Monday, December 14, 2015

Disease Resistant Pigs

Scientists and researchers from the University of Missouri, Kansas State University, and Genus plc have recently found a way to breed pigs in which they are resistant to Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome. This disease, also known as PRRS, is an incurable disease that affects pigs where they cannot gain weight and have a difficult time reproducing which usually ends up with death. 

Up until recently, no one knew how to stop the PRRS virus from affecting pigs and how the virus first enters the affected pigs' bodies. The protein CD163 helps spread the PRRS virus inside the pigs, and these researchers have found a way to edit the gene that makes this protein so they can breed pigs that do not produce it. By not producing this protein, the virus will not spread and when exposed to the virus, the pigs are not affected.

Although all of this research is not done, finding a way in which to breed pigs that are resistant to this disease is a huge step forward in finding out other ways in stopping other harmful viruses in not just pigs, but humans also. It is also helping North American farmers save millions of dollars per year by not having pigs that have this disease that eventually die. This article was certainly interesting and by learning how viruses come into the body and how they are affected by certain proteins can help in the future in preventing and controlling diseases.


  1. It is amazing the research that is being put into our food sources, however I wonder how will having these disease resistant pigs affect the population and environment they live in.

  2. This is a pretty cool discovery. Especially with the demand with our ever growing population, the more food the better.

  3. This article was fascinating in demonstrating how researchers are pinpointing proteins that account for the spread of viruses. With the identification of particular proteins researchers have a better shot at eliminating pathogenic organisms, such as pigs. Which are consumed by the millions every year in the United States.

  4. This is amazing because it helps farming and possibly the medical field. It is outstanding all the research in genetics that is leading towards no diseases, disorders, and even extended life.