Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: EVALUATION OF GENETICALLY ENGINEERED CATTLE AND REFINING TECHNIQUES FOR PRODUCING THEM Title: Genetic engineering for enhancing animal well-being

item Wall, Robert

Submitted to: Biotechnology International Symposium Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: November 14, 2008
Publication Date: November 27, 2008
Citation: Wall, R.J. 2008. Genetic engineering for enhancing animal well-being. Biotechnology International Symposium Proceedings, p. 12-15, University of Santiago de Compostela, Spain.

Interpretive Summary: Mastitis is the most consequential disease in dairy cattle in intensively managed herds throughout the world. It costs the US dairy industry upwards of two billion dollars annually and demands similar expenditures in the EU. Because mastitis resistance is poorly heritable and because few treatments are efficacious, this disease is an ideal candidate to be targeted by a genetic engineering approach. To that end we have produced cattle carrying a transgene encoding lysostaphin, a stapholytic enzyme, expressed exclusively in lactating mammary glands. Cows varied in levels of expression of lysostaphin from less than 1 ug/ml to over 10 ug/ml of milk. Cows whose mammary glands were infused with Staphylococcus aureus were completely protected from infection if they produced lysostaphin a concentration of at least 3 ug/ml in their milk. Cheese produced from the transgenic cows as also protected from S. aureus colonization. This is the first demonstration of the use of genetic engineering to protect a livestock animal from an economically important disease.

Technical Abstract: N/A

Last Modified: 8/1/2015
Footer Content Back to Top of Page