The scientists are focusing on a genetic approach to prepare the pigs for challenging the diseases. This message comes ahead from the desk of International Pig Veterinary Society Congress (IPVS). The IPVS Congress was concluded from June 11, 2018, to June 14, 2018, in Chongqing, China.

The congress included a presentation on both the PRRS viruses and a well-known bacteria called Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae. Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae is responsible for causing respiratory disorders in pigs. PRRS stands for Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome. If we look a couple of decades back, the genetic techniques are becoming more sophisticated. Now we have strategies to breed a larger population of resistant pigs.

PRRS Genomic Editing:

The IPVS Congress was integrated with the International PRRS Symposium of the year 2018. The integration focused on a lot of presentations to eradicate the PRRS. Christine Burkard contributed towards the context of genetic editing. Christine’s contribution focused on the different levels of pig reactions against a particular pathogen. The mixed reaction levels ranged from susceptibility to resistance. Christine Burkard hails from Roslin Institute and Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, University of Edinburgh, UK. Focusing more on the porcine genome, Christine touched on the conceptual clarification of CD163 gene. The CD163 gene is associated with PRRS resistance. She conveys, “CD163 has been described as a fusion receptor for PRRSv.”

The research team led by Dr Burkard focused more on the editing process of the CD163 gene. However, they precisely looked after the biological functionality of the CD163 gene remains intact. The research team succeeded in retaining the biological functionality of the gene by removing its domain 5 (SRCR5). The team infers that the in vitro analysis, resistance to both PRRSv-1 and PRRSv-2 were illustrated. However, the in vivo analysis shows the resistance in PRRSv-1 and PRRSv-2.

Christine concludes, “This research shows that genome editing opens new opportunities for next-generation breeding for virus-resistance in livestock and eradication of the disease.”