A new paper has found that when it comes to the delivery of antibodies, produce delivery can become a way of life.
A paper published in the journal Nature Communications looks at how the production of antibodies in pigs can be a lucrative source of income for farmers in developing countries.
The researchers found that producers of piglets that receive the antibodies from the piglets fed produce are more likely to receive payment from farmers than those who do not.
Producers who receive the antibody from piglets given produce are also more likely than those not to have the antibodies.
This is likely to be due to the fact that producers who receive piglets from producers who do produce antibodies are more expensive, and this is likely an indirect consequence of the fact producers who buy the antibodies themselves receive a lower payment.
Pigs produce antibodies in response to certain food or water molecules, which the researchers believe to be related to the immune system of the pig.
“The pig’s immune system is designed to recognize these substances,” lead author, Dr. James Raine, of the University of Melbourne, said.
Dr Raine said pig producers needed to be aware of the different types of antibodies produced by piglets, and to be wary of the ones that do not come from pig farms.
He said pig farmers also needed to understand how to identify and control the pig producers that use the antibodies, to prevent the production and transfer of the antibodies in the wild.
“This is something that we have identified that is particularly important in terms of reducing the risk of introducing a pandemic,” Dr Raine added.
As well as increasing producers’ income, producing antibodies has the potential to reduce the spread of infectious diseases.
While antibodies have not been widely tested in humans, it is thought that pig production of antibody could reduce the amount of the virus that can survive in people.
“[It] is possible to reduce viral loads by removing the animals that produce antibodies, and thereby allowing more piglets to become infected,” Dr Michael McPhee, of University of Queensland, said in a statement.
For now, producers have the option of using antibodies from other pigs that are kept in quarantine, or using a pig’s own immune system.
It is hoped that by working with pig producers, this research could lead to a better understanding of how the pig immune system works, and how producers can help farmers and farmers avoid infections in the future.
ABC/AP: Natalie Wood