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Creating effective biocontainment facilities and maintenance protocols for raising specific pathogen-free, severe combined immunodeficient (SCID) pigs

Powell, Ellis J, Charley, Sara, Boettcher, Adeline N, Varley, Lisa, Brown, Justin, Schroyen, Martine, Adur, Malavika K, Dekkers, Susan, Isaacson, Dean, Sauer, Mary, Cunnick, Joan, Ellinwood, N Matthew, Ross, Jason W, Dekkers, Jack CM, Tuggle, Christopher K
Laboratory animals 2018 v.52 no.4 pp. 402-412
adaptive immunity, biocontainment, biomedical research, boars, dogs, farms, genetic lines, homozygosity, horses, human diseases, humans, laboratory animals, livestock and meat industry, medicine, mice, models, mutation, neoplasms, piglets, protocols, selection methods, severe combined immunodeficiency, sows, specific pathogen-free animals, xenotransplantation, Iowa
Severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) is defined by the lack of an adaptive immune system. Mutations causing SCID are found naturally in humans, mice, horses, dogs, and recently in pigs, with the serendipitous discovery of the Iowa State University SCID pigs. As research models, SCID animals are naturally tolerant of xenotransplantation and offer valuable insight into research areas such as regenerative medicine, cancer therapy, as well as immune cell signaling mechanisms. Large-animal biomedical models, particularly pigs, are increasingly essential to advance the efficacy and safety of novel regenerative therapies on human disease. Thus, there is a need to create practical approaches to maintain hygienic severe immunocompromised porcine models for exploratory medical research. Such research often requires stable genetic lines for replication and survival of healthy SCID animals for months post-treatment. A further hurdle in the development of the ISU SCID pig as a biomedical model involved the establishment of facilities and protocols necessary to obtain clean SPF piglets from the conventional pig farm on which they were discovered. A colony of homozygous SCID boars and SPF carrier sows has been created and maintained through selective breeding, bone marrow transplants, innovative husbandry techniques, and the development of biocontainment facilities.