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Scientists made pigs resistant to most devastating disease

Staff writer |
Decades of work at Kansas State University and the University of Missouri along with Genus has led to the development of pigs resistant to the most devastating disease in the swine industry.

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The disease, caused by the porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome, or PRRS virus, has cost the U.S. pork industry more than $10 billion since it first appeared in the late 1980s.

The discovery of PRRS-resistant pigs could significantly improve animal well-being and save hundreds of millions of dollars each year, according to a KSU professor.

The resistant pigs lacked the CD 163 protein and showed no signs or evidence of being infected with the PRRS virus. The pigs will need to undergo further testing and evaluation before they become available.

The research has been supported by Genus plc, a global agricultural biotechnology company, and Food for the 21st Century at the University of Missouri.

Genus will continue to develop the technology and expects it will be at least five years until PRRS-resistant animals are available to farmers.

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