Paving the Way to PRRS-Free Pork

Mar 1, 2024

Entering the chat: gene-edited pigs.


And they’re not just any gene-edited pigs – ones resistant to the virus that has cost the pork industry $2.7B each year – porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS).


Not the sound a cat makes: PRRS is one of the deadliest diseases for pigs, killing millions each year. Currently, the industry only has vaccines that reduce symptom severity. Thus creating the need for a more aggressive approach.


Genus? More like Genius: Genus is an international breeding company, and its researchers have successfully used CRISPR technology to remove a portion of a protein that would stop PRRS from infecting pigs’ cells but still remain healthy.


These aren’t the first gene-edited animals on the market. The FDA previously approved a salmon species and a different gene-edited pig that would allow some who are allergic to a sugar molecule in pork to eat the other white meat. 


Getting the pork to the plate: Genus has bred hundreds of PRRS-immune pigs and says the FDA could approve public sales of the gene-edited pork as soon as next year, but not without several hoops to get through. 

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