Tuesday, November 14, 2023

Gene Editing Can Make Chickens Resistant to Bird Flu

    For decades genetic modification has been occurring, and just recently have we found a way to soon stop the spread of disease on farms. This issue comes after the recent outbreak which affected the poultry industry when millions of chickens had to be put down or were killed due to the illness. 

    However, just recently after making some adjustments to a singular gene it was discovered that chickens became resistant to an avian influenza infection. With this knowledge, genetic modification could help in stopping viruses from replicating inside animals and stop them from transmitting different diseases and flus to other animals and people.

    The two images to the right show the injection of vaccines into chickens. Yes, vaccines have been created to help defend against the flu, but we are faced with many issues when it comes to using them. The vaccine is very costly, and the flu/virus is able to adapt so that it can elude the protection the vaccine offers. Therefore, genetic modification would be the best way to fix this issue considering that gene editing has permanent results.


    A gene called ANP32A directs chicken cells what they need to do in order to make a protein which the flu viruses rely on so that they can take over those cells. After doing a study with chicken cells grown in a lab it was found that when you eliminate the three ANP32 genes from the chicken cells the virus stopped replicating completely. More testing is being done for other genes due to the fact that could cause problems with chicken developments.

Main Source: 

Gene editing can make chickens resistant to bird flu (sciencenews.org)

Extra Links:

Using gene editing to fight deadly genetic diseases | News | Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

1 comment:

  1. Bird flu is very dangerous in the poultry industry so finding a way to be preventive will be very effective. Knowing that gene editing has gotten this advanced in being able to help prevent disease makes me curious for what they will accomplish in the future.