Bird flu epidemics could be prevented because of the genetic modifications made in chickens by European scientists so that they do not transmit bird flu. This research was carried out by scientists from the Universities of Cambridge and Edinburgh. These modified chickens can get infected with bird flu but could not pass it on to other chickens. However the scientists have noted that these birds they have developed are only for research purposes and are not to be eaten by people.
Bird flu is also known as H5N1 avian influenza. Chickens are the potential
bridging hosts that transmit the virus to humans which can lead to lethal
respiratory problems and several other complications.
University of Cambridge's Department of Veterinary Medicine's senior professor Dr. Laurence Tiley said, "The genetic modification we describe is a
significant first step along the path to developing chickens that are
completely resistant to avian flu." Thus this new development will help improve the health of domestic poultry and prevent the spread of bird flu epidemic among the human population.