In Florida, the famous orange industry has been experiencing a major decline ever since citrus greening appeared in their groves. This disease, affecting only citrus trees, is caused by a bacteria which Florida’s orange trees have no resistance against. To save the billion of dollars lost every year, the fifth-generation farmers leaving their groves, and importantly, the state’s signature fruit, pathologists and geneticists are racing to develop a virus which can be used as a vaccine to defend orange trees against this harmful scourge. Where a virus can be used as a vessel for immunity, Drs Terence Dermody (University of Pittsburgh) and Bana Jabri (University of Chicago) have published a study suggesting that a virus may be the cause of celiac disease in those who carry a genetic predisposition to celiac. Their study showed that mice, which had been bred to be susceptible to celiac, when exposed to the suspected reovirus and fed gluten, developed an immunological response against gluten mimicking the symptoms of celiac disease in humans.
To Save Florida’s Famous Oranges, Scientists Race to Weaponize a Virus – Wired
When Gluten is the Villain, Could a Common Virus Be the Trigger? – NPR: The Salt