Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Transgenic Cows Resist Mastitis-Causing Bacteria

Date:
April 25, 2005
Source:
USDA/Agricultural Research Service
Summary:
U.S. Department of Agriculture researchers have used gene-transfer technologies to produce dairy cows that resist a widespread bacterial infection called mastitis. Currently, vaccines, antibiotics and a cow's own immune system cannot effectively fight the bacterium Staphylococcus aureus, a major cause of mastitis.

A natural protein produced in the milk of GEM and other transgenic cows kills the bacteria that cause mastitis.
Credit: Photo by Stephen Ausmus

WASHINGTON, April 4 -- U.S. Department of Agriculture researchers have used gene-transfer technologies to produce dairy cows that resist a widespread bacterial infection called mastitis.

"This research is an important first step in understanding how genes can be used to protect animals from disease," said Edward B. Knipling, administrator of USDA's Agricultural Research Service (ARS).

This scientific discovery, published in the current edition of Nature Biotechnology, demonstrates the potential of biotechnology for developing cattle with resistance to mastitis. Currently, vaccines, antibiotics and a cow's own immune system cannot effectively fight the bacterium Staphylococcus aureus, a major cause of mastitis.

A scientific team led by Robert J. Wall, an animal physiologist with the ARS Biotechnology and Germplasm Laboratory in Beltsville, Md., built a transgene--genetic material produced using recombinant DNA technology--that includes the genetic code for producing a naturally occurring, antimicrobial protein called lysostaphin.

While all milk contains several naturally occurring antimicrobial proteins, such as lysozyme and lactoferrin, none of the milk produced by the three cows in this research effort will be consumed. Use of milk containing lysostaphin would require federal regulatory approval after rigorous food safety testing. This effort is at the early stages of research and development.

The research shows that the gene for secreting lysostaphin comes from a non-pathogenic species of Staphylococcus that uses the protein to repel its cousin, S. aureus. The scientists introduced this transgene into Jersey cows. The lysostaphin is secreted into milk, where it kills S. aureus, thus protecting cows from becoming infected.

"The three genetically engineered cows that have been tested so far are expressing lysostaphin in their milk and are resistant to S. aureus intramammary infection," said Wall. All three transgenic cows showed little or no sign of infection after repeated exposures to S. aureus--and one, named GEM, never became infected, indicating complete protection."

Overall, the researchers found that in tests, 71 percent of the mammary glands that were exposed to S. aureus from nontransgenic animals became infected--compared to only 14 percent for the transgenic animals.

Future studies will include developing similar defenses against other pathogens that affect dairy cattle, as well as gauging the milk's ability to effectively produce common dairy products, such as cheese and yogurt.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by USDA/Agricultural Research Service. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

USDA/Agricultural Research Service. "Transgenic Cows Resist Mastitis-Causing Bacteria." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 April 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/04/050421234556.htm>.
USDA/Agricultural Research Service. (2005, April 25). Transgenic Cows Resist Mastitis-Causing Bacteria. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/04/050421234556.htm
USDA/Agricultural Research Service. "Transgenic Cows Resist Mastitis-Causing Bacteria." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/04/050421234556.htm (accessed July 29, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

AP (July 28, 2014) West African nations and international health organizations are working to contain the largest Ebola outbreak in history. It's one of the deadliest diseases known to man, but the CDC says it's unlikely to spread in the U.S. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

AP (July 28, 2014) Classes are being offered nationwide to encourage African Americans to learn about cooking fresh foods based on traditional African cuisine. The program is trying to combat obesity, heart disease and other ailments often linked to diet. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Asteroid's Timing Was 'Colossal Bad Luck' For The Dinosaurs

Asteroid's Timing Was 'Colossal Bad Luck' For The Dinosaurs

Newsy (July 28, 2014) The asteroid that killed the dinosaurs struck at the worst time for them. A new study says that if it hit earlier or later, they might've survived. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge from Nest

Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge from Nest

AP (July 27, 2014) A live-streaming webcam catches loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings emerging from a nest in the Florida Keys. (July 27) Video provided by AP
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