in fighting infection.

The latest research was published in the journal, Genome Biology, where the researchers say the “resulting transgenic cattle exhibited increased resistance to M. bovis (bovine TB) infection."

"Our study provides an avenue to develop the CRISPR/Cas9 system for agricultural applications," the scientists said.

The researchers also say that several applications of this tool have been proposed in model animals but remain insufficient for transgenic livestock production.

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