Researchers from University of California Davis have reported in PLOS ONE the development of transgenic goats that produce lysozyme, an antimicrobial normally found in human breast milk. The idea is to use the milk to prevent or alleviate the effects of gastrointestinal infections.
The team then setup an experiment where two groups of pigs infected with E. coli were fed from the new, and from the boring old goat’s milk. The results showed that pigs who drank milk from the new transgenic goats did much better in recovering from the infection. Specifically, the pigs fed the new milk recovered faster “with significantly improved fecal consistency (p = 0.0190) and activity level (p = 0.0350).”
More from PLOS ONE:
The CBC analysis showed circulating monocytes (p = 0.0413), neutrophils (p = 0.0219), and lymphocytes (p = 0.0222) returned faster to pre-infection proportions in hLZ-milk fed pigs, while control-fed pigs had significantly higher hematocrit (p = 0.027), indicating continuing dehydration. In the ileum, pigs fed hLZ-milk had significantly lower expression of pro-inflammatory cytokine IL-8 (p = 0.0271), longer intestinal villi (p<0.0001), deeper crypts (p = 0.0053), and a thinner lamina propria (p = 0.0004). These data demonstrate that consumption of hLZ-milk helped pigs recover from infection faster, making hLZ-milk an effective treatment of E. coli-induced diarrhea.
Open access article in PLOS ONE: Consuming Transgenic Goats’ Milk Containing the Antimicrobial Protein Lysozyme Helps Resolve Diarrhea in Young Pigs