A new study published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation suggests that the risk of rotavirus infection among children and immune-compromised adults in developing countries can one day be reduced with the help of a genetically modified strain of rice.
Researchers at University of Tokyo conducted the study in which they fed genetically modified rice seeds to a group of young lab mice.
They found that the seeds were able to prevent and treat rotavirus-induced diarrhea and were able to remain effective for up to a year at room temperature or when boiled in water.
With refrigeration problems in developing countries means that traditional vaccines are not as effective in protecting against rotavirus as in the western countries, researchers hope that the genetically modified strain of rice, known as MucoRice, will be able to protect against the infection. The rice was created by manipulating plant DNA into producing a unique type of antibody that is normally found only in llamas, camels and sharks.