Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Goats' milk with antimicrobial lysozyme speeds recovery from diarrhea

Date:
March 13, 2013
Source:
University of California - Davis
Summary:
Milk from goats that were genetically modified to produce higher levels of lysozyme, a human antimicrobial protein, has proved effective in treating diarrhea in young pigs and may one day be used to help prevent human diarrheal diseases that each year claim the lives of 1.8 million children around the world.

James (Jim) Murray, UC Davis professor of animal science and vet med population health and reproduction, photographed at the Dairy Goat Research Facility on campus.
Credit: Joe Proudman / UC Davis

Milk from goats that were genetically modified to produce higher levels of a human antimicrobial protein has proved effective in treating diarrhea in young pigs, demonstrating the potential for food products from transgenic animals to one day also benefit human health, report researchers at the University of California, Davis.

The study is the first on record to show that goats' milk carrying elevated levels of the antimicrobial lysozyme, a protein found in human breast milk, can successfully treat diarrhea caused by bacterial infection in the gastrointestinal tract.

The findings, slated to appear March 13 in the online scientific journal PLOS ONE, offer hope that such milk may eventually help prevent human diarrheal diseases that each year claim the lives of 1.8 million children around the world and impair the physical and mental development of millions more.

"Many developing parts of the world rely on livestock as a main source of food," said James Murray, a UC Davis animal science professor and lead researcher on the study. "These results provide just one example that, through genetic engineering, we can provide agriculturally relevant animals with novel traits targeted at solving some of the health-related problems facing these developing communities."

In this study, Murray and colleagues fed young pigs milk from goats that were genetically modified to produce in their milk higher levels of lysozyme, a protein that naturally occurs in the tears, saliva and milk of all mammals.

Although lysozyme is produced at very high levels in human breast milk, the milk of goats and cows contains very little lysozyme, prompting the effort to boost lysozyme levels in the milk of those animals using genetic modification.

Because lysozyme limits the growth of some bacteria that cause intestinal infections and diarrhea and also encourages the growth of other beneficial intestinal bacteria, it is considered to be one of the main components of human milk that contribute to the health and well-being of breast-fed infants.

Pigs were chosen for this study as a research model because their gastrointestinal physiology is quite similar to humans, and because pigs already produce a moderate amount of lysozyme in their milk.

Half of the pigs in the study were fed pasteurized milk that came from the transgenic goats and carried greater amounts of lysozyme -- 68 percent of the level found in human breast milk. The other half of the pigs were fed pasteurized milk that came from nontransgenic goats and thus contained very little lysozyme.

The study found that, although both groups of pigs recovered from the infection and resulting diarrhea, the young pigs fed the lysozyme-rich milk recovered much more quickly than did the young pigs that received goats' milk without enhanced levels of lysozyme. Overall, the pigs fed the lysozyme milk were less dehydrated, had less intestinal inflammation, suffered less damage to the inner intestines and regained their energy more quickly than did the pigs in the control group. And, the researchers detected no adverse affects associated with the lysozyme-rich milk.

The lysozyme-enhanced milk used in this study came from a transgenic line of dairy goats developed in 1999 by Murray, co-author Elizabeth Maga and their colleagues to carry the gene for producing human lysozyme in their milk.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of California - Davis. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Caitlin A. Cooper, Lydia C. Garas Klobas, Elizabeth A. Maga, James D. Murray. Consuming Transgenic Goats' Milk Containing the Antimicrobial Protein Lysozyme Helps Resolve Diarrhea in Young Pigs. PLoS ONE, 2013; 8 (3): e58409 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0058409

Cite This Page:

University of California - Davis. "Goats' milk with antimicrobial lysozyme speeds recovery from diarrhea." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 March 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130313182140.htm>.
University of California - Davis. (2013, March 13). Goats' milk with antimicrobial lysozyme speeds recovery from diarrhea. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130313182140.htm
University of California - Davis. "Goats' milk with antimicrobial lysozyme speeds recovery from diarrhea." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130313182140.htm (accessed September 23, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Costs Keep Mounting

Ebola Costs Keep Mounting

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 23, 2014) The WHO has warned up to 20,000 people could be infected with Ebola over the next few weeks. As Sonia Legg reports, the implications for the West African countries suffering from the disease are huge. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Cases Could Reach 1.4 Million Within 4 Months

Ebola Cases Could Reach 1.4 Million Within 4 Months

Newsy (Sep. 23, 2014) Health officials warn that without further intervention, the number of Ebola cases in Liberia and Sierra Leone could reach 1.4 million by January. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Ebola Cases to Triple in Weeks Without Drastic Action

WHO: Ebola Cases to Triple in Weeks Without Drastic Action

AFP (Sep. 23, 2014) The number of Ebola infections will triple to 20,000 by November, soaring by thousands every week if efforts to stop the outbreak are not stepped up radically, the WHO warned in a study on Tuesday. Duration: 01:01 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
5 Ways Men Can Prevent Most Heart Attacks

5 Ways Men Can Prevent Most Heart Attacks

Newsy (Sep. 23, 2014) No surprise here: A recent study says men can reduce their risk of heart attack by maintaining a healthy lifestyle, which includes daily exercise. Video provided by Newsy
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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