Chicken research: A new deadly viral strain, and a new weapon against cancer.

Two recent articles on chickens report some amazing and unexpected results. First, in a study published online on July 10 in Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (PNAS) scientists report on an antibacterial substance found in chickens (as well as in humans and swine) with previously unknown anti-cancer activity. Then, a second study, published online on July 13 in the journal Science, found that recombination between two viral strains, used in vaccines designed to prevent a type of herpes virus, has resulted in a new and deadly disease.
The PNAS report, led by researchers from Texas A&M University, USA together with researchers from Seoul National University, South Korea, have isolated the gene coding for NK-Lysin, a small protein that can be found in a variety of tissues in White Leghorn and Cornish chickens. NK-Lysin is a member of the so-called Anti-Microbial Peptides or AMP, which have an important role defending animals against pathogens. By isolating the DNA sequences that code for NK-Lysin they were able to identify 2 variations from the "normal" sequence, which were found to inhibit the growth of bacteria and cancer cells at extremely low concentrations. The two NK-Lysin variants differed both in their potencies and targets, one being more effective against microbes, whereas the other excelled against cancer cells. Future work with these variants will attempt to identify them in other species, such as cattle. It is known that inherited variations of AMPs can affect susceptibility to disease, and future research will seek to determine whether the variations found in the NK-Lysin gene are linked to the observed differences in resistance to either bacterial infection or cancer.
The Science article reports on research from the University of Melbourne, Australia, suggesting that two viral strains found in vaccines intended to prevent a deadly type of Chicken herpesvirus known as ILTV, have recombined to form a new and deadly strain of the virus. One vaccine, commonly found on the Australian market for prevention of ILTV, contained viral particles weakened by mutations in their DNA sequence. The virus retained the ability to multiply, but was no longer able to cause disease. In 2006, Australia purchased a new European vaccine and two years later, new and deadly strains of ITLV were isolated, which dominated previous strains. DNA sequencing of the new isolates revealed that the new viruses were a patchwork of European and Australian vaccines. The hypothesis is that recombination between the two viruses led to the "overwriting" of the mutations responsible for rendering the viruses innocuous.
Articles DOIs:

Write a comment ...
Post comment

Olympiaturm Turns 50

Munich's Olympic Tower was  opened exactly 50 years ago - on February 22nd 1968 - for the first time. With its exactly 291.28 meters, it is to this...

Why Hillary Is Good For Your Health

Hillary the hawk at Stachus
Passing through the basement floor at Stachus these days you might not be sure if you can trust your eyes, as Hillary the Harris Hawk is likely to...

Oh dear, Obikes

Obike Muenchen
So far since launch, 6800 Obikes bikes have been positioned in Munich. More and more of these bicycles-for-rent are being deliberately damaged. Not...

Winter Tollwood 2017

Tollwood Winter Festival
Tollwood Winter Festival 2017 is currently taking place at the Theresienwiese in Munich.
This year's festival motto is: "We, all. Let's stand up and...

Engineering Jobs Fair in Munich

Munich Engineering Jobs - accepting CVs
The Association of German Engineers (VDI) is hosting its annual engineering recruitment fair on Thursday 16th November in Munich. The day-long event...

Second S-Bahn weekend maintenance closures

SBahn delays
For the second - and last - time of the year, the S-Bahn Stammstrecke (main line) will be out of service due to repair and maintenance works.


Munich Security Conference 2018 - City Center becomes a restricted area

Munich Security Conference 2018
This year's Munich Security Conference (MSC) will be held from February 16 - 18th, 2018 at the "Hotel Bayerischer Hof" again. On the agenda are, in...

Institutionalist Ciudadanos won the election, but pro independence parties retain majority

Ines Arrimadas, leader of Ciudadanos with 37 seats obtained most of the support from voters (25,3), but it wasn´t enough to break a majority of pro...

DB Sprinter Hits Technical Issues

It should have been the glorious end of a long and expensive journey; after more than 25 years of planning, political discussions, building halts and...

Is an Executive MBA Worth it?

Chicago Booth MBA
The Future of Business Education: Is an Executive MBA Worth it? Join Chicago Booth in Munich for a candid panel discussion and audience Q&A with...

Rosenheimerplatz Knife Attack - multiple victims

UPDATE: Munich police have now confirmed the man being held is in fact their prime suspect and the emergency situation is now over. UPDATE: a man...

Munich Top City for IT and Engineering

Munich top city for engineering jobs
Back in 2014, a study by the European Commission confirmed that Munich is the city that offers Information and Communication Technology (ICT)...

Advertise with The Munich Eye
Public Service Advertisements
Shades of Love
Spanish Finca for rent Web Site Optimisation
Newspaper sudoku