Roslin Institute (birthplace of Dolly the Sheep) genetically modified chickens to resist bird flu

the lab that created it dolly the sheephe Roslin Institute, University of Edinburghmakes a new discovery that could change the course of Spread and spread of viruses Avian Influenza.

A team of scientists at the animal research center have discovered that they can avian influenza infection and do not transmit it, Change the part of DNA responsible for producing the ANP32A proteinresponsible for infection chicken avian influenza.For this purpose they are used Gene editing technology changes parts of chicken DNA This can limit the spread of avian influenza viruses among animals.

In this way, the researchers were able to limit, but not completely prevent, the virus from infecting chickens by changing a small part of the DNA. Furthermore, there is no indication that the changes in the birds’ DNA have any impact on their health or well-being. The findings were published in Nature Communicationsis an encouraging step toward controlling this infection, but experts stress that More genetic modification is needed Produce chicken flocks that are immune to avian influenza, one of the world’s costliest animal diseases.

To achieve this discovery, Scientists from the Roslin Institute, Imperial College London and the Pirbright Institute Gene-editing technology was used to alter chickens raised with the ANP32A protein because during infection, the influenza virus hijacks the molecule to aid replication. When chickens gene-edited with ANP32A were exposed to normal doses of the H9N2-UDL avian influenza strain, nine out of 10 chickens did not become infected or spread to other chickens.

The team then exposed the gene-edited birds to artificially high doses of avian influenza viruses to further test their resistance. When exposed to high doses, half of the birds (5 out of 10 birds) became infected.But, that gene editing Infected gene-edited chickens were afforded some protection, with levels of infection well below those typically observed during infection in non-gene-edited chickens.

On the other hand, gene editing can also help Limit the spread of the virus One of the four non-GMO chickens placed in the same incubator did not transmit the disease to the GMO chicken. Therefore, the scientists found that in birds with edited ANP32A genes, the virus has adapted to obtain support from two related proteins, ANP32B and ANP32E, to replicate.

So, after laboratory testing, the scientists found that some mutations enabled the virus to use the human version of ANP32, but its replication rate in human respiratory cell cultures was still low.

“Gene editing offers a promising route to achieving permanent disease resistance that can be passed on from generation to generation, protecting poultry and reducing risks to humans and wild birds. Our work shows that stopping avian influenza in chickens Multiple simultaneous gene edits are required for the spread of changes in Roslin Institute professor Mike McGrew said.

So, in this sense, the team says the findings suggest that a single version of the ANP32A gene is not powerful enough to be used in chicken production. To prevent the emergence of escape viruses—those that have adapted to evade gene editing and cause infection—the team next targeted other parts of the DNA responsible for producing three proteins: ANP32A, ANP32B, and ANP32E. In the laboratory. therefore, The next step will be to try to breed chickens with modifications to these three genesbirds have not yet been produced.

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