Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Genetic Engineering Offers Painless "Shots" For Cattle

Date:
October 1, 1997
Source:
Kansas State University
Summary:
For Kansas cattle, getting vaccinated may become as simple as eating fodder. Researchers at Kansas State University are developing a vaccine for calf enteric disease that will not be delivered as a shot. It will instead immunize cattle through the alfalfa they eat.

MANHATTAN -- For Kansas cattle, getting vaccinated may become as simpleas eating fodder. Researchers at Kansas State University are developing avaccine for calf enteric disease that will not be delivered as a shot. Itwill instead immunize cattle through the alfalfa they eat.

Sanjay Kapil, assistant professor of diagnostic medicine, heads theeffort to genetically express proteins for the bovine corona and bovinerota viruses in plants. With traditional vaccinations, farmers directlyinject cattle with non-infective virus protein. This produces antibodiesthat help fight disease. However, Kapil explains that this process is ahassle for ranchers.

"If you inject too much of the virus, the cattle will get sick. But bydelivering vaccines with plants, the cattle will never get sick." This isbecause the plant vaccines do not have concentrations of infectiousvirus. Anyone who has struggled with capturing and injecting a calf witha needle will recognize the convenience the new vaccines will provide.

Researchers must first insert the genes of the virus into the plantchromosomes so that it will become a permanent part of the plant'sgenetic code. The ultimate goal is expressing the new vaccination gene insuccessive generations of plants, which can then be fed to animals.

Kapil explains that smaller trials represent the first step in theoverall process. "Before we go into large scale animal trials, we need todo it in a lab system. So we chose tobacco plants and the mouse, whichare easier to work with in the lab." The team has successfully integratedthe vaccine in tobacco plants and fed those plants to mice. Now, they aresimply waiting for the results.

Though the Kansas State team moved first in bovine vaccinations,researchers had already begun expressing vaccination genes in plants forhuman consumption. Knowing the results of their trials, Kapil expects thesame positive results for cattle. The next step will be actual fieldtrials, taking vaccines into fodder crops, like alfalfa, and giving it tocattle. Field trials could be as little as five years away.

Plant vaccines will help Kansas farmers and ranchers, but thesignificance of this research stretches far beyond its cattle ranches.Enteric diseases like corona and rota cost more than $3 billionworldwide, infecting and killing young cattle with diarrhea. Ranchers inthe United States lose $250 million annually to the viruses.

Kapil expects this research to help many related projects.

"We have crossed the boundaries of just the animal group." He explainsthat a similar rota virus invades human babies, as well as cattle,leading to infection in 750 million children each year. If the bovinevaccination proves effective, a similar technique may be developed forchildren.

Because of this exciting potential, the K-State team is applying for apatent. While similar procedures have been patented, Kapil feels this histeam's genetic engineering is unique. "Every system is different: whichgene to go after, how to deliver it, which crop, how to deliver it in thecrop. We're very lucky. The initial results are very promising."

Kapil says his team's research is "a storybook of daydreams." For cattleand farmer alike, gene vaccines would be a dream come true.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Kansas State University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Kansas State University. "Genetic Engineering Offers Painless "Shots" For Cattle." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 October 1997. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1997/10/971001034623.htm>.
Kansas State University. (1997, October 1). Genetic Engineering Offers Painless "Shots" For Cattle. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1997/10/971001034623.htm
Kansas State University. "Genetic Engineering Offers Painless "Shots" For Cattle." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1997/10/971001034623.htm (accessed July 24, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Newsy (July 24, 2014) Sheik Umar Khan has treated many of the people infected in the Ebola outbreak, and now he's become one of them. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Condemned Man's US Execution Takes Nearly Two Hours

Condemned Man's US Execution Takes Nearly Two Hours

AFP (July 24, 2014) America's death penalty debate raged Thursday after it took nearly two hours for Arizona to execute a prisoner who lost a Supreme Court battle challenging the experimental lethal drug cocktail. Duration: 00:55 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
China's Ageing Millions Look Forward to Bleak Future

China's Ageing Millions Look Forward to Bleak Future

AFP (July 24, 2014) China's elderly population is expanding so quickly that children struggle to look after them, pushing them to do something unexpected in Chinese society- move their parents into a nursing home. Duration: 02:07 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins