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SCIENCE & ANIMALS: Genetically modified goat milk can benefit children afflicted with bacterial diarrhea



                                  PART 1


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TITLE:   GENETICALLY MODIFIED GOAT MILK CAN BENEFIT CHILDREN AFFLICTED WITH BACTERIAL DIARRHEA

SOURCE:  Medical Daily, USA

AUTHOR:  Ashik Siddique

URL:     http://www.medicaldaily.com/articles/14246/20130314/genetically-modified-goat-milk-benefit-digestion-diarrhea.htm

DATE:    14.03.2013

SUMMARY: "Genetically modified goat milk containing higher levels of a human antimicrobial protein was effective in treating iarrhea in young pigs- a finding that displays a potential benefit of genetically modified organisms in promoting human digestive health. [...] ?Many developing parts of the world rely on livestock as a main source of food,? said James Murray of the University of California, Davis, the lead researcher on the study, in a statement. [...] ?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.?"

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GENETICALLY MODIFIED GOAT MILK CAN BENEFIT CHILDREN AFFLICTED WITH BACTERIAL DIARRHEA

Genetically modified goat milk containing higher levels of a human antimicrobial protein was effective in treating iarrhea in young pigs- a finding that displays a potential benefit of genetically modified organisms in promoting human digestive health.

This was the first published study to show that goat milk with elevated levels of lysozyme, an antimicrobial protein found in human milk, can fight bacterial infections in the gut.

Every year, 1.8 million children around the world die of diarrheal diseases, caused mainly by the bacteria E. coli. Millions more who survive are still left with physical and mental impairments. Though genetically modified organisms are still controversial, this study highlights their life-saving potential in the treatment of diarrhea.

?Many developing parts of the world rely on livestock as a main source of food,? said James Murray of the University of California, Davis, the lead researcher on the study, in a statement.

The study was published in the journal PLOS One on March 13.

?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.?

Lysozyme is key to the digestive health of breast-fed human infants, since it is a probiotic protein that promotes the growth of beneficial gut bacteria and inhibits the growth of bacteria that cause diarrhea and intestinal disease.

The protein occurs in the tears, saliva, and milk of all mammals to different extents, but is produced in exceptionally high levels in human breast milk. Ruminant animals like goats and cows produce very little lysozyme, which make unmodified goat and cow milk poor substitutes for human breast milk.

Murray and his team genetically modified goats so their milk would contain higher levels of lysozyme, in an effort to see if the modified milk would have similar diarrhea-fighting properties.

Pigs have similar digestive systems as humans and already produce lysozyme in their milk, which made them ideal research subjects in lieu of humans.

Half of the pigs in the study were given the genetically modified goat milk with higher lysozyme levels, while the other half was given milk from nontransgenic goats that had low lysozyme levels.

The results shows that the pigs fed the genetically modified goat milk recovered much more quickly from diarrheal infections than the other pigs, and that they were less dehydrated, had less gut inflammation and intestinal damage, and regained their energy much faster after recovering from their bacterial illness. The researchers found no negative side affects from the genetically modified goat milk.

Research suggests that goat milk is more easily digested by people who do not tolerate cow milk, since its proteins are shaped differently, and that it can help fight anemia and promote bone health.

Murray hopes that the genetically modified goat milk?s benefits for the pigs used in this study can apply to human children suffering from bacterial diarrhea as well, though it will likely take years before the transgenic milk can be studied sufficiently and approved as safe for human consumption.



                                  PART 2

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TITLE:   GOATS? MILK WITH ANTIMICROBIAL LYSOZYME SPEEDS RECOVERY FROM DIARRHEA

SOURCE:  University of California - Davis, USA

AUTHOR:  Press Release

URL:     http://news.ucdavis.edu/search/news_detail.lasso?id=10528

DATE:    13.03.2013

SUMMARY: "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."

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GOATS? MILK WITH ANTIMICROBIAL LYSOZYME SPEEDS RECOVERY FROM DIARRHEA

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 and veterinary medicine 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 effects 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.

Other researchers on this study are: Caitlin Cooper, Lydia Garas Klobas and Elizabeth Maga, all of the UC Davis Department of Animal Science.

Funding for the study was provided by the UC Davis College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and the UC Agricultural Experiment Station.

Online press kit, including downloadable high-resolution pictures and a video of James Murray and transgenic goats.

http://photos.ucdavis.edu/albums.php?albumId=225806

About UC Davis

For more than 100 years, UC Davis has engaged in teaching, research and public service that matter to California and transform the world. Located close to the state capital, UC Davis has more than 33,000 students, more than 2,500 faculty and more than 21,000 staff, an annual research budget of nearly $750 million, a comprehensive health system and 13 specialized research centers. The university offers interdisciplinary graduate study and more than 100 undergraduate majors in four colleges ? Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Biological Sciences, Engineering, and Letters and Science. It also houses six professional schools ? Education, Law, Management, Medicine, Veterinary Medicine and the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing.