Get my goat

 
By A Asha
Published: Monday 30 April 2001

Goat milk may become the source of malaria vaccines in coming times. Researchers have made genetic modifications in mice to alter the character of the milk they produce. This milk has been successfully used to vaccinate monkeys from the attack of the Plasmodium falciparum malaria. The scietist beileive the same can be done with goat milk to create a vaccine for humans. A gene coding for a protein present on the merozite stage of parasite plasmodium, called Merozite Surface Protein or msp 1, was synthetically prepared and injected into single cell mouse embryos. The female offspring, which showed the transgenic modification secreted MSP1 into their milk. The protein was purified from the milk, emulsified and then used to vaccinate monkeys Aotus nancymai . When exposed to Plasmodium falciparum , the monkeys were immunised to malaria and the level of protection was similar to that brought about by other vaccines.

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