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Rev Sci Tech. 2005 Apr;24(1):275-83.

Disease-resistant genetically modified animals.

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Roslin Institute, Department of Gene Function and Development, Roslin, Midlothian, EH25 9PS, Scotland, United Kingdom.


Infectious disease adversely affects livestock production and animal welfare, and has impacts upon both human health and public perception of livestock production. The authors argue that the combination of new methodology that enables the efficient production of genetically-modified (GM) animals with exciting new tools to alter gene activity makes the applications of transgenic animals for the benefit of animal (and human health) increasingly likely. This is illustrated through descriptions of specific examples. This technology is likely to have specific application where genetic variation does not exist in a given population or species and where novel genetic improvements can be engineered. These engineered animals would provide valuable models with which to investigate disease progression and evaluate this approach to controlling the disease. The authors propose that the use of GM animals will complement the more traditional tactics to combat disease, and will provide novel intervention strategies that are not possible through the established approaches.

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