The Agricultural researches in the CIGB respond to the Cuban needs to increase agricultural and livestock production for the sustainable satisfaction of the food demands of our population. Another important goal of our researches is to reduce the food import to which the country dedicates more than 2000 million USD per year. Using the biotechnology platform created in the CIGB, our projects are aimed at obtaining vaccines and veterinary drugs as well as obtaining bio-products and improved crops which could be applied to industrial agriculture and intensive crops. In the use of genetic engineering and molecular biology as working methods, we are fully aware of our responsibility for human safety and the environment protection. With the vision of a single health, we see genetic engineering as an essential method for the development of new products and solving problems of science and technology in the agricultural field. Our work is directed toward these objectives based on ethical values, carrying out the same with an evaluation of the risks and following the strictest biosecurity measures in accordance with the requirements demanded by the current Cuban and world legislation.
It is dedicated to the molecular biology and genetic improvement of plant species of agricultural interest and the research of compounds and microorganisms which could be used for the crop protection, as well as for food and for human and animal health. Current projects in the field of genetic modification of plans are aimed at the introduction of genes to get better plant defense against fungal and viral diseases and pests. We also work on the genetic modification of crops to improve their useful properties for industry and for animal feed. These studies are carried out in the strictest compliance with current biosafety standards, and research related to the toxicological and environmental implications of genetically modified organisms is promoted.
It is devoted to the drug and vaccine development against pathogens and agents causing diseases of economical important species as well as the development of molecules that help to improve the productivity of aquatic species relevant for human consumption. This group has developed a vaccine against the bovine tick Rhipicephalus microplus using recombinant DNA techniques which is commercially called Gavac ©. This vaccine has been applied in our country within an Integrated Tick Control Program for more than 20 years with success and also in Venezuela with more than two million of bovines included in the program. In addition, there are positive field experiences in other countries such as Brazil, Colombia, Mexico and others. Currently, another candidate for anti-tick vaccine with excellent performance in controlled trials is being developed as a new product. Based on our broad experience in the immunological control of ectoparasites, different vaccine candidates have been developed against sea lice which are ectoparasites that affect the salmonids. We have also developed a subunit vaccine against Classical Swine Fever with excellent and novel results for this kind of vaccines and its accompanying differential diagnostic system. An effective vaccine candidate against Rabbit Hemorrhagic Fever has been also developed by our research team. Regarding to the development of products applicable to aquatic organisms, a battery of molecules have been developed which are called Acuabio that stimulate the growth and innate immune system of fish and crustaceans with very encouraging results in their field tests both in our country and in other countries. Finally, capacities have been developed for the generation of transgenic animals as models for diseases of human interest.