Iowa State University researchers have identified pigs that have a severely impaired immune system that could serve as important biomedical model for the study of immune system and other diseases in humans.
Severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) is a genetic defect that causes newborn animals to lack T or B cells in circulation and to have few or no lymphocytes in their primary or secondary lymphoid tissues. ISU researchers and their colleagues at Kansas State University have recently identified a SCID-like syndrome in a line of pigs originally bred for traits related to feed efficiency. Because of the closer physiological resemblance between humans and pigs, these animals may have utility as a biomedical model for SCID and immunodeficiency diseases in humans that is more suitable than the current mouse models. In addition, the anatomical and physiological similarities between humans and pigs would make these SCID pigs a superior biomedical model for research into cell and tissue transplantation, cancer research and efficacy of chemotherapeutics, as well as for testing new vaccines.
Tuesday March 6, 2012/ Iowa State University/ United Satates.