Malaria vaccine in A&M goats’ milk could save lives – Houston ChroniclePosted: March 5, 2012
The vaccine currently is in a form that must be isolated, purified and injected, researchers said. A&M will send No. 21’s milk to GTC Biotherapeutics for continued testing and trials.
The Massachusetts-based firm originally developed the transgenic malaria vaccine, which proved effective in mice, said William Gavin, GTC vice president of farm operations and chief veterinarian.
The word “transgenic” means “transferring or having genes from another species.” To create the malaria vaccine, DNA coding for the malaria parasite is introduced into the goat genome linked to milk production. The new DNA switches on in the mammary gland only when the animal produces milk, according to GTC.
Although the vaccine was developed 10 years ago, research was put aside when funding was lost. It resumed when Reproductive Science Lab scientists working with the A&M College of Veterinary Medicine and Texas Agrilife Research began a partnership with GTC in 2010. A&M hopes to find new funding.